Singapore name change for transgender people
Disclaimer: This is legal talk, not legal advice. Laws vary by area, and
some of the information discussed on this page may not be applicable in your
case. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and provide it without
warranty. Laws change and this information may contain errors and omissions.
It is up to you to confirm any information herein by doing your own research.
A reader writes in April 2007:
In Singapore, the government has a very... hetero-centred agenda. There's strong discouragement with regard to open portrayals of non-het lifestyles as legitimate lifestyle "choices".
When I was considering transition 6 years back, information was seriously lacking. Everything out on the 'net was for people from other countries. I found some irc channels with locals in 'em, tho. That helped some. Currently, there's one portal that is specific to Singapore: sgbutterfly.org. Some members will argue that it's trajectory is not exactly empowering, but it's all we've got for an openly available online forum that's fairly TS-specific.
I recently did a legal name change, so I figure this will help the other Singaporeans who visit tsroadmap. In Singapore, you need a legal document known as a deed poll. This deed poll must be prepared by a lawyer. There are many lawyers who will do this, but a popular site is www.deedpoll.sg. It cost me S$95. Other lawyers may provide higher or lower rates, if you're really strapped for cash and would want to consider cheaper options.
After obtaining the deed poll, you go down to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) building currently located near to Lavender station. There, you go to the NRIC (Identity card) level and approach the counter. Tell them you're there to change your name. You'll need your deed poll, passport photos (if you're changing your photograph as well) and SRS letter (where applicable). After queueing up, the card should be ready within the hour.
I would like to advise the readers that there are stiff penalties in Singapore for providing false information on the NRIC. So if you're (un?)fortunate enough to receive a new card with incorrect information on it, the onus is on you to point out the mistake. Of course, you can also accept it at your own risk. It's nice to have the sex changed without the SRS letter, eh?
Anyway, in Singapore, the legal sex cannot be changed without undergoing "A sex re-assignment procedure" as noted under the Women's Charter. " (2) It is hereby declared that, subject to sections 5, 9, 10, 11 and 22, a marriage solemnized in Singapore or elsewhere between a person who has undergone a sex re-assignment procedure and any person of the opposite sex is and shall be deemed always to have been a valid marriage.
(3) For the purpose of this section ˜
(a) the sex of any party to a marriage as stated at the time of the marriage in his or her identity card issued under the National Registration Act (Cap. 201) shall be prima facie evidence of the sex of the party; and
(b) a person who has undergone a sex <> re-assignment <> procedure shall be identified as being of the sex to which the person has been re-assigned." As such, legal sex may only be changed after such a procedure has been undergone. Unlike some states, it is currently impossible to apply for a legal change of sex through the courts without some papers to back you up.
Precedent for transsexuals
[no specific case noted]