How to get an Apostille on Documents Issued in Italy
At this point, almost everyone has heard of an Apostille, but for the benefit of those who haven’t, we have created this article to explain clearly, everything related to getting an Apostille in Italy. We hope that even those who are familiar can catch something new to help them the next time they find themselves needing legalization on an official document for international transactions.
What is an Apostille/Apostille Significato?
An "apostille" in Italy is a special approval stamp. It's used to show that your Italian document is real and official. This stamp is important if you want to use your Italian documents in other countries that also use apostilles.
Italy is part of an agreement called the Hague Convention. This agreement says that if a document has an apostille, it should be accepted in any other country that's also part of this agreement. So, an apostille from Italy makes it easier for you to use Italian documents like birth certificates or legal papers in these other countries without extra hassle.
Think of an apostille as an international pass for your documents. It tells other countries, "Italy says this document is true and you can trust it." This way, you don't have to go through many checks in each country. The apostille does that job for you.
What Does an Apostille in Italy Look Like?
An apostille in Italy looks like a special paper or stamp attached to your document. It's usually a square-shaped sheet of paper. On this paper, there are important details written in a specific order. These details include:
- The word "Apostille" is at the top.
- Information about the document, like what it is (for example, a birth certificate).
- The name of the official in Italy who checked the document.
- The city in Italy where the apostille was issued.
- The date when the apostille was given.
- A unique number that identifies this specific apostille.
- The seal or stamp of the Italian authority that issued the apostille.
This apostille paper is attached to your original document, making them one piece. This way, when you show your document in another country, they see the apostille and know your document is real and accepted internationally.
Italy's Apostille Requirements
Depending on the details of your needs or situations, the Italian authority has a few requirements for you to issue an Apostille. We share these requirements below:
- Official Documents: First, the document you have must be an official one. This means it should be a recognized paper like a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or any other official or legal document.
- Certified Translation: Sometimes, your document might be in Italian, but the country where you want to use it speaks a different language. In this case, you need a certified translation in Italy. A professional translator makes an official copy of your document in the new language. For example, if you’re going to an English-speaking country, you would get a certified translation from Italian to English.
- Getting the Apostille Stamp: After you have your official document, and its certified translation, if needed, you should take it to the Public Prosecutor's office in Italy. There, they check your documents to make sure everything is correct. If it is, they put an "apostille stamp" on your document.
Documents that Require Apostille in Italy
|Documents that Require Apostille in Italy
|Documents that DON’T Require Apostille in Italy
|Birth certificates, Death certificates, Divorce certificates, marriage certificates etc.
|Extracts from the Italian trade register
|Court order, Power of Attorney or Court statements
|Land register extract
|Documents issued or certified by a notary public
|Documents from countries that are not in the Hague Convention
|Certified translations of your official documents
|Medical records and prescriptions for personal use
|Patents and financial statements
|Informal notes or non-official correspondence
Difference Between an Apostille and a Legalization
An apostille and a legalization are both ways to make your Italy-issued documents acceptable in other countries, but they are used in different situations.
An Apostille is a stamp that is used when the country where you want to use your Italian document is part of the Hague Convention. Countries in this agreement have decided to accept this apostille stamp. It's like a shortcut to prove your document is real. An Apostilled document can be used in any of the countries that are members of the Hague Convention.
While a legalization is needed when the country where you'll use the document is not part of the Hague Convention. Here, the process is longer. For an Italian document to be legalized, the individual first needs to have it verified in Italy. This usually involves getting the document certified by a relevant Italian authority, such as a notary public or a government office, depending on the type of document. Once this step is completed, the next phase involves taking the document to the consulate or embassy of the country where it will be used.
At the consulate or embassy, officials carry out a thorough examination of the document. They ensure that the document and its certifications are authentic and meet their country's standards. After this verification, the consulate or embassy then adds their official stamp or certificate to the document. This stamp or certificate confirms that the document has been legally verified and is now acceptable for use in their country.
Where to get an Apostille in Italy
- You should go to the Public Prosecutor's office to get an apostille in Italy. This office is a part of the Italian government. They are in charge of making sure that your documents are real. When you bring your documents to them, they will look at them carefully. If everything is okay, they will put a special stamp on your document.
- On the other hand, The Prefectures, instead, are responsible for legalizing documents signed by other Italian Authorities, such as Registry Office Functionaries or educational institutions.
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Who Issues Apostilles in Italy?
In Italy, apostilles are issued by the Public Prosecutor's Office at local courts for judicial and civil documents. For other administrative documents, the prefecture or specific regional authorities handle it.
Who can Certify Documents in Italy?
Certified translators, notaries, or public officials can certify documents in Italy. This means they check and confirm that copies are true and match the original documents.
Are Apostille Translations Needed in Italy?
Yes, if the apostilled document is in Italian and will be used in a non-Italian-speaking country, it needs a certified translation, usually into English or the language of the country where the document will be used.