Your marriage name change options
People married in Ontario have a number of name change options. Either spouse may take their partner’s surname in place of their own, or in addition to their own. If adding the names they can appear in either order, separated by either a hyphen or space. Of course, you don’t have to change names after marriage, but if you’re visiting this site you probably want to know more about it!
Marriage name change – assumed name
There’s no official ‘registration’ of your married name as this is known as an assumed name. This means you are still entitled to be known by either your birth or married name at any time, regardless of how much time has passed since you were married and what your personal situation may be. All you need to get started is your wedding certificate. If you don’t yet have your Ontario wedding certificate, learn how to apply here. Note that an Ontario marriage certificate is not automatically issued after your wedding. It is different from the record of solemnization issued on your wedding day. You can apply for your official Ontario marriage certificate about 6 to 8 weeks after the ceremony as the wedding details will be on the record, and then available to issue. There is typically a 15 working-day turnaround on orders.
If you were married outside of Ontario you may present any government-issued marriage certificate in English, French or a foreign language with a translation.
Ontario legal name change after marriage
People married in Ontario have the option of making their new married name legally binding. By doing so, you legally denounce your prior name and can no longer use it. Complete form ‘Election to change surname – Form1’ and file it with Service Ontario. If you were born in Ontario your birth certificate will be amended at no charge. Once processed you should no longer use your former name. You must get all your records changed into your married name as soon as possible.
Legal married name change is free if you apply to Service Ontario within 90 days of your wedding, and $25 after 90 days. This process is not legally necessary and offers no advantage over assuming your spouse’s surname. No organizations require a birth certificate in your new name to update your records as the official marriage certificate is accepted everywhere.
Should you go through this process and then later decide you want to resume the use of your former name you will need to file the form ‘elect to resume former surname’, which can be ordered over the phone with Service Ontario. This is free if you were divorced in the past 90 days, or else apply for a legal name change.
What happens next?
Once you have your marriage certificate, amended birth certificate or legal name change certificate it’s your responsibility to arrange all identification, accounts and memberships are changed into your new married name.
Click the button below and select which organizations you need to notify and we’ll provide you with ready-to-send paperwork and simple filing procedures for all your chosen organizations. Get ready to send forms, letters and emails. No wasted time figuring out what to send where. Just add your proof of name change, sign and send!
Ready to get started?
No matter if you already have your marriage certificate or are yet to apply, we can help. Choose to download the marriage certificate application form for Ontario and select all the other companies you need to update. We provide all the paperwork necessary. Just add your Ontario marriage or updated birth certificate and send!