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Characteristics of Land Documents; Green Red and Black Garuda (Official Emblem)


Have you ever noticed the garuda symbol on Thai land title deeds or documents of rights? 


The colors of the garuda—green, red, and black—each convey different meanings and implications regarding land ownership and rights in Thailand.


The practice of issuing land title deeds in Thailand began during the reign of King Rama V, with the first legislation enacted in 1908 (B.E. 2451). This act, and its subsequent revisions, culminated in the 1936 Land Code, which remains the foundation for current land ownership and documentation procedures. A land title deed is a critical document, evidencing land ownership.


The "Title Deed or Nor Sor 4" is the definitive document of land ownership, allowing for legal trade and transfer. Most urban lands are documented with this title deed, signified by a red garuda emblem, indicating full ownership rights. Conversely, the "Nor Sor 3 Kor" certificate, marked with a green garuda, certifies land use by the holder, granting only possession rights without ownership. Such documents are typically issued for lands documented by aerial photography. Additionally, the "Nor Sor 3" and "Nor Sor 3 Kor" certificates without aerial photos are identified by a black garuda emblem, also signifying use rights without ownership, prohibiting trade, transfer, or mortgaging.


Moreover, the term "Red back title deed" refers to a specific condition, distinct from the standard Nor Sor 4 with a red garuda. This designation on the document's reverse side indicates a prohibition against transferring rights for a period of 5-10 years, emphasizing the nuances within Thailand's land documentation system.


Understanding the significance of these garuda colors and the associated legal documents is essential for navigating Thailand's real estate landscape, ensuring clarity in land ownership, rights, and restrictions.

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