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Household Registration (Blue Books & Yellow Books) in Thailand – An FAQ

Last updated: 27 Sep 2023
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Household Registration (Blue Books & Yellow Books) in Thailand – An FAQ

What is a household registration?

A household registration (or Tabien Baan), is an important administrative document issued by the Thai authorities listing all the people registered at any particular address in Thailand. It is the fundamental mechanism of registration for Thai citizens and permanent residents of Thailand. The document is issued in the form of a booklet and is the basis for the issuance of national identity cards, which together provide access to many critical government and private sector services.

What is the difference between a blue and a yellow household registration?

A blue household registration (Tor Ror 14 or commonly known as a ‘blue book’) is reserved for the registration of Thai nationals and permanent residents of Thailand. A yellow household registration (Tor Ror 13 or commonly known as a ‘yellow book’) permits the registration of foreign nationals who do not have permanent residence status in Thailand.

I am a foreign national living in Thailand. What are the advantages of being listed on a household registration?

While it is not formally necessary (or even particularly encouraged by the authorities) for a foreign national living in Thailand to be listed on a household registration, it does present some advantages, particularly when dealing with some government agencies. A registrant will be issued a unique ID number, enabling them to apply for a Thai national ID card. In some cases, being listed on a household registration can negate the need to obtain a residency confirmation letter from an embassy - usually a costly and time-consuming exercise.

What are the requirements for a foreign national to be listed on a household registration?

Registration takes place at a local district office, and, as is often the case in Thailand, officials have wide discretion in how they interpret the rules and what conditions will ultimately need to be satisfied. The process is generally more transparent and straightforward in the area where officials are more familiar with dealing with foreign nationals. In any event, the relevant local office should be consulted in advance as to their own particular requirements.

That being said, on the basis, that the foreign national is not a permanent resident of Thailand and therefore only entitled to be registered in yellow household registration, at minimum, the following requirements will usually apply:

  • Passport copy translated into Thai and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (some offices may also require a certified copy of a birth certificate)

  • Valid non-immigrant visa and extension of stay for one year

  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)

  • Two Thai national witnesses (aged 20 or above)

  • Two passport photos

  • The original official sale and purchase agreement and a copy of the title deed of the relevant address.

  • Blue household registration (Tor Ror 14) of the relevant address.

  • Permission from the ‘house master’ (a designated person, who is not necessarily the owner, permitted to add someone to the list of persons registered at an address), who will generally need to be present at the time of registration.

What is the usual timeframe for being added to a household registration?

This can vary significantly between local offices. Generally, this may take days or months to complete the process, and refusals to even deal with the process are not uncommon.

I am a foreign national who owns a freehold condominium. Can I be added to my own household registration?

Yes, and the procedure is the same as being added to any other household registration.

Does being added to a household registration exempt me from 90-day reporting to immigration?

No, it does not. You will still be required by immigration to report every 90 days if you are living in Thailand.

I am a foreign national planning to apply for Thai citizenship. Do I need to be added to a household registration?

You will need to be added to a household registration before any application is made. Additional credit is also applied to those applicants who have been on a household registration for a minimum of 5 years, although this is not a requirement and will likely not meaningfully prejudice any application.

Can you help foreign nationals with being listed on a household registration?

Yes, we can guide you through the entire process, including initial advice, establishing in advance the requirements of any particular district office, preparation, translation, and certification of the necessary documents, and attending the office with you for registration. Please contact us at info@lafs-legal.com for further advice or assistance with household registration.

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