Marriage Name Change Tips
After getting married, finding out the correct name change procedure can be a challenging and daunting task. First you have to decide if you're changing names. It's still most common for one party to the marriage to take their spouse's surname. In Canada changing your name after marriage is not a legal name change. You can simply assume your spouse's surname by showing your marriage certificate.
Either spouse to the wedding has the same name change options. You can remain known by your current name, assume your spouse's surname or create a hyphenated name after marriage, or use both your and your spouse's surnames. (Unless you live in BC - you can't have a hyphenated name unless you apply for a legal name change.) These options do not require a legal name change, it simply means that you assume your spouse's name- your name never legally changes. A less common but more modern option is to create a new surname from the combination of both of your suranmes, however you will need to file a legal name change.
If you take your spouse's surname after marriage your name never legally changes. Therefore you can always easily revert back to your former name. However, changing your name does include some paperwork. To start with, you will have to obtain one or more official copies of your marriage certificate from Vital Statistics (in ON this costs $15). The statement of marriage from the person who performed the ceremony is not accepted as proof of your new name. Before ordering your marriage certificate work out how many originals, photocopies and certified copies you need.
Once you have received your marriage certificate start off with changing your name on your passport and driver’s license. Then work out which other companies to contact. Organizations have a range of name change processes. Some companies are very strict. When you doubt on what to send, it is better to provide more identification of certified copies so your name change is less likely to be rejected.
If you want to make the process a lot easier, you can use a name change kit like the one from Easy Name Change and save yourself hours of time. They provide a personalized checklist with the companies to contact along with step by step instructions. You'll also receive personalized and ready to send name change forms, letters and emails from over 700 Canadian organizations. For the very few companies that may not be included in the list, you’ll be provided with a letter template to sign and send to other companies.
Another tip to speed up the process is to set yourself a time limit in which you want to achieve your name change. Having multiple identities will be tricky, and setting aside a few days to update all your data, from passport to bank cards to the local golf club, will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
All in all, changing your name will come with a lot of paperwork. But after planning a marriage, planning your name change thoroughly will just have to do. Remember the tips, and save yourself some time with a name change kit. It will make you feel happy to know that everything is named correctly.
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