The marital status

Civil status registrations were introduced in some Italian regions starting from 1806, following their annexation to the French Empire and the introduction of the Civil Code. This system remained in force until the fall of Napoleon in 1815.

In the Italian states restored after that date, the solutions adopted were different. In the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, roughly corresponding to present-day southern Italy, the civil status has its continuity from 1809 onwards. In Sicily the civil registry was introduced only in 1820.

In the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, with the Restoration, a mixed system was implemented in which the lay authority partially regained control over the civil status: with the motu proprio of 18 June 1817 the Civil Status Office was established, a central body dependent on the Secretariat of royal law with coordination and supervision tasks over the work of parish priests and chancellors in matters of civil status and management of the related documents in the territory of the entire Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

A copy of the registers compiled by the parish priests had to be sent to Florence to the civil status office. The same happened, starting from 1837, in the Kingdom of Sardinia with the introduction of the Regulation for the keeping of registers intended to ascertain civil status, annexed to the letter patent of 20 June: this introduced the obligation for parish priests to transmit to Prefecture Courts one of the two originals of the civil status documents which would then be delivered to the territorially competent municipalities.

Civil status registrations began continuously in all regions and provinces only after the unification of Italy in 1866.

Naturally in the regions acquired by the Kingdom of Italy after the Unification, the civil status series begin after 1866: for Lazio and Rome from 1870, from 1871 in Veneto and Friuli (except the area left to the Austrians), in Trentino Alto Adige and in the remaining provinces of Friuli after 1918, i.e. at the end of the First World War.

Civil status registers, mainly for birth, death and marriage certificates, are kept by the municipalities. They are compiled in duplicate: one is kept at the municipality and the other, until 2011, was delivered to the competent Court which, once the conservation times established by law have expired, proceeds with the payment into the corresponding State Archives.

Until 2001, the matter of civil status was in fact regulated by the r. d. 9 july 1939, n. 1238, Civil status order. Following the D.P.R. 3 November 2000, n. 369 Regulation for the revision and simplification of the civil status system, which came into force on 1 April 2001, the supervision of the maintenance of the civil status by the municipalities has been devolved to the Prefectures, just as they have since been destined to merge the original seconds of the registers.