Singapore Deed Poll FAQ

Singapore Deed Poll FAQ

Singapore Deed Poll FAQ on issues relating to Singapore Change of Name in NRIC for Adult and Change of Child’s Name. If a person is under 21 years of age, he is considered a Minor or Child and his parents or legal guardian(s) will have to sign the Deed Poll on his behalf. Deed Poll FAQ for Name Change

Deed Poll Procedures

We do not process Deed Poll application to be signed overseas. We require the applicant to be in Singapore to sign the formal Deed Poll in the presence of one of our lawyers.

However, if you are currently overseas and intend to return to Singapore soon (temporarily or permanently), you may apply for a Deed Poll (online or offline) first, and inform us of your intended date of return.

[Note: on policy issues, please check with the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA)]

If you have an identity cared, you should apply for a replacement identity card within 28 days after you have changed your name by way of a Deed Poll.

The new IC will be produced and issued to you within a day.

[Note: subject to policies of authorities]

Payment of our charges is to be made at our office when you attend to sign the Deed Poll.  You may pay by Cash, NETS or PayNow. For Cash payments, there are several ATM machines in the vicinity of our office.

If you are an Adult, please bring along your original Singapore Pink Identity Card (NRIC) / Passport / NS Green IC, or Singapore Blue Identity Card (for Singapore PR).

For Minor (child under 21 years), the Parent who is signing the Deed Poll has to bring his/her IC or Passport, and the Minor’s original Birth Certificate to evidence the relationship.

If the Birth Certificate is not in the English language, the Parent shall bring the original Birth Certificate with the certified English translated version.

Upon receipt of your submission, we usually require about 1 to 3 working days (depending on office workload, etc). Once you have submitted, you may contact (65-6338 1810) our office during our office hours to schedule an appointment. Our staff will also contact you to schedule an appointment.

Appointments are strictly subject to the availability of our lawyers, and we are at liberty to reschedule or cancel an appointment by giving you short notice (2 hours prior to appointment time) in the event of a sudden unavailability of our lawyers. In that event, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

During holiday or festive seasons (such as Christmas, Chinese New Year, school holidays), the time frame may be longer. Our office is usually close on eves of major public holidays, such as Chinese New Year, and New Year.

If you require a Deed Poll urgently, please do let our staff know, or state it in the “Message” section of our Online Form.

Subject to the number of appointments at the time and availability of lawyers, typically, the whole process usually takes about 15 to 30 mins.

When you sign seal and deliver the Deed Poll in the presence of our lawyer, we will affix a small red circle adhesive paper (or sticker) next to your signature to signify your “seal”. In the past, the seal is required to be in the form of red wax seal, but it is no longer required.

As you are signing a deed, which has no consideration, the seal has special significance, and currently required until and unless this practice is abolished (like in the case of England and Wales, which only requires to state that the deed is “executed as a Deed”.

Signing Overseas (Own Printing)

If you are signing the Deed Poll overseas and printing out the Deed Poll yourself, you may not have the red seal sticker readily available in the country of your stay.

As you are likely to sign before the Singapore Consulate Officer in the Singapore Embassy (or a Notary Public in the Notary Office), you may enquire with them if they have the red seal sticker available in their office before attendance.

If the small red circle sticker is not available in the aforesaid office, you may purchase from stationary shops red sticker and cut it into small red circle of 1.5 cm (15mm) diameter, and paste it where indicated in our document. A photo of the seal is attached.

In our Deed Poll Online form, there is a section on application for certified true copy of your Deed Poll by our lawyer. This is optional, and a matter of preference or choice.

You may wish to request for certified true copy of your Deed Poll for backup purposes in case you lose your original Deed Poll, or if various organisation or authority requested for it. For example, if you have lost your original, you may present a certified true copy of the Deed Poll to the person or entity or organisation asking for it.

Generally, subject to our standard fee, a copy of the Deed Poll is to be certified by our Lawyer if it is for use in Singapore, and certified by our Notary Public if it is to be use overseas (outside Singapore).

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
Call at Counter 1, IC Section Citizen Services Centre
3rd Floor, ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
Singapore 208718
(Next to Lavender MRT station)

Operating Hours: Weekdays – 8 am to 5 pm
Saturdays – 8 am to 1 pm
Tel: (65) 6391 6100
Website: ICA

Minor (Child under 21)

A Deed Poll does not by itself automatically change the name of your child in the Singapore Government’s official records. Once you have signed a Deed Poll in our office and received the original Deed Poll, the onus is on you as the parent(s) to notify the relevant authorities and/or organisations (eg. ICA, Banks, Schools).

