Integrity Legal

30th July 2009

The Tabien Baan, or document proving House Registration, is distributed by a village, city, or other  municipal authority. The Tabien Baan (sometimes spelled Tambien Baan) reflects the residents who live at a specific property (this document is not used as proof of Real Estate ownership, for that one must have a Thai Chanote or Title Deed). The Tabien Baan (House Registration) is issued to Thai Citizens and is used as a permanent address for service of process and other official mailings.

A Tabien Baan is an extremely important document for Thai nationals because it acts as proof of a Thai person’s residence. Therefore, it is used to determine a Thai person’s voting district and in the case of Thai men of military age, the Tabien Baan is used to ascertain what district the Thai man will be placed in when drawing for the military draft. This can be critical because if one district reaches a certain level of volunteers then it is not necessary to further draft any inhabitants of that district. As a result, a Thai man’s House Registration (Tabien Baan) can have a massive impact upon their life and career depending upon the district in which they live.

Can a Foreigner (Farang) Get a Thai Tabien Baan?

For a foreigner (farang in Thai) it may be possible to be registered on a Tabien Baan in Thailand if:

  1. the foreigner has acquired a Thai lease that has been legally registered at the Thai land Department
  2. the foreigner has used a Thai company to buy land in Thailand (This is becoming less common as the Thai Land Department officials are more heavily scrutinizing cases involving a Thai Company to own land.)
  3. the foreigner has bought a Thai Condo as a freehold Title owner pursuant to the Thai Condominium Act

A Tabien Baan issued to a foreigner residing in Thailand is generally referred to as a “Yellow Tabien Baan” because the booklet is the color yellow. Yellow Tabien Baan’s are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain because the local Amphur office (or Khet office in the Bangkok Metropolis) is reluctant to issue Tabien Baan’s to foreign nationals.

There are some benefits to having a Tabien Baan in Thailand. Most notable is the fact that a foreigner can obtain a building permit based upon a Tabien Baan and as a result could more easily obtain a superficies for structures built upon a piece of Thai property. Thai banks are also more cooperative about granting Thai mortgages to foreigners who are noted on a Tabien Baan.

Those with Permanent Residence in Thailand can be placed upon a blue Tabien Baan in the same way as a Thai National. However, this does not denote Citizenship nor voting rights, it is simply an administrative change based upon the foreigner’s residential status.

The Tabien Baan may become an important aspect of the USA visa process as well. For those Thai nationals applying for a K1 visa or a K3 visa, the Tabien Baan may be requested in order to prove the Thai’s residence in Thailand.

(Please be aware that this information is imparted for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No Lawyer/Client fiduciary relationship is created by reading this posting.)


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5 Responses to “Thailand House Registration: What is a Tabien Baan?”

  1. Rickfarang says:

    A foreigner can also qualify for a yellow housebook if he has a usufruct.

  2. admin says:

    You are correct. One may be able to get on a Tabien Baan simply by renting a home, but unfortunately the Amphur can make this very difficult.

  3. jack says:

    I was wondering, does a tabien baan expire? they told my fiancee that the doc was only good for 6 mos then she had to get a new one. Is that true?

  4. admin says:

    Hi Jack,

    Tabien Baans do not expire. Although there is a “Tabien Raat” which is an affidavit stating the same thing as the Tabien Baan. This can go “stale” since it is not an original document and is simply a restatement of the information in the Tabien Baan promulgated by an Amphur.

  5. Jayzee says:

    I am not a permanent resident of Thailand (yet), but have been included on my wife’s house certificate for over 20 years. The old certificates were renewed about 3 years ago – now a smaller book type document. There was no problem with my inclusion, or my daughter’s (who has Thai citizenship anyway).

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