Obtaining Vital Records
Obtaining Vital Records
The Embassy and Consulates keep no copies of the documents we issue, such as Consular Reports of Birth. These documents are filed in Washington. We also do not keep any files of Italian civil documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates etc. Other records, such as birth certificates of people born in the U.S. are stored in the state of origin.
This page is designed to help you locate the vital documents you need. The Embassy/Consulates cannot obtain documents on your behalf, and cannot provide translations of documents issued in Italy. We recommend, however, when writing to the Italian authorities, that you request an international version of the document in question.
How to Obtain Vital Records in Italy
Under Italian law, records of births, marriages, and deaths are maintained by the Registrar of Vital Statistics (Ufficio dello Stato Civile) in the city (comune or municipio) where the event occurred. There is no central, regional, or provincial office established which keeps such records. When applying for one of these certificates, the applicant must supply all relevant information. The office of the registrar cannot undertake extensive research of its files to locate a record which is not properly identified, and will not translate requests in a foreign language. Therefore, all requests must be written in Italian.
A fee is charged for the issuance of the certificate. In addition, Italian municipalities also require international reply coupons to pay for postage when mailing vital records to the United States. Such coupons can be purchased at US Post Offices. For more information, please see the US Post Office website at: http://pe.usps.com/imm_archive/html/imm_archive_2008/imm/immc3_025.htm
To request a:
BIRTH CERTIFICATE, fill out the following form Certificato di Nascita (PDF, 93kb)
MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, fill out the following form Certificato di Matrimonio (PDF, 51kb)
DEATH CERTIFICATE, fill out the following form Certificato di Morte (PDF, 48kb)
Note: Italian registrars are not required by law to assist in genealogical research work. In most places, records dating back as far as the mid-19th century are available but unless complete and correct information is provided, no search can be undertaken. If you are engaged in family tree reconstruction and do not have the essential information bearing on your ancestors, you may wish to retain the aid of professional researchers. For firms specializing in genealogical work (ancestry, coat of arms, etc.) please see Genealogical Firms (PDF, 71kb).
If a document is required as evidence before a court or similar body, it must be authenticated by the responsible Italian authorities by the "apostille" procedure, in accordance with the terms of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, which became effective in the United States on October 15, 1981.
An A-Z directory of Italian Cities and Town on the internet is available at: http://www.comuni.it/link/index.htm
U.S. CONSULAR OFFICERS ARE NOT TRAINED IN ITALIAN LAW AND CONSEQUENTLY ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO INTERPRET IT. CONSULT THE FOR ITALIAN EMBASSY FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION.
Vital records that must be obtained from the State Department in Washington:
- Certified copies of Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a document issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate reflecting the facts of birth abroad of a child acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth through one or both parents. (How to obtain this document)
- Certified copies of Consular Report of Death of an U.S. Citizen, a document issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate reflecting the facts of death abroad of an U.S. citizen. (How to obtain this document)
Vital Records that must be obtained from a U.S. State:
Vital Records are documents such as birth, death or marriage
certificates. In the U.S., state, county or city governments, depending
on location, usually hold such records. Here is some information to
assist you in obtaining copies of such records.
More information about obtaining vital records in the U.S., such as birth certificates.
Note: For your U.S. document to be accepted by the Italian authorities, for example if you plan to get married, they also require that you provide an Apostille. This document gives you specific instructions on how to obtain the Apostille.
Fee-based on-line services that help obtain records
One such service is VitalChek (800-255-2414), which allows you to request birth, death, and marriage certifications online, by phone, or by fax.
Another service called usbirthcertificate.net can help you obtain or amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, in addition to obtaining a birth certificate. You must have a physical street address to use this service (no APOs, FPOs, or PO Boxes).