5 tips for changing names!

Once the big question is popped one of the big challenges is what to do with your surname! In Canada, there are several options for changing your name. If you make the switch, it’s easier than ever to get the administration done.

Both spouses have the same options, however the most popular is still for brides to take their spouse’s surname. The next most popular option is to add your spouse’s surname to your own. The names can appear in either order and are separated by a space or a hyphen. This is known as a double-barrelled or hyphenated surname. You may decide to use both your birth and married names at different places, which is popular with people who have staked out a reputation at work. Finally, you can just leave your name as is.

If you go on to change names it’s most common to ‘assume’ your spouse’s surname. Simply show your marriage certificate as proof and no formal application is filed. This means your name does not legally change and you can just as easily go back to your birth name at any time regardless of your personal situation. Here are the 5 main steps involved in changing names:

1.    Get your marriage certificate

Most organizations will update your name on their records on presentation of your wedding certificate. Get your official marriage certificate from the Vital Statistics agency in the province where you were married. Church-issued marriage certificates may not always be accepted as they are missing certain security features.

2.    Make a checklist

Next, think of that long list of all the organizations you’ll need to notify. Save yourself hours of legwork in contacting each one directly – we have detailed filing instructions for over 750 Canadian organizations! You’ll get personalized and ready to send forms letters and emails in just 10 minutes, then just sign and send! Want to save a few bucks? Then use our free interactive checklist so you don’t miss any places.

3.    Updates in person

It’s best to start with any name changes that have to be done in person, which is usually driver’s licence and larger banks. You’re always required to show the original marriage certificate. Be ready with a photo ID too.

4.    Send your name change notifications

Many companies need your name change request to be sent in writing. If you’re not using a name change kit, set aside 6 to 8 hours to contact each company on the checklist to learn the procedure, what proof to include and where to send it. Follow up with a few hours of letter writing and forms. Easy Name Change customers can cut this down to a simple 10-minute online task. Simply forward on our emails then sign and send the letters and forms.


5.    Notify other companies

You can update your name with smaller companies on your next visit, or it may not matter if your records are updated at all. These companies include your local library, sports clubs, alumni, vet or wine club.

Ready to change your name now?