Required paperwork for civil ceremonies

sourced from the experts at FlyAwaybride since i didn't do a civil ceremony!)

"Civil ceremonies can take place in locations that have been approved by the Italian authorities. These include many villas, castles, town halls, public gardens etc. They are generally performed in Italian by the city mayor or a civil officer. If neither or only one of you can speak Italian, then you will need to engage the services of a translator – the interpreter does not have to be an official translator so if one of your guests is fluent, don’t be tricked into paying. When you have decided your wedding date, contact the Comune (Town Hall) of the Italian town where you intend on marrying to check the availability of your dates and to find double check the documents that are required. You will need to make two appointments at the Town Hall, the first is to make a declaration of the intent to marry before the Civil Registrar (Ufficiale dello Stato Civile) and the second appointment is for the actual civil marriage ceremony. It would also be a good idea at this point to find out how many days prior to your wedding you need to submit all the appropriate documents.

 All documents for US citizens will need to be endorsed with an Apostille Stamp. An Apostille Stamp authenticates documents executed outside of Italy (such as a birth certificate,) so that it will be recognised as genuine/ official / legitimate for use in other countries, such as Italy.

 All original documents will need to be accompanied by Italian translations. This must be done by an agency verified by the Italian Consulate.

 Do not apply for documents and certificates more than 6 months before the wedding as they will expire under Italian regulations.


requirements for US (and Australian) Citizens

To be obtained in the US and Australia (Please note that the Apostille Stamp is not required for Australian Citizens)

1.  Valid Passports

2.  Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s

3.  Divorce Decree (if appropriate)

In Italy, a woman cannot remarry withing 300 days of the date of her divorce unless she obtains special permission from the Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale (District Attorney’s office) at the Palazzo di Giustizia (Courthouse) in the city where the wedding will be performed. This permission will not be issued unless she can present medical evidence that shows she is not pregnant.

4.  Parents Consent if either party is under 18

5.  Atto Notorio | Sworn Affidavit (US and Australian Citizens Only)

These documents (one each) need to be obtained before the wedding either by making an appointment with your nearest Italian consulate or waiting until you’re in Italy itself (not advised, harder process and more paperwork). The Atto Notrio is basically a declaration that states you are who you say you are. You and your fiancé / fianceé will need to present yourself at the Italian Consulate along with two witnesses to make this declaration. As well as your passports, birth certificate, divorce decrees and death certificates (accompanied by their translations and apostille stamps) you will also need copies of your drivers license, your fiancé / fianceé’s drivers license and the drivers licenses belonging to your two witnesses. Important: you must receive your Atto Notorio within the three month period before  your wedding date.

Process to follow and documents to be obtained in Italy

6.  Nulla Osta

The Nulla Osta is similar to the Atto Notorio in that it is a sworn statement saying you are who you say you are that there is no legal impediment to your marriage under Italian Law and US / Australian Law. It is carried out at the American / Australian Embassy in Italy so make sure you find out where the nearest consulate to your venue / airport is and book an appointment a month before you go. For US citizens, appointments can be made online for the consulates in Milan FlorenceRome and Naples. The form that you need to fill out can be downloaded from here but do not sign it before you visit the Consulate. Australian citizens can make appointments at the Australian Embassy in Rome or The Australian Consulate General in Milan. These documents will need to be legalised as in point 10 below.

7.  Marco da Bollo Stamps

You will need to purchase two Marco da Bollo Stamps (Revenue Stamps) from any tabacchi store for your visit to the Prefettura

8. Legalising the Nulla Osta

Once you have received both of your Nulla Osta’s, you will need to have the documents legalised with an Apostille seal by having them stamped at the Ufficio Legalizazione of the provincial Italian Government Agency, the Prefettura. You should check at the American Consulate the Prefettura closest to you but you will find a full list of the the Prefettura’s in Italy here. You won’t need an appointment.

9.  Visit to Town / City Hall (Comune)

When you have all of your documents together with their Apostilles and translations together, you must appear before the town hall along with an interpreter to present them and make your declaration of your intention to marry, usually two days before the wedding but if one of you is an Italian citizen or resident in  Italy,you will have to post your marriage banns and wait 2 Sundays before getting married in a civil ceremony. If both of you are non nationals and reside elsewhere,  the banns are waived. Again, it’s a good conversation to have with the town hall at the very beginning as you want to be able to set a date for your guests.

10.  The Wedding

You must have 2 witnesses and an interpreter present. The Mayor, the Ufficiale dello Stato Civile or one of his/her assistants performs will perform civil ceremony

11.  The Marriage Certificate

You will receive your marriage certificate from the officiant right after the civil ceremony but just like you will have been doing all along, it’s a good idea to go back to the the Prefettura for it’s Apostille stamp. This will take a few day’s so make sure you factor it into your trip and go off honeymooning without it!"


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