Getting Married in Italy
Marriage of U.S. Citizens in Italy
Disclaimer: The list of documents provided here is for general guidance only. The applicable law on marriages is one and the same all over Italy. However, local town halls may interpret the law in slightly different ways and waive certain requirements. Please contact the Registrar’s Office of the town hall where you intend to get married to obtain a definitive list of documents as well as to learn how many days prior to the date of the ceremony you need to submit them. A complete list of town halls in Italy is available here.
Please note: Marriages involving U.S. citizens cannot be performed by American consular officers or take place on the premises of the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General.
1. Valid U.S. passport (active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces can present their military ID card instead).
2. Birth certificate (original or certified copy).
3. Evidence of the termination of any previous marriage/s if applicable (e.g., final divorce decree, annulment decree, or death certificate of former spouse). If you are a female whose previous marriage was terminated within the last 300 days, you must obtain a waiver from the Italian District Attorney's Office (Procura della Repubblica presso il tribunale) at the court in the city where the new marriage will be performed. The waiver is issued upon presentation of medical evidence that you are not pregnant.
4. Affidavit or “Nulla Osta” sworn to before an American consular officer commissioned in Italy, stating that there is no legal impediment to your marriage according to the laws of the U.S. state in which you are a resident. Your legal status must be such that you can legally marry under both Italian and U.S. law. (Note that a pending divorce, for example, would be an obstacle.) You will need to schedule an appointment for a notary service with one of the U.S. Consulates General in Italy or with the U.S. Embassy in Rome to obtain the “Nulla Osta.” Please click here to schedule your appointment.
The “Nulla Osta” is valid for six months and costs $50 or the equivalent in euro.
Where will you be going to obtain your Nulla Osta?
- Marriage Nulla Osta Consulate MILAN
- Marriage Nulla Osta Cons Agent GENOA
- Marriage Nulla Osta Cons Agent VENICE
- Marriage Nulla Osta Consulate FLORENCE
- Marriage Nulla Osta EMBASSY ROME
- Marriage Nulla Osta Consulate NAPLES
- Marriage Nulla Osta Cons Agent PALERMO
Please select the appropriate Post and complete the form before your appointment in order to save time, but do not sign it as it must be signed in front of the consular officer.
If one of the parties is an Italian national resident abroad and registered with an Italian Embassy or Consulate (Anagrafe Italiana Residenti all’Estero - AIRE), please contact the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate for specific instructions.
Once the “Nulla Osta” has been issued, you must bring it to the Legalization Office (Ufficio Legalizzazioni) of the local prefettura to legalize it. You will need to purchase a €16 revenue stamp (marca da bollo) from any tobacco shop (tabacchi) and present it to the clerk of the Legalization Office (Ufficio Legalizzazioni) at the Prefettura (an Italian government office) for each document to be authenticated. A complete list of Prefettura offices is available here.
5. Atto Notorio: This is a declaration, in addition to the “Nulla Osta” described under point 5, stating that according to the laws to which you are subject in the United States, there is no obstacle to your marriage. This declaration is to be sworn to by two witnesses (may be of any nationality, but must be over 18 and possess valid photo identification) before an Italian consul outside Italy or, in Italy, before a court official in the city where the marriage will take place. If you are coming to Italy to be married, you should obtain this declaration at the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate before leaving the United States, as some courts may have long waiting lists for this service. If you decide to request the Atto Notorio in Italy, you should contact the Notary Services Office (Ufficio Atti Notori) of the court (tribunale ordinario) having jurisdiction over the city where you intend to marry, or any other court in Italy, and make an appointment in advance. A complete list of Italian courts is available here. You, as well as the witnesses and an interpreter (if neither of you speaks Italian), must show proof of your legal presence into Italy by presenting, for example, your plane ticket, visa or permit to stay (permesso di soggiorno). You will need two revenue stamps of €16 each and one of €10,62 to apply for the Atto Notorio, which generally will be ready for pick up after four to 10 days. For an urgent Atto Notorio, issued on the spot, you will need two revenue stamps of €16 each and one of €31,82.
