How to Change Names in BC
There are three reasons to change names in BC; marriage, reverting to maiden name (divorce or separation, or just because), and legal name change. To start changing names, you need a government issued document that proves your right to be known by your new name. Once you have this document, you then need to notify all the various agencies and companies.
Marriage Name Change
British Columbia extends brides few choices for marriage name change. We explain all your options on our dedicated BC Marriage Name Change page.
Marriage is the most common reason for changing names. All you need to get started changing names after marriage is your BC marriage certificate. Start by changing your BC driver’s license and Care Card.
Once you’ve updated your government records, you need to notify all the other companies of your married name. We can provide company specific name change forms, and ready to send letters and faxes where companies allow name change in writing. We also fully explain each company’s unique name change process so you don’t need to call around and wait on hold.
Divorce Name Change
If you’re already divorced you can go back to your former name by presenting your divorce decree as it should list your married and prior names. No other documents are required, and there’s no ‘registration’ of your chosen name. Much like name change from marriage, where you showed your marriage certificate, now just show your divorce order and your records, accounts and memberships will be changed back.
Start by updating government ID, such as your driver’s license, BC Care Card and passport. Most banks need you to show your original divorce decree and record your new signature in person. You can usually request a name change by mail, over the phone or online with most other companies.
Save yourself hours on hold to learn the procedure – let us provide comprehensive name change paperwork and procedures for virtually all the companies where you need to change names.
Legal Name Change
While you can go by any name you want in the community, to have a different name reflected on your passport, license, bank and other accounts you need to show a legal name change certificate, or amended birth certificate.
If you’re a BC resident of at least three months apply at BC vital statistics. We explain the full BC Legal name change process here. Once you get your name change certificate, you must change your name on your ID and on all records as soon as practical.
Save yourself about half a day of finding out what to send where with our notification kits. If you haven’t changed names yet, we can even provide you with the BC Legal Name Change application form.
Reverting to prior name
No matter if your divorced, separated or just want to go back to your maiden name, it’s quite a simple process. You need to prove the link between your married and maiden name; this is possible with your marriage and birth certificates.
You must show marriage and birth certificates issued by a provincial Vital Statistics agency. If you don’t have either of these, we can provide you with the application forms. Simply present these certificates (sometimes originals, other times certified copies or photocopies) to the various companies. Sometimes you may also need to return a form, or else send a letter or fax.
Click below to get company specific name change forms, ready to send letters or faxes where companies allow name change in writing. If you need to do something different we also explain the process.
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