The Ministry of the Interior passed amendments to the Name Act on June 26 requiring all foreigners and stateless people registering as residents in Taiwan to use a Chinese name, with surname first and given name last. There are no rules, however, regarding exactly how one comes up with a name. You can choose your own surname, or simply not use your surname, and only provide a given name, such as Katherine or James (transliterated in Chinese), which gives foreigners a lot of freedom when choosing a name.
Hsieh Ai-ling, head of the ministry’s Department of Household Registration, says that the longest name on record is 15 characters, adding that the ministry does not have any restrictions regarding the length of a person’s name.
In the amendment the ministry also loosened restrictions on changing surnames and given names when adopting, fostering or no longer fostering a child.
The Name Act, which originally said that people who want to become monks or nuns, or who wish to terminate their monastic names, can apply to change their name, has now relaxed its restrictions and simply says that a person can change their name for any religious purpose and for any religion. The draft amendment will now be sent to the Executive Yuan for review, in accordance with the law.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)