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Registering Your Marriage In Italy

Francesco and I were married three times technically. First in the city building in Salt Lake, second in Park City a week later, third in Italy six months later. We chose to do it that way to make everyone happy. It was a lot of work. I wouldn’t recommend it. We married in the city building so we could get a jump-start on the paperwork. Why? Because after you get married in the US you CANNOT RETURN TO ITALY until you have a spouse visa. It’s bullshit. So, I would recommend doing things as fast as possible if you do it that way. The steps are fairly basic.

Marriage Shit

Register Marriage License with Italy (Getting Your Spouse Visa)

  1. File for a marriage license. In Utah this took one hour. It varies from state to state.
  2. Get Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate. You ask for this at the same place to get your marriage license. In Utah they don’t have a certified one. So they just stamped it a few times in various places and called it good.
  3. Have county clerk certify the signature. You have to ask while you are at the county building. Utah doesn’t do this either and we were fine.
  4. Request an “apostle” from the secretary of state-Lieutenant Governor’s Office. This took us about 20 minutes and cost like 90 bucks (bastards!).
  5. Obtain Translation Of All Documents Into Italian (the marriage certificate). I scanned everything and emailed it to a translator that I had found on the Italian Consulate website. She translated everything and emailed it back to me. This took 24 hours. She’s super nice.
  6. Attach Application Form to request registration certificate. You print all of this off from the Italian Consulate website.
  7. Attach copy of Francesco’s Passport. Self explanatory.
  8. Get passport pictures.
  9. Deliver in person or mail all above documents to Consulate General. If you deliver it in person it is a million times faster. Also, it took me three days instead of two weeks because I told the woman working that I missed my husband. She felt bad, finished it all on her own very fast and called me back on her day off to pick it up. It was in San Francisco. I love her. Seriously.

In Summary:

Fill out Visa application forms  and registering the marriage form and this declaration form

Submit with your passport (which the Italian consulate keeps)

A copy of marriage certificate (the certificate must have the apostle seal) and a COPY of it all translated into Italian

A copy of your partner’s passport.

Passport Photos of yourself

Go to the Italian Consulate for your area. You can find out which one services you online. If you don’t see your city/state listed it’s because you don’t have one. You can find out which place represents you. For example, Utah doesn’t have one. I have to go to San Francisco. Lame.


When You Get To Italy:

“Foreigners must report to the ‘Questura’ of the city where they are residing in, to obtain a ‘Permesso di Soggiorno’ (Stay Permit), within one week from entry into Italy. To obtain an extension of the ‘Permesso di Soggiorno’, the foreigner must file an application with the ‘Questura’ before the expiration of the original stay permit.” You register where your husband is a resident. I am a resident of the great city of Cassino. Though I live in Florence (thank you God!).



Sophie Leddick April 22, 2015 at 9:56 am

Hello M.E. I just found your blog yesterday. I’m moving to Italy in 6 weeks. Your blog has been the most comforting thing I’ve run into in a while. The Italian boyfriend and I are planning to get married in September so I can stay there and work. We’ll plan a larger wedding for our community in a year or two, but neither one of us cares hugely about the wedding at this point in the journey. However, does getting married in Italy require all the documents you’ve posted here? I’ve understood all I will need is my birth certificate and the permesso di soggiorno. Will the complicated part be, as you said, getting it registered in the U.S? And thank you sincerely for making your story public, I’ve cried and laughed out loud while reading.

Marisella Cruz May 26, 2015 at 5:38 am

Hi! I am not M.E, but I am an American that got married in Italy. Of course as most things in Italy it is not that simple. You have to have an “Apostille” attached to your birth certificate in your home state (I did this by mail). then you have to have it translated into Italian. Then you have to go to the Italian Embassy in the state that you are a resident, or the closest one, and bring 2 witnesses that can confirm that you are not legally married in the US. Then they give you a piece of paper that you have to bring to the US embassy in Italy and they give you a paper (cant remember the name), then you have to bring it to an office in Italy to have it made official (they tell you where at the embassy). Then you have to go into the commune where you plan to marry in Italy, 30 days before you wish to marry, and fill out the paperwork because they have to post it in the commune for anyone who may want to “object”…THEN you can get married :). Then starts all of the paperwork for your permesso di soggiorno, which is another story altogether…

you can find a list of everything you need here:


I advise reading it in detail. Its easy but time consuming.

If you already found all of these things then I apologize for repeating it!

Good luck and enjoy Italy!

roberto September 21, 2015 at 7:19 pm

If a foreigner marries an Italian citizen then that person will receive from the Questura a “Carta di Soggiorno” not a “Permesso di Soggiorno”. The Carta di Soggiorno does not expire (except to renew the photo every five years) but the person will most likely have his or her Italian Citizenship after one year if he or she has children, two years if no children and three years if he or she is living outside of Italy.


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