Guidance

Notarial and documentary services guide for Italy

Documents, certificates, letters and notes available at British consulates in Italy.

Overview

You should note that notary and documentary services are no longer offered by the British Consular offices in Italy in cases where they can be performed by an alternative provider, for example a UK qualified solicitor practising in Italy, or an Italian notary able to deal with UK documents. Please see below for an explanation of alternative providers available in Italy to help you.

UK qualified solicitor in Italy

A UK qualified Solicitor practising in Italy has the authority to issue or witness documents, such as certified copies of original documents, certifications of identity, power of attorney, statutory declarations and affidavits and affirmations/ oaths only where these are required to be produced in the UK (or other English-speaking or Commonwealth countries which recognises the status of the UK Solicitor). This must be checked with the requesting authority. Documents witnessed by a UK Solicitor will not usually be recognised or accepted by authorities in Italy.

Please consult this list of UK qualified solicitors.

Please note that if you require certification of UK educational documents before having them legalised by the UK Legalisation Office, you will need to have this done in the UK by a UK notary/solicitor. UK-qualified solicitors in Italy are not able to provide this service. For more information please see our “Information Note: Certification of UK educational documents” at the bottom of this page.

Italian notary

A notary is a qualified lawyer who is also appointed as a public officer by the State. A notary in Italy is required by law to witness and register specific deeds and agreements such as property transfers, powers of attorney as well as supervise payments such as stamp duty. Notaries may certify Italian documents as true copies of the originals and authenticate signatures. This authentication will be recognised by any Italian authority. Some English-speaking notaries may be prepared to certify copies or witness documents in English, for use abroad.

Please consult this list of English-speaking notaries in Italy.

Italian lawyer (Avvocato)

An Italian qualified lawyer (Avvocato) unlike a solicitor or a notary, does not have the authority to certify legal documents for use in the UK or in Italy.

You should check that the end user of the document in the UK or elsewhere will be satisfied with the notarial service offered by an alternative provider. Your local British consulate cannot confirm this information, only the relevant authority can provide this confirmation.

Fees for the limited range of notarial and documentary services offered by the British embassy are paid on the day of the appointment and can be paid by credit card, debit card or in cash. These fees are not refundable.

Only the services listed below are offered by the British Embassy Rome. For all other notary services please consult one of the alternative providers detailed on the list. Notarial services are not available at the British Consulate General Milan.

The services we provide in Italy

The British Embassy Rome provides a number of free informative notes that can be downloaded and used in place of some certificates which may otherwise be charged for:

Information note: electoral roll

Information note: cremation

Administering an oath of British citizenship

Certificates of British citizenship are sent direct to the British Embassy Rome. You will be contacted by consular staff when the certificate has arrived to arrange a date for administering the oath of citizenship. This means you do not have to make an appointment on line. No further fee is charged at the embassy as a fee is paid previously to the Home Office.

Documents which requires legalisations for use abroad

If a document which is certified or witnessed by a notary in Italy is required to be legalized for use abroad, the document must be fixed with the Apostille, a form of authentication issued to public documents of one country for use in another country that participates in the 1961 Hague Convention (of which both the UK and Italy are contracting states). The Apostille is a certificate affixed to the document which confirms that the seal or stamp of the notary or public official issuing the document is reconigsed in that country. The office of the notary will usually arrange for the Apostille to be fixed at the office of the Prefettura – Ministro dell’Interno.

Solicitors practising in Italy are not recognised as public officials and therefore documents which they certify or witness in Italy cannot be legalized with the Apostille for use abroad.

Likewise, a notary practising in Italy will not be able to certify and legalise a foreign document for use in Italy. In order for documents issued in the UK to be legalized for use in Italy, they must be certified by a UK public authority or a Notary Public based in the UK and an Apostille fixed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.

Data protection

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998 (which may be viewed at www.ico.gov.uk. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy and consulates by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British Embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 16 April 2013
Last updated 6 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated Feb 6 2018
  2. Informative note and nulla osta form updated November 2017
  3. New procedure for transfer of remains/ashes certificate - nuova procedura per nulla osta al trasferimento di ceneri, salma, resti e ossa nel Regno Unito.
  4. More information on legalising documents in Italy.
  5. The UK govt no longer applies a fee to the repatriation of remains certificate.
  6. added informative notes
  7. changed email address for British Embassy's consular section.
  8. First published.