A deed poll is a legal document that allows individuals to officially change their name in Singapore. Though submitting a deed poll is mostly straightforward, our experienced team of legal professionals is committed to guiding you through every step of the process, ensuring compliance with Singapore’s legal requirements.
This article serves as a comprehensive guide to deed polls in Singapore, covering general information, legal requirements, the procedure involved in changing one’s name, and potential issues with rejected deed polls.
In Singapore, a deed poll is a binding legal instrument that enables individuals to change their name. It is a personal declaration that requires no approval from the court or government authorities.
Deed polls receive full legal recognition in Singapore. When a name change is executed through a deed poll, individuals can update their personal records, including identification documents such as passports, NRIC (National Registration Identity Card), and driver’s licenses.
To change one’s name legally through a deed poll in Singapore, certain requirements must be met:
Foreigners who reside in Singapore and wish to change their names through deed polls can do so by following the established legal procedures. Similar to Singapore citizens and permanent residents, foreigners must meet the necessary requirements and adhere to the prescribed process for name change. This typically involves preparing a deed poll document, executing it in the presence of a witness, and notifying relevant authorities to update their records. Foreigners may need to consult with their respective embassies or consulates in Singapore to ensure that the name change is recognized and reflected in official identification documents issued by their home countries. It is advisable for foreigners to seek legal advice and understand any additional considerations or requirements specific to their nationality or immigration status before proceeding with a deed poll in Singapore.
While most deed polls are accepted without issues, there can be instances where a deed poll application is rejected. Some common reasons for rejection include:
In the event of a rejected deed poll, individuals can seek legal advice to understand the reasons for rejection and explore alternative options for name change, such as a court application for a name change order.
In Singapore, there are no specific limitations on how many times a person can change their name through a deed poll. However, it is important to note that changing one’s name frequently may raise concerns about potential misuse or confusion. Authorities may exercise discretion in considering name change applications and may reject requests if they are deemed frivolous or intended to deceive. It is advisable to approach name changes responsibly and for legitimate reasons to maintain the integrity of the process and minimize any potential complications.
The process of changing one’s name through a deed poll in Singapore involves the following steps:
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in Singapore provides the convenience of submitting deed polls online for certain name change applications. Here’s an overview of the process:
Eligibility for Online Submission:
The ICA allows online submission of deed polls for specific name change applications. It is advisable to check the ICA website or consult with a legal professional to confirm if your name change situation qualifies for online submission.
When submitting a deed poll online through the ICA, you will typically be required to provide the following documents:
Online Application Process:
The online application process for submitting a deed poll through the ICA typically involves the following steps:
Upon approval, the ICA will update their records with the new name. You may receive a confirmation notification or an updated identification document reflecting the new name.
The costs associated with changing one’s name through a deed poll in Singapore are relatively minimal, primarily comprising notarial fees for certified copies of the deed poll document. The timeframe for the entire process may vary, but it typically takes several weeks to update all official documents with the new name.
The primary legislation related to deed polls is the Name Change Act, which provides the legal framework for individuals to change their names through a deed poll.
Under the Name Change Act, a person who wishes to change their name must execute a deed poll, which is a legal document stating their intention to adopt a new name and renounce their previous name. The deed poll must be executed before a witness, such as commissioner for oaths or a notary public, to ensure its validity and authenticity.
In recent years, there have been amendments to the laws surrounding deed polls in Singapore. One notable amendment pertains to the age requirement for individuals seeking to change their names. Previously, individuals had to be at least 21 years old to execute a deed poll. However, the age requirement was lowered, allowing individuals under 21 years old to change their names through a deed poll with the consent of their parents or guardians.
Another significant amendment relates to the recognition of gender identity. Singapore introduced amendments to the Women’s Charter in 2019, allowing individuals who have undergone gender reassignment surgery to change their sex on their NRIC.
Yes, you can change your name through a deed poll if you are married or divorced. However, additional documentation, such as your marriage certificate or divorce decree, may be required.
Changing your name through a deed poll may not absolve you of any outstanding legal obligations. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional to understand the implications in your specific situation.
