Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

AMKA: Greek social security number

amkaIt is mandatory that everyone covered by a Greek insurance fund, collecting a Greek pension or intending to work in Greece have an Αριθμός Μητρώου Κοινωνικής Ασφάλισης or AMKA, as of January 1, 2010.

Most residents already have AMKAs, and everyone registered with a Greek social insurance fund should have received AMKA cards at their place of employment or residence, if the information on file was correct. Those without numbers are likely new arrivals to Greece, unemployed spouses/children of insured individuals, residents who cannot understand Greek or illegal workers.

The original July 1, 2009 deadline was changed to October 1, after hundreds of thousands of people complained that public sector employees were ill informed and unprepared to deal with the onslaught of inquires and applications at the end of May. This caused the Ministry of Labor to temporarily disconnect their phones.

*Article last updated March 13, 2013. Hat tip to ‘T,’ who suggested I write this article.

What is an AMKA, and why is it mandatory?

An AMKA, Αριθμός Μητρώου Κοινωνικής Ασφάλισης or Arithmos Mitroou Koinonikis Asfalisis translates to registered social insurance number or social security number.* I have also heard it called an SSFN or Social Security Foundation Number.

It is a singular insurance identity that will replace all numbers issued by IKA-ETAM, OAEE (formerly TEBE/TEVE), OGA, TAYTEKO, TAYTOTE, ETAA, ETAP-MME, YPETHA, OPAD, etc., thus (hopefully) streamlining transactions pertaining to insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits. For example, I now show one AMKA instead of two different numbers with IKA and OAEE (formerly TEBE), though my unique details remain on file.

The Greek government intends this to be the first step in integrating 13 social insurance funds, curbing public sector waste and reducing bureaucracy. It also hopes to inch closer to EU standards by improving transparency in the health care system, controlling improprieties in pharmaceuticals, combating tax evasion, and making it more difficult for employers to hire illegal workers and evade contributions.

*Residents should not confuse the term ‘social security number’ in Greece with SSNs in America or TINs in other countries, which also act as tax numbers. In Greece, tax numbers are still AFMs and remain separate.

Does it replace my health booklet or ensima?

No. As a general rule, you should keep anything official that was issued by the Greek state. It is helpful to write your AMKA in your health booklet.

Who needs an AMKA?

Anyone — regardless of nationality — who is employed or wishing to be employed, insured (directly or indirectly), or a pensioner. This includes:

— Everyone covered by a Greek social insurance fund
— Those covered by a Greek social insurance fund via a spouse/relative (i.e., unemployed housewife of husband with IKA, children of insured parent)
— Anyone collecting unemployment benefits from OAED in Greece
— Retirees or beneficiaries receiving pension payments from Greece
— Anyone intending to work in Greece.

You do not need an AMKA if, for example, you are retired and collecting social security payments from a country other than Greece, or are insured with a private health insurance company.

It is not true that everyone living in Greece needs an AMKA. These rumors are being circulated in forums, and this is one reason I do not recommend them.

Do I have an AMKA?

You can check if you have an AMKA by visiting and entering your name and birth date into the searchable database.

*Note: This is not a foolproof way of checking. My birth date was entered incorrectly and my surname misspelled, so the database returned no results, even though I have an AMKA and received my card.

The database says I have an AMKA, but I didn’t get a card.

If your work or home address is outdated, your AMKA card went to the old address. You can change your address at a KEP Citizen Service Centre and have your card reissued and re-sent. The most important thing is you have an AMKA; write down the number and keep it handy.

* Anyone who was mistakenly issued two AMKAs can inform KEP or their insurance company as to which number they’d like to keep. Otherwise, one will be chosen by authorities.

Are IKA numbers the same as AMKAs?

No, IKA AMAs are seven digits, and AMKAs are 11 digits.

The first six digits are the day/month/year of birth, followed by five digits representing the city record and control number.

For those who already have both IKA and AMKA numbers, they are listed separately in the upper left side of your quarterly ensima printouts.

What documents are required to apply?

Greek citizens:
a) Police-issued Greek ID card (tautotita) or military ID.

Minors under 13 years of age without a Greek ID should present a pistopoiitikou oikogeneiakis katastasis (certification of family status, issued from the οικογενειακή μερίδα/oikogeneiaki merida, which can be requested through KEP).

Non-Greek citizens:
a) National ID (if from an EU country) or passport from any country; and
b) a pistopoiitikou oikogeneiakis katastasis (certification of family status, issued from the οικογενειακή μερίδα/oikogeneiaki merida, which can be requested through KEP) or a similar certificate verifying family relationship translated into Greek, if from a country other than Greece (see, “Translations of documents in Greece“). A family relationship must be established for unemployed/subsidized spouses/children/parents who are indirectly insured through a family member.

Non-Greek minors born in Greece need a lixiarchiki praxi gennisis (birth certificate from the lixiarcheio).

Non-EU citizens:

Same as Non-Greek citizens, except they will also check that you have:
a) a residence permit sticker/card to legally be in Greece.

