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  1. #1
    Rookie มือใหม่
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    17 Apr 2012

    Smile Process for changing wife's surname [in Thailand] after marriage

    Process for changing wife's surname on her Thai passport after marriage in UK

    I had trouble finding accurate information about this beforehand, but now we've just been through it I want to let you know exactly what we had to do. By the way it's optional for your wife to change her surname to yours. It used to be a legal requirement in Thailand, but it isn't now.

    I'm British, wife is Thai, we married 2 years ago in UK. My wife wanted to officially change her surname to mine, so we decided to do this before applying for the 2yr indefinite leave to remain visa so it would be in her new surname. We've never married in Thailand. She has been married once before in Europe.

    To change the surname in their passport, a Thai has to first change the name in their ID card. This can only be done in Thailand at the district office where they are registered.

    I was travelling with my wife. If you are not with your wife, the process would be slightly different. You'd have to get a form from the Thai Embassy in UK, to take with you, which is an agreement for her to use your surname, and this would have to be signed by your solicitor, and then by a Thai Embassy official.

    Before going to Thailand we prepared the following documents:

    Sent original marriage certificate to Royal Thai Consulate in Hull to be translated and certified. (£60)

    Then sent the marriage certificate to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to be legalised. This had to be booked in and paid for online on the legalisation section of the FCO website before sending. (£30)

    Then sent the marriage certificate, which now had a big FCO sticker and stamp on the back, plus the translation to the Thai Embassy in London to be legalised again. The document legalisation form and process for submission is available on the Thai Embassy website in English, under Consular Services: (£10)

    Dissolution of previous marriage document, with a certified translation into Thai was already prepared from the time my wife divorced and changed back to her maiden name. I believe this had already been through the Legalisation process with the FCO and Thai Embassy (It had a lot of stamps on it). However, we didn't actually need this document as she had already changed her name from her previous married name to her maiden name on a previous trip to Thailand.

    Bought a flight ticket to Thailand in her maiden name.

    In Thailand:

    Took all the documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok. This is in a government complex in Chaengwattana Road in the north of Bangkok. It is a taxi ride away from Morchit northern bus station. It's open from about 7:30 in the morning. You may have been here already with your wife to get her original passport. The documents had to be stamped (legalised) here first. DON'T MISS THIS BIT OUT! The documents won't be accepted in the district office without this stamp (800 Baht). Your wife may not know exactly where this place is. It's worth having the address and map from the internet with you so you know where you're going:
    Address: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Head Office Building, 123, Chaengwattana Rd., Thung Song Hong, Laksi, Bangkok 10210 Thailand

    Travelled to her house in Udon Thani to collect the family registration book which is usually kept at the home.

    Went to the district office with the following documents:
    Wife's family registration book (small book with each member of the family registered to that household)
    Wife's ID card
    Marriage certificate
    My passport

    They processed the documents and registered the fact that my wife is now married and wants to change her surname. They then processed a new ID card which was issued there and then.

    Travelled with the following documents (except registration book) back to Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok, to the passport issuing section.
    Marriage certificate
    New ID card
    Old passport

    The passport processing took a few hours before a receipt was issued, with information about when the new passport would be ready. (1000 Baht)

    Two days later we went back to collect the passport, all we needed this time was the receipt.

    Travelled back from Thailand using the old passport to check in for the flight, but showed the new passport too. The flight was with Thai Airways.

    It is possible to apply for a new passport at the offices in Khon Khaen and others around Thailand, but they send the documents to Bangkok and it takes longer. You'll get a two or three day turnaround in Bangkok.

    Hope this is useful. Please let me know if I've missed anything out.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
    Join Date
    11 Jun 2011


    can all this be done at thai embassy in hull or london, my dil has married name on id card already and marriage docs translated and certified also


  3. #3
    Rookie มือใหม่
    Join Date
    17 Apr 2012


    Hi tangmo, I believe that the only reason we had to go back to Thailand to do this was for the ID card change. I think you could apply for a new passport at Thai Embassy in London. It is possible to call them to check.

  4. #4
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Sep 2002
    Between Glasgow, Thailand and beyond!


    By the way it's optional for your wife to change her surname to yours. It used to be a legal requirement in Thailand, but it isn't now.
    Sorry Maytee, that's not strictly accurate. It used to be law that the wife would take the family name of the husband, if it were a Thai/Thai marriage. It was not or ever compulsory to adopt a foreign (non Thai) name.

    That is a great post though, concise and step by step.

    Sorry, meant to add; My wife used to work for the general secretary of marriage registration in Bangkok. The place where all marriages in Thailand eventually end up. Probably where a lot of other useless paper information is kept.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  5. #5
    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
    Join Date
    10 Feb 2011
    Essex/Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai


    Quote Originally Posted by ian1208 View Post
    Probably where a lot of other useless paper information is kept.

    They have about nineteen pages of my life history in there somewhere! We were quizzed in great detail about all kinds of things when we registered our marriage, quite odd really.
    "You're so unapproachable!"
    "And yet, here you are."

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