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HOW TO OBTAIN BIRTH, MARRIAGE, AND DEATH CERTIFICATES IN ITALY

(Last updated: Aug 8, 2004)

This information has been prepared by the Office of Citizens Services, at the American Embassy in Rome, Italy, as an aid for those persons who are in need of vital records from Italian authorities.

Under Italian law, records of births, marriages, and deaths are maintained by the Registrar of Vital Statistics (Ufficio dello Stato civile) in the City Office (Comune or Municipio) of the place 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. A request written in the Italian usually produces faster results.
A small fee is charged for the issuance of a certificate, varying from place to place, but on the average does not exceed Euro 1 (around $ 1.25). Though it is customary for Italian city offices to waive the small administrative fees for foreign applicants.

To request:

BIRTH CERTIFICATE (Certificato di Nascita), provide full name of person at birth, place and date of birth, name of parents; specify that the document should include the name of the parents.

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE (Certificato di Matrimonio), provide full names at birth of both parties, their birthdates, place and date of marriage.

DEATH CERTIFICATE (Certificato di Morte), provide full name at birth of deceased, date and place of birth if available, place and date of death.

If your request is directed to a large city, address it as follows:

Ufficio dello Stato Civile
Comune di ___________
Italy

whereas a request to a small town may simply be addressed:

Comune di ________________
Provincia di ________________
Italy

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. A separate list of firms or individuals specializing in genealogical work (ancestry, coat of arms, etc.) is available from this office.

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.

AMERICAN CONSULAR OFFICERS ARE NOT TRAINED IN ITALIAN LAW AND CONSEQUENTLY ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO INTERPRET IT. CONSULT THE ITALIAN EMBASSY FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION.

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