How to Change Names in Ontario

How to Change Names in Ontario

How to Change Names in Ontario

Ontario marriage name change

By far the most common reason for changing names is marriage. Either party can take their spouse’s surname after marriage. This can be in additoin to their current surname or in place. All that’s required to start changing names is a marriage certificate. See our dedicated section on how to change names after marriage in Ontario for more info.

If you are in a common law relationship you can elect to legally change your surname to your partner's surname by completing 'Election to Change Surname – Form 1.' If you were born in Ontario you'll be issued with an amended birth certificate which can be used as evidence of your new name. If born outside of Ontario you'll will receive a legal name change certificate.

Reverting to your former name

If you've previously taken your spouse's surname the good news is that you don’t need to be divorced to reclaim your former name. If divorced show your court issued divorce order together with your marriage certificate. If you are not divorced you can show both your birth and marriage certificates. Some agencies may insist on a legal name change certificate, however if you used your marriage certificate to take your spouse's surname it means your name was never legally changed - you only assumed your spouse's surname. This means you don't need to legally change back to your birth name because you never legally changed it. 

Ontario legal name change

All other changes require a legal name change. You can change the order or spelling of your names, change one name or all names! The same process and fees apply to all applicants. See our section on how to legally change names in Ontario for more information.

Getting your records changed

No matter your reason for changing names it’s your responsibility to get accounts, ID and records changed over into your new name! Start by visiting a Service Ontario office and getting your driver's licence and health care card changed. You’ll need your current license and your original marriage certificate. If reverting to your former name also take either your divorce order or birth certificate.

Next, send out our name change forms, letters and emails. They are prepopulated with your details and addessed to each company, so you can just sign and send!  Where you can’t change names in writing we can provide you with step by step instructions. 


There’s a number of ways to change names; it depends on your reason. A legal name change is only required if you’re not taking or removing your spouse’s surname. No matter which way you go you'll need one of these documents.

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