Providing free legal information and representation to the low income community since 1969. This information is not legal advice, and we cannot guarantee it is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. It is important for you to know that laws involved in changing your name are different in each province. You can make an application to change your name under the Change of Name Act if you want to legally change your name. You will have to fill out an application and return it to a registry office with the required fees. You can also change your name by completing a deed poll, which is a formal declaration stating that you now want to be called by a new name. The Change of Name Act requires every Albertan to submit their fingerprints when they apply for a legal name change.
These rules apply even if the parents live in a common law relationship because they are legally unmarried. After parents divorce, the child’s name can be legally changed to a new name used by either of the parents under the Change of Name Act. It is also possible for a parent with custody to informally change the child’s name through common usage without it being a legal name change.
A parent can change the name of his or her child to a new spouse’s name if the other parent has died and it is with the consent of the new spouse. Parents can apply to legally change their children's names or they can informally change their children's names through common usage. When a child is adopted by two parents, the child is given that father's last name, unless the parents choose something else. Ablepro™ Virtual Technology for Consumers, Small Business, Corporations and Attorneys. You can just decide what you would like your name to be and then tell people like your family, friends, employer and co-workers that you would like them to call you by the new name.
Making a legal name change is the only way to get a new birth certificate with your new name on it. Changing your name with a deed poll is not a legal name change but it is more formal than just changing your name with common usage and it may be easier to get new identification issued under your new name if you have prepared a deed poll. Fingerprints can be obtained from your local law enforcement agency and must be presented to the registry agent with your application.

For example, if the baby’s father is John Smith and the mother is Jane Doe, the baby could be Biff Smith-Doe or Biff Doe-Smith. Both parents must agree on the last name for their children, even if the parents are separated. Such a change of name requires the consent of both parents, the consent of the child if the child is over 12, and the consent of the step-parent if that is whose name is being used. The Court of Queen’s Bench can dispense with the need for publication if it will unduly prejudice or embarrass the person. The wedding itself is only an early step for couples as they get ready to start their new lives together, and the process of changing names is a significant component of the post-honeymoon adjustments that every pair of newlyweds must make. To change your name legally you must be at least 18 years old and you must be a resident of Alberta. Fees are also collected by the registry agent for the provincial government name change fee, fingerprint registry fee, and a registry agent service fee. Children do not need to provide their fingerprints when you apply to have their names changed. If the parents cannot agree, the child will be given a hyphenated name with the two names listed in alphabetical order, or, if the parents have the same name, the child will be given that name.
If the other parent objects to that name being used for the child, that parent can apply to court for an order prohibiting the child to be called anything but the child’s legal name.
If the parent wanted to change the child's surname to the surname of the child's biological father, the parent may do so if the alleged father has been declared by the court to be the father or has acknowledged paternity.
The Director may also dispense with the need for publication if the change is minor, or if the person is commonly known under the name applied for. Once people have begun to call you by that name, you can have your identification changed to your new name; you might need to make an oath stating that people now call you by your new name for some identification changes. You can get an application form to legally change your name by going to any Alberta Registries office. Check with your local law enforcement agency and local registry office for current fee amounts. In deciding whether to make the order, the court may consider such things as embarrassment to the child, the effect of a name change and the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent. If the child is 12 years old or older, the child must consent to having his or her surname changed. However, many couples choose to assume their partner’s name or to combine their last names after exchanging marriage vows.

Also, you can change your signature to your new name and put your new name on legal documents. For the location nearest you, check the yellow pages of the phone book under License and Registry Services.
Children who have had their names changed this way can get identification in the new name but they will need a statutory declaration (which is formal statement under oath) saying that the new name is the name that the child is known by in the community. Remember that you can not change your name if you are trying to get out of having to pay money back that you owe, or for any other fraudulent reason. Once children are 18 years old, they can legally change their names to anything without needing consent of their parents. You do not want the wedding to go well and then be barred from entering the country where you have planned the honeymoon of your dreams! Changing your legal name on your passport usually takes up to six weeks after you send the appropriate documentation into the passport agency, including a certified copy of your marriage certificate.One of the first agencies with which to file a change of name application is Social Security. This application is known as the Social Security #5 form, which shows a change of marital status or name.
Department of Immigration and Naturalization is another governmental agency that requires you to file an updated name form rather quickly after the wedding.
Additionally, updating your name promptly on your driver’s license and on any insurance policies, including life and accidental death insurance policies, is very important.
Most of these agencies will require a copy of your official marriage certificate and a copy of your new social security card in order to update your policies.It is also very important to quickly update your name on your bank accounts and any debit or credit cards attached to them.
Most banks will require you to furnish a copy of your updated driver’s license and your notarized marriage certificate when you are changing your name. You may also want to update your name on any real estate holdings you may have as well as leases, real estate loans, investment accounts and wills.
Of course, don’t forget to tell your employer to change your name for payroll purposes.

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