Persons wishing to be married in Italy must appear with two witnesses and make a declaration of their intention to marry before the Ufficiale di Stato Civile (Civil Registrar) of the city or town where the marriage is to take place. At the time of making their declaration the couple must present all required documents (see below). Following the declaration it is usually necessary for banns, or marriage announcement, to be posted at the local comune (city hall) for two consecutive Sundays before the marriage occurs if one of the parties is Italian or if the US citizen is a resident of Italy. However, banns are waived by the Ufficiale di Stato Civile if neither party to the marriage is Italian and neither is residing in Italy.
The following documents must be presented to the Ufficiale di Stato Civile when making a declaration of intention to marry:
- US passport or, if a member of the Armed Forces, identification card;
- Birth certificate (certified copy), which shows the names of both parents;
- Evidence of termination of any previous marriage (final divorce or annulment decree or death certificate);
- Sworn statement of consent to the marriage by the parents or legal guardian if the American citizen is under 18;
- A declaration (atto notorio) , sworn to by four (4) witnesses before either an Italian consular officer in the United States or, in Italy, at a Pretura or before a mayor or town clerk, stating that according to the laws to which the citizen is subject in the United States there is no obstacle to his or her marriage. Any American going to Italy to be married is urged to obtain this declaration before leaving the United States as it may be much easier to find four witnesses who know him or her sufficiently well to make such a declaration in the United States rather than in Italy.
- A declaration, sworn to by the US citizen before a US Consular Officer at the US Embassy/Consulate in Italy, stating that according to the laws to which the citizen is subject in the United States there is no obstacle to his or her marriage. Evidence of US citizenship (passport, naturalization certificate, birth certificate showing birth in the United States) must be shown to the US Consular Officer at the time of making this declaration. US military personnel must also present final approval of his/her commanding officer for the marriage. Presentation of this declaration allows Italian authorities to reduce from three weeks to approximately four days the time you must wait before being granted a marriage license.
The US Consular Officer will charge a $55.00 fee to notarize your declaration. There will be additional fees associated with translations, apostilles and ordering of public documents.