What Documents Do I Need To Send?

The documents you show as proof of name change will depend on your reason for changing names.

Marriage name change

Marriage is the most common reason for taking a new name. If want to take your spouse’s surname, either in addition to your own or as a replacement, you only need a marriage certificate issued from Vital Statistics or your provincial government service office. If you are a BC resident you can’t add your spouse’s surname to your current surname without a legal name change application. Some provinces allow your new married name to be listed on your birth certificate too. There is no particular advantage in doing this and it will limit your ability to ever use your former name.

Name change from divorce

You simply need to prove the link between your married name and former name. Show your court-issued divorce decree! It lists both your married and former names and will be the only proof document needed to get started. There are no further registration or special steps – simply start using your former name whenever you like! Learn more about divorce name change.

Reverting to maiden name (not divorced)

You need to prove the link between your married and former name. You don’t need to be divorced or even separated; you can change back to your former name no matter what your reason. Simply show your birth certificate as proof of your prior name and your marriage certificate as proof of your married name. If you don’t have a Canadian birth certificate then show your citizenship certificate or permanent resident card in your former name. If these documents are issued in your married name then you will need to apply for a legal name change. Although perfectly legal, some companies may hesitate to allow this change without a divorce order, so get an updated photo ID to prove your name. Companies may add in extra requirements, such as proving that you are using your former name so you may need to show a payslip or other document in your former name. Learn about reverting to your former name after marriage.

Legal name change

If you are changing names, but not taking or removing your spouse’s surname, you will need a legal name change with Vital Statistics or your provincial government service office. Anyone born in that province will get an amended birth certificate. If born elsewhere you’ll receive a legal name change certificate which can be used everywhere as proof of your name change. There are fees of around $120 to $180 for filing your name change and fingerprinting (varies by province).

Originals or certified copies?

When changing names with government authorities you’re generally required to attend an office in person and always need to show original documents as proof of your name change. This may include a court-issued divorce decree, marriage and/or birth certificates. If notifying companies of your new name by post or email then copies of these documents are usually fine. If any companies require a certified copy it will be listed on your Easy Name Change letters, forms and emails.

Changing names on all your records

Once your government records have been updated you can change names with all other companies. Most other companies don’t need your original certificate. Some accept photocopies or just your updated photo ID. To learn which companies need what proof, just click the button below.


Ready to change your name now?