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According to Wikipedia, the first number of the Thai ID card categorises the holder into one of the following categories (these numbers correspond to the first digit of the identification number):

0 Foreign worker
1. Thai nationals who was born after 1 January 1984 and had their birth notified within given deadline (15 days).
2. Thai nationals who was born after 1 January 1984 but failed to had their birth notified in time.
3. Thai nationals who was born before 1 January 1984 and had not yet moved their residence.
4. Thai nationals who was born and moved their residence before 1 January 1984.
5. Dual Nationality which born outside Kingdom, or People who missed the official census.
6. Minority or Foreign nationals who are living in Thailand temporarily and illegal migrants.
7. Children of people of category 6
8... 1.. Foreign nationals who are living in Thailand permanently.
..... 2. Thai nationals by naturalization (Sub-sequence from above).

Why was this categorisation introduced? What is the categorisation used for?

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    It is obvious they try to implement some sort of control like en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_registration . In addition, 1983 is the year that CPT (Communism Party Thailand) abandoned the insurgent. So 1984 is possible some used as some sort of "watershed" for people to register their nationality which they failed to do so previously. – mootmoot Apr 23 '19 at 15:40
  • @mootmoot from the linked Wikipedia page, they had registration (though not complete) since 1909. These categories were introduced in 1985. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Apr 23 '19 at 15:45
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    Categories 1-4 may aid in determining where an individual's vital statistics records are kept on a modified version of the French model in which all records concerning a person (e.g. marriage certificate, change of name, divorce, death, etc.) are kept in the town hall of the place you were born where your birth certificate was originally lodged. It was a paragon of bureaucratic organization prior to the widespread use of computers (the U.S. for example, has no central index of such data even today). Perhaps copied from nearby Vietnam which was a French colony for many years. – ohwilleke Apr 24 '19 at 11:33
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    @ohwilleke that's an interesting thought, Laos was also a French colony (though much earlier?) and it's even closer. ;) – JJ for Transparency and Monica Apr 24 '19 at 16:27
  • @JJJ Indeed. The state of affairs as of 1909 or a year or two before that, when the system was first put in place is probably what was relevant. – ohwilleke Apr 24 '19 at 18:13

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