Whether you need a birth certificate for legal reasons (such as an application for for dual citizenship) or you are gathering documentation for a family tree project, you can obtain a birth certificate (certificato di nascita) from Italy through the office of the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the appropriate birth province or municipality.

Gather all pertinent information (birthplace, birth date, parents or name of person given at birth) about the person whose information you are requesting appear on a birth certificate. You'll also need any identifying documentation that proves your relationship to that person. Keep in mind that without all of the information, the Italian registrars who process these requests may be unable to find a certificate or unwilling to assist you.

Use the "Directory of Italian Cities and Towns" to locate the website of the appropriate Italian birth location and mailing address of the office of the Registrar of Vital Statistics for that area. Keep in mind that this resource is in Italian. You can use a free online translation program like Yahoo! Babel Fish (babelfish.yahoo.com) to translate the sites. Copy the Italian website address into the "Translate a web page" field, select "English to Italian" from the drop down menu and click "Translate" to see the translated site.

Fill out, date and sign the "Certificato di Nascita" request form provided by the U.S. Department of State and any additional forms requested by the registrar's office.

Purchase International Reply Coupons to include with your request to cover the cost of shipping the birth certificate to the United States. Italian authorities do not pay shipping.

Mail your request and identifying documentation.