3/29 Changing Names In Ontario

Your birth certificate says what name you were given at birth. Simple so far.

You get married. If you’re a man, you do nothing at all which is only proper.

If you are a woman, you had 2 choices. Assume a name, or legally change your name.

1) Assume the husband’s name.

Assume a last name due to marriage

You can assume your spouse’s last name after marriage on government documents such as:

  • health card
  • driver’s licence
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • enhanced driver’s licence

There is no cost to ASSUME your spouse’s last name on the above documents. When you ASSUME a spouse’s last name after marriage, it does NOT change the name on your Ontario birth registration (and birth certificate). You should change all your identification documents to reflect the new last name.

Cost $0 Delivery You will receive your updated documents by mail in 6 to 8 weeks.


2) Elect to go back to your previous last name if you did NOT assume his name but INSTEAD you LEGALLY changed it after marriage.

If you elected to LEGALLY change your last name due to marriage or conjugal relationship, you can change your name back to your previous last name by completing an Election to Resume Former Surname – Form 2. This service is only available if you legally changed your last name using the discontinued Election to Change Surname service.

When you legally change your name back to your previous name, you get A CERTIFICATE OF NAME CHANGE and a new birth certificate (if you were born in Ontario). You can use these documents to update other government documents (for example, driver’s licence).

This is a simple process but must be done within 90 days of the divorce.

So, simple as mud. When was the divorce? What method was used to take on your husbands nameafter marriage? Knowing those dates lets you know your options.

Notices of Name Changes

This dataset contains a listing of individuals who have had their name formally changed in Ontario.

This data is made publicly available through the Ontario Gazette.

If you informally change it, the Gazette does not show it.

But the simplest way to find out all these facts is at Examination for Discovery.