Marriage name change – assumed name
There’s no official registration of your choice to use your married name – this is known as an assumed name. This means you are still entitled to be known by either your birth or married name, regardless of how much time has passed and what your personal situation may be. All you need to get started is your wedding certificate. If you were married outside of Ontario you may present any government-issued marriage certificate in English, French or a foreign language with a translation.
Ontario legal name change after marriage
People married in Ontario have the option of making their new married name legally binding. By doing so, you legally denounce your prior name and can no longer use it. Complete form ‘Election to change surname – Form1’ and file with Service Ontario. If you were born in Ontario your birth certificate will be amended and then you can no longer be known by your prior name. You must get all your records changed into your married name as soon as possible.
A legally married name change is free if you apply to Service Ontario within 90 days of your wedding, and $25 after 90 days. This process is not legally necessary and offers no clear advantage versus assuming your spouse’s surname.
What happens next?
Once you have a marriage certificate, amended birth certificate or legal name change certificate it’s your responsibility to arrange all identification, accounts, and memberships are changed into your new married name.