When should I Change Names?

When should I Change Names?

When should I Change Names?

Marriage name change

If a bride decides to change names, most commonly she'll get all her records changed over within 2-3 months of her wedding. Still, it is not uncommon for marriage name change to happen 5 or even 10 years later. There's no time frame on when you must change names, or eve if you change names at all. Just make sure you change all your records at the same time. It can be difficult trying to provie your identity when you have various accounts and identification under different names.

Divorce name change

After a divorce you can choose to continue to be known by your married name. If you have been married more than once before you can choose to be known by your birth name, or any of your married names, providing you have never undertaken a legal name change.

In a recent survey of our customers, we found that divorce name change occurs anywhere from a few months, up to 20 years after the divorce.  Many women retain their married name until their children grow up, or they or their ex husband enter a new relationship.

Separation name change/Reverting to maiden name without divorcing

Whe you took your husband's name after marriage, you never legally changed names, you simply assumed his name.  This means you never gave up the right to be known by your former name.  You are free to reclaim use of your former name at any time and for any reason; you don't need to be divorced or separated. 

As each organisation sets their own procedure for changing names, many will insist on seeing a certificate divorce as it simplifies their administration.  If you are reclaiming your prior name without getting divorced we recommend you update government issued photo ID, such as your passport and/or drivers licence, then use this together with your birth and marriage certificate as evidence of your preferred name.

You may reclaim use of your prior name at any time, but the process may take a little longer and you may need to be more methodical and persistant as organisations are more likley to require a detailed explanation and more supporting evidence.

Legal name change

If you are legally changing your name you need to start using your new name immediately and for all purposes.  You must update your passport and driver’s license as soon as practical.

The time betwene changing names and updating organisaitons hasn't been quantified, but we recommend all your accounts and identification should be under your new name within 2 months of your name change being granted.

Ready to start changing names?

No matter your reason for changing names, we can help. We can provide the name change procedures and any corresponding paperwork for over 600 Canadian companies. You may need to send a letter, fax, form, email or visit a branch in person. Click below to get started.


Whilst it is common for married name change to take place within a few months of a wedding, there is no legal time frame required. It's best to follow our advice so you don't have problems proving identity.

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