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Marriage and Divorce


REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE

Refer to FAQ below :

What if a marriage is not solemnised according to the provisions of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976?

A marriage that is not solemnised according to the provisions of the act is deemed to be INVALID. When the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164) came into force on 1.3.1982, it became COMPULSORY for all monogamous non-Muslim marriages to be registered under the act.

What is a MONOGAMOUS MARRIAGE?

A monogamous marriage means that after the effective date of Act 164, a person who is lawfully married under any law cannot lawfully marry again with any other person during the continuance of such marriage, whether in Malaysia or in any other country..

What is the penalty for marrying more than one person?

Any person lawfully married under any law, religion, custom or usage who during the continuance of such marriage purports to contract a marriage shall be deemed to commit the offence of marrying again during the lifetime of his/her spouse under Section 494 of the Penal Code.

Who may solemnise a marriage?

A marriage may be solemnised only by a Registrar of Marriages appointed under Act 164 at the National Registration Department of Malaysia and the Malaysian consulates or an Assistant Registrar of Marriages in a temple, church or association.

Can someone not appointed as the Registrar of Marriages conduct a marriage ceremony?

No. It is an offence if he/she does it, and on conviction, the person may be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and to a fine not exceeding RM15,000 (fifteen thousand ringgit).

What is the penalty for providing false personal information by any person intending to marry or registering a marriage?

On conviction, the person may be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding RM3,000.00 (three thousand ringgit) or to both.

Can the 21-day period to publish the application form, notice of marriage and written declaration (JPN.KC02) be EXEMPTED for marriages to be solemnised at the National Registration Department?

YES. Parties intending to marry may apply for a special licence under Section 21 (1) of Act 164, where the application maybe made for a marriage licence without marriage notification and marriage declaration (JPN.KC01C) from the marriage registration authority in the state concerned. Payment for this special licence on approval is RM100.00 (one hundred ringgit).

Can the registration of marriage be done at an association/temple/church?

The registration of marriage under Act 164 can be carried out only at an association/temple/church where the NRD has appointed an Assistant Registrar of Marriages. The Assistant Registrar of Marriages will be issued with a certificate of appointment for a specified period of time to conduct marriage registration at the place specified in the certificate of appointment according to Act 164 and must comply with the department directives. Registration of marriages at an association/temple/church MUST be followed with the solemnisation of marriage according to custom/religion in a public ceremony. Action will be taken against the Assistant Registrar of Marriages who carries out only registration of civil marriages without a marriage ceremony according to customs religion.

Is the registration of marriage under Act 164 applicable to the native of Sabah, native of Sarawak and aborigine of Peninsular Malaysia?
  1. The solemnisation of marriage according to the native customary law or aboriginal customs is recognized by the Government of Malaysia. For any enquiry pertaining to the customary marriage certificates kindly refer to the Native Court of Sabah or the Customary Native Court of Sarawak or Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (Department of Aboriginal Affairs). Couples who married under the native customary law or aboriginal customs SHALL NOT reregister their marriage under Act 164 at the NRD office but may apply to register their marriage under the Registration of Marriages Ordinance 1952 (on voluntary basis) . In cases where couples wish to marry under Act 164 and not under their respective customs, the registration of marriage can be done according to the prescribed procedures at the NRD and all conditions and regulations under Act 164 must be adhered to.
What action should be taken if either one or both the couple are citizens of Malaysia who were married abroad under the civil law of that country?

The couple needs to re-register their marriage under Section 31 of Act 164 either at the nearest NRD office or at a Malaysian consulate. The re-registration of marriage MUST be made:

  • within 6 months after the date of marriage; or
  • within 6 month of arrival in Malaysia (before the expiry of 6 month under paragraph (a) and the couple return to Malaysia)

A fine will be imposed for late registration.

What is a decree nisi absolute?

A decree nisi absolute is a divorce document issued by the High Court as valid confirmation of the dissolution of a marriage. The High Court will issue a decree nisi in advance and after three (3) months, a decree nisi absolute will be issued on application by the applicant where the date of the dissolution of marriage is stated. One ORIGINAL copy or a certified copy by the High Court must be submitted to the Marriage and Divorce Division at the Putrajaya NRD Headquarters for the purpose of updating records and marital status.

What should one do if the decree nisi absolute is lost/destroyed/stolen?

Applicants can obtain a copy of the original from the appointed lawyer or a certified true copy from the High Court concerned.

What are the necessary conditions for filing a petition for divorce?

The petition for divorce can be filed after the expiration of two (2) years from the date of marriage. If both parties to the marriage agree to dissolve their marriage, they may enter a divorce petition in the High Court. However, if one party does not agree to divorce, then the matter will be referred to the Marriage Tribunal at the National Registration Department.

However, A Judge of the court, may on an application made to him, allow the presentation of a petition for divorce within the specified period (before the expiration of two (2) years) on the ground that the case is one of exceptional circumstances or hardship suffered by the petitioner, but in determining the application the Judge shall have regard to the interests of any child of the marriage and to the question whether there is a reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the parties during the specified period.

What steps should be taken if the marriage was solemnised abroad under the civil laws of the country and dissolved in the court of that country?

For a civil marriage solemnised abroad and dissolved under the laws of a foreign country, one party or both parties to the marriage who is a citizen of Malaysia needs to obtain a declaration order from the High Court in Malaysia pursuant to Section 107 (3) of Act 164. Although the marriage may have been re-registered at the Malaysia consulate or at the NRD under Section 31, the Registrar-General of Marriages does not have the authority to register the divorce documents from the foreign court without a declaration order from the High Court of Malaysia. Therefore, one party or both parties to the marriage must obtain the declaration order from the High Court of Malaysia and submit to the NRD in Putrajaya for updating their marriage record.