If your child does not have a NRIC or Singapore Identity Card, it is good practice for the parents to do the following (suggestions):-

(A) change the name of your child in the Passport or apply for a new Passport for the child and the new name will be updated at ICA records; or

(B) go to Registry of Birth at ICA to update the name with the Deed Poll (note that if your child is above 1 year old, you can’t change his name in the Birth Certificate, but just ICA’s record).

If the child has a NRIC or Singapore Identity Card, then you should attend at ICA to change his name within 28 days from the date of the Deed Poll.

Caution: This FAQ involves government’s policies and procedures, and we do not make any representation or warranty that the above is accurate or free of errors. Please check with ICA directly on their policies and procedures.

No. For minors below 21 years of age, the Deed Poll must be executed by at least one parent. With effect from 1 June 2007, the consent of the other parent also has to be sought for the change of name unless the other parent has died or is uncontactable. It is recommended that both parents to sign the Deed Poll to avoid any complications, such as ICA’s refusal to accept the Deed Poll for certain reasons, or disputes between both parents.

Based on ICA’s policy, the child’s name is an important symbol of his identity and his relationship with his parents. Hence, the consent of both parents must be sought before the child’s name can be changed.

The exception is where the other parent has died, or he/she is uncontable, and a declaration of this fact is required at ICA.

It is recommended that both parents sign Deed Poll to alleviate the issue of consent by both parents.

Amendment to the name on the child’s Birth Certificate (BC) will not be allowed after 1 year from date of birth.

Should parents wish to change the child’s name, they may obtain a Deed Poll to effect the change.

The Deed Poll should be produced together with the BC for official transactions (eg. school registration, application for passport etc) for the new name to be reflected. The Deed Poll should also be produced during the child’s IC registration for the new name to be reflected on the NRIC.

When you changed your child’s name by way of a Deed Poll, please note that ICA or other relevant authorities have no knowledge of the change of name unless you notify them.

If the child has a NRIC, then you should effect the change of name in his IC within 28 days from the date of the Deed Poll.

If the child has no NRIC at the time of making the Deed Poll, it is advisable to change or endorse the new name in the child’s passport at the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA), or update his birth record at the Registry of Birth at ICA.

If both parents sign the Deed Poll for a minor, Immigration Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will process change of name without query and a declaration form.

If only one parent signs the Deed Poll, then ICA requires that parent to complete and sign a form to declare either one of the following:

  • he/she is the sole parent (per birth certificate)
  • the other parent is aware of application to change name of minor and has consented to change the minor’s particulars
  • that parent has an Order of Court which empowers him/her to change the minor’s particulars unilaterally
  • the other parent/ legal guardian(s) is no longer alive and has not appointed any legal guardian in respect of the minor.

The Declaration Form is to be completed at ICA and not at Loh Eben Ong’s office. However, where a Deed Poll is signed by 1 parent (except for single parent as evidenced by the child’s birth certificate), that parent must sign Loh Eben Ong’s internal Declaration Form for our own internal record.

One parent can sign a Deed Poll to change his or her child’s name, but must obtain the consent of the other parent unless he or she has passed away and he or she did not appoint any legal guardian. Alternatively,  you may obtain an Order of Court to empower you to unilaterally change your child’s name. If the parent is the sole parent (as evidenced in the Birth Certificate), then she may sign alone.  The parent who signed the Deed Poll and attend at ICA will need to do the requisite Declaration at ICA. If only 1 parent is signing the Deed Poll, we require that parent to sign a declaration that he/she has gotten the consent of the other parent, or the other parent has passed away, or she is the sole parent, or he or she has an Order of Court.

Please be advised that when changing the surname of a child with a Deed Poll signed by 1 parent (where there are 2 parents stated in the child’s birth certificate), ICA may take issue with or object to  the proposed change of surname.

Notwithstanding that we have prepared the Deed Poll for changing of surname, we do not warrant or represent that ICA will effect the change.

Typically, you do not need a Deed Poll to effect the change of name in a child’s birth certificate if the child is less than 1 year old.

However, difficulty may arise if you are the only natural parent (mother) stated in the child’s birth certificate and the child’s surname is yours, and you wish to change the surname of the child to that of another person (eg. your boyfriend).

