I was contacted by phone today at 3:41PM by a very courteous representative of PC Financial.
It’s going to take me a while to fully document the conversation, but I will endeavour to make another post at around midnight tonight or shortly thereafter explaining what was discussed.
In the mean time, I want to thank all of you who’ve taken the time to read, share, and comment this article. Imagine my surprise when, despite having no trouble with any of the other banks I do business with, PC Financial outright refused to change the name on my account from my old male name, to my new, legal, female name – despite me showing clear legally-documented proof.
I was told that their policy about customers’ name changes is that the customer must present, as a minimum, one government issued photo ID bearing the new name, plus at least one other ID card bearing the new name, plus the legal change of name certificate issued by the province. Regardless, the standard in Canada for when one is required to present identification following a name change is that old ID should be acceptable, provided it is accompanied by the Change of Name certificate (which itself, by the way, costs $137). PC Financial is the only personal banking institution in Canada with such a restrictive and discriminatory policy. Royal Bank doesn’t have it posted online, but by e-mail they told me that old ID is fine provided I bring the Ontario Change of Name certificate. Although not a bank, Social Insurance Canada only requires the Change of Name certificate in conjunction with old ID, to order a new SIN card.
The end result of this policy is that one is forced to continue maintaining accounts, and receiving mail, under the previous name. When trans persons change their legal names, they are not making a change for convenience, or aesthetics.
In fact, some unlucky transgender persons, whose medical practitioners have chosen to forcibly subject them to the much maligned Harry Benjamin Standards of Care process, are even required to change their names legally before they are allowed to access proper medical treatment. This policy would automatically out any trans person seeking new employment to their potential employer, if that employer requires banking information for payroll purposes. Trans people receiving statements in their old name potentially outs them to their landlords or neighbours who may see the mail.
Let’s not forget that cheques can only be printed bearing the legal name on the account.
For students, this policy outs their trans status to university and college tuition offices, to their student housing office, to financial assistance organizations, and to any potential source of scholarships. Having accounts in multiple names complicates credit checks and credit applications, so this policy will ultimately block trans people from getting loans, credit cards, financing large purchases, etc.
When I first ran up against this problem, my first thought was to simply cancel my accounts and take my business elsewhere. Even the provincial government recognizes the special risk to trans people of having their old names publicized.
In a nutshell that means if any company has a policy which has a disproportionately negative impact on you as a member of a group such as race, gender identity, religion, or any other of the prohibited grounds of discrimination in Canada, it is equally unacceptable by law as if they were to put up a sign banning that group specifically.
By continuing to enforce this restrictive name change policy against Transgender persons, after it has been brought to their attention, PC Financial is guilty of a human rights violation.
This incident, or policy, doesn’t sound entirely like an issue of discrimination, although I can see how one might attempt to make that connection. On another note, I am glad to know that my bank is taking extensive security measures to prevent identity theft.
Sounds to me that if you provide all of the necessary documentation to the bank, they would be more than happy to change the name on the account. However, if the card says John, and you look like a Jane, whether you sign John or Jane a cashier who is paying attention will probably challenge you on it, assuming fraud. Possibly this is an extreme hypothetical, but I can see it happening with someone who is a stickler for the rules. I do not do as much banking with them as you do, however I have been a customer for over 10 years.
I think with two pieces of photo id and a name change certificate there should not be issues.
If they know anything, they’ll probably cave in, as nobody ever wins an HRC case filed against them.
As I think it’s not a case of discrimination, you can call stupidity lack of profesionalisim or retarded policy. Let me tell you a short story about retarded PC,2 years ago I saw a car online and wanted to buy it but the owner wanted cash only,so I didn’t want to miss it so I called PC financial and told them about that and asked if deposit a cheque right now in my account (my visa card cheques ) would you let me withdraw the money right away without waiting afew days to verify the cheque,the CSR gave my account a look then he told me Due to my history with them I can cash any cheque without verifying up to $5000,so I said fair enough ,and I got the cash I was looking for,after a year I tired to do the same thing but they gave me a hard time in the beginning but after that they game me the cash. I told him listen if i want to steal the many and I don’t need to spend couple of hours on the phone ,I can deposit the cheque and go to my computer and transfer the money to my credit cardpr paypal before you verify the damn cheque. He told me I can’t change the system ,and I can give you the cash even if you can spend the money right away online.
After afew days ,I talked with the CSR in their kiosk in loblaws (glen erin ) ,She told me You have to file a complain about that CSR ,but what will i get if I win the claim?
