Thai Marriage Registration for Americans | Siam Legal International


Thai Marriage Registration

for US Citizens

Getting Married in Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country and a wonderful place to get married. No matter what country you come from or what type of wedding you are planning, Thailand's growing wedding industry has something for everyone. Foreigners planning to marry in Thailand are free to marry other foreigners or Thai nationals.

A variety of religious marriage ceremonies are available in Thailand. A traditional Thai wedding includes a Buddhist ceremony but Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Chinese weddings are also options. No matter what your weddings plans may be, there are plenty of wedding planners who can help you make all of the necessary arrangements.

If you are not religious, you may prefer to plan your own secular marriage celebration or choose to forgo the celebration entirely. Although many choose to celebrate their marriage elsewhere, a Thai marriage officially begins when the couple appears at a district office (Amphoe) to register their marriage and collect their marriage certificate.

considerations if you are a foreigner marrying a thai woman

Thai culture requires that a man pay his fiance's family a dowry, or Sim Sod, to demonstrate his financial capacity to take care of their daughter. Although this may seem strange to foreigners, it makes more sense in Thai culture, because property is often passed down through a families daughters. Dowries are still an important part of Thai culture today. The higher your Thai fiance's education and income, the higher the dowry will be expected to be. Dowry amounts vary widely, but 100,000 - 300,000 Baht is an approximate dowry for an educated middle class woman. If your fiance has been previously married or has children already, you will probably not be expected to pay a dowry.

Although no one wants to prepare for the possibility 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 if the marriage sours. Have a knowledgeable attorney draw up the premarital agreement to make sure it complies with applicable laws in Thailand and your home country.

Legal Requirements

You must be 18 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) they entered 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 Process

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.

Foreigners need to bring their passport, their arrival card, and a properly translated and certified document attesting that they are free to marry. All foreigners who wist to get married in Thailand need to get an official certification that they are free to marry from their country's embassy. Every country has slightly different procedures for issuing this certification.

Everyone who has been previously married will need 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.

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.

STEP 1: Obtaining the Certification Document From Your Embassy

Thai law requires that a foreigner's embassy in Thailand certify the foreigner is free to marry. Every embassy follows slightly different procedures. Check the embassy website to find up-to-date service hours, fees, and procedures.US citizens should appear in person at the US Embassy in Bangkok and sign a sworn affidavit form in front of a qualified consular officer. There is a $50 USD fee for this service. The affidavit will be notarized while you are at the embassy.

STEP 2: Translating Your Documents

After your embassy issues you the appropriate certifications you will need to bring all of your documents (the statement affirming you are free to marry and certified copies of any divorce decrees or death certificates) to a reputable translator. You can find ads for appropriate translation services online or in a newspaper.

STEP 3: Legalizing Your Documents

Once the documents have been translated, take them to the Legalisation 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 district office (Amphoe) in Thailand and officially register your marriage.

Start your application for marriage registration in Thailand through this page and choose any of our marriage packages.

Thailand Family Law for US Citizens
US Citizen Born in Thailand Marriage Registration
Thai Dowry Marriage Prenuptial Agreement
Local Office Numbers:
Bangkok: 02-254-8900
Phuket: 084-021-9800
Chiang Mai: 053-818-306
Pattaya: 084-021-9800
International Numbers:
US: 1 (702) 966-2764
Thailand: +66 2 254-8900
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