For members


Ameli: How to create your online French social security account

The French online platform Ameli is a gateway to access information and crucial health documents, including the Covid vaccination certificate that could soon be vital for travel.

Ameli: How to create your online French social security account
The homepage of Photo: Marion BERARD / AFP

What is Ameli?

We’re not talking about the classic French film starring Audrey Tautou (that’s Amélie or Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie  Poulain if you’re in France).

Ameli – an acronym for assurance maladie en ligne (health insurance online) – is the online platform of the French social security scheme, Assurance Maladie.

Everyone living in France should register with the French health system to get the card that gives you access to refunded healthcare, carte vitale.

READ ALSO How to get a carte vitale and why you need one

If you have a carte vitale, you can create an Ameli personal account. Not everyone does, it is voluntary and you can get around it, but it will give you easy access to health related services and documents.

It’s recently taken on new importance when the French government announced that this platform will be how people already vaccinated can access the new attestations de vaccination Covid-19 (vaccination certificates)that you can use to create a ‘health passport’ for access to travel and some leisure activities this summer. 

Why do I need it?

Ameli is generally helpful because speeds up the process of all health insurance-related procedures and makes it possible to keep track of medical expenses and refunds.

It’s also a place to access useful documents, as well as vaccination certificates, if you ever need to prove your right to healthcare in France, you can head to Ameli to download an attestation des droits which outlines that you are entitled to healthcare in France.

You can also do practical things like order a new carte vitale if yours has been lost or stolen or register a change in your personal details such as a new address or bank account.

READ ALSO: France’s new vaccination certificates ‘first step’ towards health passport

Since May 3rd everyone in France receives a vaccination certificate after their first injection of the Covid vaccination.

Those who got vaccinated prior to that date and didn’t get a certificate will be able to access them on their Ameli account “from the second half of May,” according to digital affairs minister Cedric O.

However people without access to an Ameli account or who struggle with online procedures could ask to get their vaccination certificate sent by post, Assurance Maladie noted on their website

How to register

Go to Click on “je crée mon compte” (I’m creating my account). If you can’t find it, click HERE.

Fill out your name, social security number (the one on your carte vitale), date of birth and post code.

Photo: Ameli, Assurance Maladie

Click “continuer“.

After that, there are two main methods to go on to register.

1. The system knows your details

Firstly, if your carte vitale is activated and Assurance Maladie already has your bank details registered, things are quite easy.

Simply fill in the missing the seven last digits of your Iban bank number, the one Assurance Maladie uses to reimburse your medical expenses. The first digits will be there already, so you can easily double check that you are using the right one.

Then do the same for the missing digits of your carte vitale serial number (not your social security number), which is written next to your photo on the card. If you have a carte vitale without a photo, the number is on the top left corner.

Reader question: Can you get a Covid vaccine in France without a carte vitale?

You will then be asked to accept the general conditions (tick the box for yes) before continuing to the next page, where you get to choose a password (the password criteria are listed on the site).

After that you just need to fill out the remaining information, including your email address (personal, not professional email) – and phone number.

You will then receive an email with a link that you have to click on to validate your account. You have seven days to do this, if you wait longer than that you will have to start over again.

It is important to choose an email address that you frequently check, as Assurance Maladie will send you updates and notify you when new documents are available on your account.

2. The system does not know your details

If, however, the system lacks your bank and health card details, there is another way to register though “France connect”.

Going back to the first step where you fill in your social security number, click on the France connect-button:

The next step is to choose one of the options for identifying yourself, for example through your tax declaration information, the box called

Fill in your numéro fiscal and your password – the information you use for logging in to declare your taxes online – and continue.

The system should then recognise you and you will be able to proceed, filling out the same information as outlined above.

Both procedures are explained step by step (in French) in the video below:

If you’re struggling..

If for some reason you are unable to register, there are a few other options. One is to go to see one of the nearest Assurance Maladie offices to get in-person help. You can find a list over the points d’acceuil HERE (remember to select your own area).

If you want to avoid going into one of their offices, you can call the Ameli helpline at 3646 (free service number) from Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm. If you are calling from one of France’s overseas territories the number is the same, but opening hours vary.

There is also a phone line for English speakers: 09 74 75 36 46 (from France). 

There’s also a chatbot called ameliBot on the website where it is possible to ask questions.

More information in English on the Assurance Maladie website, link HERE.

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For members


How and when to send Christmas presents from France

If you want to send Christmas presents to friends and family overseas you need to know the deadline dates and how to avoid being hit with extra charges - here's what you need to know.

How and when to send Christmas presents from France


First things first, you need to make sure your parcel arrives in time for Christmas, which means sending it before the deadline.

The French postal service La Poste has the following deadlines;

In Europe

If you’re sending a parcel within France, the deadline to have it delivered by Christmas is December 23rd. 

If you’re sending to the UK or Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spanish islands (eg Tenerife), Croatia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Malta, Norway, Portuguese islands (eg Madeira) or Romania you have until December 16th.

If you’re sending to Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden or Switzerland you have until December 17th.

If you’re sending to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Portugal you have until December 19th.

Outside Europe

If you’re sending to the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or Hong Kong you have until December 10th. Likewise if you’re sending to most French overseas territories, the deadline is December 10th.

For most other countries the deadline is December 3rd, but you can find the full list here

Private couriers like Fed-Ex and DPD have their own deadlines, although they are broadly in line with La Poste, and if you’re buying online each company has its own deadline on when it can guarantee a Christmas delivery.

Fees and customs declarations

If you’re sending parcels to another EU country then it’s pretty straightforward – just pay the delivery cost (you can check how much it will be to send via La Poste here) and make sure you send it before the deadline.

If, however, you are sending to a country outside the EU (which of course now includes the UK) then you will need to fill out a customs declaration form explaining what is in your parcel and whether it is a gift or not.

In addition to standard postal charges, you may also need to pay customs duties, depending on the value or your parcel and whether it is a gift or not. 

Find full details on customs duty rules HERE.

Banned items

And there are some items that are banned from the post – if you’re sending parcels to the US be aware that you cannot send alcohol through the mail as a private individual, so don’t try a ship some nice French wine or a bottle of your local liqueur. 

Most countries ban firearms and fireworks, not unreasonably, although be aware that this includes items like sparklers.

Sending food and plants is also often restricted with countries including Canada and Australia having strict rules and most other countries imposing restrictions on what you can send.

This also applies the other way and France bans any foodstuffs containing animal products (eg chocolate) sent from outside the EU.