Family Registration Act

Family Registration Act 1935

As amended up to the Family Registration Act (No. 3) B.E. 2533 (1990)


The Family Registration Act of 1935 and amended in 1990 describes family registration in Thailand. Other issues are covered. These include what Thai law described as a competent witness when it comes to agreements. This is one of the bases of many legal statutes where competent witnesses are spoken about. The Family Registration Act is how the Tabien Baan system is set up. This was the basis for the house registration booklet in Thailand. Also when getting married in Thailand.

The marriage registration process is explained as well as the divorce process in Thailand. This translation should not be seen as legally binding or used as legal advice or guidance. This text has been provided for educational and comprehension purposes and contains no legal authority. We will assume no responsibility for any liabilities arising from the use and/or reference of this text. Speak to us online or via WhatsApp or application Line for proper legal advice.

Section 1-3

This describes the Act and when it came into force which shows that it came into force in 1935 and was amended in 1990. It also describes the terms Registrar as well as Registration and defines Recording.

Section 4

The law describes what is not a competent witness. The Section lays down the three main competencies for a valid witness. Someone who has not reached the legal age in Thailand cannot be a witness. Someone who is of unsound mind also cannot be a witness. This includes anyone who has been declared incompetent by the courts. Finally, someone who is deaf, mute, or blind in both eyes cannot be a competent witness.

Section 5

This Section states that registration may be conducted at any registration office as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulations.

Section 6

This is a major Section of the Act with reference also to Section 14. The application for registration must be done in writing with two competent witnesses present. If the person cannot physically sign the application then the Registrar will make a note of this.

For marriage registration, the first part of this Section needs to be complied with in terms of a physical signature. The Changwat (Provincial Chief) can also request the Amphoe to register the marriage. The Amphoe would be where one of the parties is domiciled. There still have to be two witnesses however one of the witnesses has to be an administrative officer with the minimum position of a village chief, or a police officer with the minimum ranking of a Police Sub-Lieutenant. The Amphoe will now send the application to the Registrar and they will note the parties and the two witnesses.

*Today you will note that they would normally want you to register your marriage with the District Amphoe where you reside. They have however allowed people to register their marriages in Districts they don’t live in. The two witnesses would be staff at their offices.

Section 7

The Registrar has to insert the date, month, and year and sign for the registration.

Section 8

The Registrar will provide the parties with a copy of their marriage registration or divorce registration without requesting a fee.

*See if there is a small fee involved today of about 100THB for the registration copy.

Section 9

Anyone can inspect the registry for free. Payment is only requested where a copy of an item in the registry is requested that is certified by the Amphoe.

Section 10

The marriage registration can be made on request. If however the marriage registration is requested to be outside of the registration office a fee will become payable. This is prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.

Section 11

If you are allowed to marry because of a Court judgment or Court order you need to have a certified copy of the Court judgment to file your registration.

*There are several instances where this would be required at the Amphoe office.

Section 12

This Section covers marriage registration for those who require parental consent. If it is written consent then it needs to be following Section 1448 (2) of the Civil and Commercial Code. If the consent is verbal then it needs to be following Section 1448 (3) of the Civil and Commercial Code. Note that if it is verbal there also has to be a witness to confirm this in writing.

Section 13

If it appears to the Registrar that there is noncompliance with Section 1445, Section 1446, and Section 1447 of the Civil and Commercial Code. Then the marriage will not be registered.

Section 14

This is a rare event where one or both of the parties wanting to register their marriage are in imminent fatal danger or about to die. Where the Register cannot register the marriage in writing. They can request marriage registration verbally or behaviorally. The Amphoe Office Head or a police officer with the minimum ranking of a Police Sub-Lieutenant can be a witness to this. Also, anyone who is allowed to act as a witness following this Act. There have to be two witnesses to this event.

Should both people die or one dies. The one who remains and the witnesses have to appear before the Amphoe to register the marriage. If both died then the witness have to appear and explain the circumstances to the Amphoe to register the marriage.

Further, if this occurs onboard vessels while at sea the Captain of the vessel has to report this to the Amphoe.

Section 15

If the Registrar refuses to register a marriage, you may apply to Court

Section 16

If the Court issues an annulment or a divorce a certified copy of the Court judgment can be filed with the Registrar. Any one of the parties in the divorce may do this. 

* See also the annulment under the Civil and Commercial Code 

Section 17

In a matter which relates to the family status in a foreign country. The filing of proof documents with correct certification, along with the Thai translation in which such party shall bear the costs. The Thai consulate may send a copy of the registry or record that has been certified as correct to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then to the Thai Interior Affairs.

*This was mainly used for issues of divorce.

Section 18

If the parties are getting divorced by mutual consent they have to fulfill Section 1448 second paragraph of the Civil and Commercial Code to show to the Registrar.

Section 19

This Section was amended in 1990 to update the passage. This covers the registration of a child. The father of the child will register the child as his legitimate child. This will be registered if he has the consent of the mother of the child personally. The Registrar will register this birth. If he does not have the consent then they cannot register the birth with him as the father. The Registrar will issue an inquiry letter to the mother. If permission is granted then the registration will be completed. If there is no response within a time determined by the Civil and Commercial Code. Then the Registrar will inform the applicant why his application was not accepted.

* See also the Child Legitimation under the Civil and Commercial Code.

Section 20

Those who have gone to court to have their child registered as their legitimate child. Those who have a judgment regarding the legitimate child’s identity. They can submit a certified copy of the final Court judgment for Recording in the registry and have the child registered as theirs.

Section 21

The revoking of a child’s status Section 16 applies

Section 22

The adoptive parent and adoptive child are the applicants during adoption. The Registrar will accept that they have complied with the laws regarding adoption in the Civil and Commercial Code. If it appears that there was non-compliance then the registration will be prohibited. If Registrar refuses to register the child adoption, they can then apply to Court to show that the law had been complied with. The Court judgment will issue an order for registration.

Section 23

The Registrar can terminate an adoption termination request if both parties agree. With the termination of an adoption Section 16 applies.

Section 24

If the marriage was registered and valid before the commencement of the Civil and Commercial Code, Book Five. The status of the wife will according to Section 5 of this Act, the Civil and Commercial Code.

Section 25

The Minister of Interior and the Minister of Foreign Affairs shall be in charge according to the relevant Ministry and will be empowered to issue the Ministerial Regulations for such matter and set the fee rate as requested.


Thai Family Law

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