People have been known to change names for several reasons, such as reverting a name after divorce, changing your child’s surname, religious reasons, and political statement-making.
Changing your legal name to something new is entirely legal unless done with the intent to commit fraud or crime. If you live in Canada and “how to change my name” is your most frequent search on the internet, you should know that you may have to follow different procedures to complete this process. Here is what you should consider when changing names in Canadian provinces.
A legal procedure that an individual procures to adopt a different name from their existing one is referred to as a name change.
Who Can Request a Change of Name?
Anyone can request a passport name change in Canada. Still, one of the essential requirements is to be at least 19 years old (14 – 18 in some provinces) and not be implicated in any crimes against humanity. However, your parent can apply on your behalf if you are below the stipulated age.
The Canadian government allows foreigners to change their names. This provision, however, is only available to permanent residents and protected persons. A complete application form and a statutory declaration signed by either a notary public, commissioner of oaths, or commissioner of taking affidavits will be needed to complete this request.
Requirements and Documentation Needed
Changing names in Canada may vary depending on the province. Regardless, you will need to fulfill certain requirements to allow for the completion of this request. You will need to provide the following:
- Government-issued ID
- Proof of name
- Police or criminal record check
- Fingerprint information (If you are 12 years and above)
- Proof of relationship when changing a child’s name
- Current birth certificate
- Duly filled application form
- Application fee and other related costs.
How to Change Name Step-By-Step
Applying for changing name on passport Canada doesn’t have the same procedure. Everything from the process to the required documents may vary, so you might want to know what is needed before applying for a name change in these provinces.
Each province has an independent organization that oversees name change in Canada. You must contact the government agency responsible for changing names in your province to get started.
The main prerequisite for a name change in Alberta is not to be enlisted in the high-risk criminal registry. Once you’re in the clear, you’ll be allowed to begin the Alberta change of name process, and here’s what you should do:
- Find your supporting documents
- Fill out the name change application form
- Contact a fingerprint scanning firm and begin the process (only digital fingerprints are accepted). You will receive a confirmation letter from the RCMP in Ottawa once your prints are processed.
- Surrender existing birth certificates
- Submit the application form and pay the $120 application fees
It takes at least six weeks or at most eight to complete this request. Successful applicants will keep their name permanently if they do not want to change it again.
2. British Columbia
This province provides up to three options for applying to change your name. The primary way of changing a name in BC is doing it online. However, this option is only available to individuals at least 19 years old and not to their dependants.
You can also apply via mail. Once you download the adult or minor application form, fill it out, attach the required documents and pay the application fees, then mail your application o the vital statistics office.
The province also allows applicants to visit any service BC location and drop off the application in person.
How much you spend depends on the type of name change, but the cost of a legal name change in BC varies between $27 to $137. You will receive a notification regarding your name change after 6 – 8 weeks from the application date, and you will be allowed to keep the name as long as you wish.
If you live in Ontario, you can visit the government website and download the necessary application forms. You can call ServiceOntraio via their contact details and have the application forms delivered to your address.
Once you fill out the forms, you can submit them with the needed documents and service fee. Use the available mail address to the office of the registrar general or visit the Service Ontario name change center at 47 Shepard Avenue. It costs $137 to process this request or $22 if the application is submitted with a parent’s name change form.
Note that children who are 16 or 17 years must provide proof of consent by adults that have legal custody of them before changing their name. Additionally, foreign citizens that want to use the legal name change Ontario service must have lived in the province for at least 12 months before requesting a name change.
Processing your request takes 6 – 8 weeks to complete if you submit all the correct requirements during the application. However, it can take longer if you have applied for a single name or to reclaim it.
Successful applicants can keep the name permanently or change it if they want a new name.
Anyone 14 years or older can request a name change in Quebec. However, you must go through the preliminary analysist step first before applying to change your name. This is to ascertain your eligibility before commencing the process.
A sworn statement is required by law before you fill out the forms. You must also give public notice to notify individuals with interest regarding your decision. Persons filing to change the name of children between 14 – 18 must notify their parents or tutor where applicable.
If a parent is trying to change a child’s name aged 14 and above, they must inform the child of their intention. After completing these steps, you can fill out the forms and submit them to the directeur de l’etat civil. You will pay between $27.50 – $136 depending on your application’s specfications.
It will take the responsible department 90 business days to complete your request if you provide all the necessary documents during the application. Once the procedure is successful, you can keep the name until you feel the need to change it. However, you can keep the name permanently if you don’t opt to change it in the future.
Can You Request a Change from Abroad?
Applications from abroad are permitted as long as you use the required procedure. In such cases, you should also apply for a name change for Canadian passport details before traveling back into the country. Once your application is processed, you must notify the Canada Revenue Agency of the name change. You should also let other government agencies in on your move.
The Canadian government allows you to change back your name, but you will have to go through the same application process as you did before.
Changing your name in Canada is different in each province. Some allow online applications, while others only permit mail or in-person deliveries. The age restrictions and cost of completing this request differ from province to province.
Nevertheless, the process is the same, considering that the required documents and authorizations are the same. Name change applicants should note that it’s their responsibility to notify relevant government agencies of the name change after a successful procedure and complete the passport name change Canada.