How to Change to Your Married Name in Alberta



How To


The big day came, congratulations!  You had your wedding or elopement, celebrated with your partner and your loved ones, and created memories that will last a lifetime.  One of the first things you did when it was all said and done? Changed your name on social media, of course! Which may have sparked the question: just how do I change to my married name legally?  Name changes work a bit differently depending on where you live, so this post will only cover Alberta.

In Alberta, you actually don’t change your last name, you assume your spouse’s last name (or add their name to yours with a space or a hyphen).  This means that both your maiden and married last names are legally yours to use but, to avoid both confusion and frustration, it’s often easier to choose one and stick with it.

Each piece of identification has to be changed with the respective provider, and this is where it can feel overwhelming. Set aside a chunk of time during the day to dedicate to this purpose so you can feel confident you got them all.

Step 1. Documentation

Each organization may have slightly different requirements for your name change, but in general they want to see your marriage certificate.  To order your marriage certificate, head into any Alberta Registry with this form completed.

 *The Government of Alberta can only issue certificates for marriages that were held within the province of Alberta.  If you got married elsewhere, you’ll need to get your certificate from that jurisdiction* 

Step 2. List Your Organizations

While you’re waiting for your marriage certificate to arrive, list all of the places you’ll need to change your name with, along with your account number and their contact info.  Some suggestions to get you started:

  • Financial institutions (including bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, etc.)
  • Driver’s license and vehicle registration (with Alberta Registries)
  • Passport
  • Rewards programs (PC Plus, AirMiles, etc.)
  • Insurance (home, auto, business, health, etc.)
  • Memberships (Amazon Prime, Netflix, Costco, fitness centres, etc.)
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Work or school, including email addresses
  • Voter information
  • Utilities (gas, water, electricity, sewer, etc.)
  • bills (phone, internet, etc.)

Step 3. Start Contacting.

You’ve got your marriage certificate and your list of organizations with contact info, so now it’s time to start calling! Start from the top of your list and work your way down, or head into any organizations that have local branches. Be prepared with a scanned copy of your certificate that you can email, and double-check the spelling of your name once it’s changed.

Changing to your married name does require a bit of legwork but, with proper planning, you can make the process less painful. Now you’ll just need to practice your new signature!




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