The Italian Birth Certificate

Learn how you can apply for an Italian birth certificate or legalize a foreign one for validity in Italy.

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A birth certificate is useful to support immigration-related activities. This includes activities like Town Hall registration or dependents visa application. With this guide, you will find out how to obtain an Italian birth certificate, or even legalize a foreign one to be valid in Italy.

Different types of birth certificate in Italy

Based on the purpose and information included, there are 3 different types of Italian Birth Certificates:

  • Birth Certificate (certificato di nascita) – it certifies the applicant’s first and last name, date and place of birth. The Town Hall will issue the document free of stamp duties and it will have an unlimited validity.
  • Act of Birth (atto di nascita) – this is a true copy of the original document present in the Registry of Civil Status in Italy. It contains all the data related to a person’s birth. It may include potential annotations, like marriage, change of name/surname etc. This information can be useful during immigration processes, when an applicant needs to justify a change of name and therefore a mismatch between the name reported on their passport and the name on their marriage certificate.
  • Birth Extract (birth extract) – further divided into 2 types:
    • Abstract of the Act of Birth (estratto per riassunto dell’atto di nascita) – a summary of the Act of Birth.
    • Birth extract indicating paternity and maternity (estratto di nascita con l’indicazione della paternità e maternità) – it is identical to the previous “estratto di nascita” but also specifies first and last names of the parents. This is useful when applying for certain Visas abroad.

Unless specified otherwise, this article refers to Birth Certificate when writing about its legalization process.

Validity of foreign birth certificates in Italy

For legal validity in Italy, applicants must first legalize their foreign birth certificate. The legalization must be done in the country that issued the certificate. The legalization process might involve an attestation from the Italian diplomatic-consular representation abroad. This, however, does not apply if international conventions on the exemptions of legalization apply.

If you want to know how to legalize your birth certificate in Italy, take a look at our guide.

Italian translation of birth certificates

To be valid in Italy, a birth certificate also needs a translation into Italian. This does not apply if the institution issuing the certificate uses a multilingual format complying with international conventions.

If translated, the birth certificate in Italy must include a stamp for “traduzione conforme“, certifying the validity of the translation. If translators are recognized as an official profession in the country of origin, then they can validate the translation. The consular office will then legalize their signature.

However, in countries where translating is not an official profession, the consular office must also add a certification of conformity.

Validity of Italian birth certificates abroad

Similarly, Italian birth certificates to be used in foreign countries must be legalized by the relevant authorities. Where no international convention applies, the certificate must undergo a full legalization process.

This includes 2 steps:

  1. Attestation by the local “Prefettura” – the Prefettura will legalize only birth certificates issued for foreign use and wet signed. Electronic signatures are usually not accepted as per current law dispositions;
  2. Attestation by the diplomatic-consular representation of the country where the certificate must be used. Usually, the legalization process requires a fee to pay. Note that many consulates have their own list of official translators.

If you want to know how to legalize your Italian birth certificate for use abroad, read our guide.

Apostille of birth certificates

If the birth certificate is intended for countries that have signed the Hague Convention – for the Abolition of the Legalization of Foreign Public Documents – the legalization process is no longer necessary. Instead, applicants will only need to apply for and affix the Apostille Stamp.

In this case, the applicant can avail of a simplified process that does not involve the consular attestation.

Have a look here for the full list of countries that have ratified the Hague Convention and the competent authorities that can affix the apostille.

If you want to know how to get an apostille for your birth certificate in Italy, have a look at our legalization and apostille services.

For more information on apostille, take a look at our guide.

Transcription of Italian citizens birth acts

According to the Italian principle of citizenship by birth (Ius Sanguinis), children of Italian nationals, even if born abroad and possibly holding another citizenship, are Italian citizens. As such, they have an obligation to transcribe their birth acts into the Italian registers.

Applicants residing abroad who wish to apply for the transcription of their or their children birth acts must do so through the competent diplomatic or consular Representation.

The application must include the following documents:

  • Birth Act (Atto di Nascita) in original or true copy, issued by the Civil Status Office of the foreign country. It also needs to be legalized and translated.
  • Declaration proving the Italian citizenship of at least one of the parents (if not registered in the consular register).

Alternatively, the Italian citizen may present the birth certificate in Italy, duly legalized and translated. They can do so by directly presenting it to the relevant Italian municipality.

Please note that birth acts issued by countries that have signed to the Vienna Convention – which provides for the issuance of a multilingual form – are exempt from legalization and translation.

How we can help you get your documents legalized

  1. Studio A&P replies within 1 business day from your request through our contact form; you will receive a dedicated quotation with timeline and costs needed;
  2. The legalization process starts the same day the quotation is accepted, by paying the quotation fee (through paypal or wire transfer).
  1. First, you have to send the original documents to Studio A&P (in some cases, however, copies of the documents are enough);
  2. After receiving the documents, we will deposit them on your behalf at the competent authorities’ offices;
  3. Finally, once they are ready, Studio A&P sends you back the legalized documents.


The timing for apostille a document is around one week, depending on the province.

On the other hand, the timing for the consulate legalization, instead, is around two weeks, depending on the competent consulate.

  1. Full reimbursement 100% if the service is cancelled during the same day;
  2. Reimbursement of 30% after the notification of commencing the legalization process.

DHL courier and delivery costs depend on the destination from Italy and are excluded from the quotation.

Please Note: fees for legalization of documents vary based on your needs. Prices start from a minimum of €100,00 and increase based on:

  • Your Country;
  • Translation;
  • Type of document;
  • and other.

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Regulatory Framework

Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 on the Abolition of Legalization and the Establishment of the Apostille

Reference (Italian only)

Vienna Convention of September 8th, 1976


Presidential Decree 396/2000

Reference (Italian only)

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