Everything You Need to Know About Marriage Registration in Thailand
Getting married in Thailand is a fairly simple process however some have found it more convenient and beneficial to use the services of a reputable law firm to cut down on the groundwork they may have to do themselves. This arrangement of using a reputable lawyer may also be more convenient for couples who are looking to have a pre-nuptial agreement drafted prior to the registration of their marriage.
This, therefore, serves as a one-stop solution for them. Whatever you decide, it really is not that difficult, it just requires a few days to have everything sorted through. These guidelines will help you to cover all the bases leading up to your special day to ensure that you are free to marry when the time arrives.
Specifically, in Bangkok, you are required to have lived in the country for at least three days prior to the wedding so you need to ensure that you factor this into your travel plans, leaving enough time to get the relevant documentation ready before the wedding.
For foreigners who wish to have a destination wedding in Thailand, or a foreigner marrying a Thai national, the following documentation is required:
- Your passport
- Your arrival card
Your verified affirmation to marry – in some cases you will be required to obtain a Single Certificate in your home country then have it verified by your embassy in Thailand. This document serves to ensure that you are legally free to be married.
Your original divorce certificate or the death certificate of your spouse – applicable only if you were previously married. These documents must be translated into Thai in order to be admissible. Use an approved Foreign Ministry Translator for this process. After translation, these documents must be taken to the Department of Foreign Affairs for verification.
For Thai Nationals
- National Identification card or other valid means of identification
- Name Change certification if applicable
- Original divorce or death certificate of spouse if previously married
- House Registration Certification
In order for the marriage to be legally registered, all this documentation must then be taken to a local district office, which will then process the documents and issue a Thai marriage certificate.
In order to obtain the documents from your relevant embassy to declare that you are single and free to marry, you will be required to pay fees set by those embassies. For the US embassy, the fee is about 1600 That Baht and for the British embassy about 3100 That Baht.
There is also a cost associated with having a Foreign Ministry Translator translate your documents into Thai, as well as a small fee associated with the Department of Foreign Affairs verifying the documents on your behalf.
Persons desiring to get married in Thailand, apart from presenting the required documentation and following the due legal process must also meet additional requirements.
- Both parties must be older than 17 years old or must be of legal marriageable age based on the laws of their home country. There are special cases in which the court may permit them to marry prior to attaining to the legal age.
- Neither party should be related by blood or by adoption.
- Both parties should be deemed to be in a fully sound mental state and found competent for marriage.
- Both parties should be single and legally free to marry and provide proof of such. Usually, a period of 310 days needs to pass after a divorce or the death of a spouse before a woman is free to take on a new spouse. There are special cases in which a marriage may be permitted before the period is complete such as if the divorced spouses choose to remarry, or if the woman has given birth to a child, or if it can be proven that the female is not pregnant, or by means of a court order permitting her to marry.
After having received your marriage certificate, you may choose any of the breathtaking destinations throughout Thailand for your nuptials. You may want to have an elaborate fairytale ceremony, a nice breezy beach wedding, or a small intimate ceremony. Alternatively, you may choose to just use a registrar in the presence of two witnesses, who will then record the marriage. The couple is responsible for transporting the Registrar to the location of their wedding and also pay a fee of 400 Thai Baht to the Ministry for the provision of this service.
Based on the process although not difficult, most people prefer to hire attorneys to cover all the bases for them while they may choose to use the few days they have in between to explore the beauty that is Thailand. They may even get additional ideas for honeymoon spots or use this time to put the finishing touches on the plans for their wedding day.
Author Bio – This guest article is a work of Paul Smith in support of Umpire Legal, a Bangkok-based law firm specializing in the legal aspects of registering and operating businesses in Thailand. If you’re on the lookout for more details pertaining to marriage registration in Thailand, please do get in touch with Umpire Legal today.