When we decided to get married, we needed to do it as efficiently fast as we can, because my husband travels for work and would only be on land for a limited amount of time. So we had to do enough research to ensure we can do everything step by step and not miss anything out and need to backtrack and redo it.
We went to the local National Registrar Department (JPN, Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia) to enquire what we needed to do.
- Fill out the stack of Application of Marriage forms from Local NRD
- Obtain a Confirmation of Single Status in the US Embassy
- Bring said Confirmation of Single Status to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be certified
- Get an Approval letter to marry a non-Malaysian citizen
- All documents to be translated by qualified translator for applicant into language they understand and signed for declaration
- Have copies of original current passports and birth certificates of both applicants
- Have passport sized photos of both applicants
- Submit all above documents in NRD Putrajaya, and obtain a sealed envelop of forms and letters
- Submit sealed envelop of forms and letters to Local NRD
- Wait 21 days to be approved, then pay RM20 for Solemnization of Marriage
As you can see, it was a troublesome process which we likened it to doing the Amazing Race, Putrajaya Run. We only had 2 days in KL to do it, thus, we needed it all done in one day!
Here are our frustrations with the whole process.
- Why couldn't they give us the forms here, instead of us going to Putrajaya to do them? Fair enough, since the embassy is in KL, so may as well. But still annoyed that at the end we needed to bring it back ourselves and submit to the Local NRD again.
- Adam didn't have his original birth certificate, so it had to be couriered over. That was USD50 well spent.
- He had to email the embassy to arrange for an appointment to get the Confirmation of Single Status, so our travel dates had to revolve around that. He also forgot to put me in as an escort in the appointment, and the US embassy is strict on security, so I couldn't go in with him, so I had to wait in the building next door. There was a pretty sweet coffee shoppe called Cherry Bomb that had the best passionfruit shot, and affogato I ever had.
- After that, walked to the nearest train station at Ampang Park, then took a train to KL Sentral, then change into another lane to Putrajaya, then a taxi to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Adam was pissed that the US Seal on the Confirmation Single Status wasn't good enough to ensure authenticity, and needed to pay another RM10 to certify it was a true copy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- For me, I was a little annoyed I needed to get an Approval Letter to marry a non-Malaysian at the ministry. I asked why do I needed approval to marry from someone else other than my parents? No answer.
- FYI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs closes at 4pm daily. We lucked out.
- Then we had to rush to the Putrajaya NRD, which closes at 5. We reached there at 4.30, because the taxi driver got the buildings confused, and they almost closed the queue ticket counter. Again, lucked out. Overheard another international couple discussing about going to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and they turned around and asked us. We told them they had to do that first, also they are closed. Sorry. *shows sympathetic face*
- We had everything except for photocopies of our birth certificates and passports, so the NRD office chased us to the nearest (not really) convenient store to get them copied. Then we had to go up there and face the same grumpy lady. Seriously, we're getting married, at least pretend to be happy for us.
- Then once we got everything collected, they checked through it, they wrote up some letter and sealed it in an envelop for the Local NRD for processing.
- Lastly, we had to go back to KL, but there were no taxis in Putrajaya that we could see or find (didn't have the sense to get the phone numbers), so we had to walk all the way (maybe about 40mins) to Putrajaya Sentral. This may have been our breaking point for a little bit. Adam tried breaking the ice and said he likes bridges and at least he got to see the Putrajaya Bridge up close. I really wanted to throw him off the bridge.
Thankfully we didn't have anything urgent left.
Honestly, it was crazy that we managed to get it all done! We got the next day to relax and take the last flight home. Once we got back, we took all the forms and documents that was at hand, went to the local courthouse, got someone to translate it (we didn't really needed it, I've been explaining to Adam all the way what was happening and all the documents, also he understood basic Malay) and got it declared translated. Then, we just submitted everything to the Local NRD and wait 21 days, then we did our Solemnization of Marriage.
That was the day I legally became Mrs Sowell.