In this article, we explain how to apply for and obtain a marriage certificate in Italy. Do you need someone to do this paperwork for you?
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There are different types of marriage certificates, which vary according to the information they contain. In Italy we can differentiate between the following certificates.
The marriage certificate contains the main information of the event, such as the personal details of the bride and groom, the date and place of the wedding.
The extract of an entry of marriage also highlights any annotations and provides information on the separation of the estates, marriage covenants concluded after the marriage, possible dissolution of the marriage, etc.
The full copy of the entry of marriage is the certified copy of the entry of marriage itself. This document contains all the information about the marriage and any other annotations (name of the officiating priest, church, residence of the bride and groom, etc.).
If you have to submit this document abroad, in countries that ratified the Vienna Convention of 8 September 1976, you may request and use the multilingual or international marriage extract, which is a document that does not require translation, legalisation or apostille.
The signatory countries to the aforementioned agreement are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and 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 should also be noted that in the event of submission of this certificate to other countries (which are not signatories to the aforementioned Convention), it shall be apostilled or legalised, depending on whether the country in question accedes to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.
There are also specific exemptions regarding legalisation and apostille in relations between Italy and certain recipient Countries. This is why it is always a good idea to check whether there are specific exemptions for the country in which the marriage certificate will be used.
To apply for a marriage certificate, some basic information is required, such as:
– first name, surname, date and place of birth of at least one of the spouses;
– date and place of the celebration of the marriage;
– Tax number of at least one of the spouses, if any.
All the aforementioned types of certificates must be requested from the Municipality where the marriage was celebrated or where the bride and groom had their place of residence at the time of the marriage. In the event that the marriage was celebrated abroad, it will be necessary to make a request to the Municipality where the marriage was transcribed, providing the date of the celebration or the date of transcription, if known.
If you are not sure of the name of the Municipality you have to go to, you can look up the exact name using the “Comuni Italiani” site http://www.comuni-italiani.it/ (site in Italian only) and there you will find a list divided into regions and provinces. Within each province you will find each “Municipality” with lots of useful information, including contact details.
It is possible to request the certificate by going to the Municipality in person or by proxy or through alternative methods that may vary depending on the Municipality. The different methods are set out below.
– Online application, provided that the Municipality concerned provides for it. You will need to access the website of the relevant Municipality and follow the described procedure by filling in an online form, sending an email or certified email. The marriage certificate may also be requested through ANPR and SMART ANPR. To find out more you can visit our website (page in Italian only). Please note that when applying online, you can only obtain a digital certificate and not an original one signed in paper form.
– Request by post: the Municipality’s website generally indicates the necessary requirements to make use of this option, such as filling in and signing a special form, attaching a photocopy of a valid identity document and any postage expenses in order to receive the certificate at the chosen address.
If you need to use the certificate abroad, you will normally have to request a signed copy of the original. You will therefore have to physically go to the Municipality or request it by post. To assist you, we have decided to write and publish on our site the guides for requesting certificates in all the major Italian Municipalities.
Anyone may apply for a marriage certificate, as long as they are aware of the personal data of the person to whom the certificate relates (even just one of the spouses).
Italian registry certificates are generally issued free of charge. There may be exceptions in those circumstances where the municipality concerned requires, for example, payment of costs for revenue stamps and/or postage if you choose to receive the document by post.
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