Visiting CPAM

cpamEarly yesterday morning I went to my local CPAM (caisse primaire d’assurance maladie) office in order to have them sign a few forms I have from Denmark to have my special health card issued. Just before I was going to press the button to have a ticket with a number a staff, that was standing next to the machine, stopped me and said I was not allowed to press on the button (?!?!). I thought he was joking and started to laugh…but when I saw he didn’t even smile I understood he was deadly serious. He continued and said that the buttons would get dirty if people would press the buttons themselves…and the solution? The guy’s job was to press the button (!!!). He said that I shouldn’t take it personally, he was sure my fingers were not dirty..but if everybody would press on the buttons..they would get dirty. Anyway, I let him press the button so I could get my ticket.

WHY investing in a ticket machine IF there will be someone hired to press the buttons? As if that wasn’t enough. When it was my turn I explained I needed to have the forms signed, the lady said she couldn’t sign the papers until I have the following documents:

  • my birth certificate translated into French by a authorized translator
  • my latest electricity bill
  • a copy of my passport
  • my RIB

All those documents just for having them sign two forms. Wow. When I have all the documents she told me I could not just show up at the international office that they have, no, I need to make an appointment – a rendez-vous.

How it works in Denmark? Well, I went to Borgerservice, WITHOUT having an appointment and the only document needed was my job contract with my CPR number (= id-number). Within a week I had my sundhedscard (health insurance card).

CPAM –  caisse primaire d’assurance maladie = the French Health Service Administration

About Author

This Paris blog is created and maintained by Solli, a Swedish Expat living in Paris working as a Photographer. When she is not behind the lens or setting off to a new destination she loves to be in the kitchen and play around with whole, organic and seasonal food. In this blog she shares some glimpses of her everyday life as a bonne vivante wherever in the world she might be. Enjoy following her journey through life...


  • clara
    22 September 2013 at 18:15

    Yes the administration in France is really something! : (
    Good luck with everything; I’ve been following your blog for a long time now; thank you for making me realize that I should savor every little minutes of my life : )

  • Solli Kanani
    22 September 2013 at 19:32

    Clara – I agree :-) It makes me miss the smooth administration in Scandinavia..but on the other hand there are so many other positive things in Paris that weights it all up so I guess it’s fine in the end :-) Happy to hear you enjoy reading my blog!

  • Christine&Paris
    23 September 2013 at 21:12

    Haha, det är helt sjukt hur det funkar här. Med lite tur har du ditt carte vitale inom ett år ;)

  • Lisa
    24 September 2013 at 19:23

    Welcome to Paris! Sometime I’m shocked about how easy things are here in Stockholm. Hope it’s sorted soon! And careful on that bike, I hope you use a helmet?


  • Robin
    24 September 2013 at 21:03

    C’est typique *himlar med ögonen* Allt är krångligt. Men andra saker är ju enkelt. Köpa vin, typ.

  • Solli Kanani
    29 September 2013 at 21:51

    Robin – ja, trots allt så är det bästa ganska lätttillgängligt så det ska man vara glad över ;-) kram!

  • Solli Kanani
    29 September 2013 at 21:53

    Lisa – merci ma belle! I hope I will get my carte vitale very soon – especially since I’m not using any helmet when I’m biking…but I’m considiring buying one soon ;-) xxx

  • Solli Kanani
    29 September 2013 at 21:54

    Christine – haha…eller hur? Förhoppningsvis i oktober iaf..

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