Name Change in Ontario
 
There is a formal process required for initiating a name change in the province of Ontario. This process differs depending on whether the name change is for an adult or a child. There is also a difference in the process if you are assuming your spouse’s name after getting married. The length of time required for the process and change to take place is approximately 6-8 weeks. The application needs to be complete and accurate and once this has been processed, the certificate of name change and birth certificate are mailed out to you, as long as you were born in the province of Ontario. There are also circumstances that require urgent requests for name changes. Some examples can include an urgent immigration matter, pending adoption, post-secondary graduation, or correcting the sex indicated on a birth certificate. Name changes are also published in the Ontario Gazette, which is a government publication that can be searched by the public online.
 
Adult Name Change Process
 
In order to change your name as an adult you must be 16 years of age or older, and have been living in Ontario for the past 12 months. If you are 16-17 years old, you require consent from every person who has legal custody of you, prior to changing your name. If you are married, you must give your partner notice that you are changing your name. Additionally, a police record check must be done as apart of this application. This application requires a statutory declaration that must be commissioned before a commissioner of oath. Once this is completed, you will be issued a certificate of name change which you can use to obtain new identification with your new name.
 
Child Name Change Process
 
In order to change the name of a child, the child must have been in Ontario for the past 12 months or since birth if under 1 year old. The child must also be 17 years old or under, and their marital status must be single. There cannot be any court orders or separation agreements that prohibit the change of name, as this can cause significant issues in the area of family law. Every adult who has legal custody of the child must consent to this child’s name change. In regards to notice, anyone with lawful entitlement to access to the child must be given valid notice of this name change. There is a difference between consent and notice in regards to a child name change application. Giving notice involves making individuals who have access to the child aware of this change that will occur. Whereas getting consent requires actual permission from the parent or guardian, and is required for the change to occur. It is essential that you consult with a family lawyer if you are going through a separation or divorce proceeding, especially if you have minor children and are considering a name change. A name change for a child also requires a statutory declaration form that must be commissioned before a commissioner of oath.
 
Assumption of Spouse’s Last Name
 
This process differs from an actual formal name change that is completed when you get married and legally and formally change your name. In the event of an assumption of your spouse’s last time your birth certificate remains the same in this scenario and remains unchanged. This includes obtaining your marriage certificate, as well as bringing your cards to Service Ontario. The changes will impact all your identification documents, and you will be obtaining new ones. It is also important you contact other organizations to update your new legal last name. It is your responsibility to update all your identification and records to reflect your new last name as soon as possible. These identifications include your Ontario driver’s license or photo card, health card, Canadian passport, and all bank records and other accounts. In this situation,you do not receive a certificate of name change as it is not a formal name change process to assume your spouse’s name.