Guidance

Italy: notarial and documentary services

How someone in Italy can get documents legalised, witnessed or certified, take an oath of British citizenship and obtain informative notes.

Informative notes

You can download the following notes to show the Italian authorities:

Shipping

Pleasure vessels going to sea: British rules on licences: Sailing (PDF, 106KB, 2 pages) English and Italian

Seafarers on UK ships: UK rules for validating service: Sea time validation (PDF, 111KB, 2 pages) English and Italian

UK marriage

How the UK authorities recognise marriage:

Recognition or validity of marriage (PDF, 47.4KB, 2 pages)

Riconoscimento o validità di un matrimonio (PDF, 53.2KB, 2 pages)

Birth registration

How a father’s name can be added to a birth registration document at a later stage in the UK:

Recognising a child in the UK (PDF, 70.9KB, 2 pages)

Riconoscimento del figlio nel Regno Unito (PDF, 80.7KB, 3 pages)

Civil status or residency certificates

Why the British embassy does not issue civil status or residency certificates:

Family certificate and civil status (PDF, 23.6KB, 1 page)

Certificato di famiglia e stato civile (PDF, 24.8KB, 1 page)

Cremating a British national in Italy

Summary of the law on cremating a British national in Italy: Cremation (PDF, 55KB, 2 pages) English and Italian

Transfering remains or ashes to the UK

How to get a consular repatriation certificate (Modulo Nulla Osta al trasferimento di ceneri, salme, resti, ossa):

Procedure for Italian funeral directors (PDF, 104KB, 3 pages) English and Italian

Consular repatriation certificate form for funeral directors (PDF, 1.99MB, 2 pages) Italian only

Name change: proving your identity

In Italy it is not common practice to change your name through marriage or by other means.

You can request a printed record of your names (known as a subject access request) held by the UK Passport Office, even if you’ve not held a passport in that name.

Alternatively, if you have changed your name once, you can provide a UK deed poll.

Before you make a subject access request or get a deed poll, you should check with the Italian authorities whether they will accept these as proof of your identity. You will need to have the documents legalised and translated.

You can also show the following explanatory notes to the Italian authorities:

Change of name in the UK (PDF, 120KB, 3 pages)

Modifica del nome nel Regno Unito (PDF, 136KB, 3 pages)

If you are still experiencing difficulties with the local authorities regarding inconsistencies in your documentation due to a change of name, please contact the British Embassy for assistance.

British citizenship oath

The Home Office will send your certificate of British citizenship to the British Embassy Rome. The embassy will contact you once the certificate arrives and arrange an appointment to administer the oath of citizenship.

You do not need to pay a fee for this service at the embassy.

Services from other providers

For any services not listed above, you must contact alternative providers, for example a UK-qualified solicitor practising in Italy or an Italian notary.

Documents required in the UK

You should contact a UK-qualified solicitor practising in Italy for documents required in the UK or another English-speaking country that recognises the status of a UK solicitor.

The Italian authorities will not normally accept documents witnessed by a UK solicitor – before you hire a solicitor, you should check whether the organisation you are sending the documents to will accept them.

A UK solicitor in Italy can issue or witness documents, including:

  • certified copies of original documents, including passports
  • powers of attorney
  • statutory declarations
  • affidavits
  • affirmations and oaths

Documents required in Italy

You should contact an Italian notary to authenticate documents required by the Italian authorities.

Italian notaries are qualified lawyers and government-appointed officers who:

  • witness and register property transfers and powers of attorney
  • supervise payments such as stamp duty
  • certify Italian documents as true copies of the originals
  • authenticate signatures on Italian documents

Some English-speaking notaries may be prepared to certify copies or witness documents in English, for use abroad.

Before you hire a notary, you should check whether the organisation you are sending the documents to will accept them.

Legalise a document

The Italian authorities may ask you to get a UK document legalised or ‘apostilled’.

The UK authorities will not legalise a document certified by a UK solicitor working in Italy. If the UK Legalisation Office requires you to have a document certified before they will legalise it, you must use a UK solicitor or notary working in the UK.

UK education documents

If you need a certified copy of your education document, you should contact a UK solicitor working in the UK or Italy.

If you need to authenticate a translation of your education document, you should contact an Italian translator and ask them if they can provide a sworn translation (traduzione giurata).

If you need your qualification evaluated in Italy, contact ENIC-NARIC.

If you need a Dichiarazione di valore (DV), contact the Italian consulate in London. Once you have a DV, you may need an Equipollenza – you should check whether this is required with your employer or the Italian authorities.

Italian lawyers (avvocato)

A lawyer who qualified in Italy (avvocato) – unlike a UK solicitor or Italian notary – does not have the authority to certify legal documents for use in the UK or in Italy.

Data protection

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) holds and uses data in line with relevant UK legislation.

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 27 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. update to text on changing your name November 2018
  2. Updated informative note on cremation 25 July 2018
  3. Added information about proving your identity to the Italian authorities if you've changed your name.
  4. Updated 29 May 2018
  5. Complete revision of the content to make sure it is up to date and accurate.
  6. Updated Feb 6 2018
  7. Informative note and nulla osta form updated November 2017
  8. New procedure for transfer of remains/ashes certificate - nuova procedura per nulla osta al trasferimento di ceneri, salma, resti e ossa nel Regno Unito.
  9. More information on legalising documents in Italy.
  10. The UK govt no longer applies a fee to the repatriation of remains certificate.
  11. added informative notes
  12. changed email address for British Embassy's consular section.
  13. First published.