In order to be valid in Italy, deeds and documents issued by foreign authorities shall be legalised by the Italian diplomatic-consular Representations abroad.
These deeds and documents, except for those drafted on multilingual standard forms provided for by international conventions, shall also be translated into Italian.
Translations shall be stamped “per traduzione conforme” (i.e. declared to be in conformity with the original). In the countries where there are the so-called “officially recognized translators” conformity can be certified by the said translator, whose signature is then legalised by the consular office.
In the countries where the legal system does not envisage such translators, the certificate of conformity shall necessarily be issued by the consular office.
In order to proceed with legalisation, the applicant shall schedule an appointment with the consular office go there with the (original) document to be legalised.
In order to obtain a certificate attesting that the translation is in conformity with the original, the applicant shall schedule an appointment with the consular office and go there with the original document in the foreign language and the translation.
The above stated deeds and certificates shall be subject to the payment of the fees set out in the Consular Fee Schedule (Tariffa consolare) currently in force
In the countries that have signed the Hague convention of October 5, 1961, abolishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents, this is replaced by an “apostille”.
Therefore a person from a country that has adhered to this Convention does not need to go to the consular office and ask for legalisation, but can go to the competent national authority designated by each State – and indicated for each country in the instrument of accession to the Convention itself (usually the Ministry for Foreign Affairs) – to have the document apostilled. In this way the document is perfected and is recognised as valid in Italy.
The updated list of the countries that have ratified the Hague Convention, and of the competent authorities authorized to affix the apostille for each of the States, is available on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law: http://www.hcch.net/.