Kith & Kin

What you need to know before changing your name via deed polls

blank nametag beside a coffee cup for someone with deed poll

If you are unhappy with the name you have been given, or would simply rather go by a different name, you can change your name via a deed poll.

What is a deed poll? In general, a deed poll is a legal document binding a single party to a particular course of action.

In Singapore, it is most commonly used to declare your intentions to renounce your name and take on a new one. For a deed poll to be properly executed, it has to be drafted by a lawyer, and they should witness you signing the document.

Given that your name is one of the most significant information about your identity, a change in it should not be taken lightly. Here things to consider before changing your name via deed polls:

1. Restrictions when choosing a new name

Although you can get creative when changing your name, you are prohibited from choosing names which may be offensive or vulgar. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) may also reject names which contain honorary titles like ‘Sir’ or ‘Duke’ or those that resemble names of famous politicians.

It is important to note that you are prohibited from changing your name to escape debt, hide from criminal liability, or to commit a crime.

2. Age considerations

For persons under 21 years of age, you will need the consent and signature of both parents, unless they are deceased or cannot be reasonably contacted. If they are under the care of a guardian, the guardian’s consent must also be secured before executing a change name by child deed poll.

3. The documents needed for deed poll execution

Before going to the lawyer’s office, make sure that you have the documents you will need for you to change name by deed poll.

If you are over 21 years old, you will need either your passport, NRIC, NS Green IC or Singapore Blue Identity Card.

If you will be applying your child who is a minor, make sure you have your IC or passport, and your child’s original Birth Certificate as evidence of your relationship. If your child’s birth certificate is not in English, a translated version is also necessary, along with the original.

4. Using the deed poll to change your name in documents

After you have executed the deed poll, it is essential to know what to do after deed poll name change.

To implement the changes in your name after executing your deed poll, you must submit your applications to the ICA. Both your NRIC and passport can be updated through an online application.

For other relevant organisations (such as your company or your child’s school), it is important to provide them with information after executing a change name by deed poll.

You may also want to get in touch with the institutions that issued your certifications (O/A-level certificates, polytechnic diplomas and university degree certificates) for assistance in updating your name.

5. Documents that cannot be changed

Even with the deed poll, the name on your birth certificate and marriage certificate cannot be edited.

6. When a deed poll is not necessary

A deed poll is not necessary if you are adding your married name to your original name. A marriage certificate would be enough for the ICA to effect the changes desired.

If you wish to add your Christian name, the ICA may also allow you to do so without a deed poll, as long as the name appears on your Baptism certificate. For other religions, a religious certificate will also suffice.

7. Changes you cannot do with a deed poll

You cannot change your religion, race or other particulars with a deed poll. In order to do so, you would need to contact the ICA.

Whatever your reason for changing your name, these are the information you have to consider before executing your deed poll. After you have done so, make sure to keep the deed poll certificate in a safe place, so you will not have to wonder how to get a replacement deed poll certificate.

As Deed Poll Singapore lawyers, we at Kith & Kin Law Corporation can help you with your needs. To start drafting your deed poll today, send us a message.