Ladies and gentlemen, the only thing more important than your wedding day is your ROM day, a.k.a. your registration of marriage. The affair doesn’t have to be ever so serious and formal. In fact, it only seems scary because of the whole legal element – but it doesn’t have to be this way.
You might think that you have to go to the National Registration Department to get it done. And yes, that’s an option. But it’s not the only one.
The ROM process can be done at church, in a temple or at an alternative venue of your choice – you just need an official from the National Registration Department present.
Regardless of where you decide to do it, your ROM doesn’t have to be something you have to fret about. You can always make it one of the most perfect days ever – and we’ll show you how, but first, you need to take the first step – head over to the National Registration Department, or better known as Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN).
Two Types of Procedures for ROM in Malaysia
There are two different procedures for couples who want to register their marriages in Malaysia.
There is the Registration of Marriage Under the Registration of Marriages Ordinance 1952. (Sounds like a mouthful but not to worry, we’ll break it down for you.) This process is for:
- Muslim couples who have been married according to Islamic law in other countries; or
- Non-Christian natives in Sabah/Sarawak who have been married according to their customs; or
- Non-Christian indigenous couples in Peninsular Malaysia who have been married according to their customs
This process exists because in most cases, the couple would already have gotten married – either under Islamic law or according to their own customs. The document requirements would be slightly different and may even include items like the wedding invitation card.
For non-Muslim couples, there is another set of procedures to follow. For this article, we will start with this procedure as this seems to be the one that many people have questions about. (If you’d like us to break down the steps for the other procedure, let us know in the comments.)
And even the category of ROM for non-Muslim couples, the procedures can be broken down even further. Again, we’re going to focus on just one category – couples who are both Malaysians and are currently residing in Malaysia.
Registration of Marriage at the JPN office
Get down to the nearest National Registration Department (NRD) branch in your state with your fiance about a month before your proposed ROM date. To be exact, it’s 21+1 days.
Fill out the application form (if you’re curious, it’s Form JPN.KC02) at the NRD. Remember to include both your ICs and photocopies of it, as well as coloured passport-sized photos (one each).
If you and your fiance are from different states, you’ll have to register in your respective states, or in Putrajaya. Otherwise, one of you needs to change the address on their IC so you can proceed to register your marriage at the same state.
Once you have filled out the form satisfactorily, you may choose your preferred ROM date. At some branches, you may have to opt for a different ROM date as they have quotas in place.
You should be safe if you choose a date that is a month from your first day at the office. A notice of marriage will be on display at the registration office for 21 days.
Pay a total of RM30 for the whole process.
Now, here we are on THE day! Wake up early and dress up formally because its a government office – you don’t want to be late and under-dressed for your own ROM!
Grab your two witnesses and other friends, or family members, then head off to the registration office in all pomp and glory.
Although you’re doing your ROM in a government building, it doesn’t hurt to level it up and make it a day to remember.
The office where the solemnisation takes place may be too small to fit all of your close friends but you can decide to host a small luncheon after the ceremony. Remember to take some photos! Here’s to new beginnings!
Registration of Marriage at a Temple
Let’s say you want to solemnise your marriage somewhere else besides the JPN office – like the temple. That’s definitely an option, of course.
Depending on whether the temple is registered as an Assistant Registrar of Marriages, the process may differ slightly.
You’ll need to fill out an application for it at the office. The NRD will assign an officer to solemnise your marriage, and you may arrange the time and date afterwards.
Prepare to shell out some cash for your ROM. A fee of RM500 will be charged for the process.
You may need your parents’ consent (for both sides). At a temple, or any religious setting, the consent of the couple’s parents may be required, and it depends on the temple really. You may apply to marry at the temple and negotiate with the organization further.
Now, it’s time to get married. Some temples are Assistant Registrar of Marriages, so you may perform the solemnisation there straightaway.
To make the registration of marriage extra pretty, you can always include a bouquet of flowers for your special day and a dress that makes you feel like a queen.
Registration of Marriage at a Church
Most girls have probably dreamed of a church wedding – and we can’t help it. The image of being a bride, dressed in a white dress with a veil over our heads, walking down the aisle of a stained-glass setting is ingrained in pop culture. That’s always an available option, of course. You just need to follow a few steps.
Call the church to inquire if you can be married there. If you’d like to have the registration of your marriage in a church, it’s best to call them up first. Some churches will only marry their members, while others would be more than happy to conduct a ceremony for a small token.
As with a temple ROM, you’ll need to go through the registration office first. The NRD will assign an officer to solemnise your marriage, and you can choose the date later (one that you have discussed with the church).
If you’re a member of the church, then your pastor or priest can solemnise your marriage right away, although they would require the consent of your parents or guardian. Like with the temple, some churches are Assistant Registrar of Marriages, so you can get married there right away.
Step 4 (optional):
If you’re not a member and the church has agreed to solemnise your marriage, be prepared to donate a small token of appreciation (members are obligated to donate too). Hey, you’ll get that white wedding you’ve always wanted.
Of course, it never hurts to level up your ROM registration with some Enya music, a white dress, and a bouquet of white flowers to enhance the experience.
ROM at an alternative venue of your choice
As for getting married at any other venue, like in a restaurant or your home, you can do that too. Basically, you can get married anywhere as long as you follow the legal steps.
You’ll simply need to approach the NRD to assign an officer to solemnise your marriage.
The fee of RM500 will be charged, of course. And you will discuss the time, location and date with the officer. Be mindful of their working hours although some may be kind enough to solemnise your marriage on a weekend.
Prepare the wedding venue and get married!
Registration of Marriage at Thean Hou Temple
Another crowd favourite venue would be the Thean Hou Temple – infamous for their Chinese cultural heritage. Located in Kuala Lumpur and was built since 1889, Thean Hou Temple had since held countless ROM and Wedding Ceremonies for couples from near and afar. Here’s all you need to know about having your dream ROM at Thean Hou Temple:
Before your submission at Thean Hou Temple, you must first fill up the Marital Registration Form (Old: JPN.KC02 or New: JPN.KC01F) from JPN and proceed with the Statutory Declaration with any of Commissioner of Oaths. Do take note that there will be an additional RM20 application fees that must be borne by the couple.
Do ensure that you have the following documents during your submission at Thean Hou Temple:
- Photocopy of IC / MyKad of both couples
- Photocopy of Birth Certificate
- Photocopy of IC / MyKad of each of the two witnesses
Here are some additional information that you’ll need to take note of too:
- At least one of the applicants must be a Buddhist
- Registration date must be fixed 10 days after date of submission and not exceed the period of 3 months (subject to availability of dates)
- Additional registration fees is applicable
During the ROM day, the couple and 2 witnesses must present original ICs’ and dress presentably. Don’t forget to take as many pictures and bring along some flowers too! ;)
Due to the pandemic, registration of marriages are now only carried out at JPN offices, temples and churches. ROM at a venue of choice has been temporarily halted due the latest governmental SOPs.