How to Change Your Name via a Deed Poll5.05.2023
In Singapore you can legally change your name via something known as a Deed Poll. This is a legal document that is created by a lawyer and declares your intention to renounce your existing name and take on a new one. A deed poll, whilst relatively straightforward must still be executed in a lawyers presence.
Using a deed poll to change your name is a common practice in Singapore and the cost of executing a deed poll can range from $50 – $120+
What do people generally use a deed poll to change?
There is a lot of different things that can be changed or adjusted via a deed poll. The most frequent things include:
- Adding, deleting, or editing Chinese or Tamil characters in your existing name.
- Adding, deleting, or editing punctuation in your name (for example adding a hyphen between See Toh to See-Toh)
- Adding, deleting, or editing your Hanyu Pinyin name.
- Changing the order of the way in which your name is displayed.
- Altering the way in which your name is spelled (for example you change your name from Rylie to Riley)
- Adding married names
- Inserting religious or baptism names
What are the steps involved in changing my name?
If you are engaging JCP Law for your deed poll then we would first ask you to complete our simple online deed poll form. This form enables us to quickly capture all the necessary information required for preparing your deed poll. We charge a flat fee of $50 whether you are applying for someone over or under 21 years of age.
After you have submitted your online deed poll we will contact you to arrange a date and time for you to come to our offices and complete the remaining formalities. Please take note of the following documents to bring along with you:
- Over 21 – bring either your NRIC, Passport, NS Green IC or Singapore Blue Identity Card.
- Under 21 – bring either your own NRIC or Passport [both parents] and your child’s original Birth Certificate. Please note that if the original birth certificate is not in English we will need a certified true copy of a translated English version. If you do not currently have this, please get in touch as we can arrange this for an additional fee.
You will receive your completed deed poll and can either submit in person to the ICA or submit via soft copy at the ICA website.
It may be advisable to contact certain organisations to update them of your name change. Some examples might be financial institutions [such as your bank], insurance vendors, academic institutions [to update certificates] and your employer.
After receiving an updated NRIC you will need to request a new passport within 7 days. You can do this by visiting the ICA website or going to the Singapore Embassy for further assistance.
What changes are likely to be rejected by the ICA?
In some respects it might be easier to answer this by providing guidance on the sort of requests that are likely to be rejected by the ICA.
They are likely to reject the following type of names:
- Names that contain offensive or vulgar words.
- Names that could be perceived as being similar to names of renowned politicians and celebrities.
- Attempts to include honorary titles such as Sir, Queen, King, Duke, Duchess, and so forth.
- Names that include Chinese characters which cannot be identified or recognised by the registrar.
It is important to note that whilst a lawyer can provide some guidance, it is ultimately your responsibility to choose something which is likely to be accepted. The ICA maintains the final decision on whether to accept your new change of name or reject it.
Is there a limit to the number of times I can change my name?
There is no limit, you can change your name regularly should you wish to do so.
I am under 21 years of age, can I do a deed poll?
Those under the age of 21 years old can change their name via a deed poll but must have the consent from both parents. In situations where one parent is deceased or no longer contactable, it is possible to proceed with one parents consent but you may need to provide suitable evidence to the ICA in order for them to approve the change.
For young children they do not need to attend the lawyers office, only the parents must be present to sign the document. The child will need to be present however if you submit the document in person at the ICA.
Can a foreigner change their name in Singapore?
Technically yes, a lawyer can help you execute a Singapore deed poll even if you are not Singaporean. It is important to take note however that this doesn’t mean your home country will recognise your name change. It is always advisable to check on the situation with your home country.
How long does the deed poll process take?
Our online deed poll system takes around 5 minutes to complete. After you have made payment we will contact you to arrange for a convenient date and time to head to our office for signing. Once the deed poll has been signed and completed by the lawyer you can either submit in person at the ICA or submit online via the ICA website.
I lost my deed poll, can I get a replacement?
You can approach the lawyer or law firm who did your original deed poll and obtain a certified true copy. This will incur additional cost.