New regulations say Indonesians must have at least 2 names ⁠— and they can’t be weird

Indonesian KTP ID cards
Indonesian KTP ID cards

This could be the beginning of the end of foreign media outlets writing disclaimers like, “Joko, who, like many Indonesians, goes by only one name.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs is promoting a new set of regulations, Permendagri no. 73/2022, which came into effect on April 21, 2022, regulating citizens’ names on official documents.

Under the Permendagri, Indonesians are now legally required to have at least two non-abbreviated names comprising no more than 60 characters, including spaces. This rule would disqualify people like Rangga Madhipa Sutra Jiwa Cordosega Akre Askhala Mughal Ilkhanat Akbar Sahara Pi-Thariq Ziyad Syaifudin Quthuz Khoshala Sura Talenta.

In addition, Indonesians can no longer register weird names, or those with negative and offensive connotations, effectively ruling out Kentut (fart), Tuhan (God), and Saiton (satan).

Family names may count towards one’s full name.

Boomers may be disappointed to hear that academic titles may no longer be included in official documents. Names can only consist of the 26 letter Indonesian alphabet — so no numbers or special characters and certainly no getting inspired by Elon Musk.

There is no explicit requirement for Indonesians to change their names to abide by the new rules, but parents are expected to comply when naming their newborns. In addition, the Permendagri states that a name change must be approved by a district court.

Single names are particularly common among the older generations in Indonesia. While they have been acceptable in official documents like the KTP (ID card), many have had to adopt an additional name when applying for a passport, which requires at least two names. 

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