Registering Your Marriage in Thailand

In Thailand, it is marriage registration which makes a couple legally married, not a marriage ceremony. Registration is a matter of getting required documents, getting them translated into Thai, taking them to the appropriate government office along with witnesses and paying the fees.

It is fairly straightforward. A foreign and a Thai national are required to get different documents for the marriage to be registered successfully.

What a foreigner must do:

  1. If you have been previously married, and declare to the authorities that you have been previously married, you must obtain the ORIGINAL divorce decree or the deceased spouse’s death certificate.

    If you don’t have the original papers, then a re-issue the government authorities will PROBABLY be good enough.

    Of course, you must have a valid passport with documentation that you have entered and are in Thailand legally to proceed to the next step.
  2. Go to your embassy and get an “affirmation” or “freedom to marry” statement. This paper will confirm your citizenship and say that you are legally single and, therefore, free to marry.

    The forms vary from embassy to embassy, but often can be completed the day of the initial visit to an embassy. The embassy will notarize the document and charge you a fee.

    Embassies will generally just accept your word that you are single although it’s possible they may ask for some kind of “proof.” For example, if you tell the embassy authorities you are divorced or your spouse has died, they MAY ask to see these papers.

    If you declare that you have been previously married the Thai authorities will definitely REQUIRE that you produce the ORIGINAL divorce papers or death certificates, so getting these documents will be your first step.
  3. Get the affirmation from your embassy, divorce or death certificates TRANSLATED into Thai. The translation must be done by someone who is officially recognized by the Thai government as qualified to do this. You can check at the embassy or with the Thais about this. Of course, you will have to pay for the translation.
  4. Take all documents, along with your passport and arrival card, to the Department of Consular Affairs at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be verified and certified.

    It appears that the only place this can be done is at the Ministry office in Bangkok on Chang Wattana Road. It does not appear necessary that the documents be personally presented which means that this could be done by a legal representative.

    The Ministry usually takes two or three working days to complete the certification. A nominal fee is charged.
  5. Take the verified documents, along with your passport and arrival card, your prospective wife or husband and his or her documents, and two witnesses to the local government “Amphur” or “Khet” office.

    If you do not take witness the Amphur or Khet office MAY but is not required to supply them. Your witnesses should be Thai and should take their identification cards You will have to pay a small fee to the district Amphur or Khet office and small fees for witnesses if they are supplied to you. The marriage certificate can usually be received the same day.
  6. Be advised that being married does NOT automatically change your visa situation. Changing your visa is a separate process and issue.

What a Thai National must do:

  1. Obtain the following documents: Thai national identification card, house registration certificate when relevant, divorce papers or death certificate of spouse if previously married, “change of name,” certificates when the person has changed their name in the past.

    There are laws in Thailand concerning the marriage of blood relatives so, in theory, it’s possible that this could present a problem requiring some kind of certificate, but in the case of marriage to a foreigner, this is highly unlikely.
  2. Accompany the prospective husband to the Amphur or Khet office with the above documents and two witnesses to register the marriage.
Recommendation: it is recommended that those registering a marriage do it at offices which have experience helping foreigners. The below offices are specifically recommended.

Bangkok:

Khet Pathumwan Registration Office; 216/1 Chula 7 Kwan-Mai, Bangkok 10330, phone 02 214 3004.

Khet Prakhanong Registration Office; 1792 Sukhumvit Soi 54 Kwang Bangjak, Bangkok 10250, phone 02 311 1107.

Khet Bangkrak Registration Office; 5 Nares Road, Kwang Siphraya, Bangkok 10500, phone 02 236 1395

Chiang Mai: Amphur Mung Chiang Mai Registration Office; 36 Intavarorot Road, Tambon Sri-Poom, Amphur Mung, Chaing Mai 50000, phone 053 22 016.

Hua Hin; Hua Hin District Office, Dumnoenkasaem Road, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, phone 032 511 025, 512 267.

Krabi; Krabi Registration Office, Uttarakij Road, Tambon Paknam, Amphur Muang, Krabi 8100, phone 075 611 340.

Pattaya; Amphur Banglamung Registration Office, Moo 2, Sukhumvit Road, Tamon Naklau, Amphur Banglamung, Chonburi 20150, phone 308 443 020.

Koh Phangan; Amphur Koh Phangan, Moo 2 Tongsala, Chaloklum Road, Tambon Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280, phone 077 377 021, 377 064.

Phuket Island; Amphur Muang Phuket Registration Office, Mae-Larn Road, Tambon Talardyai, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83000, phone 076 211 171.

Koh Samui Island; Amphur Ko Samui Registration Office, Taweeraj Pakdee Road, Tambon Angtong, Amphur Io Samui, Suratthani 84140, phone 077 420 372/ 373.