Today, more and more couples use the same surname socially but don’t make a legal change of name. This happens more often when both have established their own names in the workplace. However, if one of you decides to legally take the other’s surname, here’s the scoop.
(1) You must be of legal age.
Examples: Legal age in British Columbia and New Brunswick is 19. In Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec, it’s 18. In Ontario it’s 16.
(2) Some provinces have residency requirements.
Examples: British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan: three months. Ontario and Quebec: one year. No specific residence period in Alberta and New Brunswick.
(3) Get an application from your local Vital Statistics office and pay the fee.
Examples: Ontario and British Columbia: $137; Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Quebec: $125; Manitoba: $100.
Your checklist for change
Passport: Complete a new application with two identical passport photos and original ID or photocopies of your ID that has been signed by a guarantor. A standard passport is $87.
Social Insurance Number (SIN): Provide a primary document (an official document that proves your identity and status in Canada such as a birth certificate).
Don’t forget these documents
- automobile title
- credit card companies
- driver’s license
- insurance (home, auto etc.)
- investments, stocks, bonds
- magazine subscriptions
- professional associations
- telephone (landline and mobile)
- utility companies
Rena Anderson, founder of the What’s in a Name name changing kit, says brides often are confused by the difference in ‘assuming’ and ‘legally changing’ a name. The legal change is no different than picking a totally new name and identity. When brides realize this, they often legally keep their own name and ‘assume’ the husband’s name informally.
Rod Phillips, editor of The Journal of Family History, says some women don’t change their name because of their career. “It’s a tough choice for women because a lot of men are opposed to women not taking their name,” he says.
A name change kit
Makes it faster and easier and can save hours of work. Go online to order:
- easynamechange.ca: About $15.
- A personalized kit: About $30.
- A premium kit: About $80.
Also check out www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/lifeevents/marriage