Thinking about changing your name? Before all that time and effort, have a look at the information below. Depending on your situation, you may not even need a legal name change!
You might need a legal name change if you're correcting or amending the name as it appeared on your original birth registration.
You don’t need a legal name change if you want to change your surname to a married last name. You don’t have to change your name after getting married, but in Alberta many people do. The good news is that this doesn’t require a legal name change.
As well, a legal name change in Alberta may not be needed when:
- A woman wants to return to her maiden name or a previous last name, provided she has not legally changed her name.
- A husband/partner assumed the last name of his wife/partner.
- A mother and biological father of an Alberta-born child jointly request to change their child’s last name and add the father’s information to the child’s birth registration. This process is called child paternity – paternity may be processed as an amendment to the registration under the Vital Statistics Acts; some restrictions apply, so ask an agent for details.
- A mother marries the biological father of an Alberta-born child, and they jointly request to change the child’s last name. This process is called legitimization – legitimization may be processed as an amendment to the registration under the Vital Statistics Acts; some restrictions apply, so ask an agent for details.
- Parent(s) want to change an Alberta-born child’s given name(s). The child must be under 10 years of age.
- An Alberta-born person who wants to change their given names, is older than 10 years of age, and has documented proof supporting the intended name. Given-name changes may be processed as an amendment to the registration under the Vital Statistics Act; some restrictions apply, so ask an agent for details.
Once you decide you do need a legal name change, here are the three steps to follow:
1) If you're an Alberta resident, come into any AMA centre to pick up a Legal Change of Name application. Remember to bring your membership card with you, as this is a member-only service. Additional documentation may also be required; ask an agent for details.
2) Bring your completed application and required documentation to the closest AMA centre and we'll complete the processing and forward your documents to Vital Statistics.
3) Receive your certificate in the mail.