The legal name of a citizen of the Republic of China (ROC) shall be that entered in the household registration system; a citizen may have just one legal name.
The name of a Taiwan indigenous person or member of another ethnic minority may be registered under his/her culture and customs. If the Han Chinese name of an indigenous person has already been registered, he/she may apply to restore his/her ethnic name. Following a person’s legal restoration of an ethnic name, he/she may reapply to restore his/her original Han Chinese name. Each type of restoration is allowed one time only.
If an ROC national marries a foreign national or stateless person, the spouse and all children, if any, must take a Chinese-language name that conforms to ROC practices. The above provision shall also apply to a foreign national or stateless person applying for naturalization.
Those who have taken a Chinese-language name by the preceding paragraph may apply to alter the name once.
Persons applying to restore ROC nationality must take the Chinese-language name used before they renounce ROC nationality.
When applying for household registration, naturalization or a passport, the applicant must supply a name using Chinese characters found in the Chinese etymological dictionary Ci Yuan, Chinese encyclopedic dictionary Ci Hai, Kangxi Dictionary, or Guoyu Cidian compiled by the Ministry of Education.
Characters not found in the above dictionaries may not be used.
Chinese-language names shall take the following form:
1. Surname first, given name second; should an applicant not have a surname, a given name may be registered.
2. No space or symbol may be put between the surname and the given name.
The ethnic name or Han Chinese name of a Taiwan indigenous person or other ethnic minority may be listed in Romanized form together with the name in Chinese characters and is not subject to the restriction in paragraph 1 of Article 1.
When taking a Chinese-language name during the naturalization process, a foreign national or a stateless person may have his/her original foreign name registered in Romanized form alongside the name in Chinese characters and is not subject to the restriction in paragraph 1 of Article 1.
In all legal matters requiring a name,a person’s legal name must be used.
A person’s legal name shall be used on diplomas, work experience documents, licenses, permits, and other such documents, or the document shall be deemed invalid.
A person’s legal name shall be used to register the acquisition, creation, loss, alteration, or deposit of an asset, or the transaction shall not be processed.
A person who meets one of the following requirements may apply to alter his/her surname:
1. The natural father has acknowledged the applicant's paternity or the acknowledgement thereof has been revoked;
2. The applicant has been adopted, or his/her adoption has been annulled or terminated;
3. The applicant is a Taiwan indigenous person or other ethnic minority member, and the adopted Han Chinese surname leads to misapprehension of the family name;
4. The transliteration is too long; or
5. Other laws or regulations have changed the applicant's surname.
After marrying, a person may apply to take the spouse’s surname or reinstate his/her original surname. As for the latter, a person may apply to reinstate his/her original surname only once per marriage.
A person meeting one of the following conditions may apply to change his/her given name:
1. The applicant is an employee of a public or private sector enterprise, entity (organization), association, or school or has studied at a school in which another person has the same surname and given name;
2. The applicant has the same given name as an elder relative within three degrees of kinship;
3. The applicant has the same surname and given name as another person who has also been registered at a household registry in the same particular municipality, county, or city for more than six months;
4. The applicant has the same surname and given name as a criminal suspect for whom an arrest warrant has been issued;
5. The applicant’s paternity has been acknowledged by the natural father or the acknowledgement thereof has been revoked, or the applicant has been adopted or his/her adoption has been annulled or terminated; or
6. The applicant’s name is unflattering or has an excessively long Romanized form, or other special considerations exist.
People applying to alter their given name under Subparagraph 6 of the preceding Paragraph may be granted this privilege only thrice. However, in the second instance, the applicant must have already reached the age of majority.
A person who meets one of the following requirements may apply to change his/her surname and given name:
1. The applicant’s existing name has an excessively long or incorrect Romanized form;
2. The applicant has entered or left a religious order; or
3. The applicant’s duties as a government employee necessitate a name change.
A person who was not using his/her legal name as stipulated in Articles 6 and 7 before the Act took effect shall apply to change the name used at his/her original public or private sector enterprise, entity (organization), association, or school to his/her legal name. Suppose the person did not use his/her real name as stipulated in Article 6. In that case, he/she may apply for a change of legal name at his/her household registration office according to his/her name on a diploma, employment certificate, license, or other form of identification.
A name change under the preceding Paragraph may be granted only once.
Suppose a person changes his/her surname, given name, or full name. In that case, by its authority, the Household Registration Office shall update the household registration records of the person’s spouse and child(ren), if any, concerning the listing of his/her new name and notify them of the update.
To change a surname, attach the spouse’s surname, restore one’s original surname, change a given or full name, or correct a legal name under the provisions of this Act, the applicant should be the concerned party or his/her legal representative. To change a surname due to an adoption or termination thereof, the person initiating the adoption or termination thereof may serve as the applicant.
Unless otherwise stipulated by other laws or regulations, following application, a change of surname, attachment of the spouse’s surname, restoration of an original surname, change of a given name, change of a full name, or correction of a legal name under the provisions of this Act shall enter into effect from the date that the name is changed or corrected at the household registration office.
Under the following circumstances a person may not apply to change his/her surname, given name, or full name:
1.There is a warrant for his/her arrest or the person is in custody;
2.The person has been sentenced to a prison term involving forced labor or
3.The person has been sentenced to a prison term and has not been declared eligible for probation or allowed to commute the sentence to a fine or community service. However, the abovementioned limitations shall not apply to crimes committed due to negligence.
A person referred to in subparagraphs 2 and 3 above may not apply to change his/her surname, given name or full name from the date of sentencing until three years after his/her sentence has been served.
The Ministry of the Interior shall enact enforcement rules of this Act.
This Act shall enter into force from the date of promulgation.