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December 2015

How to Register Your Marriage for Destination Weddings

Find out about the registry of marriage procedures in popular countries in the region with our guide to making your destination wedding legally recognised in Singapore!

You love the idea of a destination wedding, but you’re wondering whether you need to register your marriage in Singapore prior to your overseas wedding. Or you’re unsure whether you need to re-register when you get back home if you register your marriage overseas. Fret not, here’s everything you need to know about registering your marriage overseas.

Do I need to re-register my marriage in Singapore?

If you got married in a destination wedding, your marriage certificate is recognised by the Singapore government. The Singapore Registry of Marriages (ROM) and the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) do not require you to re-register your marriage, and accept marriage certificates issued by foreign authorities.

What should I do when getting married overseas?

The marriage registration procedures differ from country to country, but most are rather straightforward if you have not been married before. To make things easier for those of you planning a destination wedding, here are the steps for the registry of marriage in popular Southeast Asian wedding destination countries, though you should confirm the processes with the relevant authorities before embarking on your destination wedding.

Alexandra and James’s Breathtaking Clifftop Wedding in Uluwatu Bali by Terralogical

Registry of Marriage in Thailand

  1. If you are registering your marriage in Bangkok, you must reside in Thailand for at least three days prior.
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Clearance from the Criminal Investigation Department in Singapore to prove that you have no criminal record. Bring a copy of this Notice and a letter indicating your request to the Head of Criminal Records Office when you apply.
  3. Obtain affidavits on your freedom to marry at the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok, which will cost 100 Baht. Bring along your original Marriage Search Result from the Registry of Marriages Singapore, a Certificate of Clearance, and your passports and Identity Cards to apply.
  4. Get your affidavits translated into Thai at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs or officially recognised translators.
  5. Bring your affidavit and translations to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs for endorsement. This process may take 2 working days, or you can pay an “express fee” of about 800 Baht to have it completed the same day.
  6. Submit 2 copies each of the affidavits, certified translations, and your passports to any District Office, who will register your marriage and issue you with your marriage certificate in Thai. You will need two witnesses. If you wish to use the marriage certificate back in Singapore, obtain a sworn translation into English.

For more information, refer to the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore’s website.

Overseas Registry of Marriage for SingaporeansBeautiful Clifftop Wedding in Bali, captured by Tawan Conchonnet

Registry of Marriage in Indonesia

Indonesian marriage law requires the marriage to be performed according to the rules of the couple’s religion, provided it is recognised by the government, and both parties must hold the same religion. Christian/Catholic, Hindu, and Buddhist marriages are to be registered with Kantor Catatan Sipil, the local Civil Registry. Muslim marriages are to be registered with Kantor Urusan Agama or a local mosque.

  1. Apply for a Letter of No Impediment to Marriage from the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta, Medan, or Batam. For more information on the process, please email the Embassy or go to their website.
  2. Lodge a Notice of Intention to Marry with the Catatan Sipil at least 10 days prior to the wedding if you are Christian/Catholic, Hindu, or Buddhist; Muslim weddings do not require a notice or a marriage certificate, though a certificate will be required in Singapore. You should bring originals and photocopies of your passports, your entry visas, four 4x6cm photos of the both of you side by side, birth certificates, Letter of No Impediment to Marriage, proof of dissolution of previous marriages if applicable, and letter from your church if you wish to marry in an Indonesian church.
  3. Make sure you have two witnesses over the age of 18 during your marriage ceremony.
  4. After the ceremony, register your marriage with the local Civil Registry (Kantor Catatan Sipil) within 14 days.
Sarah and Jonathan’s Ethereal Ceremony in the Tirtha Uluwatu Wedding Chapel by AndroidsinBoots

Getting married in Australia

  1. Lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month and one day and not more than 18 months prior to your marriage date with your celebrant, by providing evidence of your date and place of birth, identity, declaration of no legal impediment, and dissolution of previous marriages if any. Forms may be obtained here. You may also obtain the Notice of Intended Marriage at the Australian High Commission in Singapore.
  2. On your wedding day, you will sign three marriage certificates, along with your celebrant and two witnesses. You will keep one of the certificates as a record of your marriage.
  3. Your celebrant must register your marriage with the registry of births, deaths, and marriage in the state or territory your wedding was held within 14 days.
  4. You should apply for a copy of the certificate issued from the registry of births, deaths, and marriage for official documentation purposes in Singapore.

For more information on getting married in Australia, visit the Australian Government Marriage Celebrants Programme’s site.

Kasih Ombak6 Reasons to Have Your Destination Wedding at the Andaman Langkawi

Registry of Marriage in Malaysia

  1. Reside in the district where you intend to marry for at least 7 days before you make your application. Registration of marriage is to take place after 21 days but not later than 6 months from the date of the application, however, the 21 days can be waived with an additional fee of RM100.
  2. Obtain an official Letter of Confirmation of Marital Status each, from the Singapore Embassy in Malaysia, or apply for a Marital Status Search from the Registry of Marriages Singapore and have it certified by the Malaysia Embassy in Singapore.
  3. The letters verifying marital status then need to re-certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra).
  4. Apply for your marriage license at one of the the National Registration Department branches with your completed Form JPN.KC02 to be obtained from the National Registration Department (Only forms obtained from the department are accepted. The form is in Malay, but you can get help when filling it up. You will need to nominate two witnesses who will need to attend your actual solemnisation), passports and photocopy of pages with personal information and date of arrival in Malaysia, 1 coloured passport-sized photo each, birth certificates, and certified letters verifying marital status. Use this checklist to make sure you have everything.
  5. On your actual solemnisation day, go to the National Registration Department. You need to be dressed semi-formally (no jeans, shorts, t- shirts, or flip-flops), and bring along your passports and the form given to you after registration. You will have to wait in line for your solemnisation procedure, and the marriage counter closes at 11am. The fees will amount to RM30.

For more details, please refer to the National Registration Department of Malaysia’s site.

Jesreen and Karan’s Cultural Wedding in India, captured by Ramitbhatra

Registry of Marriage in Taiwan

  1. Apply for a Marital Status Search from the Registry of Marriages Singapore. Get it translated into Mandarin. It then needs to be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan. Once authenticated, it is valid for six months.
  2. Sign a written marriage agreement, along with two witnesses. Samples can be found online.
  3. On the day of your marriage, go in person to register your marriage at any National Household Registration Office (HHR) with your passports, Alien Registration Cards, written marriage agreement in Mandarin, passport-size photographs, and Marital Status Search document. You will need to use your Mandarin names when applying. The HHR will then issue you with a marriage certificate.

For more information, visit the Taipei City Government Marriage Registration website.

Credits: Feature image of Gorgeous Tropical Island Wedding by Tinydot Photography.

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How to Register Your Marriage for Destination Weddings