Marriage registration in Thailand
Marriage in Thailand is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code book 5, sections 1435 to 1535. A marriage (section 1457) can take place only if the man and woman (who are at least 18 years old) agree to take each other as husband and wife, and such agreement must be declared publicly before the Registrar in order to have it recorded by the Registrar. Marriage in Thailand is created and completed on formal registration and inclusion in the government's marriage register.
Section 1457: Marriage under this code (civil and commercial code) shall be effected only on registration being made (this means that the marriage must be registered with the Registrar at an Amphur office in Thailand).
Section 1458: A marriage can take place only if the man and woman agree to take each other as husband and wife, and such agreement must be declared publicly before the Registrar in order to have it recorded by the Registrar.
Foreigners wishing to marry in Thailand must obtain an affirmation of freedom to marry declaration obtained from their consulate or embassy in Thailand, read more...
Formal engagement to be married (betrothal) is a pre-marriage stage governed by the Civil Code (sections 1435 to 1464). Betrothal is not official until khongman is given by the man to his fiancee, and possible sinsod to his fiancée's parents. An official engagement creates under Thai law certain duties and responsibilities, for example, in case of breach of the betrothal agreement the party liable must make compensation to the other party, but an agreement to pay a penalty in case of breach of the betrothal agreement is void under Thai Civil law.
De-facto informal marriages, common-law marriage or Buddhist marriage or any religious marriage ceremony are not recognized as legal marriages under Thai Civil Law and therefore do not create any legal rights, duties, powers, or responsibilities of husband and wife. Only officially registered marriages entered into the government´s marriage register are recognized as legal and valid marriages in Thailand and will create the rights, duties and responsibilities of husband and wife under Thai family laws.
Same sex marriages
It is under Thai marriage laws not possible to legalize same-sex gay relationships through a marriage. Thai family law does not allow same-sex marriages. Only opposite-sex couples are eligible to marry and have it recorded in the marriage registers.
Bigamy in Thailand
Bigamy in Thailand, or marrying one person while still legally married to another, is not permitted (civil law section 1452) and is a criminal offense under the Thailand penal code (criminal offence to knowingly making a false declaration).
Foreign national and marriage in Thailand
When a foreigner wants to enter into a civil law marriage in Thailand he must prepare several official documents before a marriage can be registered. Most embassy websites contain relevant information on Thai marriage procedures and how to obtain the required documents. Contact your embassy in Thailand for the required official documents (among others for the statement that you are free to marry), prepare official translations of these documents (your embassy can advice in the procedure and documents if it is not already on your embassy's or consulate's website). Should your Thai fiancée just come out of a previous marriage (within 310 days) a doctor’s certificate is required to state that she is not pregnant (section 1453 Civil and Commercial Code)