All couples who marry in Indonesia must declare a religion. Agnosticism and Atheism are not recognized. The Civil Registry Office can record marriages of persons of Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian-Protestant and Christian-Catholic faiths. Marriage partners must have the same religion, otherwise one partner must make a written declaration of change of religion.
In accordance with Law No. 1 of 1974 concerning marriages in Indonesia (Article 2 (1): “a marriage is legitimate if it has been performed according to the laws of the respective religious beliefs of the parties concerned.”
The Religious Marriage under Islam is performed by the Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama) in a ceremony at a mosque, the home, a restaurant, or any other place chosen by the couple and is legal immediately after the ceremony.
A Christian, Hindu or Buddhist marriage is usually performed first in a church or temple ceremony. After the religious ceremony, every non-Islamic marriage must be recorded with the Civil Registry (Kantor Catatan Sipil). Without the registration by the Civil Registry these marriages are not legal. Recording by Civil Registry officials can be performed directly at the religious ceremony for an additional fee.
Persons of non-Islamic faith are required to file with the Civil Registry Office in the Regency where they are staying first a ‘Notice of Intention to Marry’ as well as a ‘Letter of No Impediment’ obtained from their consular representatives.
For the issue of the Letter of No Impediment to Marriage by your Consular Representative you will need to present for youself and your fiance(e) your Passport(s) valid for more than 6 months and Certified Divorce Decrees (absolute/final) and/or Death Certificates regarding the termination of all previous marriages. Please contact the Consular Representative of your country for details well before your intended date of marriage.
For the Notice of Intention to Marry you have to submit the following documents for both partners to the Civil Registry Office (show the original and present a photocopy):
Certificate of the religious marriage;
Passport for foreign citizens, or KTP (Identity card) for Indonesian citizens;
Certified birth certificate;
Certified divorce decree (absolute) or death certificates regarding the termination of all previous marriages;
Four 4×6 cm photos, both partners side by side;
‘Letter of No Impediment to Marriage’ issued by your Consular Representative for Bali or Indonesia;
Never married: letter Surat Keterangan Belum Kawin from Kepala Desa or Lurah (mayor);
Men aged 18-21 and women aged 16-21: parental letter of consent, signed across the materai/tax stamp Rupiah 2,000.
Before the marriage, you and your fiance(e) also may wish to file with the Civil Registry a prenuptial Property Agreement (Surat Pernyataan Harta) which must be signed before a local Notary Public. This contract is necessary if you wish to hold property separately during the marriage. In the absence of such a document, Indonesian marriage law assumes joint ownership of property, and subsequent property acquisitions by the Indonesian partner will be regulated according to the laws restricting foreign property ownership.
Two witnesses over the age of 18 are required. They must show the originals and present photocopies of their passports if they are foreign citizens or KTP (identity cards) if they are Indonesian citizens. Civil Registry employees can act as witnesses.
The Civil Registry office has a Mandatory Waiting Period of 10 working days from the date of filing. This waiting period may be waived for tourists presenting a guest registration form (Form A).
Islamic Marriage Certificates (Buku Nikah) issued by the Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama) are legally valid in Indonesia and do not require registration with any other agency if you are going to live in Indonesia. However, if you might move somewhere else in the future (and who knows?), get a marriage certificate issued by the Civil Registry and an officially certified translation right away (see below).
All other Marriage Certificates will be issued by the Civil Registry usually on the same or next day. A sworn English translation of the marriage certificate should be obtained for use abroad. It is not necessary for the marriage certificate or translation to be registered by your Consular Agency. However, to have the sworn translation of the marriage certificate verified or a special translation made by the Consulate of your home country or the Consulate of your country of residence might prove useful.
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