What Documents Do I Need To Send?
The documents you show as proof of name change will depend on your reason for changing names.
Marriage name change
Marriage is the most common reason for taking a new name. If want to take your spouse's surname, either in addition to your own, or as a replacement, you only need a marriage certificate issued from Vital Statistics or your provincial government service office. If you are a BC resident you can't add your spouse's surname to your current surname without a legal name change application.
Name change from divorce
You simply need to prove the link between your married name and former name. Show your court issued divorce decree as proof of your married name, plus either your birth certificate or citizenship certificate as proof of your former name. If you became a citizen in your married name you'll need to apply for a legal name change.
Reverting to maiden name
You need to prove the link between your married and former name. You don't need to be divorced or even separated; you can change back to your former name no matter what your reason. Simply show your birth certificate as proof of your prior name and your marriage certificate as proof of your married name. If you don't have a Canadian birth certificate then show your citizenship certificate or permanent resident card in your former name. If these documents are issued in your married name then you will need to apply for a legal name change.
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Legal name change
If you are changing names, but not taking or removing your spouse's surname, you will need a legal name change with Vital Statistics or your provincial government service office. Anyone born in that province will get an amended birth certificate. If born elsewhere you'll receive a legal name change certificate which can be used everywhere as proof of your name change. There are fees of around $120 to $180 for filing your name change and fingerprinting.
Originals or certified copies?
When changing names with government authorities you're generally required to attend an office in person and always need to show original documents as proof of your name change. This may include a court issued divorce decree, marriage and/or birth certificates.
Changing names on all your records
Once your government records have been updated you can change names with all other companies. Most other companies don't need your original certificate. Some accept photocopies or even updated photo ID. To learn which companies need what proof, just click the button below.
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