On February 13, 1980, the Great and General Council of San Marino adopted a law which finally abolished the titles of nobility. The mere fact of granting nobility by the government of republican state deserves attention. Granting nobility was from the very beginning related to the acquisition of San Marino citizenship. It was granted mainly to gain support among the rural gentry. Later, a honorary citizenship of San Marino became a prestigious award – an expression of gratitude for contribution made to the republic or recognition of outstanding achievements in the arts and culture. It was granted for life or hereditarily. Adopting the Nobility Law of 1931 was probably an attempt to use the institution of nobility to legitimate the new Fascist regime. In 1946 that law was repealed. In 1980 granting of nobility titles was finally prohibited. The article describes the 500 year history of the nobility in San Marino and its regulation, as well as tries to answer the question about the functions of nobility in the republic.