While there are no residency requirements to marry in Italy, depending on your nationality there are specific steps that must be completed in order to formalize your Italian wedding and make it legally binding.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS for AMERICANS - 3 steps
1 - ATTO NOTORIO - done in the US 3 months prior to your wedding day. Can be done in Italy with our assistance provided we have ample advanced notice - (recently this is becoming more difficult)
Before leaving the United States, you need to obtain an Atto Notorio (sworn declaration) from the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the state where you reside. You must set up an appointment with the nearest Italian Consulate to where you live and verify how many witnesses are required (it varies from location to location).
An Atto Notorio is an affidavit done before the Italian Consulate in the US (or before a magistrate in Italy). It consists of a meeting in front of the Italian Consulate with witnesses (4*) in which a declaration relative to the civil status (single, divorced etc…) of the couple is made. An official document is then drawn up for filing purposes here in Italy.
*Some Italian Consulates only require two witnesses for the Atto Notorio but the town hall in Italy may require that you have 4. Please double check prior to booking your appointment.
In order to obtain an Atto Notorio you must prepare the following documentation:
- Birth certificate
- If previously divorced/widowed, your divorce decree or death certificate
- Translations of all of the above except your passport.
Please note that all certificates including divorce certificates or death certificates certifying termination of your previous marriage MUST be ORIGINALS. Photocopies are not accepted.
Please be sure that at the top of the page of your Atto Notorio the detail " Repubblica Italiana" and "Consolato Generale D'Italia" are specifically written, otherwise the Atto Notorio is not valid.
TRANSLATIONS of DOCUMENTS
Your Birth and or divorce/death certificates must be:
- Translated into Italian
- Apostilled through the Secretary of State's Notary Public of the state the document originated in. Note: if you are a naturalized US Citizen you may be required by the Italian Consulate to apostille your birth certificate through the Consulate/Embassy of the country you were born in.
- Some town halls also require that your translations be Apostilled by the Secretary of State's Notary Public.
- The translations of your certificates must be authenticated by the Italian Consulate (stamped with a seal).
- Translations must be done by a certified translator - the Italian Consulate will provide a list of approved translators.
- Some Italian Consulates require that your translations be also apostilled. So please have your translations also apostilled.
- In addition Italian Consulates are now requesting the certificate of no appeal in case of a previous divorce.
Is obtained via mail, you do not have to go in person. You must mail your certificates to the Secretary of State's notary public office requesting an apostille. They will mail it back to you. If time is of the essence, this procedure can be expedited by pre-paying the courier service. The Secretary of State's notary public office is in the state's capitol. (ex: for Florida, it will be in Tallahassee). A standard notary public seal is NOT an apostille.
EMAIL DOCS to US
After you have completed your Atto Notorio you must email a copy to us. We will verify that everything is complete.
Bring the originals of your documents with you when you come to Italy. HAND CARRY YOUR DOCUMENTS, do not check them with your luggage.
If you cannot obtain an Atto Notorio prior to coming to Italy or you currently reside in Italy, the Atto Notorio can somtimes be arranged in Italy; there is a cost for this service if done by us.
2 - NULLA OSTA - (Done in Italy with our staff)
Once in Italy, in addition to the Atto Notorio, an American citizen intending to get married in Italy will need to make a Statutory Declaration (Nulla Osta).
This Statutory Declaration must be signed whether you are single, divorced or widowed and you will do so in the presence of an American Consular officer at the American Embassy in Rome or Consulate-General in Milan, Genova, Venice, Florence or Naples. A Nulla Osta literally states that "there are no impediments" or that one is free to marry. The Nulla Osta (Statutory Declaration) is valid for six months and as of 2011 costs $55 per person (some consulates accept credit cards, others cash only).
Ask the Consulate to state on the Nulla Osta that you are a "tourist in transit".
The Nulla Osta must then be legalised by the Uffico Legalizzazioni of the Prefettura. Nulla Osta and legalization can generally be completed in one morning and are done with our assistance.
It is extremely important that your full name is written in the same way in all the following documents, otherwise the wedding office will not accept the paperwork:
* Atto Notorio
* Nulla Osta
Please be sure that your passport, Atto Notorio and Nulla Osta contains the bride's maiden name.
3 - DECLARATION of INTENT
If the wedding hall requires it, we will set an appointment with the Wedding Hall authorities, about two days before the wedding. At this time, you will make a Promessa di Matrimonio, or Declaration of Intent to Marry. Sometimes the appointment for the Declaration and Wedding may fall on the same day.
If one or more of the parties is Italian or is an American with Italian residency, then Banns (pubblicazione di matrimonio) must be posted for at least two weeks before the date of the marriage.
Documents expire after 3 months so please do not obtain them too far in advance.