Table of contents

Status: Bill 61 came into force on April 22, 2021
Ministry responsible: Service Alberta

Overview

Bill 61: the Vital Statistics Amendment Act prevents any offender designated as dangerous, long-term or high-risk from completing a legal change of name.

  • Dangerous offender is a court ordered designation for those who present an ongoing, serious risk to public safety.
  • Long-term offender is also a court ordered designation for those who are repeat offenders who pose a substantial risk of re-offending.
  • High-risk offenders are recently paroled and considered by law enforcement to be a risk to the public and likely to re-offend.

This amendment would build on changes made in 2020 that prohibit individuals convicted of designated sexual offences from legally changing their names.

Under the Vital Statistics Act, individuals aged 18 or older are required to submit a fingerprint confirmation letter and either a criminal record check or a police information check as part of the application process for a legal change of name.

Key changes

Bill 61 amends the Vital Statistics Act to:

  • prohibit individuals designated as dangerous, long-term or high-risk offenders from legally changing their name
    • dangerous or long-term offenders would have a life time ban on completing a legal change of name even if their designation is removed
    • high-risk offenders would be able to apply for a name change once they are no longer considered high-risk
  • prohibit another person from requesting a legal change of name on behalf of an individual designated as dangerous, long-term or high-risk

Upon proclamation, Bill 61 will also update administrative information related to:

  • burial permits
  • definitions
  • appealing decisions made by the Registrar
  • birth registrations

The Vital Statistics Registrar retains the right to refuse a request to register a name if it is objectionable on any grounds.

Next steps

Bill 61 the Vital Statistics Amendment Act came into force on April 22, 2021, with sections 2(a), 5, 9 and 10 coming into force on proclamation.

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