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Changing your given name or surname is somewhat like adopting a new identity. It is a significant act. This is why there must be a serious reason for seeking a name change.
An application for a name change can be presented to the court or the Directeur de l’état civil.
The court has sole jurisdiction to authorize a change of name for a child in the event of abandonment by the father or mother, loss of parental authority, or change in filiation following an adoption, for example.
In these situations, we advise you to seek legal counsel for guidance in choosing the appropriate procedure.
The Directeur de l’état civil handles all name change applications that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the court. However, there must be a serious reason for making an application. Serious reasons include:
The Directeur de l’état civil can also study an application for a name change for any other reason that you present.
It is possible to request a change of name to add a part of your surname to your minor child’s surname if you are the father or mother declared in the child’s act of birth.
Each name change application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, the reasons presented and the documents submitted to support your application are very important as they are what allow the Directeur de l’état civil to evaluate your request.
If a married woman uses the name of her spouse, which does not appear on her act of birth, and she wishes to resume the use of her maiden name, she does not need to apply for a name change. It is only necessary to advise concerned government and private organizations in writing.
Anyone who applies to the Directeur de l'état civil for a name change must meet the following conditions:
The father, mother or guardian may apply for a name change for a child of minor age on condition that the child is a Canadian citizen domiciled in Québec for at least one year.
You must complete the Application for preliminary analysis for a change of surname or given name available in the Forms and publications section or by contacting the Directeur de l'état civil.
The preliminary analysis determines whether the application for a name change is appropriate to your situation. This analysis can save you time and money. In some cases, the Directeur de l’état civil can correct simple clerical errors on your act of birth without charge.
After the preliminary analysis is completed, if you must fill out an application for a name change, the Directeur de l'état civil will mail you the form and guide for the Application for a change of name.
On the Application for a change of name form, you must:
In addition, certain actions are required before your application is studied, such as:
There is no charge for studying the Request for preliminary analysis for a modification of surname or first name.
However, the fees charged for a change of name application along with the fees relating to publication of the notices amount to more than $300.
The fees are shown in the chart below.
|Change of name||Fee|
|Change of family name or given name of one person (adult or child)||$133.00 Note de bas de page1|
|Change of family name of a child (for the same family name as a parent who is changing his or her name)||$26.75|
|Additional change of name certificate||$10.70|
1 Does not include fees relating to the required publications. Return to footnote 1 referrer
The processing time is 4 months if your name change application is complete.
Because an application for a name change is public, individuals may react and send comments to the Directeur de l’état civil.
Anyone may comment an application. However, opposition can be presented only by the child’s father, mother, guardian (where applicable), and the child itself if it is 14 years of age or older.
If you are asking solely to add a part of your surname to the surname of your minor child, only a minor child 14 years of age or older may oppose your application.
In all cases, you will have an opportunity to react and respond to comments or opposition concerning your application.
The Directeur de l’état civil examines each application received. The evaluation is done on a case-by-case basis. Each application is looked at in its entirety and analyzed.
Whether it grants or refuses the name change, the Directeur de l’état civil must put the reasons for its decision in writing and communicate them to you and anyone who expressed comments or opposition. All parties then have 30 days to ask the court to review the decision of the Directeur de l’état civil.
If no one seeks a review within the 30-day period, the Directeur de l’état civil publishes a notice of its positive decision in the Gazette officielle du Québec and make changes to the register of civil status in accordance with the decision. It will also send you a Certificate of Change of Name without you needing to request it and at no additional fee. This official document enables you to notify the various organizations concerned by your change of name.
Any person who has successfully undergone medical treatments and surgical operations involving a structural modification of sexual organs intended to change his or her sexual characteristics may obtain a change of designation of sex his or her act of birth and, if necessary, a change of given names.
This person must be a Canadian citizen of full legal age and domiciled in Québec for at least one year.
An application is presented using the form Application for a change of designation of sex that you can obtain from the Directeur de l’état civil. In addition to other relevant documents, your application must include a certificate from the attending physician and an attestation of successful treatment from another physician practicing in Québec.
Your application is subject to the same procedure as an application for a name change by a person of full legal age. However, the applicant is not required to publish notices. However, when the application is approved, the Directeur de l’état civil publishes its decision in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
An administrative fee of $130 is charged for an application for a change of designation of sex.
When the Directeur de l'état civil approves the application, it issues a Certificate of Change of Designation of Sex without the applicant needing to request it and at no additional fee.
If your change of designation of sex application is complete, the processing time is 4 months.
When the change is approved, you must have certain documents modified, particularly current identity items. The Certificate of Change of Name and Certificate of Change of Designation of Sex enable you to approach concerned organizations to change your driver’s licence, health insurance card, social insurance card, passport, etc.
The name change in no way modifies your rights and obligations. Documents drawn up under your old name are deemed to be made under your new name.