How to register a marriage in Italy, get to know the entire procedure!
Please note that registering a marriage in Italy doesn’t mean you are getting married in Italy, but you are registering a marriage already performed in another Country.
Besides Planners, we have been legal consultants for the Italian foreign offices! This experience allowed us to gain deep expertise in foreign affairs.
If you are wondering how to register a wedding celebrated abroad, you need to know that the transcription of civil status acts such as marriage certificates issued and formed abroad is accepted in Italy if the wedding was celebrated according to the rules established by the foreign Country where it took place.
You must submit it to the Italian town hall where you want to register your marriage in Italy.
You must provide a copy of the document legalized and translated by the Italian Consulate abroad.
The legalization does not only concern the act formed abroad by the foreign Authority but also the signature of the translator.
This is an indispensable fulfillment that must appear at the bottom of the translation itself.
According to the procedures described below, documents in a foreign language to be enforced in Italy for Public Administration must be legalized and translated into Italian.
What is the legalization, and what is its function for a marriage certificate?
Legalization is an essential requirement for a foreign citizen to enforce a document from the foreign Country for its use in Italy.
Legalizing documents has the function of attributing validity to the composition according to Italian law to verify that the act has been formalized in compliance with the foreign Country’s legislation in which it was issued and that the competent office has issued it.
Therefore, legalization proves the foreign document’s existence when it becomes relevant to Italian law.
However, legalization does not consist of checking the act’s content and its legitimacy.
Legalization consists practically in the affixing of a stamp on the original of the act to be legalized, which officially certifies:
- The legal qualification of the public official who signed the act;
- The authenticity of his signature.
- The legalization must indicate the first and last name of the person whose signature will be legalized.
- The legalizing public official must indicate the date and place of legalization, their first and last name, and title held, and affix their full signature and office stamp.
Documents to be legalized, if written in a foreign language, must be accompanied by their translation into Italian, certified as conforming to the foreign text, by the competent Italian diplomatic or consular Authority, or by an official translator accredited by the Italian Consulate in the Country of origin, or of permanent residence of the foreign citizen.
Which Authorities are competent to legalize marriage certificates for Italian use?
Signatures on these deeds and documents formed in a foreign country must be legalized by the Italian Diplomatic or Consular Representations of that Country to be enforced in Italy unless Your Country of origin has signed the Hague Convention. In this case, the legalization must be done by the competent administration office of your Country of origin.
Particularly significant is the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, ratified by Italy by “Legge” n. 1253 of December 20, 1966, on the abolition of the legalization of foreign public documents.
Adhering to the Hague Convention, it replaces the legalization of acts falling within its scope and to be produced on its territory with the affixing of the so-called apostille.
The latter consists of an annotation, strictly under the model annexed to the Convention, which is to be affixed to the original of the foreign certificate by the foreign Authority indicated as competent by the law ratifying the Convention.
Accordingly, if a foreign national of a country that has acceded to the Hague Convention needs to enforce a certificate in Italy, they may go to the competent Authority in their state, designated by the act of accession to the Convention, to obtain an apostille.
The apostilled document is recognized in Italy because Italy has also ratified the Hague Convention, and therefore, under Italian law, that document must be considered valid.
The apostille, like legalization, certifies the truthfulness of the signature and legal qualification of the foreign public official who issued the document, as well as the authenticity of the seal or stamp placed on the paper.
The Hague Convention applies to foreign public acts, which include, for example, documents issued by an authority or official employed by an Administration of the foreign Country, administrative records, notarial deeds, and official declarations indicating registration, endorsement of a particular date, and authentication of a signature affixed to private actions.
However, it can be affixed only to documents prepared abroad by states party to the Hague Convention. In contrast, any documents issued in Italy by the Consular Authority of the same countries are subject to the legalization procedure at the competent Prefecture.
Countries exempt from legalization.
If, on the other hand, an Italian marriage certificate is to be used in a foreign country, legalization, if necessary by that legal system of the Country you have to go to, will be done by the competent Prefettura with territorial jurisdiction.
What are the cases of exemption from legalization?
The requirement for legalization is waived in certain cases established by laws or international agreements.
According to the London Convention of June 7, 1968, documents drawn up by the diplomatic and consular representatives of the following countries are exempt from legalization: Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain (and the Isle of Man), Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.
Since March 28, 2003, Poland’s acts have been exempt from legalization, mainly concerning the civil status, capacity, or family situation of natural persons, nationality, domicile, or residence. (Article 2 of the Athens Convention of September 15, 1977). The other states’ parties to the Convention are Luxembourg, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and Austria.
According to the Brussels Convention of May 25, 1987, ratified by Italy by Law No. 106 of April 24, 1990, any form of legalization or any other equivalent formality has been abolished between Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, and Italy, even when the documents must be shown to the Consular Representations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, and Italy operating in the territory of a state that has ratified the Convention.
Multilingual civil status extracts.
According to the Vienna Convention of September 8, 1976, ratified by Italy by Law No. 870 of December 21, 1978, multilingual civil status extracts may be issued to prove the date and place of birth, marriage, and death without translation. The quotes must be accepted in the territory of each state party to the Convention itself without legalization or equivalent formalities.
The states currently party to the Vienna Convention are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey.
The translation of documents
To be enforceable in Italy, acts and documents issued by foreign authorities must be legalized by Italian diplomatic-consular representations abroad. Furthermore, these acts and records, except those drawn up on multilingual models provided by International Conventions, must also be translated into Italian.
Translations must be stamped “per traduzione conforme.”
In countries where the legal system provides the official translator, the translators can attest to the conformity, whose signature is then legalized by the Italian consular office.
However, in countries where the local legal system does not provide for this freelancer, it will necessarily be necessary to use the certification of conformity provided by the Italian consular office.
To proceed with legalization, the applicant must present himself, by appointment, at the Italian consular office with the document (in original) to be legalized.
Furthermore, to obtain the certificate of conformity of the translation, the applicant will have to appear, by appointment, at the Italian Consular Office equipped with the original document in a foreign language and the translation.
The above acts are subject to the payment of fees following the Consular Tariff currently in force.
Translation of foreign documents made in Italy
This is the so-called “Asseverazione” of documents needed for marriage purposes.
The translator goes to the Court with a valid ID and the paper appraisal or translation to be sworn.
The expert or translator can be registered in a different professional bar (which does not exist for translators in Italy).
To ensure the impartiality and truthfulness of the translation, the translator must be a third party unrelated to the act they translated.
Who will be your planners and Counselors?
Due to our experience in law firms and the foreign offices of the Italian public administration, we gained significant expertise in Consular affairs, and we are trained to solve the most complicated procedure such as:
1) Nulla osta process, legalization procedure, Court hearings for the refusal of the town hall when there documents missing , legal translation, apostille procedure, emergency procedure for legalization.
2) Same-sex couples that want to celebrate a civil union in Italy as in their country the union is forbidden;
3) Couples that come from countries where divorce is not allowed;
4) Italians living abroad registered at AIRE that need to recover their document to start the marriage banns in the Italian Consulate;
5) Assistance with people that come from countries that do not release the nulla osta;
7) People with refugee status who have requested asylum in Italy.