People change their names for a variety of reasons. Learn the steps on how to change your name below.
Can I change my name?
To change your name in British Columbia you must:
- Be 19 years of age or older, or have your guardians' permission if you're under 19.
- Have lived in BC or have permanent residence in BC for at least three months prior to making an application.
How do I change my name?
1. Gather the documents you need. If you:
- 19 years old or older and were born in Canada, you need an original birth certificate with registration number. If you were born outside Canada, you need a certified copy of immigration and/or citizenship documents.
- Have changed your name before, don't forget your original Change of Name certificate(s).
- Got married in BC Original British Columbia, you need your marriage certificate(s) or a photocopy if the marriage certificate already lists the new name.
- Got married outside of BC or Canada, you need a photocopy of your marriage certificate(s) including registration number.
If your documents aren't in English, make sure to include certified English translations of each.
2. Download and fill out the application.
3. Get your fingerprints scanned and a criminal record check. You can get these done at:
- Most RCMP detachments.
- Vancouver Police.
- Victoria Police.
- Any RCMP-accredited fingerprinting company or its affiliate who submit fingerprints electronically for the purposes of criminal record checks. Check out this list of accredited companies and information about affiliates.
There will be a cost to do this, but it varies between $40 to $60 for fingerprint scans and $25 for the criminal record check.
4. Photocopy the receipt from getting your fingerprints scanned and the crimincal record check. Include this photocopy in your application.
5. Get your application certified. An authorized person must witness your signature on the document, and then they must sign it too. Authorized people include a practicing lawyer, a notary public, or a BC Services representative. There will be a cost to get this step done, so make sure you research the cost before you make your choice.
6. Pay the application fees. For one person it's $137. If you are changing your child's name at the same time, it's an extra $27 per child. You can pay by credit card, money order, or certified cheque (this is different than a personal cheque). Or you can go into a Service BC office you can pay it there by debit.
If your net income is close to or below $20,000 or you have other extenuating circumstances that affect your ability to pay, you can ask the Vital Statistics Agency to waive the fee to change your gender marker ($27)
To do this you need to: add a letter with your application that asks for a fee waiver and include your proof of income.
7. Submit the application. You can either do this by mail or in person.
Send your application by mail to:
Vital Statistics Agency
PO Box 9657
Stn Prov Govt Victoria BC
ATTN: CONFIDENTIAL SERVICES
Or you can drop it off in person at a Service Canada Office.
I've gotten my confirmation of name change, what now?
Once you've got your confirmation of name change from Service BC, you need to tell other government agencies of your name change and replace necessary documents and identification. Here is a list of what you need replace:
- BC Driver’s Licence or BC Identification card.
- BC Services Card (CareCard).
- Canadian Passport.
- Social Insurance Card.
- Birth Certificate.
Your BC Driver’s licence, BCID, birth certificare and passport will cost money to replace.
How much should I budget for a name change?
While the price will vary depending on what kind of ID you need to have replaced, if you need photocopies certified etc, here is a basic budget:
|Criminal record check||$25|
|Passport and Photos||