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ResourcesThailand Real Estate & Property LawTitleIs a Yellow Thai House Book Worth the Hassle?

Is a Yellow Thai House Book Worth the Hassle?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Yellow House books. We have done a number of videos on this channel about Yellow House books. For those who are unaware, in Thailand there is what is called a Civil Registrar System; notably it is a house book system. It is a rather sort of common methodology, it sort of like a running census and it is pretty common in Asia especially East Asia, you see them in other countries, these House Books. Notably I had a client in Taiwan and I found out yeah they had a house book system very similar to Thailand. There are other jurisdictions here that have very similar things, Cambodia for example. Long story short, in Thailand there is this thing called a house book and Thai Nationals or Permanent Residents are generally in House Books exclusively but back in I believe in 1991, they amended the law and allowed foreign Nationals to be entered into what is called a Yellow House Book or Tabian Baan, in Thai it is called it a Tabian Baan, but Yellow House books are for foreign nationals. Now to be clear they are Non-Immigrant foreign Nationals. Immigrant foreign Nationals are permanent residents. They can go into a Blue House Book just like a Thai citizen but a Non-Immigrant Visa holder can only get into a Yellow House Book. 

Which leads us to the question, the question of this video: "Is it really worth the hassle?" Well and I know I sound like a broken record sometimes but it depends on your circumstances. There are going to be folks that it is really a good thing for. I would argue the cost benefit analysis is going to shift, I would argue depending on age. What I mean to say by this is I know a lot of retirees that come in especially in their late 60s early 70s and they will talk to me about possibly getting a House Book. Generally speaking, I don't really see what the overall benefit is to those folks. Now it may be a major benefit, they may feel they need it; they want the documentation. If you are a little older I would say the benefit of it goes down the older you get. This is especially the case when I find that a lot of these folks are often doing it because they want to get the pink ID card. There is a Thai ID card, a pink ID card for non-Thai Nationals that runs part and parcel with a Yellow House Book. While in certain circumstances, I would certainly agree that a Yellow House Book is a real benefit especially for younger folks, it is a good document; it is an ID document for lack of a better term and the more ID documentation you can have as a Foreigner in Thailand I guess in a certain sense the better. But if you are doing it only to get that pink ID there is kind of an alternative and that is get yourself a Thai driving license. It is an ID, it is accepted, it is a state ID. It is basically the same if not better in many ways to the pink ID card insofar as the pink ID card is just an ID card whereas a driving license is a driving license. At least it confers the ability to drive in Thailand.

Getting back on topic though "is it overall worth the hassle?" Well it is a convoluted process. It can take a lot of time; it can take a lot of resources and energy to get it done and it doesn't really confer many great benefits. It just is what it is. You are on a House Hook, you are registered to that address. It helps with certain things; it can be helpful in certain types of applications but in and of itself it doesn't confer a great deal of benefit. So again it is going to depend on your circumstances whether or not you feel it is worth the hassle to go through the process to get a Yellow House Book.