*Some applicants will be asked for additional documents, such as proof of AFM and mother’s/father’s name, which is found on the original document issuing the AFM (bebaiosi apodosi AFM).

How much does it cost?


Can I change my status or contact details?

Any KEP Citizen Service Centre in Greece can assist you in updating your information.

Where do I get an AMKA?

Apply in person for an AMKA at:

1) IKA offices

2) OAEE (formerly TEBE/TEVE) offices


4) KEP (Citizen Service Centres)

No applications by phone or via the Web. If applicants cannot appear in person, a dilosi (statement of facts) assigning permission to a representative (relative/friend/laywer) must be signed and stamped, then presented with the documents listed above. See, “How to certify a dilosi in Greece.”

I prefer KEP because they keep longer hours, with some locations open on Saturday. All KEP offices are supposed to be open on Saturday, but I found that locations in rural or suburban areas with low foot traffic are sometimes closed.

Under certain circumstances, people residing outside Greece may be able to apply for an AMKA without appearing in person, but this must be discussed with the relevant authorities and is decided on a case by case basis.

Questions and More Information

Website: (in Greek)
AMKA Hotline: 11131 (Toll-free within Greece)

If you are a Greek, EU or non-EU citizen abroad in need of an AMKA, Greek consulates/embassies are also supposed to have KEP services to assist you as of 2007. However, I cannot confirm this since I live in Greece and never access these services. It’s best to contact the location nearest you. See “Greek Consulates and Embassies Worldwide” if you cannot find one in the phone book or online.

Author’s Note

Because the AMKA card is laminated directly on the sheet of paper, the perforations do not work and could easily rip your card. I recommend using scissors. Just my two lepta.

*Image from website


Personal experience
«Ασφαλιστική ταυτότητα» για όλους από τον Ιούλιο” – Kathimerini
Μετ’ εμποδίων η εξυπηρέτηση για τον ΑΜΚΑ” – Kathimerini
O ΔHΚΤΗΣ” – Kathimerini
20 ερωτήσεις – απαντήσεις για τον ΑΜΚΑ” – Ta Nea
Φαρμακεία on line μήπως και μαζέψουν τις δαπάνες” – Eleftherotypia
Ολοκληρώθηκε η εκστρατεία ενημέρωσης για το ΑΜΚΑ” – Eleftherotypia
Απαραίτητος από την Πέμπτη ο ΑΜΚA” – Ta Nea
Απαραίτητος από σήμερα ο ΑΜΚΑ” — Eleftherotypia
About AMKA (Hellenic Social Security Number)” —


  George wrote @ June 21st, 2013 at 18:18

This site is extremely helpful. I receive a Greek pension but was totally unaware of AMKA until my checks stopped coming. I am sure that I am not alone in this situation. Called the Greek consulate and was informed that they cannot help; someone in Greece must do it for me.

Kat Reply:

Greece previously didn’t require both an AFM and AMKA of everyone receiving a pension until recently, even though having an AMKA is mandatory since January 1, 2010. The requirement was changed because of new e-government services and mass fraud by thousands of families collecting dead relatives’ pensions.

You’re not alone, but you should have received a notification several months ago to provide missing data by an April deadline, which was then extended to June. Lots of people didn’t take it seriously or their contact info wasn’t up to date, so thousands had their pensions temporarily suspended.

If you contact your social insurance carrier directly (IKA, OAEE, other), they may allow you to sign a dilosi and provide other proof of identity to register. Never hurts to ask.

Thank you for your kind words and sharing your experience.

  Helen wrote @ June 27th, 2013 at 19:24

Your question was moved to, “IKA offices.”

  Marie-Helene wrote @ August 26th, 2013 at 17:18

Thank you very much for all the explanations, much more detailed than those provided by the Greek Consulate in Paris where I went to enquire for my mother’s widow’s pension! The issue is she (perhaps because she is French ?) never received any information about any changes… as for this AMKA number which is a relatively new issue (in 1997 when my father passed away there was no such thing and my mother who returned to France in 1998 was never notified of any procedure to follow in order to keep her pension coming in, even last year when the “life certificates” had to be accredited by the Greek Consulate!) I was clearly advised that the Consulate does not provide it and that a lawyer has to be found (I think I am coming over to Greece : this might prove cheaper ;-)) Thank you again

Kat Reply:

You’re welcome any time.

One reason I started in 2007 is a decade of frustration and dissatisfaction with incorrect, outdated or complete lack of information anywhere in any language. Greek gov’t websites didn’t exist back then and now copy my articles without permission for the English versions, as do expat guides. It’s a pleasure to help people like you, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story and kind words.

All best.

  Dimitris wrote @ December 29th, 2013 at 09:18

First of all, great article! Very informative.

