Name Act (Republic of China)

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Official english translation of the "Name Act (Republic of China)", enacted text of 14 articles promulgated by Presidential Decree on March 7, 1953, lastly modified on December 26, 2007  (1953) 

Promulgated and enacted by order of President on March 7, 1953

Article 6 revised by order of President on Dec. 1, 1964

Article 6 revised by order of President on Nov. 18, 1985

Article 1 revised by order of President on Jan. 20, 1995

Revised by Order of President on. Hua-1-yi 90000118950 on June 20, 2001

Revised by order of President no. Hua-1-yi 09200116230 on June 25, 2003

Article 6 and Article 12 revised by order of President on Dec. 26, 2007

Article 1[edit]

Any citizen of the ROC should have one real/legal full name and such full name should be the one entered in his/her household registration.

The name registration of Taiwan aborigine is according to his/her cultures and customs. If an aborigine has his name registered in the traditional Chinese name, he may apply for the resumption of his traditional name. After he resumes his traditional name, he may apply for the resumption of his original Chinese name and such resumption will be limited to one time only.

In the case that a citizen of the ROC is married to a alien or a stateless person, the Chinese surname of his/her spouse and a child of such couple should be met the conventions  practiced in the ROC. And the same shall also apply to the surname of an alien or a stateless person who applies for nationalization.

Article 2[edit]

The names that are allowed to be entered in the household registration shall be of the Chinese characters that may be found in the Chinese dictionaries edited by the Ministry of Education or in other large, accredited dictionaries.

The origin-traditional name or the traditional Chinese name of an aborigine may be of the characters chosen via Roma pronunciation and is not limited by the paragraph of the preceding article.

If name characters other than the ones as referred to in paragraph 1 are chosen, such characters will not be allowed to be registered.

Article 3[edit]

In all the law-related or formal matters, all citizens of the ROC shall use their real/legal name (as the one entered in the household registration).

Article 4[edit]

Real/legal name shall be used in diplomas, work experience documents, licenses/permits, etc.; otherwise, such diplomas, documents, etc. will be deemed as invalid.

Article 5[edit]

Real/legal names shall be used in the registrations relating to the acquisition, loss, change, deposit of assets; otherwise, transactions will not be processed.

Article 6[edit]

A person who meets one of the following requirements may apply for a change of his surname:

  1. Acknowledged by his natural parent
  2. Adopted by or if an adoptive relationship is terminated
  3. An aborigine surname becomes misleading after his aboriginal name is changed into a traditional Chinese surname
  4. A person has his surname changed according to the other law or other regulations

After a couple gets married, either the wife or the husband may apply for attaching his/her spouse’ s surname or resuming his/her original surname. In case such person applies for resuming his/her original surname, in each marital relationship, only one of such resumption will be allowed.

Article 7[edit]

  1. A person who meets one of the following requirements may apply for a change of his first name.
  2. A person works in an entity or organization or goes to a school and there is another person in such entity or school who has the same surname and first name.
  3. A person’ s full name is the same with his relative who is closer than “ a third class kinship”.
  4. A person lives in a city or county for more than 6 months and there is another person who lives in such city or county and has the same surname and first name.
  5. A person takes a qualification-screening of civil servants and he is notified by the authority of the civil service that there is another person who has the same full name.
  6. A person’ s surname and first name are the same with those of a person who is wanted by the police.
  7. A person’ s first name contains a vulgar or an unrefined meaning or there is a special reason.

In case a person applies for a change of his first name according to in sub-paragraph6 of the preceding paragraph (or the 6th subparagraph), such changes may be granted for two times; but if , the second time of such first name change that the minor applies for shall be applied for after the person reaches the full age.

Article 8[edit]

A person who meets one of the following requirements may applies for a change of his surname and first name.

  1. The existing name which was a direct translation from another language is too long or incorrectly translated
  2. To live as a monk/nun returns to secular life
  3. It is necessary for a person to change his name in order to do his job as a government official

Article 9[edit]

A person doesn’t use his/her real/legal name pursuant to Article 4 or Article 5 before the Acts enforced, he may apply to the originally competent authority for a change of real/legal the name. In case such person doesn’ t use his/her real/legal name pursuant to Article 4, he may apply to the corresponding household registration office for a change of his name via diploma, work experience document, licenses or other evidence document; such change will be granted for one time only.

Article 10[edit]

In case a change of surname, attaching surname, restoration of original surname a change of name or a correction of real/legal name is applied for according to Article 6 to Article 9, the applicant should be the corresponding person himself or his guardian/legal proxy. In case a change of surname is applied for due to adoption or the termination of adoption, the applicant who is allowed to apply for such adoption entry or such entry of termination of adoption may be the applicant for such surname change.

Article 11[edit]

For the persons who apply for surname change, the attaching surname, the resumption of their former surname, the change of first name or a correction of name, unless otherwise stipulated by other laws or regulations, such changes or corrections will become effective from the date such changes or corrections are entered in the household registration.

Article 12[edit]

A person who meets one of the following requirements shall not apply for a change of surname, first name or full name.

  1. A person is wanted by the police or is held in detention
  2. A person has received a sentence of community service or of corrective institution
  3. A person has received a sentence of imprisonment without the possibility of probation or a sentence that may not be converted into a fine; however, if such crime is committed due to negligence, the aforesaid will not apply

The period that A person shall not apply for the change of surname, first name or full name referred to in sub-paragraph2 and 3 of the preceding paragraph will last from the date that such sentence is given till 3 years after the sentence is served.

Article 13[edit]

Regulations for the enforcement of this Acts shall be prescribe by the Ministry of the Interior.

Article 14[edit]

The revised articles of this Act shall come into force from the date of promulgation.

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