After several years together, you and your significant other have decided to move to France. To get health care in France, the two of you will need health insurance cards. The French health insurance car is called Carte Vitale. Carte Vitale grants you access to healthcare. The state health insurance card provides evidence of your medical entitlements and contains the necessary information for compensation. Everyone in France, no matter if they reside in the Seine-Saint-Denis department or Bouches-du-Rhône, is entitled to join the state health care system via PUMA (Protection Unverselle Maladie). But how do you get one? Read on.


Documents you need to get a Carte Vitale

Once you have signed up with one of the leading health insurance providers, you have to gather a few documents. You don’t need to appeler CPAM Seine Saint Denis to learn what you need. What you will need to get your health insurance card is: copy of your birth certificate (with translation), 2 ID photos, and a statement of your bank account. You can declare your treating physician, but this is optional. It is important to have a residency visa. You can’t get a Carte Vitale without a social security number. When it comes to applying for a social security number, your employer can help you out. In fact, your employer is required to apply for a social security number within 8 days of hiring you. The moment you have your temporary social security number, send the paperwork over to CPAM.

How you send your documents to the CPAM

It is advisable to find the nearest CPAM office and give the documents in person. If you don’t know which is the nearest office, go online and find the answer. There are many services willing to help you. Another option you have is to send the paperwork by registered letter. This will spare you the trip, so it is very useful. However, you should go to the CPAM office yourself. Your documents may be misplaced or the office may not receive your letter. s

How long it takes to get a Carte Vitale

It will take a while before you get your health insurance card. Generally speaking, you will have to wait a couple of weeks, but things can take longer. In some, cases it can take months. All you can do is wait and keep your medical receipts. You will need them to claim a refund. During this waiting period, you will use the “attestation” that CPAM provides you. This document will provide you access to healthcare. If you are lucky enough to live in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, you will get the chance to speak to an adviser who knows English.


You got your Carte Vitale. What you have to keep in mind is that the Carte Vitale has to be updated constantly. You can easily update your personal information on the CPAM website. If you like, you can go to the nearest office and update the state health insurance card. There is no difference, really.