Based on experience (subject to error and caution), ICA may not allow (whether with a Deed Poll or not) the single mother to change the surname of her child to another person’s surname unless that other person takes a DNA test to evidence that he is the natural father.

You are strongly advised to seek ICA’s directions before engaging us to prepare your Deed Poll, and if we have inadvertently prepared a Deed Poll for you and you have issues with the change, we will not refund any fee paid by you.

The Deed Poll is a physical document executed in a law firm, and the law firm has no obligation to communicate the change to anyone. The onus is on you to notify the various authorities of the change of nane.

If the child has a NRIC, you should change his name at ICA with Deed Poll within 28 days from the date of the Deed.

If the child has no NRIC (for those 1 year old and above), in our opinion, you should either:-

  •  notify the Registry of Birth of the change so that ICA’s record is updated; or
  •  apply for a new passport for the child with his new name using the Deed Poll.

Otherwise, the relevant authorities, particularly ICA, will not be aware of the change of your chlid’s name vide Deed Poll.

This is a common question where the parent having sole custody of a child (under 21 years) wishes to change the child’s name or surname.

Based on ICA’s policy, both parents should consent to the change of the minor child’s name, unless the parent (not signing the Deed Poll) has died or is uncontactable.

In our view, as ICA placed significance importance in a child’s name, 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 Deed Poll where only 1 parent is signing the Deed Poll, we require that parent to sign a declaration that he/she has gotten the consent of the other parent, or the other parent is not contactable or has passed away. This is strictly for our internal record/reference, and not for ICA.

We understand from ICA that a parent who signed a Deed Poll for a child under 21 years will need to sign ICA’s Declaration Form on the other parent’s consent or he or she is not contactable or has died.

Notwithstanding that we have prepared the Deed Poll for changing of your child’s first name(s)/surname, we do not warrant or represent that ICA will effect the change.

For the signing of the Deed Poll for a minor child (under 21 years’ old), the child needs not attend at our office (but required to attend at ICA).

Only the parents (one or both as the case may be) signing 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).

Naming Issues

If you are an adult, you may change your surname (also known as family name or last name) with a Deed Poll.

For a minor, the parent should obtain the consent of the other parent of the child prior to changing the surname of the child.

For a single mother of a child under 1 year old (where Birth Certificate only showed the mother’s name), you may not change the child’s surname in the Birth Certificate to a third party’s surname with a Deed Poll, and you are strongly advised to approach ICA for advice.

Caution Note: this section contain government policies and procedures and the answers are subject to errors or inaccuracies, if any.

You need not be baptized to add a Christian Name or given name or first name to your original name. The use of the term “Christian Name” can sometimes cause confusion to individuals.

For example, if I wish to add “John” to my existing name of Ong Tan Kong, you need not be baptized or be a Christian or Catholic to add “John” to your name. A more apt term to use is “First Name” instead of “Christian Name”.

However, we understand that ICA may allow you to add your Christian Name as appearing in your Baptism Certificate without the need of a Deed Poll.

This is a relatively common issue raised, and ultimately, it is a matter of your personal choice. Some would prefer their new first name or Christian name to appear in the front and some at the rear.

For example, if your current name is Ong Tan Wee, and you wish to adopt a first name of “John” in addition to your existing name of “Ong Tan Wee”. There are various way your new name can appear in your new Identity Card, such as:-

  •  John Ong Tan Wee
  •  Ong Tan Wee John
  •  John, Ong Tan Wee
  •  Ong Tan Wee, John

If you are born in certain years, you may have a hanyu pinyin name appearing in brackets in your Identity Card or Birth Certificates. You may remove or delete the hanyu pinyin name in brackets entirely in your NRIC if you wish to do. This can be done with a Deed Poll.

Name or names that we consider vulgar, offensive, blasphemous or unsuitable or against the laws of Singapore.

We will also not accept an order for a Deed Poll that includes a name that would make people believe you had a conferred or inherited honour or title e.g. Dato, BBM, Sir, Lord, Judge, Lady, Baron, Baroness, Duke, Duchess etc. Our decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into as to our reason for rejection.

Although we may prepare and witness your Deed Poll based on your instruction, we do not warrant nor guarantee that your new name will be acceptable to the relevant authority for registration.

