Requirements for British Nationals

Getting married in Italy may be tricky if you do not follow the right procedure.

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

STEP 1: OBTAIN THE CERTIFICATE OF NO IMPEDIMENT (CNI)

You need to obtain what’s called a certificate of no impediment, which is issued in the UK. 

To do this you must give notice of marriage to your local register office*. Your notice will be publicly displayed in the register office for 28 days. After your notice has been posted for the required period and if nobody registers an objection, you will be issued with a ‘Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage’, signed and dated by your local Registrar. A CNI costs £35.

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. For example, Jim Harris on the Certificate, and James Harris-Ford on your passport might mean that the Italian authorities will reject your paperwork and refuse to allow the marriage to go ahead. Please take your passport with you to the Registry Office, just to be absolutely certain.

Your CNI won’t expire if it was issued in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. CNIs issued in Scotland expire after 3 months.

A CNI is valid for 6 months under Italian law.

 

STEP 2: OBTAIN THE STATUTORY DECLARATION

While you are waiting for your certificate of no impediment you should provide more information in a ‘statutory declaration’. You need to sign it in front of a solicitor or public notary in the UK.

The declaration is required by the Italian authorities and gives additional information that isn’t detailed on your CNI. The solicitor or public notary will charge a fee for this service. Fees will vary so it might be worth shopping around.

We may send you the requested bilingual statutory declaration form by email to facilitate your task.

 

STEP 3: LEGALISE YOUR DOCUMENTS FOR THE ITALIAN AUTHORITIES

If you’ve got a statutory declaration and CNI, you’ll need to get them legalised (certified as genuine) with a Hague Apostille by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Legalisation Office will charge for this.

 

STEP 4: TRANSLATE YOUR CERTIFICATE OF NO IMPEDIMENT

Once both these documents have been legalised, you will then need to have the legalised CNI translated. As it will become an Italian legal document it should be translated by a translator based in Italy and sworn before the Italian courts or an Italian Justice of the Peace. We may provide a list of approved translators to you by email or we may take care of this service on your behalf.

You’ll be charged fees for translating your documents.  Fees vary depending on the translator.  

In summary: 

Each British national resident in the UK should have:

  • a CNI – issued in the UK, legalised in the UK and then translated officially in Italy
  • a bilingual statutory declaration legalised in the UK
  • passport
  • any further documents specifically requested by your Comune (town hall) of marriage.

Once all of these documents have been prepared, they should be sent directly to us and we will send them to the town hall where you intend to get married. There is no longer any requirement for wedding documentation for British nationals resident in the UK to be sent to any British consular section in Italy for further processing. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re a woman and you live in Italy, you must wait 300 days after divorcing or the death of your husband before remarrying.

STEP 5: GETTING MARRIED IN ITALY

  • Make an appointment for a Declaration of Intention to Marry: You should present all the above-listed documents to the Marriage Office (Ufficio Matrimoni) of the town hall (municipio) in the city where the marriage will be performed, and make a “Declaration of Intention to Marry” (Dichiarazione di Matrimonio) before a civil registrar (ufficiale di stato civile). If you do not speak Italian, an interpreter should accompany you. When all this is completed, you can finally set the date of the wedding.            We may make the appointment and handle the meeting on your behalf.
  • Civil banns must be posted at the town hall for two consecutive weeks, including two Sundays, before the marriage can take place. Please note that banns are posted only after the Declaration of Intention to Marry has been filed. However, if neither party to the marriage is an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy, banns are automatically waived or posted for a shorter period of time which may vary from one day to a week depending on the town hall regulations. We may assist you in the process. 

*DOCUMENTS TO TAKE TO THE REGISTER OFFICE

When you go to the register office, you need to take proof of your name, age and nationality. For example your:

  • valid passport
  • birth certificate
  • national identity card from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • certificate of registration
  • certificate of naturalisation
  • biometric residence card or permit
  • travel document

If you’ve changed your name, you must bring proof - eg a copy of a deed poll.

The registrar also needs proof of your address, for example a:

  • valid UK or EEA driving licence
  • gas, water or electricity bill from the last 3 months
  • bank or building society statement from the last month
  • council tax bill from the last 12 months
  • mortgage statement from the last 12 months
  • current tenancy agreement letter from your landlord confirming you live there and including your landlord’s name, address and their signature dated within the last 7 days

Check with your local register office if they require a photo ID

You might need other documents if you don’t have a valid passport and you were born after 1983 - check with the register office.

You each need to pay a £35 fee when you attend the register office to give notice. It can be more if you or your partner are from outside EEA or Switzerland.

If you’ve been divorced or widowed

If you’ve been married or in a civil partnership before, you need to take either:

  • a decree absolute or final order
  • the death certificate of your former partner

A foreign divorce will usually be recognised in England and Wales if it was valid in the country where it took place.

 

The registrar will check your overseas divorce documents and may have to get in touch with the General Register Office to confirm whether your marriage or civil partnership can go ahead.