How to Get a Residence Certificate in Thailand

There I was, crammed in the same tiny photocopying room for the second time in just ten minutes. The young kid working behind the copier recognized me, reached out his hand, and again I handed him my passport.

“These two pages this time,” I said. And he copied what I hoped would be the last of what the girl working at the information counter required from me. But dealing with immigration, especially in Samut Prakan where things tend to be much less organized, I wouldn’t find out until I went back downstairs to hand in the rest of my documents for my Residence Certificate.

I made my way back downstairs and handed the rest of my copies to the girl working behind the information counter. As she looked through my paperwork, three Chinese university students came in to go through the same process I was going through.

They asked her where they should go to get their Residence Certificate too. And without hesitation, she uttered the same words she told me, “Copy your passport.”

I knew the three university students would be making multiple trips like I did because of her vague answer. So I told the lady they wanted to do the same thing I was doing. And then she took one of the university student’s passports and pointed to each page that they needed to copy.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, really. Spend any length of time in Thailand and you’re bound to come across unhelpful immigration staff. Most of the time, although they are employed because of us, it seems they have little interest in actually helping us.

Though, there are those rare few who go out of their way to help us.

In this guide, I’m going to walk you through the process of applying for a Residence Certificate in Thailand so you don’t spend most of your time running between the help counter and photocopier.

Although I went to the immigration office in Samut Prakan, it looks as if the process is the same no matter which immigration office you go to.

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What is It?

A Residence Certificate is an official letter from the Thailand immigration office stating that you actually reside in the address you claim to live in.

certificate of residence thailand
My Residence Certificate. Notice they didn’t add my photo or red stamp to the paper, as you might see in some other cases.

Why Do You Need It?

You’ll need a Residence Certificate for many cases in Thailand. I got mine because I needed to change the address on my Thai driver’s license. You may need to get one for a work permit, your visa, buying a car, opening a Thai bank account, or any other number of legal matters in Thailand.

Even with a Thailand Elite visa, you still need a Residence Certificate.

And don’t forget, you need to apply for a new Residence Certificate each time someone asks for one. And they’re only good for 30 days.

Application, Forms, and Documents

Before you apply for your Residence Certificate in Thailand, you’ll need to make sure you have each of these documents on hand:

  • your passport
  • copy of your passport’s photo page
  • copy of your visa (if applicable)
  • copy of your TM6 Departure Card
  • copy of your Receipt of Address Notification
  • copy of your lease/house book with your name and address
  • two passport-size photos

You should sign all copies in blue ink across the image, not on a blank part of the document. If you sign a blank part of the document someone could cut away your signature and use the rest of the document elsewhere.

If you don’t have a copy of lease/house book with your name and address, you can ask it from a landlord with a signed copy of his/her ID card. You may also need to present a rental copy with your name in it.

Please note that each immigration office many require a different type of document.

Immigration Offices

I got my Residence Certificate from the immigration office in Samut Prakan. So I’ll list the details of how I did it there first. Then I’ll give you some more popular places around Thailand to get your certificate. If you don’t live in any of these provinces, I left a link at the bottom of this section with the addresses to all the immigration offices in Thailand.


Samut Prakan

Since I recently moved into a townhouse from Bangkok to Samut Prakan, I applied for my Residence Certificate in Samut Prakan. Here’s a Google Map’s link to the location.

And here’s the address:

  • Sutthi Phirom Alley, ตำบล ปากน้ำ Amphoe Mueang Samut Prakan, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10270

You can take the BTS and get off at Samrong Station and take a taxi down the road. It shouldn’t cost you more than 45 baht or take more than 5 minutes.

There is a parking lot if you plan on driving, but it gets crowded.

The office itself, which is nestled along the Chao Phraya River, doesn’t look like much. In fact, it isn’t. They don’t even have air conditioning in the waiting area on the second floor. But they do have ice cream outside.

ice cream on a hot dog bun
Hey, I can’t resist coconut ice cream on a hot dog bun—especially in the scorching April heat.

When you get to the immigration office, walk through the front door and go straight to the information desk, usually manned by an immigration employee and a volunteer. It’s to the right of a staircase leading to the photocopy room.

That’s the spot you want to go to.

Before applying, you’ll have to pay 500 baht.


If you’re a resident of Bangkok, you’ll need to get your Residence Certificate at the Division 1 Immigration Office on Chaengwathtana Road. The certificate will cost you 200 baht in Bangkok. On the first floor of the immigration office, you’ll find photo and copy centers if you need them.

