How to Change Names in Ontario

Ontario Marriage name change

By far the most common reason for changing names is marriage. Either party can take their spouse’s surname after marriage. The only proof required is your marriage certificate. See our dedicated section on how to change names after marriage in Ontario for more info. Follow the steps below to get your records updated.

If you are in a common law relationship you can elect to legally change your surname to your partner’s surname by completing ‘Election to Change Surname – Form 1.’ If you were born in Ontario you’ll be issued an amended birth certificate which can be used as evidence of your new name. If born outside of Ontario you will receive a legal name change certificate.

Removing your partner’s name and divorce name change

You don’t need to be divorced to go back to your previous name, but it can be easier. If divorced, simply show your court-issued divorce order providing it lists both your married and former names. Otherwise, you should also show your marriage certificate to link your names. If you are not divorced you can still go back to your former name regardless of your personal situation. Simply show your marriage certificate together with either your birth certificate or Canadian citizenship certificate in your former name. You may be asked for additional evidence that you have resumed the use of your former name, so you may provide a recent payslip or utility account in your former name.

The only exception is for people who elected to have their married name added to their Ontario birth certificate. If your birth certificate lists your married name you need to complete the ‘election to resume former name’ form provided by Service Ontario. This will remove your married name from your birth certificate so you can then change names. For more information visit our dedicated page for Ontario divorce and separation name change.

Legal name change

Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident aged over 18 years may apply for a legal name change with Service Ontario. You need to have resided in Ontario for the past 12 months. Applicants are subject to a police check. For more information visit our dedicated page for Ontario legal name change.

Getting your records changed

Once you have the right proof it’s your responsibility to get all your various accounts, identification, memberships and records changed over. Start by visiting a Service Ontario office to get your driver’s licence and health care card updated. There is no charge for these changes. When visiting any offices in person to request a name change, ensure you always bring your original marriage, divorce or legal name change certificate.

Next, send out name change notifications to all the companies that allow name change in writing. You may need to send a form, letter or email. Click below to get the documents needed for each company. Where you can’t change names in writing we can provide you with each company’s name change procedure.


Need more information?

Ontario marriage name change

Ontario separation name change or reverting to prior name

Ontario legal name change

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