What is SPID and how to get it

SPID stands for Sistema per la gestione dell'Identità Digitale (Digital Identity Management System) and allows citizens to pay bills online and communicate with PA

Digitization is a process that involves not only companies, but also the public administration, which in recent times has started a transformation process to make access to many services more efficient and immediate, thus streamlining bureaucracy.

Including the initiatives launched in this sense by AgID, the Agency for Digital Italy, one of the most important is certainly the creation of the SPID, a single digital identity system that allows citizens and businesses to access hundreds of services of the Public Administration and private companies. Acronym for Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale (Public Digital Identity System), SPID is composed of a pair of credentials (username and password) to which other forms of secure authentication can also be combined (such as two-step verification, for example).

What is SPID and what is it for

As mentioned, SPID was created to allow citizens and businesses to authenticate themselves securely to services offered by the Public Administration and not only. Thanks to SPID, for example, it is possible to access INPS services online (without the need to request a PIN); interface with INAIL; pay taxes and duties of the PA through the PagoPA system and much more. The services enabled to SPID, in fact, are now several hundred, offered by over 4,000 administrations scattered throughout the Italian territory.

This is a very useful system that has the advantage of allowing citizens to access many services quickly and above all secure (the system provides three levels of security, which serve to protect data from users), using a single digital identity.

How to get the SPID for free

In order to get the SPID, it is necessary to apply to one of the authorized Identity Providers who have the task of collecting the requests of citizens and companies, verify the correctness of the data entered and the real identity of the applicant (it can happen, for example, through a video call, or with a home visit of a person in charge) and finalize the practice, thus "releasing" the Public Identity of the citizen or company. At the moment, the Identity Providers enabled are 9 and offer different services and security levels.

To make the SPID it is necessary to have a valid document and the tax code/sanitary card. During the procedure, in fact, you will be asked to enter the details of the document (identity card or passport, for example) and the data of the tax code. At the end of the insertion procedure it will be necessary to proceed with the verification of the identity: according to the chosen provider you will have at your disposal different modalities, some of them free, some of them on payment.

Three levels of security

The Digital Identity Management System is protected by three different levels of security. The first one requires the use of a password to enter the account. The second level, instead, places side by side to the security key also a One Time Password that will be sent directly to the user. In practice, it is a two-factor authentication system. The third level of security, used by very few operators, provides users with an external access device that shows a temporary numeric Pin to be added to the password.

How to use the SPID

Once you have the SPID, you can use it to interface with the PA, request certificates online and pay taxes and duties. But how do you use it? Since it is an authentication system, you just need to enter the credentials obtained during registration and that's it. If, however, the service requires higher levels of security, username and password may not be enough: in cases like these you will be asked to use other forms of authentication, such as unlocking the smartphone app of the chosen Identity Provider or entering a unique temporary code (a One Time Password, to be clear).