Reverting To Your Birth Name

If you’ve changed names from marriage and now want to go back to your former name the process is quite simple. Resume use of your former name without any special steps and no matter what your personal situation! You’re not required to give a reason (although some companies may ask – but you are not obliged to disclose).

What paperwork will I need?

You simply need to prove the link between your married and former names. Generally speaking, you should show proof of your birth or initial name in Canada, such as your Canadian birth or citizenship certificate. You also need to show proof of your married name, so you can show your official marriage certificate. If you have a divorce certificate listing both names then you should only need to show this one document instead. Foreign marriage certificates in English or French are accepted if you were married abroad.

If you have been married more than once you may need to show multiple marriage and divorce certificates to prove the link between all prior names. All documents should be issued by a government body such as Vital Statistics, a court or a foreign government authority. If you have lost Canadian marriage or birth certificates apply for a replacement at your provincial Vital Statistics office.

What challenges might I encounter?

If your birth certificate has been changed to your married name, or if you became a citizen in your married name you can’t go back to your former name. You should instead file a legal name change application in the province where you reside.

Some organizations may ask for a divorce certificate as this makes the task of proving your name easier. If you are not divorced then you can challenge this advice. Because a married name is an assumed name, you always retain the option of returning to the name on your birth certificate without being divorced.

You shouldn’t encounter any issues when updating your driver’s licence and health care card, so apply for these documents first. You can then present your updated government-issued photo ID together with your birth and marriage certificate and should then encounter less resistance.

How do I update identification and accounts?

Once you have the necessary certificates, click below to get all the name change procedures for virtually all the organizations necessary. We’ll provide clear filing instructions plus ready-to-send emails, letters and special company name change forms.


Ready to change your name now?