In Singapore, Yuen Law can help you to change your name legally by executing a deed poll. A deed poll is a legal document that declares that you will renounce your current name and take a new name.
The deed poll must be drafted by a lawyer, and signed by the person requesting the name change, in the presence of the said lawyer.
As long as the original name is modified in some way, adding a name, removing a name, or rearranging an existing name, the execution of a deed poll is required. Names in Chinese characters can also be changed. This could be when a married person wishes to take the surname of a spouse (or conversely, to remove a married name that was previously legally taken), to add an English name, or to take a completely new name.
There are no restrictions on how your name can be changed, and even family names or surnames can be changed. However, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) reserves the right to reject the changed name if it deems it inappropriate in some way.
If you’re below 21 years of age, both parents must consent to the name change, and your parents have to be present, to sign the deed poll on your behalf.
If you’re not a Singapore citizen, a legal name change in Singapore is more complicated. Even if it’s possible for a Singapore lawyer to legally change your name on your behalf (including a Permanent Resident) with a deed poll executed in Singapore, it does not guarantee your home country will recognise the name change. It is advisable to check the requirements with your country’s embassy or consulate in Singapore.
After you’ve signed your deed poll at Yuen Law, you can then proceed to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to change your NRIC and your passport. After which, it becomes a matter of informing your HR department, banks, insurance organisations, and other institutions. The process of updating your employers or banks is not unlike an address change.
After your name change, please keep the original copy of the deed poll in a safe place. At some later date, you may be required to prove your name change for administrative purposes, and the deed poll would come in handy.
Yuen Law LLC provides assistance on deed polls in Singapore. Do contact us to make an appointment.