Changing Your Name
In Saskatchewan The Change of Name Act, 1995 provides the framework for legally changing your own name or the name of your child. When you marry, divorce or are widowed you can change your surname by election, meaning you can simply choose to use a different last name. In all other cases you must apply for a name change.
Individuals wishing to change their name under The Change of Name Act, 1995 must...
- be a resident of Saskatchewan
- be 18 years or older, unless married or in a common-law relationship
- have lived in Saskatchewan at least three consecutive months in the past 12 months
- be legally entitled to remain in Canada
Name changes related to adoption and requests for changes to designation of sex are dealt with under The Vital Statistics Act. For more information about these matters contact the eHealth Vital Statistics Registry.
Changing Your Name by Election
Married and Common-Law Spouses
Individuals in legally recognized spousal relationships have a choice about the last name they will be known by. These relationships include marriages as well as recognized common-law relationships. In most cases individuals that live together as spouses for at least two years will be legally recognized as common-law spouses and may be recognized as common-law spouses sooner if they have a child together.
Spouses can change their last name by election and choose to use...
- the last name they were given at birth
- the last name they were using immediately before their current spousal relationship, or
- their spouse's last name, provided that their spouse is using their birth name or the name they were using immediately before entering the spousal relationship
Spouses may also elect to use a double surname consisting of both spouses' surnames. Double surnames cannot contain more than two components. Double surnames may be hyphenated or not (Smith-Jones or Smith Jones) and may be used by one or both spouses. If both spouses choose to use a double surname they must use the same components but may combine them in a different order (Smith-Jones; Jones-Smith).
Legally married spouses can change their name by election once a Registration of Marriage is registered with the Vital Statistics Registry. Common-law spouses may elect to use their spouse's last name provided that they have filed a Declaration with the Vital Statistics Registry that confirms their relationship. Declaration forms must be obtained from the Vital Statistics Registry and must be signed by both spouses. There is a fee for the Declaration form.
|There is no application process or fee for changing your last name by election. Individuals who change their name as a result of a spousal relationship can change their name back to one of the above choices at any time. Spouses wishing to change their name to something other than the above choices must make an application for a change of name and pay the required fees.|
Separating, Divorcing or Widowed Individuals
When a spousal relationship ends a former spouse may elect to use...
- the last name they were given at birth
- the last name they were using at the time the relationship ended, or
- the last name they were using immediately before entering into the relationship
Common-law couples must file a declaration indicating that the relationship has ended in order to continue to use or change a last name by election.
A Word about Birth Records
Changing a last name by election does not change your Registration of Live Birth. Individuals who have elected to change their last name may also wish to arrange to change their last name on things such as bank accounts, health cards and drivers' licences. Agencies involved may require proof of the relationship and may also charge a fee for issuing documents with a changed last name.
Applying for a Name Change
Eligible individuals may apply to change their first, middle or last name. All names must be written in the Roman alphabet. Generally speaking applications will be accepted if you meet all the requirements and pay the required fees. The requested name change cannot be for fraudulent purposes, such as avoiding debt collection, and may also be rejected if allowing the name change would be confusing, embarrassing or otherwise objectionable.
|It is an offence to obtain a change of name by making a false or misleading statement. The punishment can be as much as a $50,000 fine or two years imprisonment or both.|
You do not need your spouse's consent to apply to change your own name, but must prove that they were given notice of your application. If you are no longer living together, but still legally married, you may attach an affidavit indicating that you are living separate and apart from each other instead of proving notice to them.
You can also apply to change the name of your spouse at the same time that you apply to change your own name. Your spouse's consent is required in this case.
When the birth of a child is registered the child's first and last name must be specified on the Registration of Live Birth. At birth, parents can give their children any first, middle or last name they choose. The names must be written in the Roman alphabet and the last name cannot contain more than two names hyphenated or combined. Hyphenated or combined last names must consist of only one last name of each parent.
In situations where the parents cannot agree on the child's last name, the last name must be the parents' last name if both parents have the same last name. If the parents have different last names, the child will be registered with both parents' last name hyphenated in alphabetical order.
Any changes made to the child's name after the birth is registered are governed by The Change of Name Act, 1995. There are special processes that apply to change the given name of a child under the age of 1.
Parents, or others, who are the legal custodian of a child can apply to change the child's first, middle or last name. Every other legal custodian of the child must also consent in writing. If parents have lived together since the birth of their child they are both legal custodians unless there is a court order or agreement giving one of them sole custody. If parents have not lived together since the birth of their child, the parent the child lives with is the only legal custodian unless there is an agreement or court order that changes this. If the child is 14 years of age or older they must also provide their written consent. You can apply to change the name of your child at the same time that you apply to change your name or at any other time.
Application forms are available from the Vital Statistics Registry. Completed application forms must be signed and witnessed. You must also complete an affidavit of bona fides to accompany the application. This means that you must swear and sign a statement saying that you are not changing your name for fraudulent or unlawful purposes.
The statement must be signed before a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Oaths for Saskatchewan. A Notary Public or a Commissioner for Oaths can be located through the yellow pages of a phone book or an online directory. Once completed, forms can be submitted in person or by mail to the Vital Statistics Registry.
Additional information or documentation may be required in order to determine whether to register the application. Be sure to include any required documentation and payment of fees. Supporting documentation varies from situation to situation and may include things such as Birth Certificates or other proof of age, health cards or other proof of residency, marriage or death certificates and consents. Complete information about what is required is available from the Vital Statistics Customer Support Team.
If your application meets all the requirements your new name will be registered and you will receive a Certificate of Change of Name. By law, most name changes are published in the Saskatchewan Gazette, which is available to the public. Your fees will have included a charge for this advertisement. In very rare circumstances the publishing may not be required, but this is very rare.
If you were born in Saskatchewan, you can obtain a new Birth Certificate once your change of name has been registered. Application forms are available online or by contacting eHealth Saskatchewan.
If you were born in another province you must apply to that province for a new birth certificate. Your Certificate of Change of Name will assist with this. Please note that Quebec does not recognize Saskatchewan Certificates of Change of Name.
Arrangements should be made to change your name on all business documents, such as bank accounts, health card and driver's licence. A copy of the Certificate of Change of Name should be sent with each request or notice of name change. Some agencies and institutions may charge a fee for issuing documentation in a new name.