Under Law Number 1 of 1974 on Marriage (“1974 Marriage Law“), a marriage conducted in Indonesia becomes valid if it is done in accordance with each of religion and belief in Indonesia.
Further, Government Regulation Number 9 of 1975 on Implementation of 1974 Marriage Law (“1975 Marriage Regulation“) regulates a procedure to register a marriage. According to 1975 Marriage Regulation:
- a marriage conducted by Moslem couples, the registration of marriage shall be done by Religion Affairs Office (Kantor Urusan Agama); and
- a marriage conducted by non-Moslem couples, the registration of marriage shall be done by Civil Registration Office (Kantor Catatan Sipil).
The registration of a marriage in Indonesia shall determine the governing law for divorce. Because of this principle, couples with different religions that married in Indonesia usually choose one religion that will be used to register the marriage in Indonesia.
Because Islam is the majority religion in Indonesia, the divorce process of Muslim couple takes place in religious court under Islamic religious procedure regulations. Meanwhile, a divorce process for non-Moslem couple takes process in a general court under general court procedure regulations.
Both foreigner and Indonesian must meet the following requirements and produce the following documents:
- If female, be 16 years or older; if male, be 19 years or older
- Valid passport (for a foreigner)
- Valid entry visa into Indonesia (for a foreigner) and a valid National Identification Card (Kartu Tanda Penduduk/KTP) for an Indonesian
- Foreigner’s birth certificate – original is preferred, otherwise a notarised photocopy; the applicable Consulate may need to provide written verification
- Legal proof confirming the marital status of each person:
- For the foreign national, a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
- For an Indonesian, marital status is declared on the National Identification Card (KTP)
- For Indonesian women aged 16 to 21 and Indonesian men aged 18 to 21 – letters from both sets of parents or guardians stating there is no objection to the marriage
- If the couple are both Christians, members of a church, and wish to be married in an Indonesian church, they need a letter of notification from their church
- If one or both of the couple need to convert to Islam to be married according to Islamic Law, the marriage must be registered with the Religious Affairs Office (Kantor Urusan Agama) in their local area
- If it is to be a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist marriage, the marriage must be reported and registered with the local Civil Registry (Kantor Catatan Sipil). Registration includes a preliminary Notice of Intention to Marry, ten days before the marriage is to take place, this period can be waived for tourists coming to Indonesia to marry
- The marriage usually takes place in a church or temple first. After the ceremony, every non-Islamic marriage must be recorded at the Civil Registry (Kantor Catatan Sipil). There may be a fine if the marriage is not registered within a specific time frame (usually 60 days), check with the local Catatan Sipil for specific requirements
- Two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present during the marriage ceremony. Photocopies of their National Identification Card (KTP) or foreign passport must be filed. Employees who work at the Civil Registration Office (Kantor Catatan Sipil) may act as witnesses
Offices in Indonesia authorised to perform marriages are:
- Kantor Urusan Agama or local mosque for Muslims
- Kantor Catatan Sipil – Civil Registry and a church or temple for a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist marriage
Cerificate of No Impediment to Marriage
Indonesian authorities require an official letter issued by a foreigner’s home consulate which states that the foreigner has never been married, is divorced, or is a widow or widower.
Proving that a marriage has never taken place can be difficult and regulations depend on the foreigner’s country of origin. Foreigners should consult their consulates.
Notice of Intention to Marry
When presenting a letter of Notice of Intention to Marry at the Civil Registry (Kantor Catatan Sipil), both partners must have the following original documents:
- The Indonesian spouse’s National Identification Card (KTP) and the foreign spouse’s passport
- Certified birth certificates
- Certified final divorce decree or death certificates as regards termination of previous marriages (where applicable)
- Four 4 x 6cm photos, both partners side by side
- For the foreign spouse: The Letter of No Impediment to Marriage issued by the foreigner’s consulate
- For Indonesian citizens: a Letter of Certification of No Previous Marriages (Surat Keterangan Belum Kawin) from the mayor or village chief (Kepala Desa or Lurah), and a letter of parental consent for Indonesian women aged 16-21, and Indonesian men aged 18-21
For non-Muslim marriages, expect a ten-day waiting period before a marriage certificate is available.
Islamic Marriage Certificates (Marriage Book or Buku Nikar) as issued by an Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama) might be available in less time, and are usually valid throughout Indonesia and do not require registration with any other agency if the couple plans on living in Indonesia.