There are five ways to change your name - the law governing name changes is the Change of Name Act.

Published by Paragon Legal Services on November 15th, 2021.


Ø  You can assume your spouse’s surname upon marriage

Upon marriage you can change your surname by assuming your spouse’s last name. You can combine both of your last names with a hyphen or combine both of your surnames with a space in-between. To use this assumed name there is no need to make an application, there is no cost and the name change will not change the surname on your birth certificate.

Use your government issued marriage certificate, and other government documents to prove your identity, Canadian citizenship and Ontario residency.   You can obtain a health card and new driver’s licence with which you will be able to use on your bank accounts and conduct other business under this new name.


Ø  You can legally change your surname based on marital status by completing an Election to Change Surname form.

            To legally change your last name upon marriage, you must complete the Election to Change Surname – Form 1, which applies to both those who are legally married and to those in a conjugal relationship. This applies to both opposite sex or same-sex couples. There is no fee only if you do so within 90 days of being married or filing a joint declaration of conjugal relationship. Other documents you must provide include - Birth Certificate(s), Change of Name Certificate(s) (if applicable) and Police records check (if applicable). Contact our certified expert to submit an application for a name change on your behalf.

Ø  You can legally resume using your surname after a divorce, annulment or the death of your spouse by completing an Election to Resume Former Surname form which applies to both men and women.

After a marriage is dissolved by divorce, annulment or the death of your spouse, you may resume using your surname immediately before marriage. You must submit a copy of your divorce papers (or spouse’s death certificate), your change of name certificate and your birth certificate together with the application fee together and the required form. 

If you legally changed your last name to that of your spouse complete the Election to Change Surname – Form 1. If you assumed your spouse’s surname then complete the Election to Resume Former Surname – Form 2. In either circumstance our qualified professional can make an application on your behalf.

Ø  You can change your entire name for any other reason by completing An Application to Change an Adult’s Name.

            To change your name for a reason other than marriage, you must be 16 years of age or older and lived in Ontario for at least one year before submitting the application. You must obtain permission from your parents, guardians or anyone who has legal custody of you. Submit your original birth certificate (or certified copy) if born in Canada; copy of marriage certificate or a Joint Declaration of Conjugal Relationship form; proof of Canadian citizenship if born outside Canada; copy of name change certificates (if applicable); court certified copies of court orders and police records check (if applicable).  If you are 16 or 17 years old and married, this can be done without the consent of your parents or guardian together with proof of your marriage. Our certified consultant can submit an application as your representative.

Ø  You can apply to change your child’s name by completing An Application to Change a Child’s Name.

If you want to change the name of a child who 17 years of age or younger and has lived in Ontario for at least the past 12 months; the child must be unmarried and you must have legal custody of the child.  Submit an Application to Change a Child’s Name, the form fee and the following documents - birth certificate (or certified copy), if born outside Canada, proof of Canadian citizenship, copy of name change certificates (if applicable), court certified copies of court orders and police records check (if applicable).  Contact a professional at Paragon Legal Services who can assist with this challenging situation.