Passport Name Change After Marriage
Changing names after marriage is customary and not requried by law, however in about 80% of marriages one partner will go onto change names. Complete a new passport application and pay full renewal fees. No credit is given for any time remaining in your current passport. You can't use the renewal process when changing names.
It is legal to be known by either your married or former name at any time, regardless of your marital situation. This means you can still travel using your current passport, even if you've changed names everywhere else. Passports Canada doesn't recommend this as you may have issued when trying to prove your identity abroad. For example, if travelling with credit cards in your married name and passport in your former name. If you leave your passport unchanged ensure you travel with a copy of your marriage certificate and ALWAYS book travel under the name that CURRENTLY appears in your passport - don't change your passport until after you have completed all booked travel.
How to change names in your passport
The identification document submitted as part of your application must be in your new name. Allow time to first update either your provincial driver's license (all provinces) or provincial health care card (except residents from AB, MB, NL) before applying for a name change in your Canadian Passport. Full fees of $120 for a 5 year passport, or $160 for a 10 year passport are payable directly to Passports Canada.
Name changes in passports can't be done via the renewal process. Complete the Adult Application form directly on the Passports Canada website. If you were married in Canada you are not required to submit your marriage certificate.
Apply by mail if you are not travelling in the next month. If you are travelling in the next month you will need to either apply in person at one of the passport office locations and consider using the rush service for an extra fee, or else book tickets under the name in your current passport and hold off any name changes until your return.
What proof do I need?
At the time of writing, the following documents were necessary as part of your application;
- Adult General Passport Application form. We include this in your kit if requested, or download from the passports website.
- Proof of Canadian citizenship (Canadian birth certificate or certificate of citizenship)
- A document to support your identity in your new name. It should include your name, date of birth, photo and signature. It must be valid and issued by a provincial or federal authority in Canada or a foreign equivilent. If you don't have one document that contains all the required information you can use multiple items. Examples of acceptable ID include driver's license, government issued ID card, military ID, government employee identification.
- Two identical passport photos taken in the last 6 months. Photos must be taken in person by a commercial photographer or studio who endorses the back of the photo with a declaration. There are 19 separate photography requirements so check your photographer has the photography guide from the passports Canada website.
- Your proof of marriage or relationship
Need to change names in other places?
We recommend updating your provicial driver's license and health card first. Some provinces have forms which can be sent in mail, others have a different procedure, such as visiting a branch office. You probably also need to update the name on utilities, phone, loyalty clubs and more. Click the button below to get all the name change procedures for over 700 Canadian organizations. We'll also provide any special forms, letters and emails so you can just sign and send.
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