When should I Change Names?

When should I Change Names?

When should I Change Names?

Marriage name change

If you're thinking of changing names, chances are you'll get all your records changed over about 2-3 months after your wedding. Still, it is not uncommon to leave your name as it is, then reconsider changing names 5 or even 10 years later! The good news is that there's no time frame on when you must change names, or even if you make the change at all! If you do make the change, it's a good idea to get your records updated at the same time. It can be difficult trying to prove your identity when you have various accounts and identification under different names.

Divorce name change

If you've been divorced you can continue to be known by your married or former name. If you have been married more than once before you can choose to be known by your either birth name or any of your married names, providing you have never undertaken a legal name change.

In a recent survey of our customers, we found that divorce name change occurs anywhere from a few months, up to 20 years after the divorce.  It's common for mums to keep their married name until their children grow up, or they or their ex husband enter a new relationship.

Separation name change/Reverting to maiden name without divorcing

If you took your spouse's surname after getting married then chances are that you never legally changed names - you simply assumed your spopuse's name.  This means you never gave up the right to be known by your former name.  You are free to reclaim use of your former name at any time and for any reason; it doesn't matter what your personal situation or reasons are. 

As each organisation sets their own procedure for changing names, some may ask for a divorce certificate, separation agreement or resumption of former name certificate as it simplifies their administration.  You can reclaim your former name without a change of relationship status and without filing any additional forms. If you're asked for any proof of relationship explain that you do not need this and you may instead show updated photo ID to support your name being changed. 


Legal name change

If you are legally changing your name you need to start using your new name immediately and for all purposes.  You must update your passport and driver’s license as soon as practical.

The time between changing names and updating organizations and records hasn't been quantified, but we recommend all your accounts and identification should be under your new name within 2 months of your name change being granted.

Ready to start changing names?

No matter your reason for changing names, we can help. We can provide the name change procedures and any corresponding paperwork for over 600 Canadian companies. You may need to send a letter, email, form or visit a branch in person. Click below to get started.


Whilst it is common for married name change to take place within a few months of a wedding, there is no legal time frame required. It's best to follow our advice so you don't have problems proving identity.

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