The process of document legalization can be a bit of a headache if you don’t know where to start. Where do you have to go? How much does it cost? What’s the process? Why do I have to legalize my documents? If you have these questions on your mind right now, today’s article can help to guide you through the process and hopefully will answer some (or all) of your questions. If you’re ready, let’s get started!
Why do you have to legalize your documents?
When you legalize your documents, you can use those documents abroad for various reasons from job applying to legal matters. So, whether you’re foreign national planning to live and work in Thailand or Thai national planning to live and work abroad, legalizing your documents may be mandatory at some point.
List of documents that can be legalized
After you’ve learned why do you have to legalize your documents, you might want to just have everything legalized to make your life easy in the future. I’ve included the list of some common documents that can be legalized below:
- Birth Certificate
- Death Certificate
- House registration
- ID card
- Family Registration Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Single Status Certificate
- Divorce Certificate
- Sor. Dor. 43 / 8 / 9
- Letter of Consent
- Police Acknowledgement Form
- Court’s Decision
- Any other official documents issued by government organizations with National Emblem.
Steps of legalizing your documents
- Prepare these documents:
- A copy and original of your documents.
- A copy and original Thai ID card or passport.
- Translated documents certified by a translator.
- Fill out the Legalization Application Form (you can find it at The Legalization Division of Consular Affairs Department of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
- Contact the information counter to receive your queue no.
- Submit the application and documents at the designated counter.
- Pay the processing fees.
- Your documents will be screened and proofread. If the authority finds mistakes in the translation, they’ll contact you to take your documents back to correct the translation before submitting them again.
- If the authority finds no mistake in the translation of your documents, they will proceed with your documents to the legalizing process.
- Collect your documents in 3 working days for the regular service, or within the same day for the express service. You can also choose to receive your legalized documents by mail to avoid traveling to the office but it requires a few days more for the documents to be delivered to your door.
Where can I legalize my documents?
You can do the legalization by yourself at The Legalization Division of Consular Affairs Department of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs during office hour (08:30 – 15:30 for regular service, or 08:30 – 10:30 for express service), but if you read through the steps and think that it looks too complicated, you can have someone else do the work for you. Some translation companies (such as Sawadee Translations) offer both certified translation and document legalization services. All you have to do is just send the required documents and they’ll deal with the hassle for you.
How much does it cost?
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the costs of document legalization are below:
- Regular Service – 400 baht/stamp
- Express Service – 800 baht/stamp
- Court documents – 800 baht/page
- Postal Service in case you want your documents to be delivered to you will be an extra 60 baht (EMS)
Don’t forget that you’ll still need your documents to be translated and certified by a translator. The cost of translation can vary depending on the amount and the type of your documents.
If you’ve read all the information above and decided to proceed with the translation and legalization by yourself, I’m glad the information helps. But if you’re too busy working and can’t do the process during office hours, or the process is too complicated for you, please give us the honor to help! Sawadee Translations offers both certified translation and legalization services at a reasonable price. We would rather see you busy enjoying life than having a headache of dealing with documents. Contact us for a free quote today!
Sara is a Thai national who has spent many years working in various locations around the world. She has a passion for language - both Thai and English - and works as a certified translator for Sawadee Translations.