How to Legally Change Names in BC

A legal name change allows the applicant to take any name they like. It could be a small change to the spelling, rearranging the order of names, or changing just one or all names. Regardless of what change you are making, all applicants must go through the same process and pay $137 (correct at the time of writing).

Apply for a legal name change in BC

The BC Vital Statistics office manages legal name change applications for BC residents. Applicants wanting to change their own name must be aged at least 19 years and be either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. They also must have resided in BC for at least 3 months prior to their application. We can’t offer any advice on changing a child’s name, so please direct any enquiries to BC Vital Statics.

The RCMP will take fingerprints for a criminal record check, which may cost about $25. You may need to surrender birth certificates or citizenship papers under a prior name. If the birth is registered in BC, a new birth certificate will be issued. If born elsewhere you are issued a legal name change certificate. The Vital Statistics office in your birth province can issue an updated birth certificate showing old and new names on request (fees usually apply).

Legal name change can’t be undertaken in Canada if it is to defraud or deceive anyone. Your name change may be rejected if it is deemed inappropriate.

Start by completing the online application form via the BC Vital Statistics website. You may instead complete the paper application form – order this directly from Vital Statistics, or click the button below to download the form. Processing times on applications can vary significantly, from 3 weeks to over 15 weeks, so check current times with BC Vital Statistics.


Getting your records updated

Just because your legal name change is approved does not mean your name is automatically changed with any authorities or companies. It’s your responsibility to get all accounts, records and ID updated in your new name as soon as possible as it is not legal to use your prior name once changed. Your provincial identification should be prioritized. Aim to get this updated within 2 weeks.

An individual changing names typically has 20 to 30 organizations to notify. To start the process of getting all your records changed simply click the button below. Select which organizations you need to notify – then we provide personalized and ready-to-send name change forms, letters and emails plus detailed filing procedures. Just add your legal name change certificate, sign and send!

Because there’s so much to consider when changing names we’ll also include a comprehensive checklist with the procedures explained for each of your chosen companies, plus detailed information about legally changing names in BC, and hints and tips along the way.

Ready to start changing names?

Already filled out your legal name change application? Or just looking for more information? No matter what stage of the process you’re in we can help. Click below to get started and you can be downloading your application form and ready to send notifications in just 10 minutes.


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