The recognition of deed polls may vary across countries. It is recommended to check with the relevant authorities or consult a legal professional to understand the recognition and acceptance of a deed poll in specific jurisdictions.
Generally, the consent of both parents is required to change a child’s name. However, in certain circumstances, such as when one parent is uncontactable or refuses to provide consent, the Family Court may consider granting an order to change the child’s name.
Yes, individuals under 21 years old can change their names through a deed poll with the consent of their parents or guardians. Additional requirements and processes may apply.
Yes, Singaporeans living abroad can change their names through a deed poll. However, they may need to follow specific procedures outlined by the Singapore High Commission or Embassy in their respective country of residence.
Changing your name during the naturalization process may affect your application. It is recommended to consult with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) or a legal professional for guidance specific to your situation.
Yes, you can change your name to a non-English name through a deed poll. It is essential to ensure proper transliteration or translation of the new name.
Changing your name while bankrupt may have legal and practical implications. It is advisable to consult with a legal professional to understand the consequences and requirements in your specific case.
Having a criminal record does not necessarily prevent you from changing your name through a deed poll. However, it is recommended to consult with a legal professional to understand any potential implications or requirements.
No, a deed poll cannot be used to change the name of a deceased person. The process for changing the name of a deceased person may differ, and it is advisable to consult with relevant authorities or a legal professional for guidance.
After changing your name through a deed poll, you should retain multiple copies of the document. It is recommended to engage a lawyer or notary public to obtain certified true copies for official purposes.
Deed Poll: A legal document executed by an individual to officially change their name. It declares their intention to adopt a new name and renounce their previous name.
Name Change Act: The legislation in Singapore that provides the legal framework for individuals to change their names through a deed poll.
Commissioner for Oaths: A person authorized to administer oaths and affirmations. They witness the execution of the deed poll and ensure its validity.
Notary Public: An official appointed by the Singapore Academy of Law to authenticate and certify legal documents, including the execution of deed polls.
Renunciation: The act of giving up or abandoning one’s previous name. In the context of a deed poll, it refers to the renouncement of the individual’s former name.
Consent: Permission granted by relevant parties, such as parents or guardians, required for certain individuals, such as minors, to execute a deed poll.
Execution: The process of signing and formally enacting a deed poll. It involves the individual, witnesses, and a commissioner for oaths or notary public.
Transliteration: The process of converting the sounds or characters of one language into equivalent sounds or characters in another language. It may be relevant when changing a name to a non-English name.
Translation: The process of converting the meaning of words or text from one language to another. It may be necessary when changing a name to a non-English name.
Singapore Statutes Online: The official online repository of Singapore’s legislation, including the Name Change Act and other relevant laws.
National Registration Identity Card (NRIC): The official identification document issued to citizens and permanent residents of Singapore. A name change through a deed poll may require an update to the individual’s NRIC.
Identity Verification: The process of confirming and validating an individual’s identity. It may be required during the execution of a deed poll to ensure the person changing their name is the rightful owner of the identity.
Frivolous Application: An application made without serious purpose or merit. Authorities may reject deed poll applications deemed frivolous, such as frequent name changes with no legitimate reasons.
Official Gazette: A government publication where notices and official announcements, including the publication of name changes, may be recorded.
Please note that this glossary provides general definitions of terms related to deed polls in Singapore. It is important to refer to the specific provisions of relevant legislation and information provided by the ICA, and consult with legal professionals for detailed information.
Changing one’s name through a deed poll in Singapore is a significant decision that requires adherence to legal requirements and a smooth administrative process. With the guidance and expertise of our lawyers at IRB, individuals can navigate the name change process with confidence and efficiency.
We offer comprehensive deed poll services, providing personalized assistance to individuals seeking to change their names. To engage in these services, please complete the deed poll form.
Author: Mohamed Baiross/IRB LAW LLP
Our simple, 5 minute online form enables you to submit all the necessary details to start the process.
A member of our team will contact you to arrange a suitable date/time with you to sign your deed poll. This has to be done in the presence of a lawyer.
After your deed poll is signed, you can immediately (or whenever convenient) head to the ICA building to submit your deed poll.
