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Help! Passport required to activate SIM card in Italy?

Help! Passport required to activate SIM card in Italy?

Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:38 PM
  #1  
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Help! Passport required to activate SIM card in Italy?

We are traveling to Italy on April 14 and have an unlocked GSM Quadband cell phone for travel purposes. I just inquired of Telestial about the process for acquiring a SIM card here in the U.S., before departure, and the employee said there is a NEW requirement that the buyer must send a copy of their passport, by fax or scanned to email, before the card will be activated. And it takes 24 to 28 hours to validate the passport. So getting all this done before departure would be difficult ... but the same delay would affect a SIM card purchase in Italy. Has anyone heard of this? Should I look elsewhere or is it common now? Help!
sherwoodforest is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 04:36 PM
  #2  
 
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sherwood,

This is not a new requirement. I bought a tri-band phone from Telestial 3 years ago and had to do the same thing. It only took a couple of days.

You have time.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 05:10 PM
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Or you could just buy a SIM card when you get there. They do want to see the passport, I remember that, but it took no time. I now have a United Mobile Sim that works in all countries, but before I got it on a couple of trips to Italy I just bought one when I got there with no problems.
isabel is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 05:13 PM
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Yes, but if you purchase the SIM card in Italy, it takes all of 5 minutes for them to process the info they need from your passport. It's not new, and it's not a big deal.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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We are taking a Telestial phone to Italy, but because it has a UK phone number, we don't need to send a passport --according to my husband who bought it.

charnees is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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My telestial phone had a TIM card with an Italian phone number and I had to send the passport.
Dayle is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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I just did this in February. I bought the TIM card ahead of time because I needed to make a call from the airport and didn't want to bother with it there. I faxed my passport ahead of time to register it, as instructed.

When I got to Italy, the phone wouldn't work. I had to wait until I could go to a TIM store, where the clerk went in on the computer and registered it for me, and yes, they do require your passport to do so. I don't know why the faxed passport registration ahead of time didn't work.

SusanP is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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I find it easiest to just go to a TIM store and just purchase a SIM card on the spot. It's easy, takes no more than 20 minutes, and you're soon on your way with a working phone number.

Plus, it's cheaper.
mcnyc is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 02:55 PM
  #9  
SAB
 
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I had the same issue with Telestial after having faxed a copy of my passport so that the TIm could work when we arrived.
SAB is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Faster and easiest way is to buy an Italian SIM card on eBay. No hassle and you'll know your phone number before you leave and can use it right away upon arrival. Just search for "Italy or Italian SIM card" The major cell operator in Italy is TIM. So, I would suggest you get a TIM SIM card.

Usually, it just costs a a few $ more than buying it there. But, the convenience is worth it.
Kenstee is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 01:37 PM
  #11  
 
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Well, mine is a TIM card. You still have to register it with your passport before you can use it in Italy.
SusanP is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 07:21 PM
  #12  
 
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I don't know about a passport requirement but I understand you have to have a "codice fiscale" which is a unique identifier.

Apparently you can get this done online.

Here are the instructions and the link to a web page in Italian.

If someone tries it and it works, let me know.

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/italy.html
scrb is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 07:45 PM
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bookmarking
cybertraveler is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 01:27 AM
  #14  
 
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Codice Fiscale generator:
http://www.tuttowebmaster.it/strumen...ce-fiscale.php

Enter your
Family name
First name
Gender
Date of birth: (day/month/year)
Commune (if born in Italy) or country of birth (in Italian): e.g. Stati Uniti (US)
and click Calcola
Alec is online now  
May 9th, 2008, 07:33 AM
  #15  
 
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Alec,

What do you do with the CF after you generate it?

Write it down and give it to the TIM clerk from whom you buy the prepaid SIM?

Do they still need your passport in addition to the CF?

Also, I understand you have to activate or choose certain plans when you activate the SIM, which gives you different tariffs?
scrb is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 07:48 AM
  #16  
 
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I've found the whole process in Italy an incredible pain in the neck. I'm just going to stick with the United Mobile sim I used on most recent trip to central Europe.
sera is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 11:54 AM
  #17  
 
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Susan P writes: "Well, mine is a TIM card. You still have to register it with your passport before you can use it in Italy."


Based on my personal experience this is inaccurate. If you get a card you can use it right away. The only time you need a passport is ONLY if you go into a place in Italy to buy it. If you get one through a third party - say eBay - you are set to go when you land in Italy.
Kenstee is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 12:23 PM
  #18  
 
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In France also, official identification is required to activate a new SIM card. Something about Al Qaeda, drug dealers, the Mafia and other internatinal terrorists. So silly, really.
kerouac is online now  
May 15th, 2008, 01:59 PM
  #19  
 
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Kenstee, that wasn't so in my case. As you'll note above, I bought the card ahead of time (from Telestial) and had to activate it with my passport before it could be used. As I said, I faxed it ahead of time as instructed, but for some reason it didn't work, and I still had to go to a TIM store in Italy to activate it, again having to produce my passport.
SusanP is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 02:13 PM
  #20  
 
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That's why it's better to be prepared before the trip and prepaid are so expensive!! go online and get your solution before leaving, like that you can communicate your cell phone number to friends and family
europelover2 is offline  

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