Can a Thai woman take the surname of a foreign husband and how to do it
September 27, 2022
Can a Thai woman take her husband's foreign surname
A Thai woman, upon marriage, can either keep her premarital surname or change it to her husband's surname. If the husband is a foreigner, then there are no obstacles to changing the Thai surname – the wife can either keep her former surname or take her husband's surname.
At the same time, a foreigner cannot take his wife's surname for the reason that the issues of changing the surname of citizens of other states are beyond the jurisdiction of Thai authorities.
Restrictions on changing the name and surname in Thailand
If you are familiar with the Thai way of life, you may have heard that Thais can change their first and last names very easily by simply contacting the appropriate authority. The change of name and surname occurs immediately, a certificate is issued about this, and the ID (passport) also changes immediately. This has given rise to a large number of abuses, as a result, the rules are now somewhat tightened.
But there are no restrictions on changing the surname upon marriage – Thai women can still take their husband's surname without any obstacles.
When to decide whether to take the husband's surname
At the time of marriage, a woman will be asked if she wants to take her husband's surname or keep the old one. This is a convenient moment, because on the basis of a marriage registration certificate, she can easily change her last name.
But nothing prevents her from changing her surname later (just in case, clarify this question!).
See also: How to get married in Thailand
How long does it take for a wife to change her last name?
The marriage registration documents indicate the new surname of the wife.
After marriage, 60 days are given to process the change of surname.
How does a name change happen?
You can get married in any District Office (for example, next to your home). Currently, Thais can also update their ID cards at any District Office of their choice. But she can only change her last name at the District Office, which is located in the area where Thai is registered in the Blue book (Tabien baan, Thai House Registration and Resident Book).
She must contact the District Office at the place of registration of the house in the Blue book. She must have the following documents with her:
- old ID card
- marriage certificate (it consists of two documents in duplicate (for each of the spouses)). Both documents, which are a marriage certificate, must be presented.
- Blue book (Tabien baan, Thai House Registration and Resident Book) in which she is registered
- in our case, they also asked for documents stating that the husband was single (the same documents that I presented during the marriage). These documents remained in our hands after the marriage, and the District Office kept certified copies for itself.
After the procedure was completed, a certificate of change of name was issued.
New data was also entered into the Blue book (crossed out the old surname and entered a new one).
Immediately after the certificate was issued, the wife went to the next window in the same office to replace the ID card.
In total, changing the surname and obtaining a new ID card took about 30 minutes.
How much does it cost to change the surname and ID card when registering a marriage
In our case, they did not take money for changing the surname and issuing a new ID, it was done for free.
What to do after changing the last name
After changing the surname, the Thai woman must update her data with the employer and at the bank where the salary is credited.
The law does not set a time frame for updating her ID data, for example, in banks where bank accounts are opened – this can be done at any time you contact the bank. It must be remembered that she must bring a certificate about the change of surname.
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