I’m reading online about other banks to find a better one to sign up with and cancel their stupid master card. Every PC master card bill I get a few small flyers with,tell you about their stupid auto insurance ,so when I got my G2 licence I had only one master card and unfortunatelly was PC . So I thought to give them a call to get a quote,I thought i would get a competitve price cos i’m their customer. Unlike all Insurance companies,they didn’t give me a quote and they asked me to print out some papers on their website and fill it out and send it to them then they will give me a quote. Although I believe that the documentation you provided should be more than sufficient for the bank to change your name, do be aware that the government of Ontario has a new photo ID card for people who do not have a driver’s licence. Also, you said that you went all the way to Mississauga on transit, but stated that you don’t have the one hour it takes to get a new passport, the office is right downtown.
Of course, you will have to send them the original copy of your Birth Certificate, which will not be returned to you… Don’t have yours anymore? As an aside, since changing legal sex is still done as a separate process from name change, you can expect to pay for your own birth certificate yet another time following this before you get the privilege of finally having your identity officially recognized by the government.
Unfortunately, the relative simplicity and accessibility of the name change process comes at greater cost than just the monetary fees. For those wondering, the Ontario Gazette is the official publication of the government of Ontario, with an endearingly quirky name, and it dates back to 1868; only one year after the British North America Act officially constituted Ontario as a Province. As indicated on Wikipedia, issues of the Ontario Gazette are available online, in their entirety, dating back to January of 2000. One might ask, why would they do such a strange thing, which seems to fly in the face of privacy values which many Canadians hold dear? All formal and elective name changes registered under Ontario’s Change of Name Act must be published in the Ontario Gazette. Of interest to us today is the second part of that notice, laying out the exceptions to the publication rule. This could arguably apply to some Trans* people, such as those with life circumstances which would motivate them to go stealth (ie.
Consequently, the rules were changed, and Trans* people are now luckily (?) singled out for special exception by a specific regulation made under the Name Change Act. But while this exception is conceded by the Privacy Notice, the actual method of achieving it is decidedly (perhaps even deliberately) unclear.

Nevertheless, upon contacting the office, you would be instructed that an additional form is required.
Just so you know, even if you forget to send in the request they still don’t publish your name.
In 2011, I called to talk to a human being during the delay between sending the application and the processing. I would urge other people applying for the name change and non-publication to back it up with a phone call to ensure that ignorance of the rules by the government department staff don’t mess up the process for you.
As far as I can tell, the Ontario Gazette has stopped publishing all name changes as of about June 2012.
Ontario’s Change of Name Act allows for an exception from publication other than for a trans person, as noted in this article. In ancient Rome, there was but one aspect of a woman’s life that she had almost complete dominion over: how she decorated and adorned her body. I was married recently and although I was the first of my friends and family and therefore had never been to a wedding before, I knew fairly well what to expect because everyone around was telling me, whether I asked or not. For a List of all the places you need to inform of your name change see Taking His Name II. Traditionally, a woman changes her maiden name to her husband’s surname when they marry to signify a change in family, moving from her father’s name and family unit to her husband’s name and their new family unit.
Hyphenating or joining your maiden name with your husband’s surname was first popularized by suffragettes. Some couples want to respect both families but don’t want to be saddled with two last names; these people choose to blend their surname. The final common option is for a woman to take her husband’s last name as her own and take her maiden name as a second middle name or use it to replace her current single middle name.
Now, all of this name-changing doesn’t just happen because you say so – or because you change your name on Facebook – you have to take certain legal steps to formally change your name. The teddy bear, with its outstretched arms, symbolizes a sense of welcome, comfort and safety and the child-centered, family-friendly environment offered at Children’s Hospital. We spoke for about 30 minutes about potential strategies PC can apply to resolve this issue, and I made it clear we need to arrive at a solution which prevents anyone from going through what I did, rather than just quickly and quietly fixing my file and moving on. Through the power of social media, we can finally start to fix these societal problems, and reclaim services and equality for those who would otherwise suffer due to lack of societal privelege.
My goal was simple: after having formally changed my legal name with the Province of Ontario as a part of my gender transition from male to female, I wanted to update my records at PC Financial to reflect my new name. The BYID card is intended to be used as a proof-of-age ID card to be used for the purchase of beverage alcohol in Ontario.
In fact, ScotiaBank does not even require photo ID to open an account, potentially a huge benefit to trans people who don’t have new ID yet. Although they do accept the name change certificate, they also definitely require that you produce at least one photo ID which carries the new name. For someone who has changed their name for purely aesthetic reasons (to a preferred spelling), or for reasons of convenience (to shorten it, to localize it, or to add on the surname of a second parent), the effects of this policy might at worst be considered a nuisance.
Trans people could lose their homes over this, or face harassment (or worse: attacks) in their neighborhoods. If a trans customer of PC Financial needs to write a cheque for any reason, they are automatically outed to the payee.