  • 120 Thanon Chaeng Watthana, Khwaeng Thung Song Hong, Khet Lak Si, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10210

If you apply for a Residence Certificate at Division 1, keep in mind you can’t get the certificate the same day. They’ll give you a slip with a number on it and mail you the certificate within two weeks. And if you don’t receive the certificate within two weeks, you can go back and pick it up with number on the slip that they give you.

Also, Division 1 only issues Resident Certificates to visa holders who have to report to immigration every 90 days. If you have a 30-day visa exempt stamp or a 60-day tourist visa, you must go to your embassy to get the Resident Certificate.

Chiang Mai

If you want to get your residence certificate in Chiang Mai, you’ll have to go to the Chiang Mai Immigration Office, located next to Chiang Mai International airport. Residence Certificates here are free. As of November 2018, copy and photo services are NOT available inside the immigration office.

  • 71 Moo 3Sanambin RoadSuthep, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50200


If you live in Chonburi, you’ll have to go to the immigration office in Jomtien. Once there, you’ll find the help desk just to the left when you walk in. Residence Certificates here are 300 baht. But since you’ll need photos and copies, plan on spending more than that.

  • 75/265 12 Jomtien Road 5 Tambon Nongprue, Amphoe Bang Lamung, Chang Wat Chon Buri 20150

If you want to apply for your Residence Certificate in Thailand, but you’re in another province, contact the immigration office in your province or closest to your province.

Application Process

As for the application process, it really is one of the easiest things to do as an expat in Thailand. Just hand over all the documents listed above. The officer working at the information counter will make sure you have everything.

And if you do, he/she’ll tell you to come back in an hour to pick up your Thailand Residence Certificate.

If you don’t, he or she’ll tell you to go up and down the stairs making photocopies until you have everything you need. So it’s best to ask up front which pages you needs to copy.

And that’s it. No queue numbers. No lines. No hassles. No translating documents from English to Thai or the other way around.

You’ll then have your Residence Certificate, which is good for 30 days of the issued date.

John Wolcott is the global editor for ExpatDen. He's a New Jersey native who now lives in Bangkok with his wife and two daughters.

36 thoughts on “How to Get a Residence Certificate in Thailand”

  1. Hi! I just applied for the residence certificate (for driver’s license requirement) last 23 March 2022 at Samut Prakan Immigration Office which has now re-located at Thipnimitra Market, 2nd Floor, 3268 Thepharak Rd, Bang Phli Yai, Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan and it is FREE of charge. The lady officer at counter 13 informed me to pick up the certificate 1 week after.

  2. At the beginning of the article you say the certificate can’t be got same day and that you have to wait 2 weeks. Then you finish the article saying you can come back in an hour to pick it up. Which is it?

    You also state it is 200 Baht, and then later 500 Baht. Which is it?


    • Hey Herbert,
      Please keep in mind that I got my Resident Certificate in Samut Prakan, and under the Samut Prakan section I note that it’s 500 baht and can be done same day. Under the Bangkok section, I note it’s 200 baht and will be ready in two weeks.
      Two different provinces, two different processes. Hope this clears up any confusion, but happy to answer additional questions for ya!

    • I’ve just recently been to the ChonBuri Immigration Office in Pattaya to get Residence Certificates to renew both my Driving licenses, car & bike & was charged 600 baht which i thought would be a free service like i received in Phuket, so upon receipt of my certificates i asked for a receipt, to which the lady who served me, her mood quickly changed and was told we don’t give out receipts!! If you want a receipt give me the Certificates back, which at that point i knew something was not right…
      I wanted to clarify this for piece of mind, however when dialing the Immigration office on 1178 nobody ever answers!!
      Welcome to Thailand, another one of many scams here at the immigration offices!!

  3. Hello guys

    It seems I have almost all the required document to get the Certificate of Residence in Thailand.

    The only thing I am NOT entirely sure I understand is:
    “copy of your lease/house book with your name and address”

    To make it clear, I do NOT own a house or apartment in my name,
    I am renting a room long term on a residence apartments.

    So what would I need, exactly?


    • In this case, you can use a rental contract and ask your landlord for a copy of the landlord’s house book and a copy of his/her ID card (if possible).

