National Health Identity (NHI)

national health identity

The National Health Identity (formerly the National Health Identifier since 8 April 2021, see press release) is a unique identifier specific to each user, a unique, univocal and permanent digital identity. The objective is to reinforce the reliability of patient identification and thus contribute to the quality of care and the safety of care. The INS is used to reference health data and administrative data, and facilitates the exchange and sharing of data.


The use of the INS identity is mandatory for health and medico-social professionals involved in patient care. Since 1 January 2021, all health software must integrate the National Health Identity.

INS number


NIR: National Individual Registration Number.

NIA: Standby Identification Number

INS features

Reference identity traits

Reference identity traits from the national civil status database: birth name, first name(s) at birth, date of birth, sex and place of birth.


(Object identifier)

Assigning authority for the identifier (origin and type of information).

It should be noted that the OID is transparent to the user.

Point of attention :

In some cases, the INS number may be different from the social security number (used for the reimbursement of health costs), particularly if the user is not the insured person (for example, in the case of a child insured by one of his parents).

The NSI must be qualified by meeting the following two conditions:

  • It must come from the national reference databases or be checked against these databases using the INSi teleservice implemented by the Assurance Maladie,
  • It is associated with the user's identity only if this identity has been verified according to the identity surveillance procedures in force.

The INSi teleservice

It is necessary to have a nominative CPx card to access the INSi teleservice(CPS Carte Professionnelle de Santé, CPE Carte du Personnel d'Etablissement, CPF Carte du Personnel en Formation).

The INSi teleservice offers two operations: retrieval of the INS identity and verification of the INS.


There are two possible ways torecover:

  • Automatic reading of the user's health card.
  • Entering the features (at least: birth name, one of the first names at birth, date of birth and sex).

The data transmitted to you comes from the national civil status databases: birth name, first name(s), date of birth, sex, place of birth (INSEE code) and INS number.


Verification operation, two possible cases:

  • A partner from outside your organisation sends you an INS identity that is not yet qualified,
  • You want to check the conformity of the INS identities present in your database against the reference databases.

One of the requirements of the INS repository is to verify every 3 to 5 years the conformity of the INS identities of your database with the reference databases.

Verification of the user's identity (identity vigilance)

A National Identity Vigilance Reference System (RNIV) sets out the requirements and recommendations in terms of user identification.

This reference framework includes a common base for all structures and several specific components (health establishments, hospitals, liberal structures, etc.).

The RNIV specifies that to create an identity, the birth name,first name (at least), date of birth, sex and place of birth (INSEE code) must be entered.

Once you have used the INSi teleservice, you can complete the identity with the list of first names at birth and the INS number (if it exists with its OID).


The input rules are :

  • Name and surname in capital letters,
  • No accent,
  • No diacritical character,
  • Dash and apostrophe retained.


Assigning the status of the identity (level of trust) is mandatory:

  • Provisional identity (if the consistency check between the captured identity features and a high level of trust identity document has not been performed),
  • Validated identity (if the consistency check has been performed),
  • Identity retrieved (if the identity was created by calling the INSi teleservice),
  • Qualified identity (if the identity retrieved by the INSi teleservice and the consistency between the identity features has been verified with an identity document or a high trust identification device).


Highly reliable identity documents are the identity card, passport, for children a birth certificate or family record book accompanied by an identity document of one of the two parents.


Automatic validation of identities without the presentation and control of a high level of trustworthy identification is prohibited.

Reference texts :

Implementing decree n°2019-1036 of 8 October 2019 amending decree n° 2017-412 of 27 March 2017

National Health Identifier Repository

National Identity Vigilance Repository RNIV

Guide to implementing INS identity in software


More information on the ANS website: The National Health Identity (NHI), a key identity of the health system