OVERVIEW: Persons wishing to be married in Italy must appear with two witnesses and make a declaration of their intention to marry before the Ufficiale di Stato Civile (Civil Registrar) of the city or town where the marriage is to take place. At the time of making their declaration the couple must present all required documents (see below). Following the declaration it is usually necessary for banns, or marriage announcement, to be posted at the local comune (city hall) for two consecutive Sundays before the marriage occurs if one of the parties is Italian or if the U.S. citizen is a resident of Italy. However, banns are waived by the Ufficiale di Stato Civile if neither party to the marriage is Italian and neither is residing in Italy.
On the fourth day following the second Sunday on which the banns are posted (or any time after banns have been waived) the couple may be married, either in a civil ceremony or a religious one. A civil ceremony is performed by the Ufficiale di Stato Civile or one of his assistants.
RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES: If a religious ceremony is performed by a Roman Catholic priest, a separate civil ceremony is unnecessary but the priest must register the marriage with the Ufficiale di Stato Civile in order for it to be legal. Because of the special Italian requirements applicable to marriage performed by non-Roman Catholic clergymen, the latter usually insist on a prior civil ceremony before performing a religious ceremony in order to ensure the legality of the marriage.
TRANSLATORS: Local authorities require the presence of a translator if neither party speaks Italian.
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE: The following documents must be presented to the Ufficiale di Stato Civile when making a declaration of intention to marry:
1. U.S. passport or, if a member of the Armed Forces, identification card;
2. Birth certificate (certified copy), which shows the names of both parents;
3. Evidence of termination of any previous marriage (final divorce or annulment decree or death certificate);
4. Sworn statement of consent to the marriage by the parents or legal guardian if the American citizen is under 18;
5. A declaration (atto notorio) , sworn to by four (4) witnesses before either an Italian consular officer in the United States or, in Italy, at a Pretura or before a mayor or town clerk, stating that according to the laws to which the citizen is subject in the United States there is no obstacle to his or her marriage. Any American going to Italy to be married is urged to obtain this declaration before leaving the United States as it may be much easier to find four witnesses who know him or her sufficiently well to make such a declaration in the United States rather than in Italy.
6. A declaration, sworn to by the U.S. citizen before a U.S. Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in Italy, stating that according to the laws to which the citizen is subject in the United States there is no obstacle to his or her marriage. Evidence of U.S. citizenship (passport, naturalization certificate, birth certificate showing birth in the United States) must be shown to the U.S. Consular Officer at the time of making this declaration. U.S. military personnel must also present final approval of his/her commanding officer for the marriage. Presentation of this declaration allows Italian authorities to reduce from three weeks to approximately four days the time you must wait before being granted a marriage license.
FEES: The U.S. Consular Officer will charge a $55.00 fee to notarize your declaration. There will be additional fees associated with translations, apostilles and ordering of public documents.
AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS: All public records issued outside of Italy and intended for use in Italy must have a "Hague certification," or apostille , which is a form affixed to a public record by the Secretary of State of the U.S. state issuing the document under the terms of a treaty. When obtaining the required birth, death or divorce documents, ask the issuing office for instructions and fees for obtaining an apostille, or contact the office of the appropriate state Secretary of State. Information about the Hague Legalization Convention, as it is commonly known, is also available on the internet or by autofax (see below).
TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENTS: The document(s) must be translated into Italian and the translation must be certified by an Italian Consular Officer. The addresses of translation services and the Italian Embassy or nearest Consulate can be found in the telephone directory of any large or fairly large American city. you may also check the Embassy of Italy's homepage on the Internet http://www.italyemb.org
SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT AT THE U.S. EMBASSY/CONSULATE: You must contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate prior to your departure form the United States to make certain that a U.S. Consular Officer will be available on the date when you plan make your declaration.
U.S. EMBASSY/CONSULATE LOCATIONS:
U.S. Embassy Rome, Via Veneto 119/A, 00187 Rome
Tel. (011)(39)(6) 46741; Fax (011)(39)(6) 488-2672.
U.S. Consulate General Florence, Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci 38, 50123 Florence
Tel. (011)(39)(55) 239-8276; Fax. (011)(39)(55) 284-088.
U.S. Consulate General Milan, Via Principe Amadeo 2, 20121 Milan
Tel. (011)39)(2) 290-351; Fax. (011)(39)(2) 2900-1165.
U.S. Consulate General Naples, Piazza della Repubblica, 80122 Naples
Tel. (011)(39)(81) 583-8111;Fax. (011)(39)(81) 761-1869.
CERTIFIED COPIES OF YOUR ITALIAN MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE: You should request a number of certified copies of your marriage certificate, as they will be needed for a variety of employment, insurance and legal purposes, and may be difficult to obtain at a later date. There is a small fee for each.
APOSTILLE FROM ITALIAN AUTHORITIES: Ask the local authorities to have an apostille affixed to each certified copy of the Italian marriage certificate. In Italy, the following individuals are authorized to affix apostilles: 1) I Procurators della Reppublica (The Public Prosecutor); 2) The Competent Prefetti (Heads) of the Territories for the Valley of Aosta; Il Presidente della Regione (The Head of the District for the Provinces of Trente and Bolsano; Il Commissario di Governo (The Commissioner of the Government). See also our general flyer on the "Hague Legalization Convention" available via our home page on the Internet orvia our automated fax service.
USING THE INTERNET: The Department of State's Country Specific Information for Italy and more detailed information about obtaining an apostille are available on the Internet via the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Home Page at the URL: http://travel.state.gov or via the main State Department Home Page at http://www.state.gov under "Travel."
USING THE AUTOFAX: The Department of State's Country Specific Information for Italy and more detailed information about obtaining an apostille are also available on autofax by dialing (202) 647-3000 and following the prompts.