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There are always more and more couples falling in love and getting married abroad or later deciding to live in another country, perhaps because they are of different nationalities and decide to live in one of their two countries, or perhaps they simply move by choice or for professional reasons. As we always say, before leaving or moving, it is a good idea to have all documents in order, also getting sworn translations and legalisation. In this article, we will discuss a document that is essential for couples: the marriage certificate, which must be translated, sworn and possibly legalised, or authenticated, to be able to proceed with recording the marriage in another country.
What is a marriage certificate?
The marriage certificate, while containing specific characteristics for each country, is a short document of recurrent elements: name and surname of spouses, place and date of the marriage, institution issuing the certificate. Sometimes additional elements are present, such as the name of the parish or the official celebrating the marriage or the witnesses for the couple.
An important element often contained in the marriage certificates is the choice of the marital property regime, which governs economic relationships between spouses in view of a possible future separation and subsequent divorce.
Where are marriage certificates issued?
Regarding certificates issued outside of Italy, they can usually be requested at the civil registry office of the city where the marriage took place.
In Italy, the marriage certificate is recorded, or registered, in the city where the marriage took place, which usually coincides with the city of residence of the spouses. In the event that the couple live in different cities, the marriage is recorded in both cities. Nonetheless, the complete marriage certificate is never provided, but rather a summary containing the most relevant information regarding the marriage (spouses’ names and surnames, date of the marriage, marital property regime). This summary is valid for six months.
Why should a marriage certificate be translated?
The translation of the marriage certificate is necessary to register a marriage which has taken place abroad in an Italian city (in this case, a translation from a foreign language into Italian will be necessary) or, vice versa, for the marriage celebrated in Italy to be recognised abroad (translation from Italian into the foreign language). Moreover, often it is necessary to translate the certificate to obtain citizenship in the countries which grant it through marriage.
Marriage certificate issued abroad: how does it work?
Before proceeding with the translation of the marriage certificate obtained outside of Italy, it is necessary to be sure that, in the case of countries who have joined the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, an apostille is included, which is a stamp legalising, or authenticating, a document for use abroad (for further details on the contents of the apostille and on documents that require it, we recommend reading our article on the topic).
For documents issued by countries which have not joined the Hague Convention, obtaining legalisation through the Foreign Ministry or consulate of the country in question is required. The apostille or legalisation must be requested by the person named in the document.
Once the document is ready with the apostille or legalised, the certificate can be translated into Italian and then sworn at an Italian court. Our professional translation agency, with industry expertise, can provide you with quality service and a translation ready to be submitted to the relevant authority.
Marriage certificate issued in Italy: how does it work?
For marriage certificates issued in Italy, an apostille is required (Italy is a member of the Hague Convention), which the person named in the document must request through the Prefecture of the province of residence.
Once the apostille has been obtained, the document is ready to be translated into the foreign language and sworn by our translation agency, which in this case will also take care of obtaining the apostille for the translation as well. Now the translated marriage certificate is ready to be presented to the authorities of the foreign country.
What to do?
As mentioned, to have a marriage certificate translated and sworn, once the apostille has been obtained, all you will need to do is contact OLÈXICA, who will accompany you step-by-step in all your needs and will provide you with a translation ready to be used in Italy or abroad.