How do I change my name after I get married?

After you get married you have the option to change your last name, also known as family name or surname, to your spouse’s last name.

You can also combine both of your last names into a hyphenated last name or choose to take on your spouse’s last name as a second last name.

There are 2 ways you can change your name after marriage:

  • Assume your married name
  • Formal name change

How do I assume my married name?

After you get married you have the option to take your spouse’s last name. You do not have to formally change your last name.  This option makes it easier to go back to your former name if you need to because it does not change your birth certificate.

After your wedding ceremony your officiant will submit your documents and you can obtain your certified marriage certificate by applying for it approximately 10 weeks after your marriage is registered.

It is important to note that a Record of Solemnization of Marriage is not the same thing as a marriage certificate. Before you can get a marriage certificate, a marriage needs to be registered by the officiant where it was performed.

Once you recieve your marriage certificate you should take it and your other identification documents to a Service Ontario office to start the name change process.

It is best to start by changing your Ontario Health Card (OHIP) and Ontario Driver’s license or Photo ID Card. Once you receive your updated cards you can proceed to update your other documents suggested in the list below.

How do I get a formal name change?

In Ontario, you can get a formal name change by submitting an application to Service Ontario. If you are changing your name because of your marriage you must send proof that you are married. Once your application is processed you will receive a new birth certificate, with your new name, if you were born in Ontario.

How much does it cost?

  • Assuming your married name: Free
  • Formal name change within 90 days of your marriage: Free
  • Formal name change after 90 days of your marriage: $25

What documents should I update after a name change?

Some of the documents you should update include:

  • Ontario Health Card (OHIP)
  • Ontario Driver’s license or Photo ID Card
  • Vehicle registration
  • Permanent Resident or Citizenship Card
  • Passport
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Tax information with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Banking and insurance information
  • Utility accounts like your hydro and phone bills
  • Records with your health care providers
  • Any other accounts you may have

The process for changing your name with different government ministries and organizations can vary widely. Be sure to check with each one to find out what documents and steps are required to change your name.

For More Information

This article contains information from Service Ontario.

Last updated: October 27, 2015 4001615