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Traffic Infringements in Indonesia - What to do?

Driving a vehicle in Indonesia is something that is a quite unique activity for foreigners. It could be fun and it could be a little tricky when things go wrong.

What happens if you are stopped by the police during a routine check that is known as “Operasi Zebra"?

Operasi Zebra is an operation where the Indonesian National Police set up road blocks to check the driving license (SIM) and vehicle registration (STNK) for both car and motorbike users. This is a common operation throughout Indonesia and if you do not have the right documents, it can create an environment of anxiety and stress.

According to article 281 of the Traffic Law of Indonesia, any person driving a car, motorbike or truck must have on them either an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an Indonesian driving licence (SIM) and a valid vehicle registration certificate (STNK). If you are caught driving without either of these documents or they are not valid you can face a maximum penalty of 4 (four) months in prison and/or a fine of up to Rp. 1,000,000 (AUD$105.00).

As police know that most foreigners do not do the right thing, especially in tourist hot spots like Bali, they will target you in their operations.

What happens when you are stopped by a police officer?

Police will ask you for your driving license and STNK. If you are a foreigner you are required to also carry your national driving licence with you as well as an International driving permit. If you are not carrying your national driving licence, you are breaching the conditions of your international driving permit and will most likely receive a fine.

If you are stopped by the police and you do have the required documents, politely show them to the officer and wait for further instruction. You will most likely told to move on.

If you do not have the right documents of if there is something wrong with the documents, there are two options open to you:


You accept the fault:

I. You will receive a blue ticket form the police officer who will also take your documents to their police station.

II. You must ask them which police station they belong to and their exact address.

III. You are then required to pay the fine at Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI Bank)

IV. Once the fine has been paid you are required to take the proof of payment to the police station where you will be given back your documents.

V. The fine will be the maximum fine in accordance with the article imposed.

How to pay the fine?

The payment process can only done through Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI Bank). You have two options:

1. If you have BRI account you are able to pay the fine at:

- ATM Machine

- Mobile Banking

- Internet Banking

2. If you don’t have BRI account, you can pay with these procedures :

- Find the closest BRI ATM

- Insert your bank card and enter the PIN

- Choose your preferred language

- Then select ‘Other Transaction’ à Transfer à To Other Bank Account

- Choose BRI Bank Code (002) following 15 digit numbers of your payment ticket

- Put the payment amount stated on your ticket. The transaction will be rejected if the payment it’s not accordance with the ticket.

- Follow the instruction to finish the transaction

- Keep the receipt as the evidence that you already paid

When you finished the payment process then you can going to the Police Station where your documents are on hold.

What documents the police can take?

1. Vehicle registration certificate (STNK), when you get caught because you can not show the police your driving licence.

2. Driving licence (SIM), when you can’t bring the STNK with you.

3. Your vehicle, when you can’t show both documents either SIM or STNK

(Article 32 verse 3 of Procedures for Inspection of Motorized Vehicles on Roads and Enforcement of Traffic and Road Transportation Violations of Government Regulation No. 80 of 2012)


You reject the fault

When you reject the fault you can then request a court hearing to the police officer and you will receive a red slip from the police.

Which court?

The court hearing will be held at the District Court in which jurisdiction when you violate the traffic. You can ask the police officer for the address.

The court will decide whether the violator is guilty or not by listening to the statement of the relevant police officer at the appointed time.

When are you required to attend the hearing court?

The date is determined by the police officer and written on the ticket, usually within 5 to 10 working days calculated from the date of the violation.

Will you get an interpreters at the court?

According to Article 177 verse 1 of The Law of Criminal Procedure, If the accused or a witness does not understand the Indonesian language, the head judge at trial shall assign an interpreter who under oath or affirmation will truly and accurately translate all that must be translated.

How long is this process ?

The court hearing lasts less than an hour and the court will start at 08.00 AM on the appointed day.

What should do after the court judgement?

Once all evidence has been provided to the judge, the judge decided how much you should be fined.

Once that decision has been made they will direct you to the cashier at the court to pay the fine in cash.

When you take this path, you will not have to pay the maximum penalty.


Bribes in Indonesia are a common occurrence and unfortunately can impact on both the foreigners and locals experience in Indonesia. We strongly encourage you not to offer a bribe, or if you are asked by a police officer for a bribe, you politely refuse and request the fine instead. This helps to eradicate the systemic corruption within the police force and create a safer environment where all parties can be in harmony.

This doesn’t stop a police officer to ask for what is often called uang damai (peace money). This peace money is typically far less than the actual fine, e.g from Rp. 20,000.- to Rp. 100,000.- (AUD$ 2 to AUD$ 10).

Bribing an member of the Indonesian National Police is a criminal offence and any one charged with bribing a police officer can face up maximum 5 (five) years in prison and/or a fine of up to maximum Rp. 250,000,000.- (AUD$ 25,000) under the provisions of the Corruption Act. The threat of criminal sanctions will apply for both parties.

Now you know what to do if you are court without the correct driving documents. As you can now see it is very important and less of a hassle to make sure you have the right documents at all times.

Have a nice day!


Sources :

1. Law No. 22 of 2009 Traffic and Road Transport (UU Lalulintas)

2. -

3. Law No. 21 of 2001 Amendment to Law No. 31 of 1999 Eradication of Corruption -

4. MotorPlus -

5. HukumOnline

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