Changing names after marriage is customary and not required by law, however, in about 80% of marriages one partner will go on to 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. 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 provincial identification document submitted as part of your application must be in your new name. Allow time to first update either your driver’s licence or provincial health care card 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 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 2 months. 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 it from the passports website.
- Proof of Canadian citizenship (Canadian birth certificate or certificate of citizenship. It can be in either name.)
- At least one provincial identification document to support your identity in your new name. The identification document presented should show your name, date of birth, photo and signature. It must be valid and issued by any government authority in Canada or a foreign equivalent. If you don’t have one document that contains all the required information you can use multiple items. Examples of acceptable ID include a provincial or territory driver’s licence, any government-issued photo identification, military ID, provincial health care card, certificate of Indian Status and any Canadian or foreign equivalent government-issued employee identification card.
- Two identical passport photos taken in the last 6 months. Photos must be taken in person by a commercial photographer or studio. There are over 15 separate photography requirements so check your photographer has the photography specifications from the Passports Canada website. Photos must be endorsed on the back by your guarantor.
- Your proof of name change. eg: marriage certificate, legal name change certificate, divorce order.
- If you have a current Canadian passport that is valid or expired less than 1 year you must provide this with your application.
Need to change names in other places?
We recommend updating your provincial driver’s licence and health card first. Some provinces have forms that can be sent in the mail, and others have different procedures, such as visiting a branch office. You probably also need to update the name on utilities, phones, loyalty clubs and more. Click the button below to get all the name change procedures for over 750 Canadian organizations. We’ll also provide any special forms, letters and emails so you can just sign and send them!