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Civil status

Civil status concerns the set of events, facts or expressions of will inherent in a citizen’s life: birth, marriage, civil partnership, death, divorce, citizenship. The registration of these events and facts falls within the competence of the Civil Registrar, whose functions are carried out in Italy by local authorities and abroad by consular offices.

The civil status office of a diplomatic or consular Representation deals with:

– managing civil status registers (which are four: citizenship, birth, marriage and death) for deeds drawn up in the Consulate itself;

– receiving deeds issued by foreign authorities and transmitting them to Italian Municipalities for registration;

– receiving judgments and orders issued abroad (e.g. divorce, adoption, etc.) and transmitting them to the competent Italian institutions;

– transmitting requests to change name or surname to the competent Prefectures;

– drawing up the record of the marriage banns and posting it online in the consular register;

– celebrating consular marriages and establishing civil partnerships, provided that local laws permit it. The celebration of marriage may be refused when the parties do not reside in the consular district. The establishment of civil partnership takes place before the Head of the consular office that is competent for either of the parties’ place of residence.

  • Italian citizens are required to notify of all changes in their civil status (by providing the relevant deeds or other documentation), which occur during their stay abroad, to the consular office competent for the place where the event occurred.
  • Civil status documents relating to events that occurred abroad may be submitted by the parties concerned and by anyone who has an interest in them, either directly to the Italian Municipality to which they belong (see Article 12, § 11, Presidential Decree No. 396/2000) or to the competent consular office (the one where the party concerned resides or the one in the district of which the documents were drawn up).
  • Documents issued by countries that have acceded to the Vienna Convention of September 8, 1976, which provides for the issuance of a multilingual form, are exempt from legalisation and translation. These countries are the following: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. It should be noted that the aforementioned Vienna Convention cannot currently be applied to Greece which, although being a signatory country, has not yet ratified it.