Reader question: I cannot find my carte Vitale. How can I cancel it and get a new one?
It is advisable to always have your carte Vitale with you in France as it proves your right to state healthcare.
So if it is stolen or you lose it, you should inform your local Cpam (caisse primaire d'assurance maladie) immediately.
This is important for two reasons. Firstly, if you have healthcare costs and do not have it to hand you will have to pay for everything upfront and apply for reimbursement with feuilles de soins afterwards, which is less convenient and can involve significant out of pocket costs before you get money back into your account.
Secondly, someone could be using it to pay for medicine or treatment.
You can report it lost or stolen online by logging into the Assurance Maladie website ameli.fr, via the Ameli app or by going directly to your local Cpam office.
Once you have logged into Ameli, click Mes Démarches and then the Déclarer la perte ou le vol de carte Vitale.
You will then have to confirm if the card has been lost or stolen.
You can also send a letter to your local Cpam office to say the card is lost (which has to include a declaration sur l’honneur sworn statement) or telephone it on 36 46.
This will cancel the card meaning it cannot be used to pay for any treatment. Even if it is found again you cannot reactivate an old card. You will have to obtain a new one.
How do I get a new carte Vitale?
It is possible to order a new card online, through the Ameli website or app.
When declaring your carte Vitale lost or stolen, you will be prompted to order a new one at the same time.
You will need to attach two documents to your request. These are:
a photo or scan of an identity document (passport, residency permit etc)
a digital version of a passport-style photo
If you do not order a new card at the same time as declaring your current one lost or stolen, you will have to wait two days before asking for a replacement.
This can be done by pressing Commander une carte Vitale under the Mes Démarches section.
If you send your local Cpam a letter to inform it that the card was lost or stolen, it will send you a ‘Ma nouvelle carte Vitale’ form.
Before sending the form back (to the same address), check that the details are correct, and then glue a passport-style photo in the space provided, and add a copy of an identity document to the letter.
It takes just over two weeks to receive a new carte Vitale if the request was made online, or three weeks if made by post.
If you are in a situation where you would have needed your carte Vitale to cover medical costs in the meantime, you can download an Attestation de droits form, which you can use as proof of being in the French system in the meantime, if asked for this.
What if I find someone else’s card?
If you find someone else’s carte Vitale, you should send it to, or drop it off at, the local Cpam office.
If you do not want to pay for a stamp, or the office is far away, you can drop the card into a La Poste letterbox, and it will be delivered free of charge.