In order to change your name, you must complete two major steps:
- Legal Name Change: Obtain a legal name change document
- Name Change Notification: Notify government and professional organizations of your name change../legal-name-change
If you are seeking a marriage name change or divorce name change, and you already have a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or official name change court order, then you have completed step 1. You can immediately proceed to Name Change Notification, where you will find a detailed list of all of the steps involved, as well as links to all of the relevant name change forms and name change information you will need to notify the relevant agencies of your name change.
If you are changing your name, or a minor’s name, for reasons other than marriage or divorce, and you do not already have an official name change document, you must start with step 1, Legal Name Change.
CANADA LEGAL NAME CHANGE
Legal name change, as the phrase implies, is the process of actually changing one’s legal name. Applicants for name change must submit required documentation, as well as have completed required actions pursuant to The Name Act as applicable in the province in which they reside. Each province may have slightly different requirements, and persons seeking name change should contact appropriate agency offices for more information well in advance. All name changes are subject to review before processing to establish the validity of intended name, as well as to ensure that no embarrassing, fraudulent, or misleading intentions are present.
In order to simplify the name change process, it is always recommended that 1.) Intended applicants contact their respective agencies with any questions that may arise; 2.) That applicants ensure that they have all required paperwork completed in advance; 3.) That applications ensure that they are aware of required fees, as different provinces have different fee requirements; 4.) That they have contacted their local jurisdiction to ensure that they are applying in the correct location, and have met all requirements there as well.
In the case of a marriage or divorce, this is accomplished by obtaining a marriage license or divorce decree which clearly states the previous name and the new name. Thus in the case of marriages and divorces, which constitute the vast majority of name changes that occur in Canada, the legal name change process is nearly automatic and stems from the marriage/divorce document. Thus people in these situations can typically jump to the second step of the name change process–notifying the relevant government institutions.
CANADA NAME CHANGE AFTER MARRIAGE, DIVORCE OR AFTER YOUR LEGAL NAME CHANGE
The Name Change Notification process begins after your legal name change has been obtained (e.g. via marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order), and it involves officially informing all of the relevant governmental organizations and agencies, as well as other professional and personal service providers and affiliates of your name change.
For a free, but slightly more time-consuming alternative, we have broken down Name Change Notification into two major processes:
- Primary Name Change Notification: Notifying the relevant government agencies of your name change
- Secondary Name Change Notification: Notifying professional and personal affiliates and service providers of your name change
For each process, we have created an easy-to-follow check list with all the important links, to make your name change as smooth as possible. You should complete the Primary Name Change Notification steps first in the order that they appear, as the earlier steps are frequently prerequisites for the later ones. If, after reviewing the information below, you feel that you don’t have the time to complete all of these steps, we’ve created this simple alternative for you.
Once you have completed the Primary Name Change Notification steps, you can go through the Secondary Name Change Notification steps.
Good Luck and Congratulations on your new name!
Primary Name Change Notification Steps
|Proof of Legal Name Change||Generally, proof of name change includes a certified marriage certificate, divorce decree, or other legal record (usually a court order). Most institutions below will require proof of your legal name change in order to complete the name change process. If you don’t already have this document, you can request it via the links to the right. If you have not yet obtained a legal name change, visit our Alberta Legal Name Change page. Be sure to keep a few copies of your proof of legal name change as a backup.|
|Social Insurance||Women seeking a replacement SIN card must file an amendment with their local office. There is no fee for such a replacement SIN card when the name change is due to marriage, divorce, or adoption.|
|Canadian Revenue Agency||Women seeking to change their name must notify the Canadian Revenue Agency by calling 1-800-959-828, as soon as possible after the name change occurs.|
|Driver’s License and Car Registration||You should be able to handle both driver’s license and car registration updates in one trip to your DMV. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully and bring (or mail in) ALL the required documentation so you don’t have to make a second trip back! Women seeking to change their name due to marriage in Canada can do so in many locations throughout each province. The requirements for such a name change consist of providing an original marriage certificate, along with your current drivers license. If this is your first time getting your driver’s license, two other forms of ID must be presented. When these requirements have been met, the drivers license and motor vehicle registration can both be changed.|
*NOTE: If you are moving, also change your address on your license at the same time.
|Passport||Women seeking to update their passport after marriage or divorce must complete an application and submit certain required documents. Required documents include: proof of Canadian citizenship; supporting ID in married name; two photos; required fees; and valid Canadian travel document (if applicable). To find the correct form, please visit the link provided.|
|Voter Registration||In order to change your information on your voter registration, call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868, or visit the link.||Voter Registration Information|