Marriage is considered one of the most important events in a person’s life, and it requires proper documentation and registration to make it legal. In Thailand, marriage registration is a straightforward process that involves a few steps, which we’ll explore in this article.
The Legal Age for Marriage
The legal age for marriage in Thailand is 17 years old. However, if the couple is below 20 years old, they need parental consent to get married. If one of the parties is below 17 years old, they must obtain court approval before marriage registration can be granted.
The Importance of Legal Marriage Registration
Registering a marriage in Thailand is essential to make it legally binding. A legal marriage certificate will enable the couple to enjoy legal rights and benefits, such as the ability to apply for a joint bank account, purchase property, and gain a dependent visa. A marriage certificate is also necessary to apply for a Thai passport.
The Steps to Register a Marriage in Thailand
Step 1: Obtain a Certificate of Freedom to Marry
Before registering for marriage in Thailand, you must obtain a Certificate of Freedom to Marry. This certificate confirms that you are eligible to marry in Thailand and is issued by your embassy or consulate in Thailand. You need to provide the following documents to obtain this certificate:
- A copy of your passport
- A declaration stating that you are single and able to marry
- A fee (the cost varies depending on your embassy)
Step 2: Meet the Requirements for Marriage Registration
To register for marriage in Thailand, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Both parties must be present in person
- Both parties must have a valid passport
- Both parties must provide a copy of their passport
- Both parties must provide two witnesses
- Both parties must provide their Certificate of Freedom to Marry
- The couple must complete the marriage registration form and sign it in front of the registrar
Step 3: Register Your Marriage
Once you have met all the requirements and have completed the necessary paperwork, you can register your marriage at the local district office (Amphur). The registration process is straightforward and typically takes less than an hour to complete. You will receive your marriage certificate on the same day.
The Costs Involved in Marriage Registration
The cost of marriage registration in Thailand varies depending on the location of the registration office. Typically, it can range from 300 to 500 Thai Baht (approximately 10 to 15 USD).
Getting Married in Thailand: Considerations for Foreigners
If you are a foreigner looking to get married in Thailand, there are a few additional considerations you need to keep in mind. These include:
- The requirements for obtaining a Certificate of Freedom to Marry may differ depending on your embassy or consulate
- If you are already married, you may need to provide documentation to prove that your previous marriage has ended (such as a divorce certificate or death certificate)
- Some district offices may require additional documentation, such as a medical certificate, to register your marriage
Marriage registration in Thailand is a straightforward process that involves obtaining a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, meeting the requirements for marriage registration, and registering your marriage at the local district office. It is essential to register your marriage in Thailand to make it legally binding and to enjoy legal rights and benefits. If you are a foreigner looking to get married in Thailand, make sure you are aware of the specific requirements for your embassy or consulate and any additional documentation you may need to provide.