Post Deed Poll

If you are an adult or a minor with an IC, the the adult or minor (assisted by parents) should change the name of his/her IC/NRIC at ICA within 28 days from the date of the Deed Poll.

A common question is who I need to notify of my change of name and/or whether I need to update my change of name in my personal documents (eg. degree certificate).  This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many possibilities, and you should check with the various parties on updating your name. The onus of notifying/updating these parties are solely on you/your parents.

For government agencies, it is not clear if ICA  will notify or update the various government agencies upon the change of name in your IC at ICA. You may verify with ICA and/or the various agencies whether you need to forward  to the various agencies a copy each of your new IC and/or your Deed Poll.

Below are the list of common documents / agencies (not exhaustive) and suggested solutions (subject to errors and your verifications with the proper bodies):-

  1. birth certificate – usually, cannot update name after child is 1 year old
  2. marriage certificage – new IC and Deed Poll may be sufficient, but check with ROM
  3. CPF – check with ICA at time of change of IC, or CPF Board. Name change in IC may be updated automatically
  4. banks – onus is on you to notify the banks of your change of name. You may wish to produce your new IC and original Deed Poll (and an extra copy for the bank)
  5. educational certificates – the option is yours, and the onus is on you to check with the relevant education institutions on whether you are able to update your name in your educational certificates
  6. Insurance – check with your insurer or your insurance agent
  7. property (real estate) – usually it is up to you if you wish to incur legal costs to update your name in title deeds, and the onus is on you. If property is secured by a mortgage or charge, the process can be fairly complicated.
  8. vehicle ownership – check with LTA, but may be updated automatically
  9. school – onus is on you to notify the school
  10. utilities service providers – onus is you if you wish to notify them

You may wish to refer to our Information Sheet for Singapore Deed Poll (Change of Name) on What should I do after I have done a Deed Poll. The information stated in the Singapore Deed Poll’s Information Sheet is strictly for general information and is not meant to be exhaustive or comprehensive.

It is important to that you should keep your original Deed Poll safely as various authorities (including immigration authorities overseas for migration purposes) may require sight of the original Deed Poll or a certified true copy thereof in lieu of the original.

We have received numerous enquiries to retrieve copies of old Deed Polls done by other law firms in Singapore for those who had lost their original Deed Polls, but we can’t do so as their Deed Polls are not in our archive database.

ICA’s Links on Change of Name

(Correct as at 8 Dec 2019)

This is a common question asked, but in our opinion, there are no easy answers. For the most precise or accurate answers, please direct your queries to the relevant immigration authorities, airlines or travel authorities.

We will attempt to answer the various scenario, but caution that any reliance on our answers or opinions are at your own peril. As we are not the relevant authorities or body, we are unable to provide precise opinions.

Ticket in Old Name & Passport in New Name (IC in New Name)

If you have an air travel ticket issued in your old name and you have already changed your name in your Passport to your new name, you may face problems at the immigration counter as the name in your air ticket differs from that in your passport.

Both Ticket & Passport in Old Name (IC in New Name)

If you have an air travel ticket in your old name and your Passport is also in your old name (but your NRIC in your new name), there is a possibility that you may be able to clear immigration. Note that the Singapore Immigration Officer may still query as to the inconsistency of your name in your Passport and your IC Name and raise objection to your clearance (we are unable to know or advise as this is the immigration policy).

However, if there is a drastic change in your old and new name, you may be asked of the discrepancy in the names in your Passport and your NRIC at the immigration counter. You are strongly advised to update your name in your ticket and your passport to your new name before you travel.

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, once you have changed your name in your NRIC, please ensure that your name in your Passport and travel ticket are conssistent with that in your NRIC before you travel. The onus is on you to procure the change of name in your passport.

After the amendment of the name in the holder’s NRIC, the onus of whether or not to have the change similarly updated in the Singapore Passport lies with the holder.

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 ICA directly.

Please note that this query relates to government policies, and we can only provide guidance and shall not be deemed as advice whatsoever.

If you own an immovable property (private real estate or hdb flat), you may wish to update the name appearing in the title document of your property. This can be done after you have updated your new name in your Identity Card. You may enagage a law firm to assist you to submit an Application to Note Change of Name at the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) with the original Deed Poll or certified true copy thereof (by a lawyer) as supporting evidence.

