Every single French adult has a carte Vitale in France. Find out everything there is to know about carte Vitale in this FAQ.
What is carte Vitale?
It’s a card you hand out at the doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy or lab to be later reimbursed.
Who delivers it?
The French Healthcare System (Assurance Maladie) delivers Vitale card.
How does it work?
How much does it cost?
Who is eligible?
Anyone over 16 affiliated to the French healthcare system is eligible.
How do I get a carte Vitale?
Can I pay with my card?
No, you can’t pay with carte Vitale. This is not a payment card.
What information is stored on my card?
Your name, address, French social security number, local CPAM and médecin traitant (primary doctor) are stored on the microchip on your Vitale card.
Is medical data stored on my card?
No, your card doesn’t contain any medical information.
How long does it take to get reimbursed?
Reimbursements usually reach your bank account within a week.
Can I be reimbursed if I do not have my card with me at the doctor’s?
Yes, as long as you are affiliated with Assurance Maladie. The doctor (or the pharmacist) gives you a feuille de soins (invoice for medical care). You then mail your feuille de soins to your local CPAM to receive your reimbursements.
Can I be on my spouse’s card?
No, you can’t. Since 2016, every adult must have his/her own Vitale card.
How do I update my card?
To update your Vitale card, use a borne multi-services (card updating machine) or ask your pharmacist. Most pharmacies in France provide updating machines to their customers.
When should I update my card?
Update your Vitale card whenever your situation changes: marriage, divorce, new child, pregnancy, new ALD exonérante, new address or new mutuelle. Try updating it at least once a year.
What if I lost my carte Vitale?
To inform your CPAM, in your Ameli account, go to Mes démarches >> Déclarer la perte ou le vol de carte Vitale.
CPAM will mail you a new Vitale card within a few weeks.
In the meantime, download an Attestation de Droits (proof of insurance) from your Ameli account to show at the doctor’s office. To get reimbursed, mail your feuille de soins to your local CPAM.
Is there an age limit to apply?
No, there is no maximum age limit.
Now that you know all about carte Vitale, take the next step and apply for carte Vitale!