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How to Change Your Name in Canada After Marriage

If you’re not sticking with your pre-nuptial name, here’s how to change your name in Canada. It’s not complicated, but there may be a lot of paperwork.

Wedding invitation with wedding rings

Have you pondered the question of whether to change your name once you’re married and decided to go for it? It's pretty easy to change your last name in Canada after marriage unless you live in Quebec, where the law requires that you keep using your birth name. Like getting a marriage license, it’s not complicated, but there may be a lot of paperwork to do if there are lots of places to change it.

Here’s how to change your name in Canada after marriage.

Generally speaking, the name on your birth certificate (your legal name) won’t change, but you can change to your married name (again, not in Quebec) for other documents (your driver’s license, credit cards, etc.), as long as you will be using one of the accepted surnames -- your spouse’s name, or a combination of your two names. (If you are choosing or creating a completely new name for yourselves, a legal name change is required, which is somewhat more complicated and costly, and beyond the scope of this article.)

Make a list of all the institutions you need to inform and find out what’s required for each. You may need to show your marriage certificate (not the same as your marriage license); this legal document proves the details of your marriage, and in most cases must be ordered from Vital Statistics in the province where you were married once your marriage has been registered (which is done by your officiant after the ceremony).

To change your name in Canada, it is your responsibility to contact all relevant government departments and agencies.

The following will need to be updated:

All the ID you carry will need to be updated, as well as bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, and so on.

Then, of course, there’s your friends and family. You could casually spread the word about changing your name via social media and such, or send out a formal wedding announcement.

For more information on changing your name in Canada and acquiring a marriage certificate, visit the appropriate provincial government website. Remember, it’s the province where you got married, even if you don’t live there.

Newfoundland and Labrador:
Ordering marriage certificate

Prince Edward Island:
Changing your name in PEI
Ordering marriage certificate

Nova Scotia:
Ordering marriage certificate

New Brunswick:
Changing your name in New Brunswick
Ordering marriage certificate

Changing your name in Ontario
Ordering marriage certificate

Changing your name in Manitoba
Ordering marriage certificate

Changing your name in Saskatchewan
Ordering marriage certificate

Changing your name in Alberta
Ordering marriage certificate

British Columbia:
Changing your name in BC
Ordering marriage certificate

Changing your name and ordering marriage certificate

Northwest Territories:
Ordering marriage certificate

Ordering marriage certificate

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