How to Marry in Thailand
Thailand is a beautiful country and a wonderful place to get married. Foreigners planning to marry in Thailand are free to marry other foreigners or Thai nationals. They can also register their marriage in Thailand which is recognized by most foreign countries.
While a variety of religious marriage ceremonies are available in Thailand, a Thai marriage officially begins when the couple appears at a district office (Amphoe) to register their marriage and collect their marriage certificate.
Although no one wants to think that their marriage may fail, it is strongly advisable to negotiate a premarital agreement before you get married to make sure your assets will be protected in case of divorce. Have a knowledgeable attorney draw up the premarital agreement to make sure it complies with applicable laws in Thailand and your home country.
Legal Age of Marriage Under Thai Law
You must be 17 to get married in Thailand. Thai law prohibits insane and mentally retarded persons from getting married. Marriage candidates must show that they are single, and prove that any previous marriage(s) are over. Women may not remarry for 310 days from the end of their previous marriage unless they can show they are not pregnant or have given birth since their last marriage ended. Thai law prohibits close blood or adopted relatives from marrying one another.
Marriage Registration Requirements
A Thai marriage does not take effect before until it is officially registered. A short registration ceremony will be held at any district office (Amphoe). Requests to hold the registration elsewhere in the district are sometimes granted for an additional fee.
Thai nationals are required to bring their national ID card and their House Registration Certificates with them when they register their marriage. (see Marriage Registration Required Documents)
Everyone who has been previously married also needs to bring translated divorce decrees or death certificates to the Amphoe to show their prior marriage(s) are over. Foreigners should also bring these documents to the embassy with them when they apply for their certification document.
Marriage Registration Procedures
Foreigners need to bring their passport, their arrival card, and a properly translated and legalized document from their embassy attesting that they are free to marry. Every country has slightly different procedures for issuing this certification. Check your embassy’s website to find up-to-date service hours, fees, and procedures. Once you get the official certification you will need to have the document translated into Thai. You can find ads for translation services online or in a local newspaper.
Once the documents have been translated, take them to the Legalization Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Legalization Division will compare the signatures of consular officials on your documents with their records to certify the documents are genuine. This should take about two days. Once you pick up the authenticated documents you will be ready to go to any Amphoe in Thailand and officially register your marriage.
When you arrive at the Amphoe to register your marriage, the registrar will make sure you have all the necessary documents with you. You and your fiance will make your marriage vows in front of the registrar and your marriage will be officially recorded.
Once the marriage is registered you will receive a Thai language copy of the marriage certificate and marriage registry. You may want to get these certificates translated into English and authenticated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok. Your home country may require you to register your marriage with appropriate authorities before they legally recognize it.
If you need assistance in registering your marriage in Thailand, please feel free to contact us.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.