MARRIAGE TRIBUNAL

Refer to FAQ below :

What is a conciliatory body?

A conciliatory body means:-

a council set up for the purpose of reconciliation by the appropriate authority of any religion, community, clan or association; a Marriage Tribunal of the National Registration Department in a state/district; or any other body approved by the minister by notice in the gazette.

Who can be appointed as a member of the Marriage Tribunal?

Other than officers and staff of the NRD, officials from the Department of Social Welfare, members of Non Governmental Organizations, retired government officials and interested individuals with the qualifications or experience in psychology, counselling and guidance may be appointed as members of the tribunal.

Under what conditions are parties to a marriage NOT REQUIRED to refer to a Marriage Tribunal?

Reference to the Marriage Tribunal may be EXEMPTED where:-

  1. Either party to the marriage has embraced Islam.
  2. Both parties to the marriage agree to divorce by mutual consent.
  3. The petitioner has been deserted by and does not know the whereabouts of the spouse.
  4. The respondent is residing abroad and is unlikely return to Malaysia within 6 months of the date of the petition.
  5. The respondent has been required to appear before a conciliatory body and has willfully failed to attend.
  6. The respondent is imprisoned for a term of five years or more.
  7. The petitioner alleges that the respondent is suffering from an incurable mental disease.
  8. The court is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which make reference to a conciliatory body impracticable.
How does one refer a problem to the Marriage Tribunal at the National Registration Department (NRD)?

The petitioner needs to submit an application at the nearest NRD office. If both parties live in different areas, then the application for a Marriage Tribunal must be made at the NRD office nearest the place of residence where they last stayed together. The applicant is required to complete and sign Form JPN.KC14 and submit it at the counter of the Marriage and Divorce Division, of the NRD.

LETTER VERIFYING MARITAL STATUS

Refer to FAQ below :

Why is the letter verifying marital status issued by only the National Registration Department Headquarters in Putrajaya and not state branches?

The letter verifying marital status is issued to Malaysian citizens (non Muslim) for the purpose of official transactions overseas pertaining to work, study and marriage or for the purchase of property or checks by the relevant authorities overseas.

Kindly refer to the Consular Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia (Wisma Putra) in Putrajaya pertaining legalization/authentication of documents for use abroad. The letter verifying marital status is issued by the Registrar-General of Marriages at the Putrajaya NRD Headquarters as the custodian of records for non-Muslim marriages in Malaysia.

My partner and I are both Chinese Buddhists from Perak. Since we work in Kuala Lumpur, we plan to hold a Chinese customary/religious marriage ceremony and civil registration at a temple in Klang, Selangor. What is the procedure for the marriage?
  • You and your partner need to obtain the Marriage Registration Application Form (Form JPN.KC02) at the nearest state/district/sub-district NRD office;
  • You and your partner need to make a statutory declaration in Section D.2 of Form JPN.KC02 before a commissioner for oaths or a magistrate in court.
  • You and your partner need to go to any state/district/sub-district NRD office (Marriage Division) to :
  1. verify both parties personal details and marital status;
  2. Obtain a confirmation stamp on the front page of Form JPN.KC02.
  3. Payments RM20.00 for marriage certificate
  • Submission of Form JPN.KC02 together with the RM20.00 payment receipt to the Assistant Registrar of Marriages at the temple for marriage solemnisation and registration.
Where can the Marriage Registration Application Form (Form JPN.KC02) be obtained?

The applicants can obtain the Marriage Registration Application Form (Form JPN.KC02) from Marriage counters at state/district/sub-district NRD offices.

What documents should we submit at the marriage counter during our visit to the NRD office to check and verify our personal details and marital status?

Form JPN.KC02 for which a statutory declaration has been made in Section D.2 before a commissioner for oaths/ magistrate in court and the respective MyKads of the couple. Both parties must be present.

What is fee the couple needs to pay for the registration of marriage in a temple/church/association?

The fee is RM20.00 only. Payment must be made at the marriage counter at the NRD office and the receipt will be issued in the name of the male partner.

Can either one of the couple intending to marry go to the NRD counter to verify the personal details and marital status, and obtain the confirmation stamp on the front page of Form JPN.KC02?

NO. This is to ensure that both parties intending to marry know the truth about their partners before entering a marriage registration at a temple/church/association, particularly with regard to marital status

Can the Assistant Registrar of Marriages check and verify the details in Form JPN.KC02 on behalf of the applicant at the NRD office?

NO. Couples who intend to marry must be serious and committed in handling their marriage registration application. The presence of the couple at the NRD counter ensures that any enquiry pertaining to the couple’s personal records will be resolved on the spot. Furthermore, personal details and marital status may not be given to a third party for fear that the information may be prejudicial or embarrassing to the parties concerned.

Can the Assistant Registrar of Marriages for the Hakka Association (which represents a Chinese clan) carry out the solemnisation and registration of marriage for all Chinese?

NO. The Assistant Registrar of Marriages for the Hakka Association, which represents the Hakka clan of the Chinese community, is appointed to represent the Hakka Chinese only and therefore, conducts the solemnisation and registration of the Hakka customary marriage ceremony only. At least one of the couple must be from the Hakka clan.

For any other queries

For any other queries, please submit them via e-Enquiry (NRD SISPAA System)

RECOGNITION AND CERTIFICATION


Ibu Pejabat Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Putrajaya, 
No 20, Persiaran Perdana, Presint 2,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62551 Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya. 

Telefon: 03-8000 8000 | Faks: 03-8880 8288 |
Emel(@jpn.gov.my): pro

(C) Hakcipta Terpelihara 2021 - Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia

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