The Equestrian Order of Saint Marino has five ranks:
- Knight of Grand Cross
- Knight Grand Officer
- Knight Major Officer or Commendatore
- Knight Officer
The Grand Mastership of the Equestrian Order of Saint Marino belongs to the Great and General Council and the pro-tempore Captains Regent, as repositories of executive power, perform its duties in its name. They are the only ones entitled to wear the insignia of this Order while performing public functions and during solemn events.
The Equestrian Order of Saint Marino is conferred by the Great and General Council (Parliament), upon proposal of Their Excellencies the Captains Regent of the Republic of San Marino, the oldest Republic in the world, which is still independent and sovereign. In the past, it granted asylum to refugees during the Risorgimento. It was a patriotic land of freedom that offered Italy brave volunteers and welcomed 100,000 refugees during the Second World War.
The Equestrian Order of Saint Marino, from which San Marino nationals are excluded, is conferred only for political, artistic and scientific merits. The first rank of the Order is conferred only upon Sovereigns, members of reigning families, State senior officials and exceptionally upon those who have rendered extraordinary services to our Republic. This Order is recognised for all purposes by the Italian Government, as well as by all other States; therefore, those who have been awarded this honour can boast such insignia and the chivalric title. Among the past recipients of the Order of Saint Marino are: H.M. Vittorio Emanuele III, Cardinal Pacelli-former Pope Pius XII, Giosuè Carducci, Luigi Cibrario, Gaspare Finali, etc.