How to obtain a death certificate in Italy

In this article we will explain how to request and obtain a death certificate in Italy.

1. What is the purpose of a death certificate?

When someone dies there are procedures required to prove that the death has occurred; in fact, the death certificate is vital in being able to carry out various procedures, such as filing probate proceedings, requesting the widow/er/’s pension and assigning contracts and property, etc.

In Italy, the death of a person is recorded at the General Registrar’s Office.

2. What information is needed to request a death certificate?

Knowledge of the personal data of the deceased, such as first name, surname and place and date of death, is generally required.

If you already have a copy of the deed you are looking for, or if the deceased had an Italian tax code, you are advised to state this information when submitting the application because it would greatly facilitate the search in the municipality archives.

3. Types of death certificates

The differences between the various types of death certificates should be highlighted, in order to clearly determine which type of certificate is necessary in the specific case. In any event, these certificates are valid for an unlimited period of time.

- Death certificate

The death certificate confirms that a person has died. The certificate will contain the following: first name, surname, date of birth and death, as well as the place where the death occurred. The certificate always contains the registration number of the death certificate from which the information was taken.

Example of Death Certificate

- Extract of an entry of death

The extract of an entry of death, in addition to the information relating to the deceased’s personal data (first name, surname, date and place of death), contains any additional annotations such as: time of death, last place of residence, marital status, information on the maternity and paternity of the deceased and, where appropriate, name and surname of the spouse.

Example of Death Extract

- Full copy of an entry of death

The full copy of an entry of death is the certified copy of the original certificate, held in the General Registrar’s office.

- Multilingual or international death certificate extract

The multilingual or international death certificate extract is a document issued in the official language of all the signatory countries of the Vienna Convention of 8 September 1976 (i.e., Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Spain, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey).

It does not require any translation or subsequent legalisation or apostille and it can be used in any of the aforementioned countries.

Consequently, this certificate is usually requested for submission in the aforementioned countries, but if it has to be submitted in other countries – which are not signatories to the Vienna Convention – it will need to be apostilled or legalised, depending on whether or not the country in question is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.

It should also be noted that there are specific exemptions regarding legalisation and apostille requirements, which depend on the international conventions signed by Italy and by the country in which the document in question is to be used.

4. Where can you apply for a death certificate in Italy?

To obtain the death certificate, you should contact the relevant municipality. In this case, the principle of territorial jurisdiction applies and the certificate should be requested from:

– the municipality where the deceased was resident if the death occurred in that municipality, or if it occurred elsewhere, but the death was entered in the General Registrar’s office of the municipality where the deceased was resident;

– the municipality in which the death occurred.

5. How do you apply for a death certificate in Italy?

In general, the request can be submitted to the relevant municipal offices, either in person, by proxy, email or post. The different methods and delivery times may vary depending on the municipality concerned, since each one has its own rules.

Also, please be aware that in certain circumstances, if the municipality concerned provides the option, you can make an online application via the municipality’s website and follow the procedure indicated.

We should also point out that when applying online you can only obtain a digital certificate and not one in paper form: in this regard, please note that if you need to use the certificate abroad, you should normally request a paper copy: either by submitting the application to the municipality in person, by proxy, or post (the method will depend on the municipality and may vary: for example, some municipalities ask for a pre-paid international stamp to be sent to the applicant’s home address).

To make it easier for you, here at MultiLex we have drafted guidelines for requesting certificates in most Italian municipalities and we can request certificates in all municipalities.

6. Who can apply for a death certificate in Italy?

The death certificate can be requested by anyone who needs to prove the death of a person. Therefore, it can be requested not only by relatives, but by anyone who has the personal data of the deceased.

7. Costs

In general, death certificates are issued by the General Registrar’s Office free of charge. In some circumstances the municipality requests the payment of costs for revenue stamps and/or postage. Should this be the case, the costs are minimal and may vary slightly depending on the municipality.

In any event, you may need to seek the assistance of a professional to maintain a clear and direct relationship with the municipality in order to facilitate the search of the certificate and to carry out other formalities that may arise depending on the circumstances, such as clarifying what type of document is needed and in what form.

How can the MultiLex team help you?

The MultiLex team can help you through the whole process of obtaining the certificate in the necessary format, from the start of the process through to the end. In particular, we can perform:

– all the procedures mentioned to obtain the death certificate in the form required;

– translations of all types of certificates (translation will not be necessary in the event that the recipient country accepts a multilingual certificate);

– legalisation of all types of certificates;

– affixing the apostille on all types of certificates where required (for example for USA, Great Britain, Australia, etc.);

– consular legalisation where necessary (for example for the United Arab Emirates).

We are open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

We are at your disposal to clarify any doubts and provide information relevant to your case. We work throughout the country and can help you follow-up on your file, whether European or international, from beginning to end.

If you wish, you can contact us and request a quote by writing to: international@multilex.it

We have lawyers in our team who will be able to communicate with you, in your language, via email, WhatsApp and telephone. If you like, you can also provide your phone number and tell us when you would like to be contacted by our team. We will be delighted to give you the benefit of our knowledge and experience.

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