Marriage of a U.S. Citizen
Consular District of Naples
The following information is provided as a general guideline for persons wishing to get married in Italy. Since the procedures vary from city hall to city hall, we suggest to call the Vital Statistics Office (Ufficio Stato Civile) of the City Hall where you plan to marry since they may not all be necessary.
Disclaimer: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements in the Naples Consular District (which includes most Italian provinces south of Rome) is provided for general information only and may not be totally accurate in a particular case. Questions involving interpretation of specific Italian laws or regional requirements should be addressed to the appropriate Italian authorities.
Getting married in Italy can be a wonderful experience! However, as with most weddings, the process can also involve stress and anxiety, especially for Americans who are not acquainted with the appropriate rules. Americans wishing to be married in the Naples Consular District must furnish the appropriate Italian authorities certain documents and comply with specific requirements in order to obtain a marriage license. The process is time consuming, as it involves several different offices in various parts of the city, which are open to the public only a few hours per day.
First Things First!!!
There a few things you will need to do before arriving in Naples:
- Decide on a wedding date.
- Speak with the city hall (Comune) of the Italian town in which you wish to marry to check the availability of the date and to find out which documents are necessary. You will also need to make two appointments with the Comune. The first appointment is to make a declaration of the intent to marry-- before the Civil Registrar (Ufficiale dello Stato Civile). The second appointment is for the actual civil marriage ceremony. Note: During this conversation, you should also find out how many days prior to the ceremony date you need to present all the appropriate documents.
- Obtain American passport.
- Obtain an original birth certificate that contains the names of your parents.
- Send the original birth certificate to the appropriate office to be authenticated for use in Italy. If born in the United States, you must send the original birth certificate to the office of the Secretary of State of the state in which you were born to receive an “Apostille” stamp, which authenticates official documents for use in Italy.
- Obtain document of termination of any previous marriage, i.e. divorce or annulment decree or death certificate of previous spouse.
- Send the document of marriage termination to the office of the Secretary of State of the state in which the marriage termination occurred to be authenticated by the Secretary’s office with an “Apostille” seal.
Translate the original birth certificate and the document of marriage termination into Italian. Note: Call the nearest Italian Consulate in the United States, or wherever you may be outside of Italy, to get details on proper methods of translating documents.
Visit the Italian Consulate
Before arriving in Naples, you must go to the nearest Italian Embassy/Consulate outside of Italy to accomplish the following:
- Authenticate the translation of the original birth certificate and the document of marriage termination.
- Four witnesses who know you well must execute an affidavit (Atto Notorio) before an Italian Consul in the United States, or wherever you may be outside of Italy, certifying that there is no obstacle to your marriage. Note: The affidavit can also be executed in Italy, at any lower court (Prefettura) or before an Italian notary public (notaio). However, we advise you to obtain this declaration before coming to Italy because it is probably easier to find witnesses in your place of residence who know your marital status.
At the American Consulate in Naples
The following service will be performed at the American Consulate:
- The creation of a sworn statement (dichiarazione giurata) sometimes called a Nulla Osta, declaring before an American Consular Officer that, according to the laws of the state or other jurisdiction in which you reside, there is no obstacle to your marriage.
- The Notarial section of the Consulate, located in Room 201, performs this service by appointment only. Please click here to schedule an appointment for a notarial service. The fee is $50.00, or the equivalent in Euro. This fee is waived for U.S. military personnel serving in the Naples.
- The Consulate is located at Piazza della Repubblica, and the telephone phone number is, from inside Italy, 081-583-8220 or 8221.
Immediately after the Consulate
After signing the Sworn Statement at the Consulate, it must be authenticated with an Apostille seal at the Ufficio Legalizzazioni of the Prefettura. There is a charge of 14.63 euro for this service in the form of administrative stamps. These can be purchased from any of the Tobacco shops in the area.
- In Naples, the Prefettura is located in Via Vespucci no.172. The telephone number is 081-7943842/ 7943844. The hours of the Ufficio Legalizzazioni are: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday – 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- The easiest way to reach the Prefettura from the Consulate is by taxi. It will take approximately 15 minutes. To go by bus, you may take any bus from Largo Torretta that goes to Piazza Vittoria, and change for trolleybus no. 4. Get off at the stop for Loreto Mare Hospital. You’ll find the Prefettura (a yellow building) in the port area directly behind you.
- To reach the Prefettura by car, go along the waterfront towards city centre until you reach the port area and onwards in the proximity of the Loreto Mare hospital. You’ll find the Prefettura opposite the hospital. It is a yellow building with a sign “ Prefettura- Immigration Office” by a green gate.
- However, the Naples Ufficio Legalizzazione may retain your paperwork for up to three working for authentication depending on their workload. If you are marrying on the Amalfi coast and want to take care of the authentication on the same day, you may wish to go to the Ufficio Legalizzazione at the Prefettura of Salerno located on Piazza Giovanni Amendola 15, 4th floor, room 46, Salerno 84100, tel: 089/61.33.03. Services are provided on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Your Visit to City Hall
- If one party to the marriage is not an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy, the couple must appear before the Civil Registrar (Ufficiale dello Stato Civile) of the city/town where that person resides with an interpreter, if necessary, to make a declaration of their intention to marry.
- When making the declaration the couple must present all the required documents listed below and make an appointment for the marriage ceremony.
- If neither party is an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy, only one member of the marrying couple must appear with an interpreter, if necessary, before the Civil Registrar (Ufficiale dello Stato Civile) of the city/town where the marriage is to take place to make a declaration of their intention to marry, exhibit the necessary documents, and make an appointment for the marriage ceremony.
- Following the declaration, it is usually necessary for banns (pubblicazioni) to be posted at the Comune. If one party is an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy, the banns are posted for eleven days and the couple must wait until the twelfth day before they may marry in a civil ceremony. If neither party is an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy the banns will be posted for a shorter period of time which may vary from one day to one week, depending on the city hall regulations (in a limited number of city halls these banns are waived).
The Big Day!!!
The Mayor, the Ufficiale dello Stato Civile or one of his/her assistants performs the civil ceremony. Two witnesses, and if necessary an interpreter, must be present at the ceremony. Witnesses can be of any nationality; they must, however be over 18 years old and have proper identification. A witness cannot serve as interpreter.
Please ensure you possess all of the following documents:
American Passport or U.S. Military Identification Card
Original Birth Certificate, with Apostille and translated into Italian
Evidence of Termination of Any Previous Marriage translated, with Apostille Seal
Sworn Statement of Consent by parents or legal guardian if U.S. citizen is considered a minor
Affidavit (Atto Notorio) before Italian Consular Officer outside of Italy
Sworn Statement (Nulla Osta) by American citizen before a U.S. Consular Officer in Naples, with Apostille Stamp