Tabien Baan – Thai house book.

Tabien Baan, or in English a Thai house book, is an address and residence registration booklet issued by the local government. Its sole purpose is to be a proof of legal residence for the people residing in the accommodation unit, whether it is a house or an apartment.

However, the Thai house book is not to be mistaken with the proof of ownership. The booklet is a part of the address registration papers and merely states the information about legal residents of the particular property and also mentions the owner’s name (unless it is a foreigner not residing in Thailand).

There are two types of house books:

  • Blue house book issued for Thai nationals
  • Yellow house book issued for foreigners residing in Thailand

As mentioned, the house book is a legal proof of one’s domicile or residence in Thailand and as such can be used in a number of scenarios, for example when transferring ownership of a car or real estate, opening a bank account or others.

Foreigners’ names usually do not appear in the house books, but there are several occasions when they can – when foreigners possess a non-immigrant visa or when they have a permanent residence at their house or condo.

How to apply for a house book

A House Book can be issued for houses and apartments (both condominiums and mere apartments). Thai applicants receive a blue book while foreign residents can get the yellow one. However, this does not happen automatically. By default, the authorities issue blue books to everyone and only if foreigners meet certain criteria, they can exchange it for the yellow book. Foreigners eligible for receiving a yellow book qualify by possessing a combination of some of the following items:

  • A non-immigration visa
  • Work permit
  • Marriage certificate
  • Apartment unit title deed (condo unit)
  • Land related documents depicting the right to use it
  • Building permit

In practice, most foreigners owning a condominium or a house (separate from the land) possess empty blue house books as this documents bears little to no importance nor practical use. However, foreigners married to a Thai national are recommended to have their names in the house book of the marital home. It may come in handy later on when a proof of the couple’s residence is required.

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