Documents Necessary for Americans to Get Married on lake Como
American citizens, wishing to get married on lake Como, have to comply with a number of regulations and provide specific documentation that needs to be prepared both in Italy and in the USA. Please, consider the below information as a general guideline for U.S. citizens, planning to get married on lake Como.
NB! Marriages involving U.S. citizens can by no means be performed by the U.S. Consuls nor take place on the premises of the U.S. Consulate.
In Italy you can have a civil wedding, Catholic wedding or symbolic wedding. The civil wedding is the one which makes the union legally binding and so no matter what ceremony you choose you will need to prepare the following documents in order for your lake Como wedding to be legal in the USA.
Documents Required by US Citizens for a Civil Union on lake Como
To get married on lake Como, an American Citizen must present two documents: Nulla Osta (or affidavit) released by the American Consulate in Italy and legalized with an Apostille and an Atto Notorio released by the Italian Consulate in the USA. In case the citizen is a resident of Italy, he/she will also have to request banns publications at his/her local Commune.
How to obtain ATTO NOTORIO
The Atto Notorio is a certificate of no impediment to marriage, obtained by the American citizen, after a sworn declaration made in front of the Italian Consul in the USA. There must be at least two witnesses (must be over 18 and not related to the applicant or either of applicants), testifying under oath that, according to the laws to which the citizen is subject in the USA, there is no legal obstacle to his/her marriage.
In order to obtain an Atto Notorio issued by this Consulate applicants must schedule an appointment giving one month notice.
ATTO NOTORIO OBTAINED IN THE USA
Documents needed to obtain an Atto Notorio in the USA for each of the spouses:
- Long Form Birth Certificate with the full names of the parents (original or certified true copy) legalized in the USA and legally translated into Italian (this translation can be made by a legal translator in the USA)
- If applicable – evidence of the termination of any previous wedding (original or certified true copy) legalized in the USA and legally translated into Italian (this translation can be made by a legal translator in the USA)
- If applicable – name change evidence (original or certified true copy) legalized in the USA and legally translated into Italian (this translation can be made by a legal translator in the USA)
- If applicable– widow status evidence (original or certified true copy) legalized in the USA and legally translated into Italian (this translation can be made by a legal translator in the USA)
- Passport of each of the spouses and each of the witnesses.
- Atto Notorio is valid for 90 days.
How to obtain NULLA OSTA
- The required “Nulla Osta” Affidavit form is available for download. Please, print out and complete the form beforehand, but do not sign it until you are in front of a consular officer in one of the consular sections in Italy responsible for your wedding city. Please, find below the Consular Districts you might wish to consider. If you are already in Italy the Consular Districts in Rome or Naples are the most convenient.
- Be sure to book a meeting with the US consulate via their website at least two months before your arrival in Italy. Some consular sections are only opened to the public a couple of days a week, so be sure you plan your trip and wedding in Italy accordingly.
Notarial services are performed only by appointment.
To schedule a notarial appointment in Rome, click here
To schedule a notarial appointment in Florence, click here
To schedule a notarial appointment in Naples, click here
To schedule a notarial appointment in Milan, click here
- The fee to the consulate can be paid at the consulate for the equivalent of 50 US$ per Nulla Osta (credit cards are usually accepted).
- The Nulla Osta will have to be LEGALIZED at the local Prefettura, adding an administrative fee stamp of 16,00€ per document to the amount. The Prefettura Office (Uffico Legalizzazioni of the Prefettura) will legalise (stamp) your Nulla Osta so that it is valid. You must take it to the same city in which you had your Nulla Osta Embassy appointment. Purchase a Marca di Bollo (stamp) for each Nulla Osta. They can be purchased at any Tabacchi and cost €16.00 each. Go to the ‘Uffico Legalizzazioni’. Take a ticket and wait your turn. As appointments cannot be booked, we recommend you get there as early as possible to maximize your chance of being called before the office closes at midday. If your number is not called, you will have to return the next day the office is opened (they are not open every day). It is important you consider this when making your travel plans to ensure you allow enough time.
With the Atto Notorio and the Legalized Nulla Osta, the American Couple NON RESIDING IN ITALY will then meet the local town hall registrar one-two working days before the wedding, together with an interpreter (my colleagues), to sign a sworn declaration (witnesses are not needed at this stage). After that, the wedding can take place as planned.
A marriage is considered valid in Italy if performed under civil or religious auspices. A civil ceremony is performed at the city hall or an authorize venue on lake Como and a translator must interpret if at least one of the parties does not understand the Italian language. A religious ceremony is performed by a Roman Catholic priest or by a clergyman of any other denomination authorized by the Italian Ministry of Interior to perform a religious ceremony.
You do not need to register your wedding in the US, but to make sure all the organizations accept your marriage certificate. I will take your marriage certificate to the local Prefettura to have it legalized by placing an Apostille on the certificate. This process is obligatory, however, not doing so may result in some organizations not accepting the document though.