Paul is a retired American ex-pat. He has been residing in Thailand with his Thai wife since 2007.
I had been living retired in Thailand for eight years before I learned about the Thailand house registration book for foreigners or Yellow Tabien Baan. After I told a British ex-pat that I could not open a Thai bank account with only my U.S. passport, David mentioned that I needed a Yellow Tabien Baan to present to the bank. He also explained where and how to apply for it.
In this article, I recall my experience of applying for the Yellow Tabien Baan in Udonthani City in September 2015. I also note the benefits of its use in Thailand.
The Purpose of a Yellow Tabien Baan
I originally thought it was unnecessary to secure a Yellow Tabien Baan after I retired in Thailand. Then, I learned that the Yellow Tabien Baan is similar to the Blue Tabien Baan which all the Thai have. This house registration book is an important document for the Thai because it officially verifies one's residence and the people who are living there. This document is essential when applying for a Thai citizen ID card.
Although unnecessary for long-stay foreign residents, the Yellow Tabien Baan verifies a foreigner's house, apartment, or condo address. It also gives a foreigner a 13-digit foreign citizen ID number after recording name, nationality, and date of birth.
In conjunction with a pink ID card, the Yellow Tabien Baan has many important uses. Before securing a Yellow Tabien Baan, I could not open an account at other banks. Now it is easy when I present the Yellow Tabien Baan to a bank.
My Yellow Tabien Baan also helped me easily renew my Thai driver's license. Instead of having to have Immigration verify my address, I just presented my Thai house registration book for foreigners.
A Yellow Tabien Baan is also required when purchasing a condo, car, or motorcycle in Thailand.
Where Do I Apply?
Foreigners can apply for a Yellow Tabien Baan at the Amphoe or Municipal government office which is responsible for administering civil registrations. This office is subordinate to the Department of Local Administration of the Ministry of Interior.
In Udonthani Municipality where I reside, the office is situated in the government building complex adjacent to Thung Sri Muang Park.
What Documents Must I Prepare Before Applying for a Yellow Tabien Baan?
Before applying for a Yellow Tabien Baan, it would be best to prepare the following documents:
- Passport including a copy of bio page, visa stamp, and Thai entry permit
- Thai translation of passport bio page and notarization if necessary
- If married to a Thai citizen, your marriage certificate plus a copy
- Thai spouse's national ID card and a copy of it
- Thai spouse's house registration book (Blue Book) showing you as a resident plus a copy
- If single and renting, your lease agreement along with the landlord's national ID card and Blue Book plus copies
- Your Blue Book (if any) to be exchanged for a Yellow Tabien Baan
- Statement from a witness who is usually a neighborhood chief in a city or a village head person attesting to your identity and residence
- Two passport size photos
- Work permit (if any)
The Application Interview
My Thai wife accompanied me to the Udonthani Municipal government office handling civil registration and issuance of house registration books for foreigners. I had a statement from a neighborhood leader attesting to my identity and address. My wife and I had previously met with him. He did not accompany me to the interview but agreed to meet with the government interviewer at a different time.
During the interview, I was quizzed extensively about my previous years spent in Thailand. This included my previous residences, work, and marriage to a Thai citizen. I did not need to present a notarization of my passport translation. The interview lasted for about 45 minutes and I was told to return in one week to pick up my Yellow Tabien Baan.
When I returned to the office a week later, I had my picture taken and was issued my Yellow Tabien Baan and a pink Thai ID card for foreigners.
There was no fee for these documents but my wife presented a bag of oranges to the interviewer for her trouble.
My Yellow Tabien Baan entries are all in Thai. My address is listed on the first page and shows me living with my wife. On the second page, my name appears in Thai along with my age, nationality, 13-digit ID number, and issuance date.
My pink ID card has my picture, name in Thai, date of birth, address, and issuance date.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2020 Paul Richard Kuehn
Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on September 18, 2020:
Thank you, Danny. I am very happy you find my article important and useful.
Danny from India on September 18, 2020:
Paul, you have shared an important piece of information. It will be really useful for ex-pats and those who want to make Thailand their second home.