How to Legally Change Names in Ontario

How to Legally Change Names in Ontario

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Any person aged 18 years and older can apply to legally change nameS in Ontario, providing they have resided in Ontario for 12 months prior to applying. Name change is available to both Canadian citizens and permanent residents. We don’t offer any advice on changing the name of a child - please direct such enquires to Service Ontario.

Legal name change can’t be undertaken to defraud or deceive anyone and your new name must not be offensive or infringe on intellectual property rights (for example, you can’t call yourself a brand name, like Disneyland).  If born in Ontario, successful applicants will receive an updated birth certificate. If born elsewhere you will be given a name change certificate and the provincal Vital Statistics office from where you were born is usually notified too. Both documents are universally accepted throughout Canada as proof of your name change.

Regardless if you are changing the spelling of your name, the order of your name, one name, adding or dropping a name, or changing all your names, the same process and fees apply to all applicants. Expect to pay just over $140 for a successful legal name change.

Apply to legally change names in Ontario

Applications must be filed and the fee paid directly to Service Ontario. If your application is successful expect your amended birth certificate or legal name change certificate to be issued in 6-8 weeks. Once approved you must stop using your prior name immediately. It’s your responsibility to get all your identification and records updated into your new name as quickly as possible. You should get the name changed on your Ontario driver’s license and Canadian passport within 14 days. If you haven’t yet changed names you can download the application form below.


Update your records

Once your name change has been approved you need to update your driver’s license and health card in person at any Service Ontario office. Some name changes must be done in person, such as bank accounts. All other companies have varying procedures on how to change names. Many require you to send a form, letter or fax. We provide the necessary paperwork below.