Legal Change of Name Information


Before you Apply

Not all changes to a name require a legal change of name through the government.

  • Married last name – You do not have to change your name after getting married. If you want to use a married last name, see married last name for details.
  • Correcting information – If you were born in Alberta, the correction of an error may be done with an amendment. If you were not born in Alberta, you must request an amendment in the jurisdiction where your birth happened.
  • Change in parents – When you add or remove a father/co-parent to or from an Alberta birth record of a child younger than 12 years of age, the child's name may be changed at the same time. 

Contact Vital Statistics for more information.

New Name Restrictions

There are restrictions when choosing a new legal name. The new name:

  • must contain a first and last name;
  • must use the English alphabet; and
  • cannot contain numbers, non-letter characters and/or profanity, but may contain the following punctuation marks: period (.), hyphen (-), apostrophe (').

A name can also be refused if it:

  • causes confusion;
  • embarrasses a person;
  • defrauds or misleads the public; or
  • is offensive on any other grounds.

Am I Eligible?

As an applicant:

  • You must be an Alberta resident.
    • You must remain a resident of Alberta throughout the change of name process. 
    • You are not an Alberta resident if you are in Alberta temporarily, maintain a regular residence outside of Alberta or are in Alberta on a temporary visa.
  • You must be 18 years of age.
  • You may be younger than 18 years of age if you are: 
    • legally married; 
    • living in an adult interdependent relationship;
    • the parent of a child; or
    • the guardian of a child. 
  • You must provide valid ID.

How to Apply

  1. Go to a registry agent office and get a Legal Change of Name Application form. 

  2. Complete the form.

  3. Gather the supporting documents needed. Examples of some supporting documents may include:
    -
    proof of name; 
    -
    proof of marital status; and
    -
    proof of relationship to a child/ward.

  4. You must surrender all Canadian birth and marriage certificates for anyone having their name changed.

  5. Get electronic fingerprints from a fingerprinting agency in Alberta for each person 12 years of age or older who is having his/her name changed.
    -
    To find a fingerprinting agency, visit the RCMP detachment Website.
    -
    Contact the fingerprinting agency to confirm the cost and how long it will take.

  6. Take the completed legal change of name application form and all the supporting documents to a registry agent office.

The average processing time is 6 to 8 weeks, however it can take longer if required.

Cost

  • A legal change of name application costs $120. 
  • There are fingerprinting fees; contact the fingerprinting agency to confirm the cost as fees vary. 
  • You will also need to pay a service fee to the registry agent. Contact a registry agent office as service fees vary.

After you Apply

Once the legal change of name application is approved and processed:

  • Change of Name Certificate
    • A Change of Name Certificate with your new name is mailed to you.
  • Birth/Marriage Certificates
  • Public Information 
    • After a legal change of name is processed, the change is Open Public Information.
    • In Alberta, all processed and finalized legal changes of names are published in the Alberta Gazette, the official newspaper of the Government of Alberta.  The Alberta Gazette is available in print and is also published and fully searchable by all web browsers, such as Google
    • If you do not want your legal change of name searchable through the Alberta Gazette, there are two dispensation options available.
      • You may get a court order from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and submit it with your change of name application form; or 
      • You may apply to the Registrar of Vital Statistics to have the publication dispensed with before submitting your change of name application for processing. 
    • Strict criteria applies for dispensations. The Criteria details are noted in the legal change of name application form.   
    • If you do not want your legal change of name published in the Alberta Gazette, you may get a dispensation to keep it from being published; but, the information remains public and may be searchable at the Vital Statistics office provided Vital Statistics legislation search requirements for name change information are met.

For more information, contact Vital Statistics.