Transcribing civil status records formed abroad is possible for both Italian citizens and foreign nationals who have acquired Italian citizenship, as well as for foreign nationals residing in Italy.
Italian citizens living abroad, even temporarily, can typically turn to the relevant Italian Consulate to have their civil status documents (birth, marriage, civil union, death, citizenship) issued in a foreign country transcribed in Italy.
The diplomatic or consular authority is then responsible for forwarding these documents to the relevant Italian municipality for transcription into civil status registers, as stipulated by Presidential Decree No. 396 of November 3, 2000.
As Italian citizens, events related to their civil status that occur abroad also concern Italy.
The transcription of a civil status record issued abroad can be requested at any time.
Generally, a specific application is submitted to the Civil Status Office, which will verify the validity of the record according to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 396/2000.
Transcription Following the Acquisition of Italian Citizenship
Foreign nationals who have acquired Italian citizenship can request the transcription of their civil status records in Italy by presenting the originals of the documents and certificates to be transcribed, following the procedures to verify the validity of documents issued abroad.
Foreign nationals residing in Italy, upon acquiring Italian citizenship, can submit a request for the transcription of their civil status records to the competent office in their municipality of residence.
Foreign nationals residing abroad, after acquiring Italian citizenship, must first contact the Italian diplomatic or consular authority in their country of residence to register their new civil status records. For existing records at the time of acquiring citizenship, the competent Italian municipality will handle the transcription.
Transcription for Foreigners Living in Italy
Foreign nationals residing in Italy can request the transcription of their relevant civil status records at their municipality of residence, provided that these records are translated and legalized and do not violate public order.
The Civil Status Officer may transcribe the same record containing the annotation already made in the foreign country of origin in accordance with current regulations.
Rules for Transcribing Civil Status Records
The record for which transcription is requested must be in its original form, accompanied by an Italian translation and legalization (a declaration certifying the authenticity of the document) issued by the Italian consular or diplomatic authority abroad, or by an “apostille,” applicable in the case of countries that are parties to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.
Generally, no formalities are required if the record comes from a European Union member state.
The Civil Status Office of the competent Italian municipality that receives the record initially verifies its compliance with Italian law before proceeding with transcription.
Acts That Cannot Be Transcribed
Records formed abroad can only be transcribed if they do not violate the so-called “public order.”
For example, a polygamous marriage cannot be transcribed, even if it is legal in the country where it was celebrated, nor can a marriage that follows a previous marriage dissolved by repudiation. Similarly, the act of recognizing a child born abroad through surrogacy cannot be transcribed because this practice is expressly prohibited in Italy by Law No. 40 of 2004.
Determining the Competent Municipality for Transcription
The transcription of the record can be requested:
- At the municipality where the individual has residence.
- At the municipality where they are registered in the A.I.R.E. (Registry of Italians Residing Abroad) if they reside abroad.
- At the municipality of registration or transcription of the birth record.
- At the municipality of birth or residence of the mother or father, or the maternal or paternal grandparents, in case of birth and residence abroad.
- At a municipality of the individual’s choice (born and residing abroad), upon invitation from the Italian consulate abroad, if it is impossible to determine the competent municipality.
In addition to the civil status record to be transcribed, which must be presented in its original form along with an Italian translation and legalization/apostille (if required), a copy of the requester’s identity document and the documents of the individuals to whom the transcribed acts refer must be provided.
Transcription should take a maximum of 30 days from the submission of the application. Processing times may vary from municipality to municipality depending on the number of requests received.
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