A cursory internet search reveals postings of several aggravated customers, newly married or divorced women who have been disadvantaged by this policy.
In fact, many people might respond to this situation by suggesting trans people should simply change banks.
Part of the process of changing your name in Ontario requires that an announcement of your name change must be published in the Ontario Gazette: this requirement is waived for all transgender applicants, owing to the sensitivity of the situation.
As set forth in Section 15(2) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, and solidified in two precedent-setting legal cases, employers and service providers have a duty to accommodate individuals who are discriminated against by any policy or practice. President’s Choice Financial therefore has a moral and legal duty to revise this policy immediately, and to issue a public apology for the harm done to their Transgender customers. Failing that, this issue should be followed up as a human rights complaint filed with the Ontario Human Rights commission.
It sounds like PCF creates an added and somewhat unnecessary level of bureaucracy (which makes life difficult for anyone to complete a name change on an account). This would resolve any issues with the previous name being printed on cheques, statements or having your employer learn of your previous identity.
For many credit cards, only the cardholder, the person who signed the back of the card, is supposed to use it, and they are supposed to sign the same name that is printed on the front and signed on the back of the card.
At which point, you have to explain the whole situation to a total stranger or else possibly have your purchase turned down and the cashier calls the bank to confirm you are in fact the registered cardholder. If you don’t mind I might borrow extensively from this post and send them a customer service email tomorrow.
This policy hurts all trans customers of PC, so I need to see it changed, for the benefit of all people. I strongly believe we can come to an arrangement with a revision to this policy, without resorting to the HRC process. He said it but indirect way that the PC system is stupid (the system allow me to get $5000 but the smart loyal PC CSR sees diffrent thing).
I recently got married and had asked the customer service representative on the phone how I go about changing my last name to take on my husbands name (mastercard etc). Today I received a phone call from them saying that they received my letter and new signature but they still needed the certificate.
Note that you do not have to be born in Ontario, or even in Canada, to legally change your name through this process—you just have to be a resident here. You can order a replacement for $35, and wait for it to be delivered to you by mail before immediately surrendering it to the Name Change process. You see, when you change your legal name in Ontario, the government publishes it in the Ontario Gazette paper, and online.
The Change of Name Act (which legislates publication in the Gazette) came into being before the Internet transmogrified privacy as we know it today.
For example, the publication rule is there to help keep Stanley Swindler from seamlessly changing into Abraham Honesty, thus avoiding creditors and, let’s say, his many fraud victims. The Ontario Gazette currently publishes information in paper format and electronically on the internet. You must ask for it directly, and then wait for it to arrive via Canada Post, prior to submitting it along with the regular Name Change form. I agree that the process is invasive enough, but the rule is an exception for trans* people, not for personal preference. The following link, which is marked as being updated on December 3, 2012, deals specifically with the requirement for publication of name changes. Although she did, in most cases, require a man to provide articles of adornment and servants to do her hair and make-up, the Romans believed that it was a man’s responsibly to ensure his female family members’ appearances were consistent with his rank.[1] Roman women used jewellery, clothing, hairstyle and make-up to project their wealth, power, influence, rank in the community and status as an adult woman, as well as, to control their public image and how they were perceived.
You can take your husband’s name, keep your name, hyphenate both names, blend your names or take his name while keeping yours as a middle name.

Although it is not the only option or practice, this is still the norm in countries that are, or once were, part of the English commonwealth.
Women today choose this option when they feel uncomfortable forsaking their families and former selves but also want to honour their husband and new selves. In some cultures, this practice is so common that women are not given middle names at birth with the expectation that they will take their maiden name as a middle name when they are married. In Ontario, there are two options: legally changing your name or assuming your husband’s name. The main reason why I chose to do this is because I felt a little weird about having my name legally changed on my birth certificate, I was born with my father’s name, not my husband’s.
We have about twenty years grow, learn and develop into mature people, strong enough to leave the nest and survive on our own.
My heart goes out to everyone who’s supported this effort so far, and my thanks to all who continue to do so.
However, many transgender Canadians (particularly youth) are not so fortunate, so this is a significant barrier issue for transgender customers of PC Financial. To a transgender person on the other hand, a name change represents something much more fundamental, and arguably much more important. Perhaps this is of less concern to PC Financial however, given that individuals who rent are much less likely to be Mortgage customers. The only other circumstance under which this requirement is waived is if the applicant can show that publication would lead to a risk of significant harm. What makes this a clear case of what the Human Rights Commission refers to as indirect discrimination is the disproportionately, overwhelmingly, negative and dangerous effect that this policy has on the lives of PC’s trangender customers. As someone who has worked retail, technically cashiers are supposed to check every signature on the credit slip against the signature on the card, in order to precent credit card fraud. They said to mail or fax them a formal letter with my old and new name, account number, and attach a copy of my marriage certificate.
