Hong Kong - Change Your Name (Deed Poll)
If you are using, or wish to use, a name other than your registered name, there is no legal requirement that you formally change your name. It is, however, recommended that you change your name officially, both for identification and as evidence of your name change.
Name change generally refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a name different from their name at birth, marriage or adoption. The procedures and ease of a name change vary between jurisdictions.
People choose to change their name for a variety of reasons. Maybe you just want to change the spelling of your name, you don't like the name your parents gave you, you want to get rid of your middle name, you want to remove any family associations, or maybe you just want a change. You can legally change your first name, middle name or surname, or any combination of those.
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In keeping with its British colonial influence, an official change of name in Hong Kong follows the Deed Poll process.
Typically, you may legally change your name to whatever name you'd like. There are some exceptions, though:
- You can't change your name just to escape debt liability or to hide from criminal liability.
- You can't change your name in order to commit a crime.
- You can't change your name with the intention to mislead. This usually involves taking the name of a famous person. Courts typically do not allow this, unless you have a convincing reason that is not related to the famous person or the use of his or her name.
- You can't choose a confusing name one that includes numerals or punctuation. However, some courts have permitted people to spell out the numbers, for example "Seven" instead of "7".
- You can't choose a name that would intimidate, offend, or be considered obscene.
- You can't choose a racial slur.
- Your name as listed on birth certificate or immigration or citizenship documents.
- The full name you are applying to change to (if you are changing your name).
- Date and place of birth
- Marital status and details
- Places of residence for last three months
- Address for Correspondence
In Hong Kong, when you execute a Deed Poll for change of name, you are required to sign it, date it and have it witnessed before a solicitor. Changing your name by the Deed Poll process is allowed only when you are above eighteen years of age and in the possession of an identity card issued by the government of Hong Kong.
- Obtain all necessary documents in applying for the change of name.
- Submit your application along with all other requirements.
- Once the new name or surname is accepted, you may proceed in registering your new name.
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- Certificate of Criminal Record
- Request Addressed to the Minister of Justice
- Application addressed to the Registrar
- Identity Card (original and photocopy)
Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.
Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid. e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever
Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links
Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.
Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.
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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
A Deed Poll is a legal document which legally binds the person who signs it to a particular course of action as detailed on the Deed Poll document. It is a form of legal contract but it differs from legal contracts between two or more parties in that it only concerns one person who signs on it in the presence of a witness. In general, a Deed Poll for a change of name contains three declarations; these are:
- Abandoning the use of your former name,
- Using your new name only at all times,
- Requiring all persons to address you by your new name only.
You may want to change your name because:
- You have just gotten married
- You have divorced
- You just want a change
- In case of adoption
How you should go about changing your name will depend upon which category you fit into. Changing your name after marriage or divorce is quite a simple process, while changing your name 'just because' requires a little more effort, but it is still quite straight forward and a lot easier than it used to be.
To change your name, submit a petition to your local Superior Court that details the reasons you'd like to change your name. After the court approves your request, you'll then need to update your Social Security card, driver's license and passport.
So once you have gone through the Deed Poll process to change your name, you immediately need to update your new name on your identity card.