How to get a Carte Vitale and a French social security number in France?

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

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What is a Carte Vitale?

When you are living or working in France for more than 3 months, you are eligible for the French national health coverage. The Carte Vitale is an actual physical green coloured card with your photo, full name, French social security number and a chip. You use this card to identify yourself at every health-related occasion. For example, going to your general doctor’s office, buying new glasses, picking up medicine from a pharmacy or even your annual dentist check-up or blood test in a laboratory.

Your French social security number (numéro de sécurité sociale) is created automatically when you apply for the health insurance and then you get a Carte Vitale. They belong together.