Name change culture in Thailand

By 12 Jan 2021 January 15th, 2021 Articles
change name

In Thailand, changing names is something common. It is said that changing one’s name can change one’s fortune. Most often, our names were given by our parents. The name becomes a symbol that identifies us and for others to recognize us. Apart from the conventional reasons such as marriage, Thai people also change their names because of the following reasons:

  • When life at present is rather poor, and people can’t find a way to solve such problem, most people believe that changing one’s name may result in a better luck.
  • When a person has an illness, which takes a long time to heal, it is believed that changing one’s name can help alleviate the symptoms of the illness.
  • They don’t like their original name or the name is inappropriate for its owner.


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The procedure for changing name itself is very easy, which only requires two documents:  the copy of house registration and identification card. Sometimes, this may cause significant challenges in the screening of candidates. 

For people who have committed an offense, the checking of criminal records at the Royal Thai Police is conducted using the unique 13 digits assigned on each Identification card since they were born.  No matter how many times a person changes his/her first name or surname, the 13-digit Identification card number remains the same. Thus, having a copy of the ID of the candidate is a mandatory document prior to conducting the check. 

To mitigate risks, it is imperative to ask candidates whether they have been previously known by another name through the Employment Application Form.




Written by: Punyada Vajasat


Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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