At the time, nobody imagined that the entire contents of each issue of the Gazette (a government publication) would ever be at the fingertips of all humanity via the magic of Google. More generally, however, this exception exists to cover situations where someone is changing their name while fleeing from an abusive former spouse, or because they’ve been placed into a witness protection program, etc. As is usually the case for additional hoops required when our governments grudgingly extend their services to include Trans* people, the special form required is not available online [EDIT: It looks like the government has finally uploaded a copy online as of October 2012]. If the form processing is done by a stickler for detail, they could publish your name anyway. I am not sure what guidelines are used by the Attorney General to establish who may be eligible for this exception. You can also choose to either legally change your name to your husband’s or only assume his name. Although this option is commonly accepted, it can cause confusion when people assume that you are not married to your husband because you do not share a last name. This choice comes with many other choices, such as, whether your husband will hyphenate his name too, an option gaining popularity, and which name your children will go by. I used to joke that my maiden name, Hanna, would make it difficult for me to sign my new last name, Harrison, when I was married because they both start out the same way, and to solve this problem we should both become “Hannison”. This option is different from name joining, without the hyphen, in that the woman is referred to as ‘first name, married name’ and not ‘first name, maiden name, married name’, as she would be if she had joined the names. Assuming is defiantly easier, and, consequently, is becoming the more popular choice, but it is still considered a formal name change. I always found it a little odd that my mother, whose name was legally changed to my father’s, had his name on her birth certificate. The evolutionary gift of twenty years under the wing of a parent has given us what we needed to dominate the landscape.
The problem here is that, while neutral on its face, this policy has a disproportionate negative impact on transgender people. With PC Financial, I have Chequing and Savings accounts, a host of automatic bill payments, my payroll and health plan deposits, a line of credit, a Mortgage, an RSP, and a credit card.
This came out only a few months ago, and is obtained in the same offices as drivers licences and health cards. Post-op Ontarian Trans* people may remember this was also the case for the Registrar’s legal change of sex forms, prior to 2012. I have documented evidence in an open case that someone has specified repeatedly that they intend to kill me, so I expect that will make me eligible. This essay will explore how women used each category of adornment to display their wealth, rank, status and image, and how doing so was significant to their life as it gave them an opportunity to have power in their relationships, influence in their community and control their bodies in a world where nearly every part of their life was governed by a man. The difference is described on the Government of Ontario website, “You do not have to get a legal name change to use your partner’s name as your last name.
It can also raise concerns with friends and family who are trying to fit you in to their etiquette rules, for example, not knowing how to address a wedding invitation to you and your husband. Some women are also choosing to join their maiden name with their husband’s name without the hyphen, though there have been recent reports of this causing confusion at important times, like when you are trying to board an airplane or explain your odd passport.
This is the option I chose and it works for me because I was given only one middle name at birth, my husband has two middle names and my maiden name, Hanna, just so happens to be a fairly common first name. You will need to inform all affected that you have changed your name, including the government, your bank, your utilities and so on. Due to our relatively recent social evolution, however, young men and women have been granted a developmental extension of sorts; not a delayed adolescence, but something I like to call, ten years to change – an opportunity to grow psychologically after we’ve finished growing physiologically. This is a part of our fundamental right to freedom of gender identity and expression, as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and (in Ontario), by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
To cancel all of one’s business with a financial provider entails a lot of leg work, which I estimate in my case may take several months to fully achieve. By the time the call was over, the CSR in the Pavilion had actually gotten up from the desk and walked off, her shift over.
I chose to take my maiden name as my second middle name because I wanted to take, and be referred to by, my husband’s name but I didn’t want to lose a part of myself.
Assuming your married name originated as a French tradition; in France, women will use their maiden names in the legal, financial and professional world but will use their married names socially, cleverly dancing around the etiquette enigma. Such barriers as those imposed by PC Financial are insulting and degrading to the hard work of trans people who have spent cash, time, blood, sweat and tears redefining their entire lives to match their true internal self-identities. Any trans persons who run up against this policy, and who urgently need financial service under their new name in the short term, are totally screwed by PC Financial.
If you decide to change your name when you are married and if you want to assume or legally change for free, you will need your marriage certificate to do so.
Had I not made this inquiry, I expect that my name would have been published, against my wishes and legal right. This creates a problem for women in common-law relationships who don’t want to be legally married to their spouse but do want to change their name to reflect the depth of their commitment; these woman do not have a marriage licence and therefore can not assume their partner’s name, their only option is to legally change their name, for a fee.

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