Carte Vitale plus 2nd proof of identity?

Is it compulsory to show another document to prove identity, when one already has handed in one’s ‘Carte Vitale’ which has both name AND photo on it?

I was nearly refused entry into a medical centre yesterday because I ‘only’ had the ‘Carte Vitale’ but no passport and no driving licence.

Please advise.

Thank you.


If you have french nationality then i believe you need to carry your carte d’identité at all times, so normally not a problem to provide another form of identification. I guess its down to the "rules " a particular place wants . Carry your passport and DL (think thats obligatory too if your driving).


I have many visits to medical facilities (principally Hospitals) here in France and am always asked for ID (as well as CV and evidence of mutuelle).
My CdS-WA serves this purpose very well and it’s no big deal.
Previously, I used my FR driving licence for this purpose which worked at one hospital but not the other.
In general terms, the CV might be regarded as proof of entitlement to Health Care but is not regarded by French authorities as proof of ID.


You can carry a copy of your passport if you are afraid of losing the original document.

When I was admitted to Macon Centre Hospitalier I was only asked for my Carte Vitale and my Mutuelle.

emergency admissions may be an exception to the rule… you probably had a letter from your MT.
I think that has been the case with me too on admission through Urgence.
In my experience, the convocation for a routine hospital appointment usually specifies CV, ID, Mutuelle, current prescriptions and recent bloods.

A Carte Vitale is not a formal identity document. And neither is a carte de séjour although often accepted as such. I have found that my first visit to any hospital needs me to prove identity with my passport. After that with most of them I am in their system and they will accept lesser forms of ID.

You are not required to carry and identity card anymore - like a passport or French CNI - but if asked to justify your identity these are what is needed.


They were nice and doing you a favour to let you in with only that. A carte vitale is not proof of identity, only a carte d’identité, passport or driving licence count, officially, because they are issued by the state.
So don’t get in a bate with them :grin:


Not just French nationality, Mark, any nationality in France should have identity with them, (id card, passport or driving licence). If you don’t when stopped by the police/gendarmes then they are within their right to take you back to the commissariat to check your identity. Much easier to carry something :wink:

Yes, Karen, completely normal as explained by others here, lucky they let you in, as Véro said!

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But it is now “should” not “must” carry ID. I remember my first sole visit to France as a 16 year old when I got into trouble for not having it on me.

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Yep, had to look it up to be sure (and it is no longer law that you have to carry id) Some mates were stopped by the police a couple of weeks ago (out on a club run on the bikes) they were on a section of road that we use which is dual carraigeway but 90km speed limit so we have the right to cycle on it. The police (up from Toulouse) got all uppety and said they didn’t have the right and that there was a sign (which there isn’t) and then told them he was going to fine them as nobody had their id card with them! Fortunately they then got called away and let them go with a warning!

I always carried my driver’s license photocard in the U.K. and do the same in France. Makes more sense here as if I’m off my property, then there’s a 99% chance I’m driving anyway.

Local point relais won’t accept a CV as proof of identity when collecting parcels.

The only time I’ve had to produce a passport for ID purposes was when buying pool chemicals that contained lots of oxidant and were on a controlled sales protocol.

The joy that is the cuddly, customer focused and empathetic French police! Was trying to explain to some young people that I was brought up with the idea that if in trouble I should look for a police-person. The expression on their faces said it all…


Me too and once, in Angoulême, I was looking for the prefecture during a heavily policed CGT demonstration and quietly asked an Officer the way. He responded very politely.
In general, it’s the individuals demeanour which determines whether you will get a decent response from law enforcement officers. Treat them respectfully and they will do likewise.


That is just like the gendarmerie around here. Any excuse to issue fines, even though they are wrong.

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We were explicitly warned when we moved here to keep away from the Gendarmerie in Cluny and Dompierre, a subsidiary, as they had an appalling record of arresting innocent people.

I was refused registration at Clinique Francheville in Perigueux on the grounds that my French driving licence was not acceptable ID. As a foreigner, only my passport would do.

My passport goes with me everywhere as it is required in a great many situations! I wonder how people manage when they’ve had to send it off to get it renewed :thinking:

a photocopy would normally work in such circumstances - especially if it’s been “stamped” by the Maire

Mine too, always has, as an international driver I was often re-directed when far away from home, to load/unload at no prior notice in another country.

To answer your question, suck it/hard cheese (other, ruder, epithets are available :wink:).
When we still had to renew at the Paris embassy I explained the above and was told ‘ask your boss not to send you abroad till it arrives’. :astonished:

Fortunately I was not asked for it at the Belgian/Italian/Spanish borders. I wouldn’t have been able to get into England though so did ask the boss not to send me there.