Civil requirements for British citizens getting legally married in Italy

British citizens can get married in Italy and their wedding will be legally binding in their home country or in the country where they reside.

As I wrote in one of my previous articles, the procedure described below will change in a year from now, as starting from January 2021 a new procedure will apply. So please follow my blog to stay updated.

Please be aware that all documents have a validity of six months or 3 months if you are a resident in Scotland.

The below procedure applies only for British nationals residing in the UK.

Getting married in Italy involves providing specific documents from your home country. Documents that will certify your identity and that there are no legal impediments to your marriage.

There are 4 simple steps that each British national must follow to get the right paperwork done for marrying in Italy.

Below is a list of all required documents. Before the marriage of a British national can be celebrated in Italy, the Italian authorities, in this case the COMUNE (Town Hall) requires the following documents:

  • A Certificate of No Impediment issued and legalised in Britain and officially translated into Italian in Italy;
  • A bilingual Statutory Declaration issued and legalised in the Britain;
  • Copy of Passports;

In Britain

You need to Publish the Banns at your local registry office in order to get your Certificates of no Impediment (one for each of you). To find your local registry office in England & Wales you can use the following website:

Your Certificate of No Impediment will be then released after 2 or 3 weeks and it has a validity of six months. It is essential that the names you give to the Registrar, which will appear on your Certificates of No Impediment, are exactly the same as written in your passports

You can obtain the necessary Certificates of No Impediment by producing the following documents:

  • British Passport (copy of passport if you are applying from outside of Italy)
  • Evidence of termination of any previous marriage of both parties, if applicable, (i.e. death certificate or divorce decree absolute) together with the previous marriage certificate.

Important: under the Italian law a female who has been divorced and whishes to re-marry in Italy, cannot re-marry until 300 days have passed from the date of her divorce. It is possible, however, to apply for a dispensation to this through an Italian Magistrate of the area where the marriage is to take place.

  • Deed-poll showing change of name. In cases where the name on the birth certificate differs from the one on the passport, (except for cases when the woman – the bride-to be took her previous husband’s name),

While waiting for your Certificate of No Impediment you are advised to make a statutory declaration before a solicitor or public notary in the UK. The solicitor or public notary will charge a fee for this service.

The Certificate of No Impediment and your Statutory Declaration need to be sent to the FCO Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes to be legalised with a Hague Apostille. The Legalisation Office will charge you for this – please check the current charges and procedure at the Legalisation Office website.

The legalised Certificate of No Impediment has to be translated into Italian.
As it will become an Italian legal document it must be translated by a translator based in Italy and recognised by the Italian court.

When everything is ready, the documentation has to be sent to the Town Hall where you will be married.

One or two days before the ceremony (sometimes on the same day) you will have to make the Declaration of Intent to Marry at the Registry office. If you don’t speak Italian you need to be assisted by an official translator.

The civil ceremony is performed by the Mayor, one of his deputies or a Registrar. The ceremony is performed in Italian and translated into English by an official translator. You will need two witnesses, one for each of you who must be over 18. A witness cannot act as interpreter.

 At the end of the ceremony you will receive an international version of the  marriage certificate. Ask for few copies as you won’t be charged any extra fee. In some town halls you will receive it immediately after the ceremony. In some cases, however, you will have to go to the Registry office in person the day after (at the earliest) to collect it in person.
You can use your marriage certificate straight away for any legal purposes. My advice is to deposit one copy at the Registry office where you are resident. If one day you need proof of being married, you will be able to request copies  directly there.

Change of Surname

As the change of surname does not apply automatically after the wedding in Italy, your marriage certificate will still show your maiden name. You should change it once you are back home. Please refer to your authorities for that:

Please be aware that the procedure described above is the standard procedure for a couple of British nationals residing in the UK. All other cases have different procedures to be followed and authorities in charge to issue the CNI or Nulla osta.

There are seven possible different scenarios :

  • a British National resident in the UK is marrying a foreign national (Italian or otherwise)
  • both parties are British nationals and both are resident in Italy
  • a British national, resident in Italy, wishes to marry a foreign national, Italian or otherwise
  • a British National resident in the UK is getting married to an Irish national
  • two British nationals are resident abroad (not Italy, not Commonwealth) wish to marry in Italy
  • a British national resident abroad (not Italy, not Commonwealth) wishes to marry a foreign national (Italian or otherwise) in Italy
  • a British National resident in a Commonwealth Country is marrying in Italy

 For further info please always refer  to your authorities:

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