How to Have a Document Legalized in Thailand in 2023.
What does legalizing a document mean?
Legalizing a document is a process during which each several organizations are required to guarantee the validity of a document:
- A foreign government certifies that the document is legitimate,
- A translation service certifies that the translation of the document is correct.
- A local government validates the document issued overseas based on its legalized certified translation.
Eventually, only a government department (generally the ministry of foreign affairs) can authenticate and legalize a document issued by a foreign government.
It is a fairly simple procedure when all the steps are done correctly.
The 2 types of documents that you may need to have legalized during your time in Thailand.
- Documents issued by the Thai government that you will need to have translated and legalized before they can be used overseas with a foreign administration.
- Document issued by a foreign government or institution (such as a bank) and required by a Thai administration to complete a process in Thailand.
Let’s examine briefly how both cases are usually handled:
Legalizing Thai documents in order to use them outside of Thailand.
If you hold official Thai documents, such as a birth certificate or a marriage certificate, and wish to have them legally recorded and used in another country, you will need to follow a few relatively simple steps. In Thailand, document legalization ultimately is handled by the Thai ministry of foreign affairs (MFA).
1. Getting the document translated and certified.
You will need to contact a professional translation agency in your area. The translation service will translate the document from Thai to English (and/or any other language of your choice) and will certify that the translation of the document is accurate.
2. Present the original and the certified translated document to the consular section of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs for authentication of foreign documents.
You can do the second step yourself or let the translation service handle it for you which will save you time and possibly some frustration when dealing with red tape and Thai bureaucracy. Remember to bring your passport along with its copy as the person requesting the legalization.
If you are in Bangkok, you can present your document and the original certified translation to the consular department of the MOFA.
3rd floor Department of Consular Affairs,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
123 Chaeng Watthana Road Bangkok 10210
If you are in Chiang Mai, Present the document and the original certified translation to the legalization department at Chiang Mai International Convention Center: https://goo.gl/maps/FEYetumkBUaZT73E8
Fees for legalization are 200 baht per document. Remember that the legalization of a certificate involves the Legalization Division verifying that the original Thai document has been properly translated into English. This means that 2 documents will be checked and compared. It is therefore going to cost 2x the fee of 200 baht (for a total of 400THB) if you do it by yourself and do not request express delivery.
Cultural warning: Very regularly, the Legalization Division will reject the translation done by the translation agency on the first presentation and you will have to request amendments from the translation service. This does not necessarily mean that the translation agency did a bad job. The requirements of the legalization division change regularly. They might accept a certain translation for some time but may decide that a term should no longer be translated a certain way and request corrections. Transliteration of names can also cause issues as well as the names of the signatories of official documents which may get misspelled during the translation.
We see it all the time and we recommend that you let us handle this process for you.
3. Bring the documents to your embassy or consulate in Bangkok.
With your certified and MFA legalized translation of your Thai document in hand, It’s now time to make an appointment at your embassy in Bangkok (or at a Consulate ) to present all of your documents.
The consular division of your Embassy will certify that the document was legalized by the Thai government.
Legalizing documents issued abroad and intended to be used in Thailand.
The first thing you’ll need to know is that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand will only legalize documents in Thai or in English. If your document is in a different language, you will first have to have the document professionally translated and certified.
If you plan on using documents issued overseas in Thailand, you will need to have them legalized overseas before they can be used here. The process will eventually end at the Thai MFA but the steps you’ll have to take in your home country will vary.
If you arrive in Thailand with a document, notarized and legalized overseas by a Thai Embassy in your country, you will generally be able to submit this document directly at the Consular Department of the Thai MFA.
If you arrive in Thailand with a document notarized or legalized in your country by your own government, you will need to present it to your embassy in Thailand for authentication, then have it translated into English or Thai, then have the translation legalized by your embassy, and finally present the legalized translation and original to the MFA so that it can be legalized there and become usable in Thailand.
Can Bangkok Translation and Interpretation handle the legalization of my document on my behalf?
What documents should I provide to have my translation service handle the legalization of my document for me?
A signed copy of your passport.
A signed power of attorney.
The original of the document(s) that you wish to submit to the legalization department.
How much does it cost to legalize a document at the Thai MFA?
What type of documents can be legalized?
Personal certificates (birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates)
Educational certificates (school transcripts, certificates, degrees)
Notarized copies of documents
Translated notarized documents
Other notarial documents (authorizations, wills, declarations)
Does Thailand have apostille?
Can a notary legalize a document?
What authority can legalize Thai documents in Thailand?
Do you need to have documents translated and legalized in Thailand?
Let us handle this process for you:
We are a team of native Thai translators and legal specialists in Bangkok and Chiang Mai who can assist you with the Thai translation and notarization of your documents in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Get in touch with us today.
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