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130 Change your name: Registrar General's Office Many people change their name when they get married. Some people change their name for personal or professional reasons. The steps to changing your name are different depending on whether the name change is because of a change in marital status or for another reason. In both cases, you can make the change by filling out and submitting a form to the Registrar General for Ontario. There are also special rules for women who assume a married name. Also, depending on why and when you change your name there may be a fee.
- Changing your name upon marriage or divorceUpon marriage or divorce, both men and women have the right to change their last name. When you get married, you can change your name to your spouse's or to a combination or hyphenation of both your names. If you get divorced, you can change your name back to your original name.
Both men and women can apply to have their last name legally changed by changing their birth certificate to their married name, and by having the government issue a change of name certificate. To do this, you will need to complete a change of name application form, available by calling the Registrar General for Ontario. If you apply within 90 days of marriage there is no fee. To change your name after a divorce, there is a $25 fee if you apply within 90 days and the fee increases to $137 if you apply after 90 days.
Women married in Ontario have the option of assuming their spouses' name without changing their birth certificate. To do this you can automatically assume your married name and use your marriage certificate as proof of marriage and change of name when applying to change your business and government records. Since your birth certificate will not change, after a divorce it may be used as proof if you re-assume your original name. Some places may also require proof of divorce to change their records.
- Changing your name for reasons other than marriageTo change your name for reasons other than marriage, the application process is more complex and the fee is $137. Normally, you will be required to provide a reason for changing your name, give detailed information about any criminal records you have, list debts you owe, and notify any creditors. The Registrar General has the right to refuse your application, although you may apply to a court to appeal the decision.
To obtain more information or a change of name application form, contact the Registrar General for Ontario listed in the Blue pages of the telephone book.