Frequently Asked Questions about Deed Poll
Questions and Answers
Is a deed poll always required if I want to change my name ?
The Registration of Persons Department requires that a person applying to have his name changed must provide supporting documents providing context for the name change. Accordingly, depending on the circumstances and the sort of change you wish to make to your name, different type of documents maybe accepted in support of your name change application.
For example, a marriage certificate might be sufficient to support a name change application where a married woman is looking to adopt the last name of her husband.
However, executing a deed poll is usually the recommended route, as it is accepted as the documentary evidence that you have adopted a new name.
I recently changed my name on my Hong Kong Identity Card. Can I apply to have my vaccination record updated accordingly ?
If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Hong Kong and have subsequently changed your name on your Hong Kong Identity Card, you can apply to have your vaccination record amended to reflect your new name.
You will need to bring your new Hong Kong Identity Card with the relevant supporting document and go to your vaccination service provider (such as Community Vaccination Centre) and submit an application for amending your vaccination record.
Upon receipt of the application, the government will arrange to update your vaccination record, and you will be notified to collect the updated paper vaccination record later.
Do I need a specific reason to change my name?
In Hong Kong, you do not need to provide an explanation as to why you are changing your name. That being said, if it is suspected that you are changing your name for nefarious purposes (e.g. committing fraud), we will not allow you to execute a deed poll with our firm.
How long will it take to change my name in total?
A deed poll can be prepared and executed on the same day. Assuming all your documentation is in order, it takes a few days to a couple of weeks normally for the Immigration Department to issue a new Hong Kong ID and a new Hong Kong passport.
Can I change my name to something vulgar or offensive?
No. Any vulgar or offensive name will not be accepted.
Can I change my name to have a first name only?
Yes. There are no laws or regulations in Hong Kong preventing you from being known by a mononym (a single name only, like Cher or Bono). However, you should consider the foreseeable administrative issues that may arise from adopting a mononym as most administrative apparatus around the world (including Hong Kong) will expect that you have both a first and a last name.
Which identification documents do I need to send you to help you prepare my deed poll ?
You need to send a PDF copy of the following documents:
- Hong Kong Identity Card;
- Passport (if you do not have a Hong Kong Identity Card); and
- Recent Proof of Address (i.e. utility bill or bank statement issue in the last three months).
Can I use the deed poll to change my name with a foreign government abroad?
It depends. It is our experience that most foreign governments will accept a deed poll that has been executed in Hong Kong as evidence of a name change. However, foreign governments usually require that the deed poll needs to be executed before a notary public and apostilled. It is important to verify directly with your own government first to see whether they will accept a Hong Kong deed poll.
You can refer to our guide regarding this topic.
I own a property in Hong Kong. Do I need to update my name on all the documents related to my property ?
At the outset, it should be noted that we do not have any expertise regarding land or property law in Hong Kong.
We understand from our discussion with a conveyancing lawyer that the most important is to keep a copy of the deed poll as evidence for your name change in the event that you wish to sell your property. Although the name change does not affect your ownership of the property, it is definitely easier to have documents available at the time of the sale evidencing the name change. Furthermore, we understand that it is possible to update the information with the Land Registry, but you might need to speak with them directly to see what documentation they require for them to do so.
Can I change my name in Hong Kong if I am not a Permanent Resident ?
Yes it is possible. However, the Immigration Department of Hong Kong requires that a non-permanent resident change their name in their home country first before applying to amend the particulars of their Hong Kong Identity Card.
Can I change my name on my Hong Kong Identity Card and Passport while I am physically outside of Hong Kong ?
Yes, it is possible to change your name on your Hong Kong Identity Card and Hong Kong Passport whilst you are physically outside of Hong Kong, but you need to follow a specific procedure to get it done.
We have prepared a guide to assist people in such a situation based on the information provided to us by the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
I am a Chinese person. Am I allowed to remove my Chinese name ?
Yes, it is technically possible to remove your Chinese from your Hong Kong Identity Card and Hong Kong Passport. However, we understand that it would likely stop you from having a Home Return Permit because it requires that the person has a Chinese name.
Overall, we would not recommend that you remove your Chinese name since, as a Chinese person, you are expected to have a Chinese name and thus might cause administrative issues down the line.
Can I change my name on my Hong Kong Identity Card only without changing my name on my Hong Kong Passport ?
No. The Immigration Department requires that any changes on the Hong Kong Identity Card must be reflected on the Hong Kong SAR passport.