How to Change Your Name in Singapore

It is a common practice for people to change their name in Singapore, and this is done via a legal document known as a deed poll. In this article, we’ll provide more detail on the process and requirements.

What is a Deed Poll?

A Deed Poll is a legal document that basically outlines your existing name and the name you wish to be known as once the document has been submitted to the ICA. The deed poll must be drafted and signed by a lawyer after they have reviewed your identity documents.

Common reasons for executing a deed poll

The most common reasons people make a Deed Poll change their name are because they wish to:

  • add, change or delete Chinese or Tamil characters.
  • add, change or delete an English name.
  • add, change or delete Hanyu Pinyin name.

Process for changing your name

The process is straightforward.

  1. You will need to provide a lawyer with the relevant information to prepare a draft of the deed poll document. This is typically your current name, your ‘to be’ name, your ID documents, and your registered address.
  2. Once your deed poll has been drafted, you will be required to visit the lawyer such that they can confirm your identity before signing the deed poll.
  3. After the deed poll has been signed by the lawyer, you can either present it to the ICA in person or scan the document and submit it to them online.
  4. In some situations, you may also wish to contact other relevant institutions regarding your updated name. For example, updating your bank details, insurance, academic certificates, as well as informing your companies HR department.
  5. After receiving a new NRIC, you will be required to obtain a new passport within 7 days. This will require you to go to the Singapore Embassy or ICA with the relevant documentation.

Below are some other considerations to take into account.

Children below 21 years old

Persons who are under 21 years old can also change their names with a deed poll. However, both parents must sign on the Deed Poll.

If you wish to change the name or even the surname of your child and you are divorced, please note that you need to get the other parent’s consent (both parents must sign the Deed Poll).

Deed Poll cannot alter your Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate.

A deed poll cannot be used to alter your name on your birth certificate or marriage certificate. The original names in your birth certificate and marriage certificate will remain.

Not all name change requests will be allowed

Whilst many requests would be accepted; some changes will be rejected. The following are likely to be rejected:

  • If names could be considered as offensive or vulgar;
  • If the change would resemble the name of a famous politician or celebrity;
  • If the change requests the addition of titles such as Duke or Sir;

If you are interested in changing your name but still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Should you require legal representation, kindly contact PKWA Law for a free first consultation with one of our lawyers.

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