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 contain a first and last 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 or are in Alberta on a temporary visa
- 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. Complete the Application for Change of Name form
Application forms are available at registry agent offices.
Step 2. Gather the supporting documents
Gather the supporting documents needed. The registry agent will tell you 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 3. 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.
Step 4. 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 5. Submit the application form
Take the completed Application for Change of Name form, electronic fingerprints, birth certificates and all supporting documents to a registry agent office.
The registry agent will review all the documents for accuracy and send them to Vital Statistics for processing.
Photocopies and faxes are not accepted.
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.
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
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W7
John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5C5