How to Legally Change Names in BC


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A legal name change allows the applicant to take any name they like. It could be a small change to spelling, moving the order of names, changing just one or all names. Regardless of how big or small the change is, all applicants must go through the same process and pay the required fees (fees are subject to change, but expect to pay over $160)

Applying 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 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. Birth certificates or citizenship papers under a prior name must be surrendered. If the birth is registered in BC, a new birth certificate will be issued. If born elsewhere you may be issued with a legal name change certificate, or the Vital Statistics office in your province of birth may be able to issue an updated birth certificate showing old and new names.

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 adult application to legally change names in BC. Get this form directly from Vital Statistics, or click the button below to download the BC legal name change application form. Applications take about 3-4 weeks to be processed.

Getting all your records updated

Once your legal name change is approved you must get all records updated into your new name as soon as possible as it is not legal to use your prior name once changed. Your license and passport must be prioritized and should be updated within 2 weeks.

An individual changing names typically has 15-20 companies to contact and records to update. To start the process of getting all your records changed, simply click the button below. Select which organizations you need to notify, then we’ll send you the special name change forms, ready to send letters, faxes and comprehensive 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 companies, plus detailed information about legally changing names in BC, and hints and tips for along the way.

Ready to start changing names?

Already lodged your legal name change application? Looking for the form and more information? Ready to start notifying companies? No matter what stage of the process you’re in we can help. You can get started now, and we’ll provide the application form if you don’t already have it. You’ll need about 15 minutes and then we can send you all the information and paperwork you need to start your legal name change.

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