A person’s name may be legally changed in Alberta. Some restrictions apply.
There are restrictions when choosing a new legal name. The new name:
- must use the English alphabet
- cannot contain:
- non-letter characters
- can contain the following punctuation marks (non-consecutively):
- period (.)
- hyphen (-)
- apostrophe (')
A name can also be refused if it:
- causes confusion
- embarrasses a person
- defrauds or misleads the public
- is offensive on any other grounds
Name changes that do not require a legal change of name
Not all changes to a name require a legal change of name through the government.
Married last name
In Alberta, you do not have to legally change your name after getting married. You may assume a married last name.
If you were born in Alberta, correcting an error on a birth record may be done with an amendment rather than a legal change of name. If you were not born in Alberta, you must request the amendment from the jurisdiction in which you were born.
Change in parents
If you are changing the parentage on your child's Alberta birth record, you can change your child’s name at the same time if the child is younger than 18 years old.
Contact Vital Statistics for more information about amending parentage, since these issues can be complex.
An applicant may apply to legally change:
- their own name
- the name of their spouse/partner
- the name of their child/ward
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 your regular residence outside of Alberta
- at least 18 years old
If you are younger than 18 years old, you can be the applicant if you are (one of the following):
- legally married
- living in an adult interdependent relationship (term carries legal meanings similar to common law, but not the same)
- the parent of a child
- the guardian of a child
You must provide your acceptable ID.
There is a $120 government fee for a legal change of name. This fee is for all the name changes included on one application form.
There is a fingerprinting fee. Contact fingerprinting agencies to confirm the cost as fees vary.
Registry agents will also charge a service fee. Service fees vary among registry agents.
How to apply
Step 1. Read the Information Guide
Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?
Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:
- Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
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- Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.
Change of Name Information Guide (PDF, 208 KB)
Step 2. Complete the Application for Change of Name form
Application for Change of Name (PDF, 470 KB)
Step 3. Gather the supporting documents
Gather the required supporting documents. The registry agent will confirm what supporting documents you will need.
- acceptable ID
- proof of name
This may also include:
- proof of marital status
- proof of relationship if you’re changing the name of a child/ward
Step 4. Get fingerprints
Get electronic fingerprints for each person 12 years old or older who is changing their name.
Contact a fingerprinting agency to confirm the cost and how long it will take.
Only electronic fingerprints are accepted.
A confirmation letter will be mailed to you from the RCMP in Ottawa.
Step 5. Find any existing birth certificates
All Alberta birth certificates issued before a legal change of name is processed must be surrendered with your Application for Change of Name. This applies to each person whose name is being legally changed.
Surrendered Alberta birth certificates will be replaced free of charge with new Alberta birth certificates reflecting the new name.
Step 6. Submit the application form
The registry agent will review all the documents for accuracy and send them to Vital Statistics for processing.
Photocopies and faxes are not accepted for some documents. Check with the registry agent.
After you apply
Change of Name certificates
Once your application has been approved and processed, a Change of Name Certificate with the new name is produced for each person whose name has been changed. Certificates are mailed to you by regular mail.
If you surrendered Alberta birth certificates, they will be replaced free of charge showing the new name.
If you did not surrender any Alberta birth certificates, you may purchase new ones from a registry agent.
If you were born outside of Alberta, you must contact the Vital Statistics office in the jurisdiction in which you were born for new birth certificates. Alberta Vital Statistics does not return certificates to any jurisdiction outside of Alberta.
If you want to amend your marriage record with the new legal name:
- and your marriage took place in Alberta, contact Alberta Vital Statistics for an amendment
- and your marriage took place outside Alberta, contact the Vital Statistics office in the jurisdiction in which you were married for their processes
Reclaiming Indigenous names
Residential schools survivors and persons who were part of the Sixties Scoop may reclaim their Indigenous name at no cost.
Descendants such as children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and spouses/partners of residential school and Sixties Scoop survivors are also eligible for name changes.
Applicants must be Alberta residents.
To apply for a no-cost Legal Change of Name:
- Request a Legal Change of Name (LCN) directly through the Vital Statistics office (not through a registry agent).
- Vital Statistics will issue a LCN certificate.
- Using the LCN certificate received from Vital Statistics and a completed Fee Waiver Application Form, you may apply to amend any Alberta Vital Statistics record that reflects your name.
- Certificates like birth certificates surrendered with the amendment request will be cancelled and replaced with the Indigenous name free of charge.
Associated fees will be waived until January 31, 2024.
Connect with Alberta Vital Statistics:
P.O. Box 2023
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C5