Marriage Requirements

Find out about the legal requirements for getting married in Thailand...

Documents required by foreign nationals marrying another foreign national or a Thai citizen are:

  • Passport and two copies, including copies of entry visa
  • The authenticated affirmation of freedom to marry and the certified translation, both originals and one copy of each
  • Original death or divorce certificates translated into Thai if either party has been married before

Documents required by Thai nationals at the local District Office are:

  • Identification Card and one copy
  • House Registration Document (Tabien Baan) and one copy

Affirmation of freedom to marry

Any foreign national wishing to marry in Thailand should first obtain an affirmation of freedom to marry or affidavit, which involves the following steps:

  • Contact the relevant home Embassy in Thailand to prepare and submit the application at the Embassy in person
  • A passport is always required for proof of identity
  • Evidence that any previous marriages have been dissolved/terminated (death or divorce documents, as appropriate) must be produced. These must be original documents
  • The affirmation must be translated into Thai by a certified translator
  • The affirmation must then be authenticated and the translation certified at the address below. This will be completed within two full working days although it can be ready in less time for a fee, depending on individual cases
    • Legalisation and Naturalisation Division, Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
      At
      : 123 Chaeng Wattana Rd, Laksi District, Bangkok 10210
      Tel: 02 575 1056 59
      Open: 08:30-14:30 Monday to Friday
      email

Those living outside of Thailand should contact the Thai Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence to apply for the necessary visa. Then contact their national Embassy in Thailand to ensure that the correct documents are all in order to complete the affirmation of freedom to marry or affidavit on arrival in Thailand.

After arrival in Thailand, get the affirmation of freedom to marry and have it certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Take these documents to a District Office (Khet or Amphur) in order for a marriage certificate to be issued. There is no minimum period for length of stay in Thailand before a marriage can take place, although the steps described will take a few days.

There are companies that can help with the process of getting married in Thailand.

Marriage to a Thai woman and the custom of dowry

It is an accepted part of Thai culture that the groom pays a dowry (sin sod) to the bride's family. This has long been part of marriage although it is becoming less prevalent with the younger generation. The payment may be in cash, or take the form of property, gold or any other assets, and traditionally serves to prove that the groom is in a position to take care of his new family and is generous in nature (an important trait in Thai culture). Sometimes the dowry is returned to the bride and groom on the wedding day by the bride's parents.

It is acceptable to discuss the terms of a dowry. Even though paying a dowry is commonplace, the system may be abused.