Obtaining the Codice Fiscale
By: Bryan Schneider
A codice fiscale is the Italian version of a tax identification number and is required to purchase some simple items such as a cell phone. If you are moving to Italy it can be handy to have the codice fiscale before you leave home, and it is a relatively simple process to obtain one.
As with obtaining a visa you should apply for the codice fiscale from the consulate* that has jurisdiction over your place of residency. Each consulate¡¯s web-site may have a slightly different process, but the required documents are the same: a photocopy of your passport, a copy of your driver¡¯s license, and a letter requesting the codice fiscale which states your full name, date of birth and city of birth. I would recommend mailing this request with tracking to your consulate as this does contain some sensitive information and you want to ensure it does not go astray.
The consulate will send you a letter giving you your codice fiscale number and stating that your actual government card will be issued by the Italian Ministry of Finance from Rome. The card is green and white, the size of a credit card and contains your name and codice fiscale number. The letter should arrive in less than 3 weeks while the actual card may require 2 months, so plan accordingly. This is one of the easiest documents to obtain from the Italian government.