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:
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
Go to a registry agent office and get a Legal Change of Name Application form.
Complete the form.
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.
You must surrender all Canadian birth and marriage certificates for anyone having their name changed.
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.
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.
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:
If you surrendered your Alberta birth/marriage certificates, they will be replaced free of charge showing your new name.
If no Alberta birth/marriage certificates were surrendered, you may purchase new Alberta birth/marriage certificates from a registry agent office.
See Ordering a Birth Document or Ordering a Marriage Document for details.
If you were born/married outside of Alberta, you must contact the Vital Statistics office within the jurisdiction in which the birth/marriage took place for new certificates.
- Change of Name Certificate
A Change of Name Certificate with your new name is mailed to you.
All processed and finalized legal changes of names in Alberta are published in the Alberta Gazette, the official newspaper of the Government of Alberta.
If you do not want your legal change of name published in the Alberta Gazette, you may get a court order to prevent it from being published; but, the information remains public and may be searchable provided Vital Statistics legislation search requirements for the name change information are met.
If the legal change of name should be confidential, a different kind of court order that seals the legal change of name record is required.
Court orders must be issued by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench.
For more information, contact Vital Statistics.