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Change of Name Act

R.S.O. 1990, Chapter C.7

Consolidation Period:  From October 31, 2021 to the e-Laws currency date.

Last amendment: 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 1-10.

Legislative History: 1994, c. 27, s. 75; 1997, c. 17, s. 1-5; 1998, c. 18, Sched. E, s. 46-49; 1999, c. 6, s. 4; 2000, c. 26, Sched. B, s. 5; 2005, c. 5, s. 5; 2006, c. 19, Sched. B, s. 3; 2006, c. 19, Sched. D, s. 1; 2006, c. 34, s. 5; 2009, c. 11, s. 1, 2; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 9; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3; 2010, c. 16, Sched. 8, s. 3; 2012, c. 8, Sched. 6; CTS 13 JL 12 - 3; 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4; 2016, c. 23, s. 37; 2018, c. 3, Sched. 5, s. 3 (see: 2019, c. 1, Sched. 3, s. 5); 2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3; 2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4; 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 1-10.

CONTENTS

1.

Definitions

1.1

Delegation of powers and duties

2.

Person’s name

Change of Name of Person over Sixteen

4.

Application for change of name

Change of Child’s Name

5.

Application to change child’s name

Procedure

6.

Application

Duty of Registrar General

7.

Response of Registrar General

7.1

Check with Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

8.

Publication, registration and notice

Substitution of New Name

9.

Substitution of new name in documents

Revocation of Change of Name

10.

Application to revoke change of name

Appeals

11.

Appeals

Offences

12.

Obtaining change of name by fraud, etc.

Transition

12.0.1

Joint declarations

12.0.2

Resuming pre-election surname

12.1

Power of Registrar General

Regulations

13.

Regulations

 

Definitions

1 In this Act,

“change” means any change by way of alteration, substitution, addition or abandonment; (“changement”)

“child” means a person under the age of eighteen years; (“enfant”)

“court” means the Ontario Court of Justice or the Family Court; (“tribunal”)

“file” means file in the office of the Registrar General; (“déposer”)

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, the definition of “file” is repealed and the following substituted:

“file” means to file with the Registrar General; (“déposer”)

See: 2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, ss. 1, 5.

“prescribed” means prescribed by the regulations made under this Act; (“prescrit”)

“Registrar General” means the Registrar General under the Vital Statistics Act; (“registraire général de l’état civil”)

“spouse” has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Family Law Act. (“conjoint”)  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 1; 2000, c. 26, Sched. B, s. 5 (1); 2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 1.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2000, c. 26, Sched. B, s. 5 (1) - 06/12/2000

2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 1 - not in force

2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4 (1) - 01/03/2021; 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 1 - 30/04/2021

Delegation of powers and duties

1.1 The Registrar General may delegate in writing any or all of his or her powers and duties under this Act to any person, subject to any restrictions set out in the delegation.  2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 2.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 2 - 01/09/2016

Person’s name

2 (1) For all purposes of Ontario law,

(a) a person whose birth is registered in Ontario is entitled to be recognized by the name appearing on the person’s birth certificate or change of name certificate, unless clause (c) applies;

(b) a person whose birth is not registered in Ontario is entitled to be recognized by,

(i) the name appearing on the person’s change of name certificate, if the person’s name has been changed under this Act or a predecessor of it, or

(ii) in all other cases, the name recognized in law in the last place with which the person had a real and substantial connection before residing in Ontario,

unless clause (c) applies; and

(c) a person who adopted a name on marriage before the 1st day of April, 1987 is entitled to be recognized by that name unless the person subsequently changed that name under this Act or a predecessor of it.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 2 (1).

Saving

(2) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to affect a change of name effected under a right that existed at law before the 26th day of June, 1939.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 2 (2).

Surname and forename

(3) A person’s name may not be changed under this Act so as to include no surname or so as to include no forename.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 2 (3).

Exception

(4) Despite subsection (3), a person’s name may be changed under this Act to a single name that is determined in accordance with the person’s traditional culture if,

(a) the applicant for the change of name provides the Registrar General with the prescribed evidence, if any; and

(b) the Registrar General approves the single name. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 1.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 1 - 01/01/2017

3 Repealed: 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 2.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1997, c. 17, s. 1 - 04/06/1998; 1998, c. 18, Sched. E, s. 46 - 18/12/1998; 1999, c. 6, s. 4 (1, 2) - 01/03/2000

2000, c. 26, Sched. B, s. 5 (2) - 30/12/2011

2005, c. 5, s. 5 - 09/03/2005

2009, c. 11, s. 1 (1, 2) - 14/05/2009

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 2 (1, 2) - 01/01/2017

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 2 - 30/04/2021

Change of Name of Person over Sixteen

Application for change of name

4 (1) A person at least 16 years of age who has been ordinarily resident in Ontario for at least one year immediately before making the application may apply to the Registrar General in accordance with section 6 to change,

(a) his or her forename or surname or both; or

(b) his or her single name, if the person has a single name. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 3.

Exception, confidential change of name

(1.1) The residency requirement set out in subsection (1) does not apply in respect of an applicant for a change of name that has been certified as described in subsection 8 (2) by the Attorney General or a person authorized by the Attorney General.  2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 9.

Notice to spouse

(2) An applicant who is a spouse shall give the other spouse notice of the application. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 3.

Consent required where applicant under 18

(3) An application by a child requires the written consent of every person who has lawful custody of the child.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 4 (3).

Application to dispense with consent

(4) If the required consent cannot be obtained or is refused, the child may apply to the court for an order dispensing with the consent.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 4 (4).

How application determined

(5) The court shall determine an application under subsection (4) in accordance with the best interests of the child.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 4 (5).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 9 - 15/12/2009

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 3 - 01/01/2017

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 3 - 30/04/2021

Change of Child’s Name

Application to change child’s name

5 (1) Unless a court order or separation agreement prohibits the change, a person described in subsection (1.1) may apply to the Registrar General in accordance with section 6 to change,

(a) the child’s forename or surname or both; or

(b) the child’s single name, if the child has a single name. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 4.

Same

(1.1) Subsection (1) applies to a person with lawful custody of,

(a) a child whose birth was registered in Ontario and who is ordinarily resident there; or

(b) a child who has been ordinarily resident in Ontario for at least one year immediately before the application is made. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 4.

Consents required

(2) The application under subsection (1) requires the written consent of,

(a) any other person with lawful custody of the child;

(b) any person whose consent is necessary in accordance with a court order or separation agreement; and

(c) the child, if the child is twelve years of age or older.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 5 (2).

Same

(2.1) If a person is declared under section 10, 11 or 13 of the Children’s Law Reform Act to be a parent of a child and obtains an order under section 17 of that Act changing the child’s surname, an application under subsection (1) also requires that person’s written consent. 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (1).

Where child lacks capacity

(3) Clause (2) (c) does not apply if a legally qualified medical practitioner states in writing, not more than one year before the application is made, that in his or her opinion the child does not have capacity to consent.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 5 (3).

Application to dispense with consent

(4) If the required consent cannot be obtained or is refused, the person seeking to change the child’s name may apply to the court for an order dispensing with that consent.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 5 (4).

Same

(4.1) If the consent that cannot be obtained or is refused is the consent required under subsection (2.1), the application under subsection (4) may be made to the Ontario Court of Justice, the Family Court or the Superior Court of Justice.  2009, c. 11, s. 2 (2).

How application determined

(5) The court shall determine an application under subsection (4) in accordance with the best interests of the child.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 5 (5).

Notice to persons with access

(6) The applicant under subsection (1) shall give notice of the application to every person who is lawfully entitled to access to the child.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 5 (6).

Notice to spouse

(7) An applicant who proposes to change the child’s surname to the surname of the applicant’s spouse shall give the spouse notice of the application. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 4.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2009, c. 11, s. 2 (1, 2) - 01/03/2010

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 4 - 01/01/2017; 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (1) - 01/01/2017

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 4 - 30/04/2021

Procedure

Application

Definition

6 (1) In this section,

“application” means an application made under subsection 4 (1) or 5 (1).  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 6 (1).

Contents of application

(2) An application shall be in the prescribed form and shall state, by way of statutory declaration, in respect of the person to whose name the application relates,

(a) the person’s date and place of birth;

(b) if the person is married, the full name, before marriage, of the person’s spouse and the date and place of the marriage;

(c) Repealed: 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 5.

(d) the full names, and all former names, if known, of the person’s parents;

(e) the length of the person’s residence in Ontario, and the person’s current address;

(f) in the case of an application under subsection 5 (1),

(i) that the applicant has lawful custody of the child,

(ii) that no court order or separation agreement prohibits the change of name that is sought,

(iii) whether a court order or separation agreement provides that the child’s name shall not be changed without a person’s consent and, if so, particulars of the order or agreement;

(g) particulars of every criminal offence of which the person has been convicted, except an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada);

(g.1) particulars of every criminal offence of which the person has been found guilty and has been discharged, except an offence in respect of which the Criminal Records Act (Canada) requires that the record be purged;

(h) particulars of every offence of which the person has been found guilty and for which an adult sentence has been imposed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada), as described in section 117 of that Act;

(h.1) particulars of every outstanding law enforcement order against the person, including a warrant, prohibition order, restraining order, driver’s licence suspension, probation order and parole order, of which he or she is aware;

(h.2) particulars of every pending criminal charge against the person of which he or she is aware;

(i) particulars of every unsatisfied order for payment of money, unsatisfied execution and pending court proceeding, other than a proceeding referred to in clause (h.2), against the person of which he or she is aware;

(j) particulars of every,

(i) lien against or security interest in the person’s personal property, and

(ii) financing statement that is registered under the Personal Property Security Act and names the person as debtor,

of which he or she is aware;

(k) whether the person is an undischarged bankrupt and, if so, particulars of the bankruptcy;

(l) particulars of any change of name made before the current application;

(m) the proposed name;

(n) the reasons for the change of name;

(o) that every consent required for the application has been given or has been dispensed with by the court;

(p) that every person entitled to notice of the application has been given notice;

(q) that the application is not made for an improper purpose; and

(r) any other information or documents that are prescribed.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 6 (2); 1997, c. 17, s. 2 (1-3); 2006, c. 19, Sched. D, s. 1 (1, 2); 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (2, 3); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 5.

Accompanying statement

(3) An application shall be accompanied by a statement in the prescribed form, made by a member of a prescribed class or, if no member of a prescribed class is available, any other person.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 6 (3).

Idem

(4) If the author of the statement is a member of a prescribed class, it shall set out that the person to whose name the application relates is known to the author and has, to the author’s knowledge, resided in Ontario for at least one year immediately before the making of the application or, if the person is less than one year old, since birth.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 6 (4).

Idem

(5) If the author of the statement is a person who is not a member of a prescribed class, it shall set out that the person to whose name the application relates has been known to the author for at least five years or, if the person is less than five years old, since birth, and has, to the author’s knowledge, resided in Ontario for at least one year immediately before the making of the application or, if the person is less than one year old, since birth.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 6 (5).

Evidence of consent, etc.

(6) If a person’s consent to an application is required, the applicant shall provide with the application that person’s written consent or a certified copy of the order dispensing with that person’s consent.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 6 (6).

Notice of application

(7) If anyone is entitled to notice of an application, the applicant shall,

(a) at least 30 days before filing the application, send notice and a copy of the application by registered or certified mail to the last known address of the person entitled to notice; or

(b) obtain an acknowledgment of notice, signed by the person entitled to notice, and provide it with the application to the Registrar General.  1994, c. 27, s. 75.

Documents to provide

(8) An application shall be accompanied by all the prescribed documents that are in the applicant’s possession. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 5.

Police records check

(9) An application shall be accompanied by a police records check that is prepared and certified by an employee of an Ontario police force if the application discloses particulars described in clause (2) (g), (g.1), (h), (h.1) or (h.2).  1997, c. 17, s. 2 (4).

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, subsection 6 (9) of the Act is amended by striking out “an employee of an Ontario police force” and substituting “a member of a police service”. (See: 2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3 (1))

Same

(10) The police records check shall contain the particulars of,

(a) every criminal offence of which the person to whose name the application relates has been convicted, except an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada);

(b) every criminal offence of which the person to whose name the application relates has been found guilty and has been discharged, except an offence in respect of which the Criminal Records Act (Canada) requires that the record be purged;

(c) every offence of which the person to whose name the application relates has been found guilty and for which an adult sentence has been imposed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada), as described in section 117 of that Act;

(d) every outstanding law enforcement order against the person to whose name the application relates, including a warrant, prohibition order, restraining order, driver’s licence suspension, probation order and parole order;

(e) every pending criminal charge against the person to whose name the application relates.  1997, c. 17, s. 2 (4); 2006, c. 19, Sched. D, s. 1 (3, 4).

Disclosure of personal information

(11) An employee of a police force shall disclose personal information about an individual for the purpose of preparing a police records check that complies with subsection (10).  1997, c. 17, s. 2 (4).

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, subsection 6 (11) of the Act is amended by striking out “An employee of a police force” at the beginning and substituting “A member of a police service”. (See: 2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3 (2))

Exception

(12) Subsection (9) does not apply in respect of a change of name that has been certified as described in subsection 8 (2) by the Attorney General or a person authorized by the Attorney General.  1997, c. 17, s. 2 (4).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1994, c. 27, s. 75 - 02/01/2001; 1997, c. 17, s. 2 (1-4) - 04/06/1998;

2006, c. 19, Sched. D, s. 1 (1-4) - 22/06/2006

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 5 - 01/01/2017; 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (2, 3) - 01/01/2017

2018, c. 3, Sched. 5, s. 3 (1, 2) - no effect - see 2019, c. 1, Sched. 3, s. 5 - 26/03/2019

2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3 (1, 2) - not in force

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 5 - 30/04/2021

Duty of Registrar General

Response of Registrar General

7 (1) If an applicant under subsection 4 (1) or 5 (1) complies with the requirements of this Act and pays the required fee, then, unless the Registrar General believes on reasonable grounds that the applicant seeks the change of name for an improper purpose, the Registrar General shall, in accordance with the Vital Statistics Act,

(a) if the birth of the person to whose name the application relates was registered in Ontario under that Act or a predecessor of it, register the change of name, note it on the birth registration and issue a change of name certificate and a new birth certificate to the person; or

(b) if the birth of the person to whose name the application relates was not registered in Ontario under that Act or a predecessor of it, register the change of name and issue a change of name certificate to the person. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1).

Marriage registration

(1.1) If the Registrar General has registered a change of name of a person under subsection (1), if the person is married and if there is a registration of that marriage under the Vital Statistics Act or a predecessor of that Act, the Registrar General shall note the change on that marriage registration in accordance with the Vital Statistics Act if the applicant under subsection (1) or the person so requests and pays the required fee, if any. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1).

Birth registration of child

(1.2) If the Registrar General has registered a change of name of a person under subsection (1) and the person is named as a parent on the birth registration of a child born in Ontario, the Registrar General shall note the change on the child’s birth registration in accordance with the Vital Statistics Act if,

(a) the applicant under subsection (1) or the person so requests and pays the required fee, if any; and

(b) subject to subsections (1.3), (1.4) and (1.5), the child consents, if the child is at least 16 years of age at the time of the request. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1); 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (4).

If child lacks capacity

(1.3) The consent of a child under subsection (1.2) is not required if a legally qualified medical practitioner states in writing, not more than one year before the request under that subsection is made, that in his or her opinion the child does not have capacity to consent. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1).

Application to dispense with consent

(1.4) If the required consent cannot be obtained or is refused, the person requesting the notation of a change under subsection (1.2) may apply to the Ontario Court of Justice, the Family Court or the Superior Court of Justice for an order dispensing with the consent. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1).

How application determined

(1.5) The court mentioned in subsection (1.4) shall determine an application under that subsection in accordance with the best interests of the child. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1).

Request by child

(1.6) If the Registrar General has registered a change of name of a person under subsection (1), if the person is named as a parent on the birth registration of a child born in Ontario and if the child is at least 16 years of age, the Registrar General shall note the change on the child’s birth registration in accordance with the Vital Statistics Act if the child so requests and pays the required fee, if any. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1); 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (5).

Documents to provide

(1.7) An applicant or person who requests the notation of a change on the person’s marriage registration under subsection (1.1) shall submit, with the request, all the prescribed documents that are in the possession of the applicant or person, as the case may be. 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (6).

Same, for child’s birth registration

(1.7.1) An applicant or person who requests the notation of a change on a child’s birth registration under subsection (1.2) shall,

(a) collect from the child all the prescribed documents that are in the child’s possession; and

(b) submit, with the request, all the prescribed documents that are in the possession of the applicant or person, as the case may be, and all the prescribed documents that the applicant or person, as the case may be, has collected under clause (a). 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (6).

Documents for request by child

(1.8) A child who requests the notation of a change on the child’s birth registration under subsection (1.6) shall,

(a) if the Registrar General has registered a change of name of a person under subsection (1), collect from the person all the prescribed documents that are in the person’s possession; and

(b) submit, with the request, all the prescribed documents that are in the child’s possession and all the prescribed documents that the child has collected under clause (a). 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (6).

Refusal of application

(2) If the Registrar General believes on reasonable grounds that an applicant seeks the change of name for an improper purpose, the Registrar General shall,

(a) refuse the application; and

(b) advise the applicant and any person who was entitled to notice of the application,

(i) that it was refused, and

(ii) that the applicant has the right to make an application under subsection (3).  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 7 (2).

Application to court

(3) The applicant whose application is refused may, on notice to the Registrar General, apply to the court for an order granting the application.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 7 (3).

Registrar General’s reasons for refusal

(4) The Registrar General may file with the court his or her reasons for refusing the application and the court may take them into account if it is satisfied that the applicant has had notice of the reasons and an opportunity to respond to them.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 7 (4).

Power of court

(5) If the court is satisfied that the applicant does not seek the change of name for an improper purpose, the court shall, by order, grant the application.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 7 (5).

Duty of Registrar General

(6) On receiving a certified copy of the order, the Registrar General shall, in accordance with the Vital Statistics Act,

(a) if the birth of the person to whose name the application relates was registered in Ontario, register the change of name, note it on the birth registration and issue a change of name certificate and a new birth certificate to the person;

(b) if the person’s birth was not registered in Ontario, register the change of name and issue a change of name certificate to the person.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 7 (6); 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (2, 3).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1998, c. 18, Sched. E, s. 47 - 18/12/1998

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 6 (1-3) - 01/01/2017; 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (4-6) - 01/01/2017

Check with Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

7.1 (1) Despite any other Act, before registering or refusing a change of name requested under section 4 or 5, the Registrar General shall ask the Ministry of the Solicitor General if the Ministry has any information about the person to whose name the application relates that would be included in a police records check as described in subsection 6 (10) and the Ministry shall so advise the Registrar General.  1997, c. 17, s. 3; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 6 (1).

Personal information

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), the Registrar General shall disclose to the Ministry of the Solicitor General the person’s name and other personal information that will assist the Ministry in identifying the person and the Registrar General and Ministry of the Solicitor General shall collect personal information from each other, and subsection 39 (2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not apply to any such collection of personal information.  1997, c. 17, s. 3; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 6 (2).

No name change consideration until police records check provided

(3) Subsections 7 (1) and (2) do not apply if a police records check has not been provided as required by subsection 6 (9), and the Ministry of the Solicitor General has advised the Registrar General that it has information about the person that would be included in a police records check, until the person applying for a change of name provides the required police records check.  1997, c. 17, s. 3; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 6 (3).

Exception

(4) This section does not apply in respect of a change of name that has been certified as described in subsection 8 (2) by the Attorney General or a person authorized by the Attorney General.  1997, c. 17, s. 3.

Same

(5) This section does not apply if the person to whose name the application relates is less than 12 years old.  1997, c. 17, s. 3; 2006, c. 19, Sched. D, s. 1 (5).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1997, c. 17, s. 3 - 04/06/1998

2006, c. 19, Sched. D, s. 1 (5) - 22/06/2006

2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1) - 15/12/2009

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 6 (1-3) - 30/04/2021

Publication, registration and notice

8 (1) On registering a change of name made under this Act, the Registrar General shall,

(a) promptly cause a notice of the change of name to be published in The Ontario Gazette, except in the circumstances specified in the regulations made under this Act;

(b) enter the change of name in the change of name index maintained under section 2 of the Vital Statistics Act;

(b.1) cause notice of the change of name, together with a copy of the police records check that was provided by the person applying for a change of name, to be given to the Ministry of the Solicitor General if the Registrar General was advised under section 7.1 that the Ministry of the Solicitor General has information about the person whose name has been changed that would be included in a police records check; and

(c) cause notice of the change to be given,

(i) to the sheriff of the appropriate area, if the application discloses an unsatisfied order for payment of money or unsatisfied execution against the property of the person whose name has been changed,

(ii) to the Registrar of Personal Property Security, if the application discloses that a financing statement registered under the Personal Property Security Act names the person as debtor,

(iii) to the Registrar in Bankruptcy, if the application discloses that the person is an undischarged bankrupt, and

(iv) to the clerk or registrar of the appropriate court, if the application discloses a pending court proceeding against the person other than a proceeding referred to in clause 6 (2) (h.2).  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 8 (1); 1997, c. 17, s. 4 (1, 2); 2006, c. 34, s. 5 (1); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 7.

Ministry of the Solicitor General, access to records

(1.1) Despite any other Act,

(a) the Registrar General may, on request from the Ministry of the Solicitor General, provide the Ministry with any information from records in the Registrar General’s possession or control that may be relevant in determining whether there has been a change of name of a person and, if there has been a change of name of the person, any information from such records regarding or relevant to the change of name;

(b) the Registrar General may give the Ministry of the Solicitor General access to any or all the records in the Registrar General’s possession or control in order to allow the Ministry to search for and obtain the information described in clause (a).  1997, c. 17, s. 4 (3); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 7 (3).

Further notice by Ministry of the Solicitor General

(1.2) On receiving notice under clause (1) (b.1) or receiving or obtaining information under subsection (1.1), the Ministry of the Solicitor General may, despite any other Act, cause the information or notice of the change of name, together with any information in the police records check, to be given to the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the Ministry of Transportation, any police force or any other ministry, agency or institution that, in the opinion of the Ministry, should know about the change of name for law enforcement or corrections purposes.  1997, c. 17, s. 4 (3); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 7 (3).

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, subsection 8 (1.2) of the Act is amended by striking out “police force” and substituting “police service”. (See: 2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3 (3))

Personal information

(1.3) Where a disclosure is made under subsection (1.1) or (1.2), the Registrar General and the Ministry of the Solicitor General shall disclose personal information about an individual and the Ministry of the Solicitor General and any ministry, agency or institution that receives information under subsection (1.2) shall collect such information and subsections 39 (2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and 29 (2) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act do not apply to the collection of personal information under clause (1) (b.1) or subsection (1.1) or (1.2).  1997, c. 17, s. 4 (3); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 7 (3).

Incidental information not to be disclosed

(1.4) The Ministry of the Solicitor General shall not, under subsection (1.2), give any information that it has obtained under clause (1.1) (b), other than information that may be relevant in determining whether there has been a change of name of a person or, if there has been a change of name of the person, any information regarding or relevant to the change of name.  1997, c. 17, s. 4 (3); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 7 (3).

Where change of name to be kept confidential

(2) Despite subsection (1), if the Attorney General or a person authorized by the Attorney General certifies that a change of name is intended, in his or her opinion, to prevent significant harm to the person to whose name the application relates and certifies that he or she has reviewed a police records check as described in subsection 6 (10) in respect of that person,

(a) the application shall be sealed and filed in the office of the Registrar General;

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, clause (a) is repealed and the following substituted:

(a) the application shall be sealed in a separate file and kept by the Registrar General;

See: 2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, ss. 3 (2), 5.

(b) no notice of the change of name shall be published in The Ontario Gazette and no notice of the application or of the change of name shall be given to the Ministry of the Solicitor General or any person;

(c) if the person’s birth was registered in Ontario, the original registration shall be withdrawn from the registration files and sealed in a separate file, and a new birth registration showing the new name shall be made under the Vital Statistics Act; and

(d) the change of name shall not be entered in the change of name index maintained under section 2 of the Vital Statistics Act.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 8 (2); 1997, c. 17, s. 4 (4, 5); 2006, c. 19, Sched. B, s. 3; 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 7; 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 7 (3).

Same

(3) Subsection (1.1) does not apply in respect of a change of name that has been certified as described in subsection (2) by the Attorney General or a person authorized by the Attorney General.  1997, c. 17, s. 4 (6).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1997, c. 17, s. 4 (1-6) - 04/06/1998

2006, c. 19, Sched. B, s. 3 - 22/06/2006

2006, c. 34, s. 5 (1) - 03/07/2007

2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1) - 15/12/2009

2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 3 (1) - 01/09/2016; 2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 3 (2) - not in force

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 7 - 01/01/2017

2018, c. 3, Sched. 5, s. 3 (3) - no effect - see 2019, c. 1, Sched. 3, s. 5 - 26/03/2019

2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3 (3) - not in force

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 7 (1-3) - 30/04/2021

Substitution of New Name

Substitution of new name in documents

9 (1) A person whose name has been changed under this Act is entitled to have the change of name noted on any public or private record or document that mentions the person’s name, on payment of any applicable fee prescribed by law and on producing satisfactory proof of identity and the change of name certificate or new birth certificate.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 9; 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 8 (1).

Exception

(2) A public or private record or document that is mentioned in subsection (1) does not include a registration made under the Vital Statistics Act, a certified copy of such a registration or a certificate issued under that Act. 2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 8 (2).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 8 (1, 2) - 01/01/2017

Revocation of Change of Name

Application to revoke change of name

10 (1) A person who has reason to believe that a change of name has been obtained under this Act or a predecessor of it by fraud or misrepresentation or for an improper purpose may apply to the court for an order revoking the change of name.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 10 (1).

Affidavit giving reasons

(2) The application shall be accompanied by the applicant’s affidavit setting out the reasons for believing that the change of name was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation or for an improper purpose.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 10 (2).

Service of applications

(3) Notice of the application shall be served on such persons as the court directs.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 10 (3).

Revocation of change of name

(4) If the court is satisfied that the change of name was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation or for an improper purpose, the court may by order revoke it in whole or in part.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 10 (4).

Clerk to send copy of order to Registrar General

(5) The clerk of the court shall send a certified copy of the order to the Registrar General.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 10 (5).

Surrender of certificate on revocation; notice

(6) On receiving a copy of the order, the Registrar General,

(a) may require the person to whom a birth certificate or change of name certificate has been issued in connection with the change of name to surrender it immediately;

(b) shall promptly cause a notice of the revocation to be published in The Ontario Gazette;

(b.1) shall cause notice of the revocation to be given to the Ministry of the Solicitor General if the Ministry was given notice of the change of name under clause 8 (1) (b.1); and

(c) shall cause notice of the revocation to be given to any persons who were given notice of the change of name under clause 8 (1) (c) (notice to sheriff, etc.).  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 10 (6); 1997, c. 17, s. 5 (1); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 8 (1).

Further notice

(7) On receiving notice under clause (6) (b.1), the Ministry of the Solicitor General shall give notice of the revocation to every ministry, police force, agency or institution to whom the Ministry had previously given notice under subsection 8 (1.2) and subsections 39 (2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and 29 (2) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act do not apply to the collection of personal information under clause (6) (b.1) or this subsection.  1997, c. 17, s. 5 (2); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1); 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 8 (2).

Note: On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, subsection 10 (7) of the Act is amended by striking out “police force” and substituting “police service”. (See: 2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3 (4))

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1997, c. 17, s. 5 (1, 2) - 04/06/1998

2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (1) - 15/12/2009

2018, c. 3, Sched. 5, s. 3 (4) - no effect - see 2019, c. 1, Sched. 3, s. 5 - 26/03/2019

2019, c. 1, Sched. 4, s. 3 (4) - not in force

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 8 (1, 2) - 30/04/2021

Appeals

Appeals

Appeal from order dispensing with consent

11 (1) An appeal from an order under subsection 4 (4) or 5 (4) (dispensing with consent) may be made by the applicant or the person whose consent is dispensed with to,

(a) the Superior Court of Justice, if the order was made in the Ontario Court of Justice;

(b) the Divisional Court, if the order was made in the Family Court; or

(c) the proper appellate court as determined under the Courts of Justice Act, if the order was made in the Superior Court of Justice and not in the Family Court. 2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4 (2).

Appeal from review of Registrar General’s refusal

(2) An appeal from an order under subsection 7 (5) (review of Registrar General’s refusal of application) may be made by the applicant or the Registrar General to,

(a) the Superior Court of Justice, if the order was made in the Ontario Court of Justice;

(b) the Divisional Court, if the order was made in the Family Court; or

(c) the proper appellate court as determined under the Courts of Justice Act, if the order was made in the Superior Court of Justice and not in the Family Court. 2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4 (2).

Appeal from revocation of change of name

(3) An appeal from an order under subsection 10 (4) (revocation of change of name) may be made by the applicant, the Registrar General or the person to whom the change of name order relates to,

(a) the Superior Court of Justice, if the order was made in the Ontario Court of Justice; or

(b) the Divisional Court, if the order was made in the Family Court. 2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4 (2).

Transition

(4) This section, as it read immediately before the day subsection 4 (2) of Schedule 2 to the Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020 came into force, continues to apply to,

(a) any case in which a notice of appeal was filed before that day; and

(b) any further appeals or proceedings arising from a case described in clause (a). 2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4 (2).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2000, c. 26, Sched. B, s. 5 (3) - 06/12/2000

2020, c. 25, Sched. 2, s. 4 (2) - 01/03/2021

Offences

Obtaining change of name by fraud, etc.

12 (1) A person who obtains a change of name under this Act by fraud or misrepresentation is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 12 (1).

Use of name obtained by fraud, etc.

(2) A person who uses a name in respect of which he or she was convicted under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 12 (2).

Use of name after refusal or revocation

(3) A person who uses a name,

(a) that he or she sought to adopt in an application that was refused under section 7; or

(b) that was the subject of an order under subsection 10 (4) (revocation of change of name),

knowing that the change of name was refused or revoked, as the case may be, is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 12 (3).

Failure to surrender certificate on revocation

(4) A person who knowingly fails to comply with a requirement of the Registrar General under clause 10 (6) (a) (surrender of certificate upon revocation of change) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 12 (4).

Use of superseded certificate

(5) A person who, after his or her name is changed under this Act, knowingly uses a birth certificate or change of name certificate that was issued in Ontario and shows a former name of the person is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 12 (5).

Limitation one year

(6) No proceeding shall be commenced in respect of an offence under this Act more than one year after the Deputy Registrar General appointed under the Vital Statistics Act becomes aware of the facts on which the proceeding is based.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 12 (6).

Evidence

(7) A statement as to the time when the Deputy Registrar General became aware of the facts on which the proceeding is based, purporting to be certified by the Deputy Registrar General, is, without proof of that person’s office or signature, evidence of the facts stated in it.  R.S.O. 1990, c. C.7, s. 12 (7).

Transition

Joint declarations

12.0.1 (1) This section applies to a person who filed a joint declaration under subsection 3 (6) before section 3 was repealed, if the joint declaration has not been revoked. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Change of name of person over 16

(2) If the person is an applicant under subsection 4 (1), the person shall give the person with whom they filed the joint declaration notice of the application. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Change of child’s name

(3) If the person is an applicant under subsection 5 (1) and proposes to change the child’s surname to the surname of the person with whom they filed the joint declaration, the person shall give the person with whom they filed the joint declaration notice of the application. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Procedure

(4) An application made under subsection 4 (1) or 5 (1) by the person shall state, by way of statutory declaration, in addition to the matters listed in subsection 6 (2), the full name of the other person who made the joint declaration, its date and the place where it was made. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Revocation

(5) The person may revoke the joint declaration when applying for a change of name under subsection 4 (1) or when making an election to resume a surname under subsection 12.0.2 (2), in which case this section ceases to apply to them. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Clarification

(6) For greater certainty, if a person revokes the joint declaration when applying for a change of name under subsection 4 (1),

(a) they do not need to give the person with whom they filed the joint declaration notice of the application, despite subsection (2) of this section; and

(b) the application need not state the full name of the other person who made the joint declaration, its date and the place where it was made, despite subsection (4) of this section. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9 - 30/04/2021

Resuming pre-election surname

Application

12.0.2 (1) This section applies to a person who elected before April 30, 2021 to change their surname under section 3, before that section was repealed on that date, to,

(a) the surname that their spouse had immediately before their marriage;

(b) a surname consisting of the surnames that both spouses had immediately before their marriage, hyphenated or combined;

(c) the surname that the person with whom they filed a joint declaration under subsection 3 (6), before section 3 was repealed, had immediately before their conjugal relationship; or

(d) a surname consisting of the surnames that both they and the person with whom they filed a joint declaration under subsection 3 (6), before section 3 was repealed, had immediately before their conjugal relationship, hyphenated or combined. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Election to resume surname

(2) The person may elect to resume the surname that they had immediately before the marriage or conjugal relationship. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Exception

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the person, after the election referred to in subsection (1), had any of their names changed under,

(a) an application under subsection 4 (1) or 5 (1);

(b) the law of a province or territory of Canada, other than Ontario; or

(c) the law of a foreign state. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Exception to the exception

(4) Despite subsection (3), subsection (2) does apply if the person’s most recent change of name was an election under section 3 before it was repealed, and the person is electing to resume the surname that they had immediately before the marriage or conjugal relationship that that election related to. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Clarification

(5) For greater certainty, nothing in this section prohibits an application for a change of name under subsection 4 (1) or 5 (1). 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Procedure

(6) A person who wishes to make an election under subsection (2) shall do so in the prescribed manner, pay the required fee, if any, and provide all the prescribed documents that are in the person’s possession. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Police records check

(7) A person who wishes to make an election under subsection (2) shall provide the Registrar General with a police records check, as described in subsections 6 (9) and (10), if it would be required for an application under subsection 4 (1) or 5 (1). 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

No notice required

(8) A person who elects to change their surname under this section need not inform the other spouse or person with whom they filed a joint declaration under subsection 3 (6) before section 3 was repealed. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Certificate

(9) On receiving the fee, if any, and documents, the Registrar General shall, in accordance with the Vital Statistics Act,

(a) if the person’s birth was registered in Ontario under that Act or a predecessor of it, register the change of name, note it on the birth registration and issue a change of name certificate and a new birth certificate to the person; or

(b) if the person’s birth was not registered in Ontario under that Act or a predecessor of it, register the change of name and issue a change of name certificate to the person. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Application of other sections

(10) Sections 7.1 and 8 apply with respect to a change of name requested under this section, and for that purpose, the following modifications apply:

1. A reference in section 7.1 or 8 to an application for a change of name shall be read as a reference to a request for an election under this section.

2. The reference in subsection 7.1 (1) to section 4 or 5 shall be read as a reference to this section.

3. The reference in subsection 7.1 (3) to subsections 7 (1) and (2) shall be read as a reference to subsection (9) of this section.

4. The reference in subsection 7.1 (3) to subsection 6 (9) shall be read as a reference to subsection (7) of this section.

5. Clause 8 (1) (c) does not apply. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9 - 30/04/2021

12.0.3 repealed: 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 9 - 30/04/2021

Power of Registrar General

12.1 (1) The Registrar General may by order,

(a) set and collect fees for services that the Registrar General provides under this Act; and

(b) provide for the waiver of payment of those fees in favour of any person or class of persons.  2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 4.

Orders are not regulations

(2) An order made under this section is not a regulation for the purposes of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006.  2010, c. 16, Sched. 8, s. 3.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1998, c. 18, Sched. E, s. 48 - 18/12/1998

2010, c. 16, Sched. 8, s. 3 - 25/10/2010

2012, c. 8, Sched. 6, s. 4 - 01/09/2016

Regulations

Regulations

13 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations governing anything that, in this Act, may or must be prescribed or done by regulation. 2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 10.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

1998, c. 18, Sched. E, s. 49 (1) - 18/12/1998

2006, c. 34, s. 5 (2) - 03/07/2007

2009, c. 33, Sched. 17, s. 3 (2) - 15/12/2009

2016, c. 5, Sched. 4, s. 9 - 01/01/2017; 2016, c. 23, s. 37 (7, 8) - 01/01/2017

2020, c. 34, Sched. 3, s. 10 - 30/04/2021

Note:  Regulations made under clause (b), (c) or (e), as those clauses read immediately before December 18, 1998, continue until the Registrar General makes an order under section 12.1, as enacted by the Statutes of Ontario, 1998, chapter 18, Schedule E, section 48, that is inconsistent with those regulations.  See:  1998, c. 18, Sched. E, s. 49 (2).

Note:  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by regulation revoke regulations made under clause (b), (c) or (e), as those clauses read immediately before December 18, 1998, if the Registrar General makes an order under section 12.1, as enacted by the Statutes of Ontario, 1998, chapter 18, Schedule E, section 48, that is inconsistent with those regulations.  See:  1998, c. 18, Sched. E, s. 49 (3).

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