Documents issued by foreign authorities must be legalized and translated to be enforceable in Italy. Here’s how to do it.
To be enforceable in Italy, acts and documents issued by foreign authorities (act of marriage/civil union, birth/death/citizenship certificate, etc.) must be “legalized” by the Italian diplomatic-consular authorities abroad.
These acts and documents must also be translated into Italian, unless they are drawn-up on multilingual forms (see below).
Translations must bear the stamp “per traduzione conforme“. In countries where professional translators are officially recognized by the local judicial system, this conformity can be attested to by the translator himself, whose signature is then legalized by the consular office.
In countries where this professional figure is not recognized, a “certification of conformity” (certificazione di conformità) must be affixed to the document by the consular office.
How to request legalization and certification of conformity
To obtain the legalization of the document, the applicant must present himself, after making an appointment through the website or contact center, at the consular office with the original act to be legalized.
In order to obtain the certification of conformity of the translation, the applicant must present himself, after making an appointment through the website or contact center, at the consular office with the original document in the foreign language and its translation.
The aforementioned legalization and certification are subject to the payment of fees under the currently existing Consular Fee (Tariffa consolare).
Apostille: what is it and where to request it
If the act was drawn up in a country party to the Hague Convention dated October 5, 1961, legalization is not required but the act must carry the stamp “Apostille”, which can be requested by the interested party from the competent internal authority designated by each State, which is usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When the “Apostille” is affixed to the certificate this can be regularly recognized in Italy.n1
Please consider that the apostille must be affixed to both the act and to its translation. In fact, if, for example you intend to transcribe a foreign act, such as an act of marriage celebrated abroad, into the registers of an Italian Comune, you will need to have the Apostilled affixed to both your documents (act of marrigae and its translation).
Translation and legalization or apostille are required in many cases, including for example in order to request the Transcription of marriages celebrated abroad in the Italian Registers of Civil Status.
Having said the above, the easiest and fastest way to have your document recognized in Italy is to use the international multilingual form, if possible. In fact, if the act originated in a State party to the Vienna Convention dated September 8, 1976, the act in question can be drawn-up on the international multilingual form.n2 If you have this type of document, no legalization, translation or Apostille are required.
Therefore, if, for example, you would like to transcribe your marriage certificate at the Comune di Roma, in order to file your request, you will only need to deposit the multilingual form, a copy of your identity documents and fill in the required form in front of the employee.
In order to have your document drawn-up on a multilingual form, the only thing you have to do is the following. When you request your local (foreign) authority for an official act (an act of birth/marriage etc.), you should ask that your act is drawn-up on a multilingual form, instead of the traditional monolingual one.