What is The Pink Book in Vietnam?

Oct 26, 2021

What is The Pink Book in Vietnam?

What is the ‘red book’ and what is the ‘pink book’ in Vietnam? Why do I need them?

This article explains why these documents are crucial for buying and selling property in Vietnam. Read on to find out what vital information is in them.

What is the red book or the pink book?

The red book or the pink book are nicknames of (now defunct) very important real estate documents issued in Vietnam. The red book was a certificate of land use rights issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The pink book was a certificate issued by the Ministry of Construction regarding home ownership or development/construction work rights.

Now, instead of the red or pink books, there is only one certificate issued - namely the Certificate of Land Rights Use and Other Assets Attached to the Land by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The document determines the right to use the property and ownership of the property; property owners also use it to exercise the rights of the land.

That being said, the colloquial terms of “red book”, and especially “pink book”, are still used to informally refer to the Certificate of Land Rights Use and Other Assets Attached to the Land. For simplicity’s sake, we refer to it as the pink book.

Why do you need the pink book?

Before conducting any real estate transaction, you must digest the information in the pink book. The critical details form the basis of verification and protection of your rights and obligations.

Understanding the information helps you to:

Understanding the information

The Certificate of Land Rights Use and Other Assets Attached to the Land, or as we call it the pink book, is made up of 4 sheets of pink paper, any additional sheets are white. It contains the following information:


Page 1: Land Ownership Information and Certificate Issue Number

Land ownership information

On page 1 of the certificate, you will find information on the owners of the land and of any assets tied to it. The property's present owner may not be the person mentioned on the first page due to previous transactions. In this case, the present owner's information will be listed on the additional white page(s).

The information here will include the full name, date of birth, ID/CCDC number, and home address of the owner(s). Should the owner be an organisation, relevant details such as the organization’s name and license number will be included.

Certificate issue number (serial number):

The serial number includes 2 uppercase letters and 6 digits, printed in black, embossed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.


Page 2: Information about the land and assets

Information related to the parcel of land, house and other assets attached to the land

This section outlines what the land and assets can be used for within the framework of the law.

Parcel of land: The number of the land parcel on the cadastral map according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s regulations.

Map sheet number: The ordinal number of the cadastral map sheet with the land parcel certificate issued by the commune-level administrative unit.

Address: House number, street name (if any), residential area, administrative unit, commune, ward, district, city, province.

Area: The area of the land recorded in square meters (m2), rounded to one decimal place.

Form of use: The form of use can be private use or common use (under the use of many land holders); the purpose of use can be agricultural land or non-agricultural land.

Expiry date: If the land has a long-term use, here it will state “long-term”, should the land be used for a definite period, it will state an exact expiration date.

Sources of use:

There are 3 common types:

Type of housing: The specific type of house according to the provisions of the law on housing, e.g. individual house, or villa.

Construction area: The area of land occupied by construction work in square meters.

Floor area: Square meters of the construction floor for a single-storey house or the total construction floor area of multi-storey buildings.

Form of ownership: Single ownership (one owner), common ownership (multiple owners) or both.

Housing grade (class): Housing classification as regulated by the law on housing and the law on construction.

Terms of ownership:

Other constructions:

Should the property have construction work done, the following information will be recorded:

Production forests/planted forests/plant crop

If the land includes production forests, it will include the following information:


This could include any history of certification, details on road boundaries, ditches, protection corridors, land area, construction works that have been approved or rejected, any financial obligations, etc.

The issued certificate

Here, you will see the date of certification, which will also be stamped and signed by the relevant authority.

The certificate record number

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment issues certificates to households, individuals, residential communities, or overseas Vietnamese. On these, you will see the letters "CS," followed by a five-digit ordinal number.


Page 3: Land and property diagrams

Parcel of land diagram, house and other land-attached assets on the Certificate of land use right:

Here, you will see a diagram of the land and other assets, information on the location, condition, area, and properties attached.

The parcel of land diagram:

The diagram of houses and other properties attached to land:

Changes after the certificate was first issued

This section shows any changes that have taken place since the certificate was first issued. This could include any changes in ownership, transference of the land use right/house/assets, changes in land use, division of plots, changes in financial obligations, etc.

Top tip: the buyer should read this section carefully to understand who the current owner of the land is and the land’s current land use rights.


Page 4: Certificate barcode

Certificate barcode:

The barcode is structured in the form MV = MX.MN.ST, where:



The Certificate of Land Rights Use and Other Assets Attached to the Land, also known as the pink book, is a highly important legal document, which should be thoroughly checked and digested before any transactions. Reach out to us if you need more assistance, Homebase is here to help you find your ideal property and how to get a pink book in Vietnam. You can reach us easily by phone/Zalo/WA at (+84) 964 245 404 or email at contact@gethomebase.com.

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