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Marriage

Here below there is some important information that we suggest you read carefully.

  1. A) If you wish to marry at an Italian diplomatic or consular Representation (cases provided for by Article 12 of Law No. 71/2011)

Request for celebrating a consular marriage

If you wish to marry at an Italian diplomatic or consular Representation, you shall submit a request for celebrating a consular marriage. This is a document that both spouses shall sign and deliver in person at the consular office or send by post, fax or e-mail with a photocopy of your identity documents attached. For further information, please contact the Italian diplomatic or consular Representation of interest. (Per ulteriori informazioni contattate la Rappresentanza diplomatica o consolare italiana di interesse).

There are some cases in which your request may be refused (Article 12, Legislative Decree No. 71/2011 – “The Head of the consular office celebrates the marriage between Italian citizens or between an Italian citizen and a non-Italian citizen. The celebration of the marriage may be refused when local laws do not permit it or when the parties do not reside in the consular district”). If, instead, the consular office accepts your request (insofar as the law requirements are met), you may proceed to request the marriage banns.

Marriage banns

In Italy, the marriage celebration shall be preceded by marriage banns by a Civil Registrar. They remain posted on the consular register for at least eight days. You can marry after three days of the complete issuance of the marriage banns and within the following 180 days.

If you cannot appear in person to request the marriage banns, you may appoint a third party using a special power of attorney drawn up on plain paper and accompanied by a copy of your valid identity documents. If you are not an EU citizen and you are not resident in Italy, your signature shall be notarised.

  • If you are both Italian citizens residing abroad, you shall request the marriage banns from the diplomatic or consular Representation where the consular marriage will be celebrated. If you reside in two different consular districts, the marriage banns shall be issued and posted at both diplomatic or consular Representations.

– If one of you (Italian or foreigner) resides in Italy while the other (Italian citizen) resides abroad, you shall request the marriage banns from the diplomatic or consular Representation where the consular marriage will be celebrated, which shall in turn request their posting from the Municipality of residence in Italy. The marriage banns shall therefore be issued and posted in both spouses’ places of residence.

  • If the Italian spouse resides in Italy, while the other foreign citizen resides abroad, you have two options: request the marriage banns from the diplomatic or consular Representation or from the Italian Municipality of residence, which shall issue a proxy to the diplomatic or consular Representation for celebrating the marriage in accordance with Article 109 of the Civil Code.
  • If you are both residents in Italy, you shall request the marriage banns from your Municipality of residence. If you reside in two different Municipalities, the marriage banns shall be issued and posted in both of them. The Municipality shall issue a proxy to the diplomatic or consular Representation for celebrating the marriage in accordance with Article 109 of the Civil Code.
  1. B) If you wish to marry in Italy

If you are Italians residing abroad and you wish to get married in Italy, you shall request the marriage banns from the Italian diplomatic or consular Representation where you are registered. Once the marriage banns are issued and posted, the Consular Representation delegates the marriage celebration to the Italian Municipality you have indicated (in accordance with Article 109 of the Civil Code).

Documents to be submitted in order to request the marriage banns

In order to request the marriage banns, you shall appear in person at the Consular Office with a valid identity document (Article 51, § 1 of Presidential Decree No. 396/2000 – Request for marriage banns).

If you cannot appear in person to request the marriage banns, you may appoint a third party using a special power of attorney drawn up on plain paper and accompanied by a copy of your valid identity documents.

If you are not Italian citizens

If you are not Italian citizens and you wish to marry in Italy, you shall also provide the “certificate of no impediment to marry” (in accordance with Article 116 of the Civil Code) issued by the competent authorities of the country of which you are a citizen, duly legalised and translated into Italian, or the “certificate of legal capacity to marry” if you are citizens of one of the countries that have ratified the Munich Convention of September 5, 1980.

The States that have signed and ratified this Convention and issue the “certificate of legal capacity to marry” are the following: Austria, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldavia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey. It should be noted that the aforementioned Convention cannot currently be applied to Belgium, which, although being a signatory country, has not yet ratified it. The certificates issued on the basis of this Convention are exempt from legalisation or any equivalent formality in the territory of each State party.

For the other States that are not party to the 1980 Munich Convention, there is no “certificate of legal capacity to marry”, but a “certificate of no impediment to marry”.

If you are nationals of a non-EU Member State and you are not resident in Italy, besides the “certificate of no impediment to marry” you shall also provide the remaining documents proving that you meet the requirements of Article 51 of Presidential Decree No. 396/2000, as these are deeds issued abroad and not registered in Italy or with an Italian consular authority.

Similarly, in the cases provided for by Article 52 of Presidential Decree 396/2000, the spouses may submit a copy of the authorisation to marry granted by the court in case of an impediment at the time of the request for the marriage banns, or send it later by ordinary mail.

  1. C) If you are Italian and wish to marry abroad

Italian citizens getting married abroad are not subject to posting the marriage banns, unless they are required to do so by foreign legislation. In order to marry in one of the countries party to the 1980 Munich Convention, you will be required to provide a “certificate of legal capacity to marry”. This certificate is exempt from legalisation and translation.

The States that have ratified the aforementioned Convention are the following: Austria, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey. It should be noted that the aforementioned Convention cannot currently be applied to Belgium, which, although being a signatory country, has not yet ratified it.

The “certificate of legal capacity to marry” shall be issued to you by your Municipality of residence in Italy or, if you reside abroad, by the Diplomatic-Consular Representation competent for your place of residence.

In some countries that are not party to the Munich Convention, the local authorities where the marriage is celebrated may request a certificate of no impediment to marry. This certificate shall be requested from the Italian Diplomatic-Consular Representation in the territorial district where the marriage is celebrated, even if you are resident in Italy or in another foreign district.

The Diplomatic-Consular Representation may issue the requested document only on the basis of the positive outcome of checks, after having automatically acquired the documents required by law and those deemed necessary to prove the non-existence of impediments.

Registration of the marriage certificate

For a marriage celebrated abroad to be valid in Italy, it shall be registered with the competent Italian Municipality.

The original marriage certificate issued by the foreign Civil Registrar’s Office, duly legalised and translated (see the section entitled Translation and Legalisation of Documents) (v. sezione Traduzione e Legalizzazione dei documenti), shall be submitted, by the parties concerned, to the Diplomatic-Consular Representation, which shall transmit it to Italy for registration in the civil status register of the competent Municipality.

Alternatively, you may submit the deed, duly legalised and translated, directly to the Italian Municipality (in accordance with Article 12, § 11, of Presidential Decree No. 396/2000).

Certificates issued by countries that have acceded to the 1976 Vienna Convention on the Issue of Multilingual Extracts from Civil Status Records are exempt from legalisation and translation. The countries that have ratified the Convention are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. It should be noted that the Convention cannot currently be applied to Greece, which, although being a signatory country, has not yet ratified it.