Deed Poll in Singapore: A Step-by-Step Guide to Name Change

Common Reasons for Name Change in Singapore

 As we get on with life, there may come a time when we realise the names that we started our lives with may not resonate with our identity anymore. However, this may not necessarily mean a complete overhaul of our existing names. These are some reasons why you may be inclined to change your name:
  • modify the characters in your Chinese or Tamil name by including, modifying or removing them.
  • include an English name.
  • include, modify or remove your Hanyu Pinyin name.
  • change the order of words in your name.
  • rectify any incorrectly spelt names.
  • include your baptised or religious names.
  • include your married name.
While the reasons for changing our names may seem countless, the only way to do it legally in Singapore is through a deed poll. In this guide, we will be telling you what a Deed Poll is, when you do not need one, how to get one, and how to go about changing your name here in Singapore.

What is a Deed Poll?

A Deed Poll is a legal document that shows a change in a person’s name. It states a person’s former name and their adopted new name and serves as a declaration that he/she has abandoned his/her former name or adopted his/her new name. This must be signed and executed by a lawyer before the new name can be legally recognised as his/her new name.

When is a Deed Poll Not Needed?

A deed poll is not required to change your name if you simply wish to add your married name to your original name, in which case you will only need to present your marriage certificate to ICA to do so. If you have been baptised recently and would like to add your baptised name to your original name, you may also do so without needing a deed poll. In this case, you will only need to present a religious or baptism certificate to ICA for the name change to be executed.

Eligibility Requirements for a Deed Poll in Singapore

  • Age – Minors under the age of 21 may request a name change through a Deed Poll in Singapore, however, they will need the consent and signatures of both their parents to do so. If both their parents are away or deceased, the child may instead get the consent of his/her legal guardian to change his/her name.
  • Citizenship and Residency- A Singapore Law firm can effect a name change of an individual through a Deed Poll for a Singaporean or a Permanent Resident or foreigner. However, if you are a PR or a foreigner, changing your name in Singapore does not guarantee that your home country will recognise the change, and this is subject to the country’s laws and regulations.
  • Mental Capacity – Other than age and residency requirements, the individual applying for the name change must be of sound mind and have the mental capacity to execute a legal document.

The Deed Poll Process in Singapore

Now that you know what a Deed Poll is and the eligibility requirements, let us share more about the Deed Poll Process in Singapore, and how you can go about changing your name.

  1. Choose a New Name- The first step of legally changing your name in Singapore is to, of course, decide on the name you wish to be known by. While you are free to modify your name however you like, there are several restrictions that you must be aware of. ICA will reject any names that sound offensive or vulgar or names that resemble famous politicians. ICA will also reject names that contain honorary prefixes such as “Sir”, “Lord”, “King”, and so on.
  2. Prepare the Deed Poll- Once you have decided on the name you would like to be recognised, the next step is to approach a qualified lawyer to prepare the deed poll. Below is the information you need prepared:
  • Current Name
  • Name-to-be
  • Identification Documents (NRIC, Birth Certificate, Driver’s License, etc.)
  • Registered Home Address

After preparing the Deed Poll, your lawyer will confirm your identity once again and you will have to sign and date the document in the presence of your lawyer, who will also witness it.

3. Submit the Deed Poll to the ICA- Now that your name has been changed, the last step of the process is to submit the Deed Poll to ICA via a hard or scanned copy so that they can update all official documents, and issue you a new NRIC. An identity card (IC) holder is required to apply for a replacement IC within 28 days of changing his/her name. 

Legal Implications and Effects of the Deed Poll in Singapore

Once the Deed Poll has been executed and witnessed, your name has been changed in the eyes of the law. This change will now affect all official and legal documents, such as your IC and passport.

With your new identity, you should contact other non-governmental institutions to update your particulars, such as your bank and your insurance company. You may also update your name in your academic certificates, transcripts or your company’s payroll.

It is essential to note that if you have entered into a loan agreement or lease agreement using your former name, the agreement will still be treated as good and valid.

Lastly, as briefly mentioned under the citizenship requirements, the Deed Poll is only valid in Singapore and may not constitute a name change in another country. If you would like your name to be recognised differently in another country, there may be additional or new procedures to follow.

All in all, to fully understand the legal implications of the Deed Poll or a name change in Singapore, it is most advisable to seek out the advice of a lawyer in Singapore who can explain more about the process.

Fees and Costs Involved in the Deed Poll Process

The cost of getting a Deed Poll in Singapore can vary depending on your lawyer or service provider’s fees, as well as if you require other optional services such as printing, notarisation, and advertising. Let us break down some of the costs below:

  • Application Fee – The application fee to change IC Particulars at ICA is S$60 and submission of a digital copy of your deed poll will be required.
  • Lawyer/Service Provider Fee – The Deed Poll is a legal document, and lawyers or law firms in Singapore will charge you a fee for their services in drafting, preparing, and executing the Deed Poll. These fees can range from $50 to $500.
  • Printing Fees- If you require multiple hard copies of your Deed Poll, there may be additional printing fees.
Why Choose Advance Law LLC for Your Name Change in Singapore

Changing your name and applying for a deed poll may seem like a daunting task with the many steps and fees involved in the process. Hence, it is important to seek out a professional lawyer in Singapore, who can provide you with guidance even before proceeding with the name change.

With the guidance of our lawyers at Advance Law LLC, changing your name legally does not have to be an uphill task. Our experienced lawyers will guide you through the Deed Poll process step-by-step, and ensure that you can get your new identity seamlessly. Our lawyers are also Notary Public, and will be able to perform notarisation services for your Deed Poll should you require this service. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our lawyers, and be a step closer to changing your name.


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