What is SPID and how to get it

SPID is a digital recognition system that is used by all people living in Italy to access public services, request bonuses, refunds and pay taxes. It can be activated in various ways, even for free, and you can also use it from your phone.

SPID, the Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale, is a system that allows you to get in touch with various offices of the Public Administration and request documents online with a single username and password. It’s like having a digital identity document.

To access the websites of many government offices, it has become mandatory to have a SPID digital identity. Among these is the INPS website and, very important for non-EU citizens, the website of the Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione of the Ministry of the Interior. On the Sportello Unico website you apply for 

  • the nulla osta for work;
  • the conversion of the permesso di soggiorno;
  • ricongiungimento familiare (family reunification);
  • enrolment in Italian language tests in order to obtain an EC residence permit for long-term residents

What you need to activate SPID

To activate SPID you need:

  • Your email
  • Your mobile number
  • A valid identity document (identity card, driving license, passport or residence permit)
  • Your tessera sanitaria with your codice fiscale

The steps to activate SPID

The first step to activate SPID is to choose among the Identity providers. Identity providers are the companies that provide the SPID activation service. Each offers SPID with different characteristics, such as the level of security. Some Identity Providers offer the service for free, while with others it is paid.

After choosing your Identity provider and registering on their site you must:

  1. Enter your personal data
  2. Create your SPID credentials (username and password)
  3. Do the recognition, that is, prove that it is really you. Recognition can be done:
    1. in person (by going to a post office);
    2. remotely (using your Electronic Identity Card, the Carta Nazionale dei Servizi – National Service Card, your firma elettronica -digital signature or via webcam). Follow the instructions on the site.

Once you have done the recognition, your SPID will be active and you can start using it.

How to choose between the various Identity Providers

As said above, there are many Identity providers to choose from.

Here is a table with the main ones:

As you can see, with almost anyone you can do the recognition either in person or via webcam, but make sure to look at the cost. While in-person recognition is free, remote webcam recognition is often paid.

Choose the identity provider that offers the most suitable service for you.

The Poste Italiane service is very easy and free. To get the SPID you have to follow these steps:

  1. Go to the SPID dedicated section of the Poste Italiane website
  2. Enter all the requested data
  3. Do the recognition for free remotely or in a post office in your city. If you choose to do this at a post office, you don’t need to book an appointment. Just bring your identity document with you and tell the person at the counter that you need to do the SPID recognition. It will take a few minutes.

In order to use the SPID you will need to download the PosteID App and follow the instructions.

Here is an image of the screen of the post office site indicating the button to click to start the procedure.

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