Second, I need to provide to a US organization of my insurance ID and insurance policy. I am currently under the Greek Social Insurance (δημοσίου), as my mother works at the Ministry of Finance (Υπ. Οικονομικών). I cannot seem to find that info. I suppose AMKA can serve as my insurance ID, but what about the insurance policy (basically what my insurance covers, for example private insurance companies have policies which state that they cover 200,000$ worth of surgeries etc.)
Thank you in advance,

Kat Reply:

Since your mother works for the Greek government, she should know the answer and easily provide you with documentation, plus facilitate any necessary translation from Greek to English.

  Laura wrote @ February 11th, 2014 at 00:01

mia madre da aprile 2013 non arriva la pensione dalla Grecia e in Italia ci hanno detto che non sanno il motivo . Solo oggi il consolato di Firenze ci ha detto che è necessario l’AMKA e se avevo dei parenti in Grecia per richiederlo tramite loro. Può mio zio richiedere questo?

Grazie tanto per la risposta ma per chiamare nessuno ci sa dire il numero di telefono. Mia madre già una volta ha scritto loro senza avere risposta e’ per questo che ha delegato suo fratello che abita a Corfù per andare all’ufficio IKA . Grazie per l’efficienza di questo sito

Mi potete dare telefono e mail di IKA di ATENE. Grazie

Mia madre ha ricevuto AMKA tramite suo fratello in Grecia ora come deve fare per comunicarlo all’IKA DI ATENE? Grazie

mia madre tramite suo fratello si è fatta fare AMKA come lo deve comunicare a IKA DI ATENE la mamma abita in Italia grazie

mi potete dare voi il numero di fax di Ika di Atene per inviare AMKA perché il numero su questo sito mi rispondono ma non mi aiutano. Grazie

7: Mia madre abita a firenze ha bisogno di fare AFM come posso fare? Io non posso andare in Grecia

Kat Reply:

1, 2, 7:
No, your mother must apply for the AMKA because her identity must be verified. This is the reason they stopped her pension payments.

If unable to appear in person, alternative arrangements can be made directly with an IKA office by calling or writing them.

3, 4, 5, 6:
Click the link in #1 & 2 for ‘IKA office’ and find the telephone or fax number. There are dozens of offices in Athens. Also note that most public sector offices in Greece do not answer emails; this is an advanced concept.

  Nella wrote @ May 3rd, 2014 at 08:26

I write you from Bulgaria. I receive a Greek pension until 2008. But April last year (2013) was stopped my pension payments. I have not an AMKA number. So, I take an AMKA number February this year (2014) and sent to IKA ETAM, but to present my pension payments is not coming, I not receive any answer or explanation. What I must to do in this situation? Thank you in advance.

Kat Reply:

You need to call or fax (not email) a staff member at an IKA office in Greece.

I run this website in my unpaid spare time and do not represent the government. However, my taxes pay for civil servants to assist you.

  drapeau régis wrote @ May 29th, 2014 at 19:16

Pour recevoir de nouveau ma retraite de l’IKA il me manque mon tax number,j”ai le numero Amka.
Comment faire pour l’obtenir,a qui s’adresser ? et quels documents fournir?
Merci,et Salutations
Régis Drapeau

Kat Reply:

You get a tax number (AFM) from the eforia or Greek tax office.

  Stambolidisova wrote @ February 4th, 2015 at 15:29

brala jsem vdovský duchod z Řecka do ČR a bylo pozastaveno z duvodu chybějící AMKA ,po dlouhé době jsem to vyřídila,a byla mi posláná jenom nějaká částka,chci se zeptat proč nevyplatily celou částku od pozastavení duchodu do vyřízení AMKA,děkují

I took a widow’s pension from Greece to the Czech Republic and has been suspended due to lack of AMKA, after a long time I was dealt, and was sent to me just a sum, I want to ask why not pay the full amount of pension to suspend execution AMKA, thank you

Kat Reply:

AMKA is mandatory since January 1, 2010, five years ago. Greece sent you many notices to inform you before the pension was cut.

Please contact the Greek tax office to apply for an AMKA. Read the article for instructions. Thank you.

I am not Greek. I do not represent Greece. I am not a lawyer and cannot represent you. I am a private citizen giving assistance.

  Justina wrote @ March 13th, 2015 at 06:55

I worked in Greece a year ago. to my country I want to download a working experience of Greece. However, I do not know the security number . I have not received any card . How do I find the Greek security number ?

Kat Reply:

You call an IKA or OAEE office, or get in touch with a KEP centre. Contact info is in the article above.

  vasiliki wrote @ March 14th, 2015 at 19:56

hey, i’s like to help if you can…
in lulu site there’s i field named SSN/ITIN, (If your book includes a Lulu ISBN, US income taxes will be automatically withheld from sales made in or delivered to the USA. To prevent tax withholding, US authors can submit a completed W-9 tax form and non-US authors can submit form W-8BEN. These forms require an identifier such as a US Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or an Employer Identification Number (EIN). For more information about obtaining the required identifier numbers and completing these forms, see “How do I get a W-9 or W-8BEN on File at Lulu.”)

Do i have to send that W-8BEN form or i can write my AMKA, is it the same???

Kat Reply:

It’s your AFM.

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