When a couple wishes to get married in Thailand, they must register their union with the local district office known as an ‘amphur’ or a ’khet’. It is a process that can take several days to complete and involves gathering a range of documents.
First, both parties must obtain an ‘affirmation of freedom to marry’ from their embassy in Thailand. This document is a legally binding document that must be signed and notarized by the embassy. It also needs to be translated into Thai. You will need to find a reputable translation service in Bangkok and there is usually an extra fee payable for this service.
Next, you must make an appointment at your embassy to obtain an ‘affidavit of freedom to marry’ from the consular official in charge. This document must be signed and notarized by the consular officer in charge of your case.
This must be in a form that is acceptable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (see below) and it must also be translated into Thai. There are many translation services and offices to be found near the main embassies and the typical cost is around 1,000 Baht.
Both the affidavit and the translated document must then be taken to your embassy in Bangkok for authentication. This will take about two days and you should expect to pay an additional ‘express fee’ for this service.
Alternatively you can also get the paperwork for your marriage registered at a nearby registrar’s office (called an ’amphur’ in Thai) instead of the embassy. This is more time-consuming and can cost between 4,000 and 5,000 Baht, but is more convenient.
If you are a non-Thai citizen, your marriage must be registered at the nearest Thai embassy in your home country. You will need to provide your passport and a copy of the marriage certificate.
For a Thai citizen, you need to provide your Thai national identification card and house registration certificate. You will also need to provide proof of your previous marriage, divorce or spousal death.
There are several different kinds of marriages in Thailand, and each depends on the nationality of the people involved. There are also different procedures for each kind of marriage.
AMERICANS AND THAI FOREIGNERS
To be married in Thailand as an American, you need to meet some requirements, including that both you and your partner have attained the age of 17 years or are at least in marriageable age. You must also have a valid passport and you must be able to prove that you are not a criminal or a refugee.
Once you have the requisite documents, you should go to your embassy in Thailand to obtain an ‘affirmation of freedom to register marriage’ and the document must be translated into Thai. There are a number of translation services and offices to be found near the major embassies in Bangkok and you will need to have an additional ‘express fee’ for these services.
After you have completed all of the paperwork required, your marriage will be registered at the nearest Amphur and you will receive a certificate that confirms your marriage. This is valid in Thailand for 3 years and can be extended indefinitely with a renewal certificate from the registrar.