How to Legally Change Names

By law, you are allowed to use any name you like in the community and have people call you by that name, but you won’t be able to get bank accounts or your driver’s licence in that name unless it is listed on your birth certificate, legal name change certificate or it’s a name allowed by marriage.

To make your preferred name legal, apply to Vital Statistics in the province where you currently reside. Check our guide for legal name change in your province. An official legal name change is required for spelling changes, the order of names, and changing just one name or all names. Most provinces charge a flat fee no matter how much or little your name is changed. If you were born in the same province you may be issued an amended birth certificate. Otherwise, you will receive a legal name change certificate. Either document is accepted as proof of your new name.

If you’re taking your spouse’s surname after marriage or reverting to a name you held prior to marriage you generally don’t need a legal name change.

Who can apply?

A legal name change can be undertaken by any Canadian citizen or permanent resident aged 18 or 19 years and older, depending on the province. Applications are lodged with the Vital Statistics office (VS) in your province and you may be required to submit to a background check, including criminal history and fingerprints.

A name change can’t be undertaken with the intention to defraud anyone or to disassociate with your financial or criminal history. You’re usually required to provide a sound reason for changing names.

There is a fee payable directly to the Vital Statistics office which usually includes the issuing of a name change certificate or amended birth certificate. This fee is not included in the cost of our kits and ranges from $100 to $165, with most provinces charging $120. Once you have your official certificate apply to all the necessary organizations to update your record. This is where Easy Name Change can save you hours of research and paperwork!

To get the application form for your province, if they have one, plus the name change procedure, just click below.


How do I update my ID and accounts?

Once your name is changed you must begin using it immediately. It’s your responsibility to advise all the relevant organizations of your new name as soon as possible. Each company has a different process, so you’ll need to do a lot of research! Name changes usually involve visiting branches, sending in forms, letters and emails and also logging into accounts and uploading proof. Get all the instructions and paperwork for your companies in just 10 minutes! Click the button below and start.


Quebec residents

Quebec is very strict with name change applications. If you have an exceptional situation you may get your name change approved in about 2 years. The strict laws in Quebec usually deter people from applying for a legal name change. Due to the high incidence of rejection, we recommend Quebec residents only purchase an Easy Name Change kit once their application has been successful.

Ready to change your name now?