If you are planning on changing your name legally, note that this is not a straightforward process, but it’s not impossible either if you have all the necessary information and resources on your side. In this blog below, you will find all the significant details regarding the change of name eligibility requirements, the application process, and the essential documents to be submitted to complete the change of name in Canada.

Changing Name Legally- A Step-By-Step Guide

1. Check the eligibility criteria:

Before you start the process of changing your name, please remember to check the eligibility criteria in your province. Although you can change your name if you are a permanent resident of Canada, you might not be allowed to do so sometimes.

You are eligible to apply if;

  • You want to change your name and are above 18 years old (Note that this age might vary from province to province)
  • You want to change the name of your spouse but only with their consent
  • You want to change your child’s name. In some cases, you might need consent for changing your child’s name if they are 12-17 years old.

2. Complete the forms:

If you can legally change your name, you need to gather the necessary paperwork. In Canada, the process differs from province to province, so you need to get specific forms. When you get all the required paperwork, carefully fill it out. Ensure you fill out all the required information, including your current name, the desired name, and the reason behind changing your name. 

3. Provide fingerprints:

If you are 12 years or older and wish to change your name legally, you must provide your fingerprints, as stated in the Name Act. Some provinces only accept electronic fingerprints, so be sure about your province beforehand. Note that your fingerprints are only used for purposes mandated by the Name Act. To get your fingerprints, contact a fingerprinting service to find out how much it will cost and how long it will take. You may also obtain your fingerprints from RCMP detachments or local police services. 

4. Give a criminal record check:

All applicants 18 years of age and older are required to present a criminal record check obtained physically from a recognized law enforcement agency. Most provinces don’t accept the use of third-party sources for criminal record checks. The fingerprints taken are part of the criminal record checks and confirmations.

5. Gather all the required documents:

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you must gather the required documents to change your name legally. 

Some of the documents you need to have by your side are:

  • Application form
  • ID
  • A proof of your current name
  • Birth certificate
  • Fingerprint confirmation
  • Criminal record check
  • Notarized application form
  • Marriage certificate (in case of changing your spouse’s name)
  • Proof of relationship (in case of changing your child’s name)

6. Submit the application form:

After completing all the steps, take all the documents, including your notarized application form, to your local government office. The agents at the local office will review your application and send it for processing. Please note that this process can take up to 15 weeks in total.

7. Certificate issuance:

Once legally changing your name is accepted, you will be issued a certificate for a name change in 6-10 weeks. This certificate will display both your old and new names and can be used to change your name on additional government-issued identification cards, such as your health card. 

Please remember that everyone born in Ontario will receive a new birth certificate reflecting the changed name. However, the automatically issued birth certificate shall not include any information about your parents. If you want a birth certificate with parental information, you must submit a Request for Birth Certificate application and the corresponding payment. 

Moreover, if you were born outside Ontario, a notice is usually sent to the vital statistics office of the province where you were born. You must visit this office and complete a form to get a new birth certificate.

Notarize Your Name Change Applications From Experts- Only at The Notary Guy

Changing your name legally in Canada can be lengthy, but following the steps mentioned in this blog post can help you seamlessly change your name. 

But if you want to speed up the application process and ensure your application is legitimate, consider notarization. 

Notarizing your name change application not only ensures that it complies with all laws but also gives you peace of mind that your application process will not face any setbacks. Notarization at The Notary Guy, based in Brampton, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, or Mississauga, helps you rest assured that all your paperwork will be sent to the proper government authorities. Our specialists confirm your identification and witness your signature on the application form, making your application legitimate and the whole process a breeze.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can I change my name to any name I want?

You can change your name to anything you like, as long as it’s not being used fraudulently or to avoid legal duties. However, it is suggested that you study your local laws since there may be limitations on specific names that are not allowed in a few jurisdictions.

  1. Is it necessary to inform everyone of the name change?

Yes, you are required by law to inform everyone about your name change, including your boss, banks, and government agencies. You must also change your name on your official documents, including your passport, driver’s license, and social security number.

  1. Does changing your name cost a fee?

Yes, changing your name costs you, but that depends on where you reside, the city, and the country. This cost usually covers the application fee and the expense of obtaining new forms of identification. 

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