    • so you your residence are renting /leasing and you need to ask the rental company to assist with the paperwork to show you live at the address .They should have filed your TM 30 with Immigration when you took out the rental

  4. Hi I have a non m b visa and wondered whether I require a redide t and/or resident certificate
    Could you advise? Thanks

  5. If your in Bangkok seeking a residence certificate there’s some major changes to the information above

    First off it’s no longer at the chaeng wattana address they will send you behind impact arena wasting a lot of time if your not aware of this. It’s called Thai immigration at Muang Thomg Tani

    Second you will likely have to update your 90 day reporting first, and fill out documents for this. I have a Thai elite visa, still had to do this first before the residence certificate

    Third you are required to have a copy of the last entry stamp from your passport and do not require photographs

  6. hi i read your article, I need to get a letter of residency, but I need one in english too, do I still go to immigration or to the U.S embassy?

  7. Does the ‘Residence Certificate’ have a useful life, ie how long after issue can I still use it to get a driving license?

  8. What is the receipt of address notification? Is that something different than a letter of residency?

  9. Hi John, thanks for the article! Just about the address, is hotel address fine? There’s a mixed of yes and no on the internet. I’ll be there for a week just to get my driver’s license.

    • I don’t think a hotel address is okay. In order to get your residence certificate, you need the owner (of house or condo) to fill out some paperwork in order to get your Receipt of Address Notification first.

      • Hi John, I used the mobile app to notify my address but I got not receipt of the application, except it being listed on the app. Do you have any idea about if that would work the same? Thanks

  10. Can someone tell me why Bangkok immigration refused to give me a resident certificate. I went there, waited all day, and they say can not because my entry stamp in passport permits only 3 months (I have a 1 year non-imm multiple entry B visa). I presented my passport, 1 year visa page, TM6 Dep Card, receipt of address notification, work permit. I need it to buy a car and register the car at my address. I live and work here. My visa is a work visa right? Not a tourist visa.

    • when you came through immigration, they inadvertently gave you a three month tourist visa, instead of the 12 month visa you are entitled to. Their mistake, but you will have to fix it. I suggest a quick trip to KL for a day’s shopping.

    • Hi Neil,

      I just had the same problem with my Non-O visa. The lady at he B counter told me to extend the visa that’s already 12 months, but my entry stamp is already 2 times 90 days.
      Unbelievable hassle in Laksi all day for nothing!
      Did you solve the problem with the 3 month stamp or any other solution?
      Need to renew my driving license as well.



      • Hi Nemanka, did you manage to get your residence certificate? Do you have the 12 month multi entry visa permitting 3 month stays on each entry or the extension of stay? I think you should be able to get a residence certificate in both cases, but if you have the former and the office you are dealing with says no, there are a couple of work arounds. One is to try another immigration office. You may or may not be required to furnish evidence of residency in that province or the jurisdiction the immigration office is responsible for. If they want some proof of residence within that jurisdiction, stay at an Airbnb for a night and use the copy of the owner’s tabien bann as proof. A better option is just to go to your embassy but note that not all embassies issue certificates of residency. The Australian embassy no longer does, while it’s unclear whether the Swiss do or not. Hence why it may be a little bit of a hassle if your embassy doesn’t do the certificate. Finally, a work permit or yellow book should work as proof of address as well.

  11. Greetings Starter Kiddies,

    It should be noted that the Immigration Office in Chiang Mai is no longer located at the address stated in this article. As of late September 2018, the new location is immidiately adjacent to the airport at this addresss:

    71 Moo 3
    Sanambin Road
    Suthep, Chiang Mai
    Chiang Mai 50200

    This information is slowly appearing on the top resulting pages found by searching the usual search engine…

    What was a total surprise just yesterday ( subjectively, November 5, 2018 ) was the fact that all previously available copy and photo services have been removed from the building.

    Do not go there with the hope of taking care of these necessary tasks on site. It will completely derail your ability to get anything accomplished. By the time you get back your window of opportunity will be closed for the day almost definitely.

    Read this now and believe it later or go with all your documents copied and photos taken.

    There. Karmic debt repaid more so. Now can we get some good fortune, please? (Grumbling under breath…) Lousy universe…

    • Hi and thanks for the details! We’ve updated the guide with the new info you included. Thanks again.

      • Copy services in Chiang Mai are now available across the street in the parking lot of the PTT station. You can also park there as there is never enough parking at immigration. 20THB to park

    • Hi Karim. Thanks for the heads up. It looks like their entire site is down so I’ve removed the link.

      • Hi.. My name is Daniel, I reside in Ethiopia and i come a lot of time for business but I don’t know how to get Thailand residential permit .please could you let me know how to get it…? Thanks .


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