If Property is Mortgaged:

If your property is mortgaged to a Bank, you may need to to request the Bank to temporarily release the title deeds (namely, the Certificate of Title, Subsidiary Strata Certificate of Title or Subsidiary Certificate of Title, as the case may be) to enable you to update your name in the title document at SLA. Your lawyer representing you will write to the Bank for its consent to release the original title document. This will incur additional legal fees as your lawyer will have to arrange for the Bank to temporarily release the title to your lawyer for the purpose of updating your name in the title.

I Wish to Engage Loh Eben Ong, what are your Charges?

We do assist client to update his or her names in the title document. In order for us to notify you of our charges, please let us know if your property is mortgaged, and if so, who is the Mortgagee (eg. Bank).

The choice of whether you wish to update your new name in your property title document (eg. Certificate of Title, Subsidiary Strata Certificate of Title and Lease) is yours.

However, if you choose not to update immediately after your change of name, you can do so when a subsequent instrument or instruments [eg. Total Discharge of Mortgage, Mortgage, Transfer (sale)] reflecting your new name is/are lodged against your property title at the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

Your solicitor acting in that subsequent transaction will at the same time of the lodgement of the subsequent instrument furnish to SLA the necessary documentary evidencing the change of name (eg. certified true copy of your Deed Poll or NRIC reflecting your new name).

Caution Note: The above policy/procedure is subject to change by SLA and/or law, and the reader is advised not to rely on the same or seek proper legal advice.

Information on an NRIC holder’s change of name may not be transmitted to other governmental departments. It is advisable to notify the relevant government departments of your new name, and they may require to have sight of the original Deed Poll for verification.

The onus of reporting the change to government organisations, departments, statutory boards (such as Central Provident Fund Board) and authorities (eg. Singapore Land Authority) with whom he/she has dealings with lies with the holder.

As your name (in English characters) in your Identity Card may have changed, it is advisable to notify the Banks and private institutions or bodies which you have dealing with of your new name. The onus of notifying such change of name lies with you. For verification, these institutions may require sight of the original Deed Poll.

For Banks, it is suggested that you bring to any branch of the Bank in Singapore your new NRIC and the original Deed Poll (with a copy for the Bank).

For other types of institutions or entities, their requirements may vary, and some may be able to accept a scanned copy of your Deed Poll, or some may require sight of your original Deed Poll. You are advised to contact them for their requirements.

If you have lost your Deed Poll, you cannot re-sign another Deed Poll to replace the earlier Deed Poll. You may however approach the law firm that prepared the Deed Poll to obtain a certified true copy of your Deed Poll by its lawyer at your cost.

For Deed Polls that were witnessed by our lawyers, you may request our office for a certified true copy of your Deed Poll at certain cost subject to the same being in our archive. We do not however warrant or represent that a certified true copy will be made available to you, and our decision is final and conclusive.

If you are required to evidence the change of your name by an overseas organisation or authority, the organisation or authority (eg. Immigration Authority) may request for a notarised Deed Poll to be furnished. Please check with the relevant organisation or authority on what is required prior to approaching us for a “notarised Deed Poll”.

Common requirements from the relevant authorities include (not exhaustive):-

  1. copy of Deed Poll certified true by Notary Public with his official Notary stamp; or
  2. copy of Deed Poll certiifed true by Notary Public together with a Notarial Certificate to be authenticated by the Singapore Academy of Law; or
  3. as in (2) above, but with further legalization by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Singapore) and/or the relevant foreign embassy in Singapore.

Please note the prescribed rates for notarial services are chargeable.

Obtaining a Deed Poll is just the first step in changing your name. Your lawyer will prepare your Deed Poll for you to sign in his presence, and by having a Deed Poll, your name has not changed until you notify the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).

Your lawyer does not notify anyone, and the onus is on you to effect the change of your name at ICA within 28 days from the date of the Deed Poll.

There is no official documentation from ICA on this issue. Based on our experience, we would advise the parent(s) of the minor child (without an Identity Card) to either:-

  • attend at the Registry of Birth of ICA to update the child’s records with the Deed Poll; or
  • attend at ICA to change the child’s Singapore Passport to his new name with the Deed Poll

The above are just general information, and you are advised to contact ICA for its official position.

A Singapore Identity Card (IC) holder is required to apply for a replacement IC within 28 days of changing his/her name via Deed Poll.

You can apply online via ICA Online or through ICA’s counter service, and please refer to this link ICA Update Change of Name for more information.

Singapore Deed Poll FAQ

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