A Deed Poll does not automatically change the name of your child in the Singapore Government’s official records. Once you have signed a Deed Poll in our office, we advise that you notify the relevant authorities and/or relevant organisations (eg. ICA, schools) for this name change.
If your child does not have an NRIC or Singapore Identity Card yet, it is good practice for the parents to do the following:
If your child has an NRIC or Singapore Identity Card, then you should attend ICA to change his/her name within 28 days from the date of the Deed Poll.
The child does not need to attend our office (but is required to attend the ICA). Only the parents (one or both as the case may be) need to attend, and he/she/they has/have to bring along the child’s birth certificate and NRIC (if available), and his/her/their own identity document (IC or Passport).
Even though you may have sole custody of the child, you should still seek the consent of the other parent for his/her consent unless he/she has died or is not contactable despite reasonable efforts.
For minors below 21 years of age, the Deed Poll must be executed by at least one parent. It is strongly advised that both parents sign the Deed Poll to avoid any complications
To be consistent with the name in your IC, you should change the name in your Passport. You can do so at ICA after you have changed your name in your IC. We strongly advise you to update the name in your Passport before you book your travel ticket or travel overseas. However, if in doubt, please contact the ICA directly.
If you are an adult or a minor with an IC, the adult or minor (assisted by parents) should change the name of his/her IC/NRIC at the ICA within 28 days from the date of the Deed Poll.
You may approach our office to obtain a certified true copy of your Deed Poll by a lawyer. Please note that this would incur an additional cost.
If you are an adult, you may change your surname with a Deed Poll. For a minor (below 21), the parent should obtain the consent of the other parent of the child prior to changing the surname of the child.
If you are currently overseas and intend to return to Singapore soon, you may apply for a Deed Poll via our online submission form first, and inform us of your intended date of return. However, if you are unable to return to Singapore to change your name, a deed poll may be executed with a foreign lawyer.
After you have completed your deed poll submission you need to bring certain documents with you to sign the deed poll in the presence of one of our lawyers.
Over 21 years old - please bring either your NRIC, Passport, NS Green IC or Singapore Blue Identity Card.
Under 21 years old - please bring your own NRIC or Passport [both parents] and your child's original Birth Certificate. In cases where the original birth certificate is not in English, you will need to bring both the original and a certified true copy of an English translated version. If you do not have a certified true copy, please get in touch - we do offer this service for an additional fee.
If you are not clear on any of the information above, please don't hesitate to contact us.
If you complete your deed poll submission via our simple form we are able to process your deed poll for $40 [if 21 and over] and $70 [if under 21]. We charge slightly extra for under 21 due to the additional work required. Based on our market research we believe our prices are the lowest in Singapore. We've achieved this through leveraging technology to streamline the process, not reduce the quality of our work or service to you.
Yes, you definitely can request to have your name changed via a deed poll, but you will need your parents to both sign the document on your behalf. It is always advisable to ensure both parents sign the deed poll to reduce the risk of disputes or to increase the likelihood that the ICA will reject your application. Generally, it is only where one parent has passed away or a parent has sole custody can the deed poll be valid with only one parent’s signature.
We’d recommend contacting the ICA directly if you need further advice on this particular area.
Firstly, it’s important to note that a deed poll is not the appropriate document to change your religion, race or other particulars. This should be done by contacting the ICA directly, or you may contact us if you need any advice. It would be common to have your deed poll application rejected if your name request matched any of the below items:
There are many things you can change/adjust within your name via the deed poll, these typically include:
(1) Adding, deleting, or modifying the Chinese or Tamil characters in your name;
(2) Adding, deleting, or modifying the punctuation in your name (eg. Audrey See-Toh);
(3) Adding, deleting, or modifying your English/Western/Christian name (you can have an English name, such as John, without being Christian);
(4) Adding, deleting, or modifying your Hanyu Pinyin name (eg. Chen Shu Ling);
(5) Changing the order of the words in your name (eg. Albert Ong Li Ming instead of Ong Li Ming Albert);
(6) Correcting misspelled names;
(7) Inserting married names; and
(8) Inserting Baptism or religious names;
What are the requirements to change your name as a minor.