(Office of Reference: D.G.IT. - OFFICE III)
- Civil Status refers to the sum of acts and events concerning the life of a citizen: birth, marriage, Civil partnerships, death, divorce and citizenship, registration of which falls within the remit of the Office of Vital Records, whose functions are performed in Italy by municipal offices and abroad by consular offices.
The Office of Vital Records of a diplomatic or consular mission is responsible for:
- registration of civil status certificates (citizenship, birth, marriage and death) and variations issued by the consulate itself;
- reception of certificates issued by foreign authorities and their submission to Italian municipal offices for registration;
- reception of rulings and provisions issued abroad (e.g. divorce, adoption, etc.) and their submission to Italian institutions for registration;
- submission of requests for change of name or surname to the authorised Prefectures;
- drafting of marriage bans and publication on-line;
- celebration of consular marriages and the establishment of civil partnerships, as long as there are no legal impediments. The marriage celebration request can be rejected if the parties do not reside in the Consulate’s area of jurisdiction. The civil partnership is established before the Head of the competent Consular Office, depending on the place of residence of at least one of the two parties.
- regarding all variations in civil status (and to submit related documentation) that take place during their residence abroad, Italian citizens are required to inform the local consular office where the event takes place.
- certificates issued for civil status changes that take place abroad may be submitted by the parties concerned, or by anyone else involved, either directly to the office of the Italian municipality of residence (see art. 12, par. 11, DPR 396/2000) or to the consular office (either that of the parties concerned or of the jurisdiction in which the certificates are issued).
- certificates issued by countries signatory to the Vienna Convention of 8 September 1976, which must be issued using multilingual forms, are exempt from legalisation and translation. Those countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. It should be noted that the aforementioned Vienna Convention cannot currently be applied to Greece which, although a signatory country, has not yet ratified it.