If you are planning to get married in Thailand, you must first understand the legal procedure. Regardless of whether you choose to have a religious or non-religious wedding ceremony, it will only be recognised in Thailand and your home country if it follows the laws set out by both countries’ governments.
1. Affirmation of Freedom to Marry (or Affirmation of Marriage Status) from the Embassy or Consulate in your home country
You will be given an ‘Affirmation of Freedom to Marry’ document by the embassy of your home country. This must be translated into the Thai language and then taken to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand for legalization.
2. Supporting documents that meet local requirements, such as birth certificates and passports of both parties
You and your partner will need to bring copies of the supporting documents that are listed on the Affirmation of Marriage Status document. These must include your and your partner’s passports, birth certificates, and residence and employment details. You will also need a certificate from the embassy of your home country showing that you have an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry, and an affidavit from the embassy of Thailand confirming your current marital status.
3. Two witnesses with the same nationality who can legally represent you in front of a registrar or other person of sui juris as defined in Section 1456 and section 1457.
These witnesses will need to present their identity cards, passports, and residence documents in the presence of a registrar or other person authorised to give consent. The registrar or other person will sign the witnesses’ signatures to confirm that they are present and that they agree with the signing of the document.
4. Registration of the marriage at the District Offices and Khet or Ampur offices nationwide
In order to register your marriage, you will need to file a form called “Register for Marriage” with a District Officer. The registrar will then issue you with a marriage certificate. You will need to provide 2 referees with full names and street addresses that do not fall within your residential address in Thailand.
5. Obtaining your marriage certificate
After you have completed the paperwork at the District Office, a Marriage Certificate will be issued to both parties. This is a legal document that will be recognized in your home country and may be used as proof of your marriage in the event of any disputes.
6. Other documents that are required by your home country
After the registration of your marriage, you will need to obtain a document from your embassy proving that you have an Affirmation of Marriage Status, and an affidavit stating that you have been living together for at least one year. These documents must be translated into the Thai language and then certified by an approved Foreign Ministry translator.
7. The Marriage Registration Process
Once you have completed the registration process, your couple’s marriage certificate will be issued to you in Thai at the District Office or ‘Amphur’. This is a legal document that will allow you to use it as evidence of your marriage in your home country and other jurisdictions.