A Bureaucracy Victory-Well Sort Of
"Italy is in love with paper." says my husband.
"All shapes, types, and sizes."
Today when I received my permit to work in Italy, I marveled at how delicate and thin it was, like vellum or tracing paper. This piece of paper was supposed to be with me at all times, in addition to my passport, my driver’s license and any other document I have handy. I immediately made a copy of it and stored the original in a safe place. It was ready wrinkled and torn from having sat at the questura for 10 months. I have also made a copy of my passport and carry that around instead of the original although the original is required to check into hotels and when they stop you for security checks on the motorway.
Some other things I have noticed about documents here in Italy:
1. The Italian drivers' license is not laminated. It is a regular piece of paper folded in half (to about 3" by 5".) Your photo is affixed to the license with a small staple that looks as if it could easily be removed. Your license is not a valid form of identification. It is valid for 10 years.
2. Your resident card states where you have your residence and this has no relation to where you actually live. It is also a regular piece of paper (about 3" by 5") and is placed in a plastic sleeve. You must have this at all times, as it is a valid form of identification. My next step in Italy is to get this. If you have this then you do not have to carry your passport around unless you are checking into a hotel, on the motorway or entering into any official government official to try to do official-type business.
3. In many government offices things are still done the old-fashioned way. Some processes are computerized but many are not. For example, when we went to Rome to check if our marriage had been registered. I marveled at the rows and rows of cabinets in the hallways of the registry building. They were unlocked and filled with files upon files of divorce records, not very private in my mind.
Here is a sample list of a few things you might need to do anything official in Italy:
1. The completed application
2. Two to five passport style photos
3. Doctor's certificate and a copy or two or four.
4. Permesso di soggiorno and a few copies of it.
5. Your passport and a few copies of it.
6. Your residence card and several copies.
7. Your rental agreement and a copy. (For parking permits)
8. Your work contract and a copy. (Also for parking permits.)
The list goes on and on and I don’t want to ramble or it is already too late?
The little circle says my permesso was ready in April of 2005, even though they never published my name outside the questura. They never sent the police to verify where I lived and when we returned in October to check it out, they said it was not ready. The big circle says that my permesso never expires. This is rare since you usually have to renew it every 1-3 years. Chalk one up for me!
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