Declaration of Intention to Marry: You should present all the above-listed documents to the Marriage Office (Ufficio Matrimoni) of the town hall (municipio) in the city where the marriage will be performed, and make a "Declaration of Intention to Marry" (Dichiarazione di Matrimonio) before a civil registrar (ufficiale di stato civile). If you do not speak Italian, an interpreter should accompany you. When all this is completed, you can finally set the date of the wedding.
Civil banns must be posted at the town hall for two consecutive weeks, including two Sundays, before the marriage can take place. Please note that banns are posted only after the Declaration of Intention to Marry has been filed. However, if neither party to the marriage is an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy, banns are automatically waived or posted for a shorter period of time which may vary from one day to a week depending on the town hall regulations.
A civil ceremony is performed by the mayor or one of his deputies. Two witnesses and, if
necessary, an interpreter must be
present at the ceremony. Witnesses may be of any nationality, but must be over 18 and possess
valid photo identification. A witness cannot serve as interpreter. You will have to pay a rental fee for the
marriage hall, which varies according to the location, the season and the day
of the week. The fee ranges from a
minimum of €500 to a maximum of €9,200.
Religious Ceremony: A religious ceremony is considered valid if performed by a Roman Catholic priest. A separate civil ceremony will not be necessary, as the priest will register the marriage with the civil authorities.
The Roman Catholic Church requires baptismal and confirmation certificates in addition to the documents listed above. For complete information, you should check with your priest.
For English-language marriages at the Vatican, also known as the Holy See, contact the parish priest of Santa Susanna Church by visiting their website at www.santasusanna.org. Marriages at the Vatican will be registered with the Vatican civil authorities, and marriage certificates are issued by the Civil Registry of Vatican City (Ufficio di Stato Civile, Anagrafe e Notariato, Governatorato, Citta del Vaticano). Because the Vatican is a separate State and not part of Italy, the notarized “Nulla Osta” is required but does not need to be legalized by an Italian prefettura office.
A religious ceremony performed by non-Roman Catholic clergy requires that a civil ceremony be performed prior to the religious one to ensure the legality of the marriage. If you are planning such a religious ceremony, you should consult with the priest, minister, or rabbi far in advance of the actual ceremony.
Important Note on the Validity of Foreign Documents in Italy: All documents originating outside of Italy (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.) must be legalized for use in Italy and must be translated into Italian.
To legalize a U.S. document for use in Italy, you need to have it stamped with a so-called Apostille stamp by the secretary of state in the state where the document was issued, in accordance with The Hague Convention on the legalization of foreign public documents.
Italian law, all public documents originating from outside the EU are
considered valid for only six months from the date of issue. Therefore, you should make sure that all
documents to be submitted to Italian authorities have not been issued more than
six months ahead of the marriage.
Important Note on the Validity of the Italian Marriage Certificate in the U.S.: A foreign marriage that is valid in the country where it is performed is automatically valid in the U.S. An Italian marriage certificate is sufficient to prove your marriage and it is considered valid once legalized through the Apostille procedure. The Apostille stamp can be obtained from the Legalization Office of the Italian Prefettura having jurisdiction over the area where you were married. A complete list of Prefettura offices is available here.
Additional Information: U.S. consular officers are not trained in Italian
law and consequently are not qualified to interpret Italian marriage
requirements. If you wish more detailed
information, you should consult the appropriate Italian authorities, such as an
Italian consular officer in the U.S., civil registrars at town halls, or a
lawyer licensed to practice in Italy.
Please note that you may need several days to complete all of the procedures so you should plan ahead. The timing will vary depending upon the number of marriages to be performed by civil authorities. Waiting lists are not uncommon, particularly in more popular towns and at certain times of the year, such as May, June or September.
Specific information for marriages performed in Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples is available at: