Adult name change

Before you apply

You can change your name as an adult if you:

  • are 16 years of age or older
  • have lived in Ontario for the past 12 months

Please note if:

  • you're 16 or 17 years old, you will need consent from every person who has legal custody of you before you can change your name (you must also complete Part 3 of the application)
  • you're married or have signed a Joint Declaration of Conjugal Relationship document, you must give your partner/spouse notice that you’re changing your name (you must also complete Part 2 of the application)
  • you need a police records check as part of your legal name change application, download the Requirements for a Police Record Check for a Change of Name form to make sure the police force conducting the check performs one that meets all requirements. Please read the change of name application for more information.

How to apply

To change your name you need to:

Submit by mail

Mail your completed form, payment and required documents to:

ServiceOntario

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 3000
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 5W0

Submit in person

Bring your completed form, payment and required documents to:

ServiceOntario
47 Sheppard Avenue East, Unit 417, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N1

Cost

$137

Documents you will receive

If your name change is approved, you will get a change of name certificate. It will show your previous name and your new name. You can also use this certificate to change your name on other personal documents, such as a health card.

Every person born in Ontario who changes their name will also get a new birth certificate in their new name. The birth certificate that is automatically issued does not contain parental information. If you wish to apply for a birth certificate with parental information or a certified copy of the birth registration, you can do so by submitting a Request for Birth Certificate application and the associated payment. If you were born elsewhere in Canada, notice of your name change is sent to the vital statistics office in the province or territory (except Quebec) where you were born. You will need to apply to that vital statistics office to obtain a new birth certificate.

Child name change

To legally change a child’s name, the child must:

  • have lived in Ontario for the past 12 months or since birth if under 1 year old
  • be 17 years old or under
  • not be married
  • consent to the name change, if the child is 12 years of age or older

There must not be any court orders or separation agreements that prohibit the change of name.

Each adult who has legal custody of the child must consent to change the child’s name and every person lawfully entitled to access to the child must be given written notice of the name change. If you have any court orders or written legal agreements (e.g. a separation agreement) that show details of custody and/or access to the child or address the naming of the child, you must send photocopies of all court orders or agreements.

If you need a police records check as part of your legal name change application, download the Requirements for a Police Record Check for a Change of Name form to make sure the police force conducting the check performs one that meets all requirements. Please read the change of name application for more information.

How to apply

To change a child’s name you need to:

Cost

$137, or
$22 – when submitted with a parent’s name change application.

Documents you will receive

If the child’s name change is approved, you will get a change of name certificate. It will show your child’s previous name and your child’s new name. You can also use this certificate to change your child’s name on other personal documents, such as a health card.

Every person born in Ontario who changes their name will also get a new birth certificate in their new name. The birth certificate that is automatically issued does not contain parental information. If you wish to apply for a birth certificate with parental information or a certified copy of the birth registration, you can do so by submitting a Request for Birth Certificate application and the associated payment. If you were born elsewhere in Canada, notice of your name change is sent to the vital statistics office in the province or territory (except Quebec) where you were born. You will need to apply to that vital statistics office to obtain a new birth certificate.

Change a name to a single name

You can change a name to a single name if you or your child’s culture has a tradition of single names.

You may be eligible to have ServiceOntario fees waived if you are an Indigenous person applying to change your name to a single name. Find out more information about reclaiming a traditional Indigenous name.

How to apply

Print and fill out the Request for a Name Change with a Single Name Form.

You must also fill out one of the following forms:

Follow the instructions on the forms carefully. You must meet all requirements as noted on the forms.

When you complete your application, submit the forms, payment and required documents either by mail or in person at the 47 Sheppard Ave. East ServiceOntario centre.

Cost

$137, or
$22 – when submitted with a parent’s name change application.

How to submit a name change

By mail

Mail your completed forms, payment and required documents to:

ServiceOntario

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 3000
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 5W0

In person

Bring your completed forms, payment (cheque, money order or credit card) and required documents to:

ServiceOntario
47 Sheppard Avenue East, Unit 417, 4th Floor
Toronto, ON
M2N 5N1

Urgent requests

People who need their change of name or other information documents right away may be eligible for alternative service options.

These circumstances include:

  • pending adoption
  • postsecondary graduation
  • correcting the sex indicated on the birth certificate
  • an immigration matter

For more information, please contact ServiceOntario at 1-800-461-2156 or 416-325-8305.

Cancelling a name change or amendment application

If you were born in Ontario and have already submitted a change of name or amendment application with all previously issued birth certificates and need your birth certificate to access services (e.g. a passport), you may choose to cancel your application and have your birth certificate(s) re-issued.

To cancel a change of name or amendment application you must fax a written request to:

Manager, Specialty Services
Fax: 1-807-343-7284

For more information, please contact ServiceOntario at 1-800-461-2156 or 416-325-8305.

Update a birth or marriage registration following a legal name change

You can apply to have your new legal name on your Ontario marriage registration and this will be reflected on any marriage certificate you apply for in the future. A child’s birth registration may also be amended to reflect the new name of a parent, if a parent listed on the birth registration has legally changed their name.

How to apply

Contact the Office of the Registrar General for more information and to have the forms mailed to you:

Mail

ServiceOntario

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 3000
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 5W0​

Telephone

1-800-461-2156for all of North America (areas outside of Toronto)

416-325-8305in the Greater Toronto Area and Internationally

TTY/Teletypewriter for the hearing impaired TTY: 416-325-3408

Cost

$0
If you are eligible, there is no cost to have a legal name updated with ServiceOntario. If you would like to order an updated certificate or certified copy, you will have to pay the required fee.

Note
You may be eligible to have fees waived for birth or marriage certificates issued after amending a birth or marriage registration following a legal name change. If you are a Survivor of a residential school or a family member and have reclaimed a name through the legal name change process and wish to also amend a marriage registration or are a parent amending their child’s birth registration with their new name, complete and submit an Application to Waive ServiceOntario Fees for a Name Change and Related Certificates.

Reclaim a traditional Indigenous name

If you are a Survivor of a residential school, you, and your family can reclaim your Indigenous name.

You can also change to a single name, if it is part of your traditional culture or your child’s traditional culture.

You will not be charged a fee for a name change from now until March 31, 2024.

If you or your child are changing a name and are a First Nations, Inuit, or Métis individual you may request non-publication of the name change in The Ontario Gazette. Find out more information about the publication of name change.

How to apply

To reclaim an Indigenous name, including a single name, for no charge, you must print and fill out:

Follow the instructions on the forms carefully. You must meet all requirements as noted on the forms.

Submit the completed forms and required documents by mail to:

ServiceOntario

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 3000
189 Red River Road
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 5W0

Cost

$0
If you’re eligible, fees will be waived

Publication of name change

All name changes registered under Ontario’s Change of Name Act must be published in The Ontario Gazette with the following exceptions:

  1. The person whose name is being changed is a transgender, First Nations, Inuit, or Métis individual and a request for non-publication is made. You can download the Request for Non-Publication in The Ontario Gazette form, and fill it out and submit it with your change of name application. If you are unable to download the form, you can request to have the form mailed to you by contacting ServiceOntario at 1-800-461-2156 for all of North America (areas outside of Toronto), 416-325-8305 in the Greater Toronto Area and Internationally or TTYTTY: 416-325-3408.
    OR
  2. The Attorney General certifies that the change of name is intended to prevent significant harm to the person. In this case, you should contact your municipal police force or the Ontario Provincial Police to determine if this exception to publication can apply to you.

The Ontario Gazette currently publishes information in paper format and electronically on the Internet.

Translated documents

If all or part of a document sent in support of your application is written in a language that is not English or French, you must send us an English or French translation. If a translation is required, your application must include:

  • a complete photocopy of the document requiring translation;
  • a complete photocopy of the translation of the original document; and
  • an original written declaration from one of the following:
    1. A professional translator, who indicates their professional status as a translator (this declaration is not required to be sworn), or
    2. A person who is not a professional translator (this declaration must be sworn in front of a commissioner for taking affidavits)

The translator’s original written declaration must state:

  • the translator understands English or French and the language of the original document, and
  • the translator is of the opinion that the translation is complete and correct

If the translator’s original written declaration appears on the translation of the original document, the translation must be submitted in its original form. A photocopy will not be accepted.

If you need a translator, you can search for one in the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario’s directory.

Delivery time

If your application is complete, accurate and you were born in Ontario, we will mail you a certificate of name change and your new birth certificate in 6-8 weeks. It may take longer if you have requested a change to a single name or reclaimed name.

Once you get your certificate of name change, you can update your other government-issued identification (e.g. driver’s licence, health card, Ontario Photo Card).