Marriage registration is a complicated process in Thailand. It’s recommended you enlist the help of a firm experienced in the procedure.
The first step is submitting all your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for authentication (normally takes 2 days). The next step is getting your translation and copies of passports legalized.
For a marriage in Thailand to be legal, both parties must be over the age of 17 or of marryable age as per their own country’s laws. However, it is possible for couples to marry before reaching this age if the court considers there are particular reasons for them to do so.
Child marriage is still common practice in parts of Thailand, where girls are deemed eligible to marry as soon as they start menstruating. For this reason, it is very important that a foreigner thinks carefully about protecting their assets through a prenuptial agreement before their official marriage registration in Thailand.
It is important to note that the process of registering your marriage in Thailand takes place separately from your ceremony and does not happen on the same day. Embassies and Thai government offices are closed on weekends and national holidays, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time for preparing your documents.
Affirmation of Freedom to Marry
There is a certain amount of paperwork required for both foreign and Thai couples who wish to marry in Thailand. This process is separate from the wedding ceremony and must be completed in Bangkok.
First, couples need to obtain an ‘Affirmation of Freedom to Marry’ document from their embassy. This varies from embassy to embassy and should be checked in advance.
This will need to be translated into Thai by a certified translation service, and then legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The original documents are then taken to the local registration office (in Bangkok these are called Khet or Amphur offices) where the marriage will be registered.
If the bride was previously married then her divorce certificate must be provided. It is best to allow at least 4 days in Bangkok prior to your planned date of marriage registration to allow sufficient time to arrange these documents and complete all necessary procedures. This will also allow you to enjoy some of the fantastic tourist attractions in Bangkok.
At the present time, the process for foreigners to marry in Thailand requires two copies of an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry (Certificate of No Impediment) from the home country embassy, along with an official translation of this document done by an approved Thai language office. These documents must be submitted to the local district office for registration.
Both parties must be single and free to marry according to Thai law. In addition, the woman must not have been married to any other man at the time of marriage registration. If divorced, the original divorce decree or spouce death certificate must be presented to the office for registration.
Once the translated documents are ready, the couple must take these along with their passports to their embassy in Thailand for the Consular Officer to authenticate the documents. This usually takes two days. Ideally, couples should allow for four working days in Bangkok for the entire marriage registration process as this will give them ample opportunity to visit some of Bangkok’s great attractions.
The couple are required to present 2 witnesses at the registry office to verify that they have both signed the Kor Ror 2 form. The witnesses must also bring their Thai ID cards. These are then to be inserted into an ID reader and verified.
Once all of the paperwork has been checked and authenticated by someone who looks very official you will be given a day to come and collect your authenticated documents or have them posted to you. The whole process normally takes 2 days to complete so make sure you have plenty of time.
The couple are then able to give their consent for marriage in front of the registrar at the District Office (Amphur). It is important to note that most Registery offices in Thailand are unable to register a foreigner’s marriage and you should always check with your own embassy before getting married in Thailand. This is especially important as marriage in Thailand does not guarantee that the new spouse will be allowed to return to their country of citizenship.