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How to get a certificate of residence in Pattaya, what is it and why is it needed

What is the Certificate of Residence for?

A certificate of residence is a document that confirms the address of residence of a foreigner in Thailand. This document is entirely in Thai, so it is called differently in English:

  • Certificate of Residence
  • residence certificate
  • residence letter

This is a document with your photo, passport details and address of residence in Thailand, certified by the Immigration Police.

A certificate of residence is required for:

  • motorcycle shopping
  • driving license surrender
  • renew an expired driver's license
  • obtaining a driver's license based on an international driver's license
  • opening a Thai bank account

An example of a Thai certificate of residence:

What you need to get a Certificate of Residence in Pattaya

A certificate of residence can be obtained from the nearest Immigration Police.

Related: Where in Pattaya to extend a visa and get a certificate of residence. How to get to the Immigration Police in Pattaya

Different immigration offices have slightly different rules. For example, in Hua Hin, in order to obtain a Thai certificate of residence, I needed an apartment rental agreement and a copy of the apartment owner's ID. I was given two options to choose from: get a document right now for 500 baht or a certificate sometime in the future for free.

Let's start with the fact that in Pattaya I was charged 300 baht for each certificate (they didn’t offer a free option) – I don’t know if prices are like this everywhere in Thailand now or if it’s a feature of the local Immigration Office.

To obtain a Certificate of Residence in Pattaya, the following documents are required:

  • original international passport with form T.M.6
  • photocopies of passport pages: spread with photo and passport number, entry stamp, visa category and visa
  • proof of your address: form TM.30 OR apartment rental agreement OR house book
  • photos.

If you need one certificate of residence, please bring 2 photographs. If I understand correctly, each additional certificate only requires one additional photo, but I would recommend bringing more photos with you. To take photos, go to the nearest photo shop and tell them you need a photo for the Immigration office, they will understand everything – all photos (for a visa or for a certificate of residence) at the Immigration office are the same. If you forgot to take photos in advance, then in front of the Immigration Office you will be offered photography services – the price of photos is 50 baht per piece, which is much more expensive than in any other Pattaya photo studio. A photocopy can be made directly in the building of the Immigration Service, it is also more expensive than in other places.

Related: Where to take visa photos, printouts and photocopies of documents in Pattaya

What is the TM.30 form and where to get it

Form TM.30 must be submitted by the owner of the dwelling with whom you have entered into an apartment lease agreement. He must submit this form within 24 hours of your arrival. If the owner does not do this, then he faces a fine.

In practical terms, for the tenant of the apartment (that is, for you), this means the opportunity to receive a “Receipt of Notification” – this is a small piece of paper that the Immigration Officer gives to the owner of the apartment in response to the filing of TM.30. This Receipt of Notification must be given by the owner of the apartment to the tenant (that is, you). This document replaces the Apartment Lease Agreement and the Apartment Owner ID when applying for a Certificate of Residence.

Please note that the Receipt of Notification DOES NOT REPLACE the Certificate of Residence. That is, even if you have a Receipt of Notification in your hands and you are faced with a situation requiring a Certificate of Residence (for example, to buy a motorcycle or obtain a driver's license), then you will need to go to the Immigration Police and receive a Certificate of Residence there.

Despite the fines, the owners have different attitudes towards the submission of the TM.30 form: in the range from “does everything himself without a reminder within 24 hours” to “does not do it at all even if asked”.

Some owners submit Form TM.30 only upon request. But since they must do it on time, otherwise they will face a fine, then you should immediately ask for the TM.30 form during check-in. Some do it for extra money – 800 baht per person – apparently, based on the need to pay a fine, or simply take an additional fee “for the work”.

Residence certificates are now targeted

When obtaining a certificate of residence, you must specify the purpose. For example, “to obtain a driver's license to drive a car”, “to obtain a driver's license to drive a motorcycle”.

If you want to open a bank account, you will be asked for the name of the bank! Prepare for this in advance – perhaps visit the office of the desired bank and ask about the possibility and conditions for opening a bank account by a foreigner.

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