Which of the following federal documents do you wish to update?

Federal documents are issued by a number of different Ministries. They do not communicate with each other so you must update each type of document separately.


Canadian Passport

To change your name and/or gender on a Canadian Passport, you need to apply for a new passport. Complete the Adult General Passport Application Form.

You can apply by mail, or in person at a Passport Canada office. You will need:

  1. the completed Adult General Passport Application Form.
  2. proof of Canadian Citizenship (e.g. Birth Certificate, Citizenship Card); and
  3. other documentation to support your identity (see link for accepted identification);
  4. any previously issued Canadian travel documents that are still valid (i.e. passport, certificate of identify, refugee travel document;
  5. two identical passport photos taken within the past 6 months, one of which is signed by a guarantor; and
  6. the required fees for either a 5-year or 10-year passport

If you are changing the name on your Passport your proof of Canadian Citizenship must be updated to reflect your new legal name.

If you are changing the gender marker on your Passport and your proof of birth or citizenship certificate does not reflect your gender identity, you may submit a Request – Sex or Gender Identifier form instead.

Passport Canada offers “M”, “F” and “X” gender markers. Please note that if your passport has been updated to reflect an “X” observation sticker and is valid for 6 months or longer, you must complete the Adult Simplified Renewal Passport Application instead.

We advise that if it is not possible to have an X, or to change a gender marker in the country you will be visiting or travelling through, it may not be safe to have documents that show an X.

Gender marker observation stickers used to be issued to indicate a changed gender- but now updated markers are printed directly into the passport. If your passport has a gender observation sticker that shows your gender correctly, you do not need to apply to change the marker- it is already correct in the system.

All the federal applications can be searched here.

Note on “X” gender markers:

Passport Canada has issued the following statement regarding X gender markers that clients should be aware of:

We can’t guarantee that other countries you visit or travel through will accept the sex or gender identifier on your passport or travel document. Check with our local Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate in the countries you plan to visit or travel through to make sure you understand their entry requirements.

You should also be aware that current systems used by some countries and travel companies may not recognize the X gender identifier and you may still be asked to provide your sex/gender information as either Male or Female when travelling.


Citizenship Certificate

To change your name on your Citizenship Certificate, complete an Application for Citizenship Certificate for Children and Adults. With this application, you must submit two identical and unaltered Canadian passport-style photos taken within 12 months of the application.

If you have legally changed your name within Canada, submit a photocopy of your legal name change document (e.g. Certificate of Name Change).

If you have legally changed your name outside Canada, submit the following:

  1. a foreign passport or other national authoritative documentation amended to reflect your new name;
  2. a document that links your previous name to your new name (with an official translation if required); and
  3. a document in your new name issued by a Canadian province or territory (e.g. driver’s license, health card, age of majority card, senior citizen’s identification card, or social service card).

If you wish to change your gender marker on your citizenship certificate you must also complete a Request for Change of Gender Designation and submit it with a completed application form.

Note: Citizenship Cards are no longer issued.


Citizenship Records

Since June 4, 2019, individuals are able to request the “X” gender identifier printed on documents issued by IRCC. This includes Canadian passports and travel documents, citizenship certificates and permanent resident cards.

Temporary residents (TR) can be issued a TR document with an “X” gender identifier if the passport issued by their country has an “X” (or an equivalent, non-binary option) in the sex field.

All the federal applications can be searched here.


Permanent Resident Card

To change your name on your Permanent Resident Card, you must apply for a new Permanent Resident Card. Complete an Application for Permanent Residence Card. Applicants must submit two identical and unaltered Canadian passport-style photos taken within 12 months of the application.

If you have legally changed your name within Canada, submit a photocopy of your legal name change document (e.g. Name Change Certificate).

If you have legally changed your name outside of Canada, submit:

  1. a foreign passport or other national authoritative document that shows their new name; and
  2. an official document linking the old and new names.

Applicants who wish to change their gender marker on their Permanent Resident Card must also complete a Request Form for Change of Gender Designation and submit it with their new Application for Permanent Residence Card.


Citizenship Records

Since June 4, 2019, individuals are able to request the “X” gender identifier printed on documents issued by IRCC. This includes Canadian passports and travel documents, citizenship certificates and permanent resident cards.

Temporary residents (TR) can be issued a TR document with an “X” gender identifier if the passport issued by their country has an “X” (or an equivalent, non-binary option) in the sex field.

All the federal applications can be searched here.


Temporary Resident Documents – Work Permit, a Student or Visitor Visa, or a Sponsorship Application

If you have an application in process, you can update your name and gender using this web form.

They will send you this information:

To reapply for a temporary document to update your name or gender marker on one of the following documents:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688);
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000), or
  • Valid temporary residence document;

You can submit an application to amend by mail. We recommend reading the instruction guide first, it will assist you in completing and submitting your application.

Since June 4, 2019, individuals are able to request the “X” gender identifier printed on documents issued by IRCC. This includes Canadian passports and travel documents, citizenship certificates and permanent resident cards.

Temporary residents (TR) can be issued a TR document with an “X” gender identifier if the passport issued by their country has an “X” (or an equivalent, non-binary option) in the sex field.

For more information, we invite you to consult the following pages:


If you wish to change the name that appears on your Temporary Residence document due to a marriage or legal name change, please note that:

  • It is not necessary to do so if your document is still valid, and
  • Having your old name on your document does not affect your status in Canada.

If you still choose to do so, you may:

  • Send a complete application to change conditions/extend your stay in Canada depending on your situation, as a:
  • Include the appropriate fees and all supporting documents. 

You must submit the application before the expiry date of your current status.

Please note that you will be asked to include documentation to support your name change and that change will also be made to your immigration file.


Lastly, for more information on names and changes in names, please visit our website.

Note: You may be told that your temporary document cannot be updated without a corresponding change in your foundational foreign document. This may not be possible, or it may be dangerous for you. If this situation applies to you seek legal advice.


Citizenship Records

Since June 4, 2019, individuals are able to request the “X” gender identifier printed on documents issued by IRCC. This includes Canadian passports and travel documents, citizenship certificates and permanent resident cards.

Temporary residents (TR) can be issued a TR document with an “X” gender identifier if the passport issued by their country has an “X” (or an equivalent, non-binary option) in the sex field.

All the federal applications can be searched here.


Certificate of Indian Status

To change the information on your Indian Status Certificate, applicants must complete an Application for Already Registered Persons and select “Replacement (changes to personal information)” as the reason for the application. The following documents must be submitted, in person or by mail, with this application:

  • Two identical and unaltered Canadian passport-style photos taken within 12 months of the application.
  • Proof of identification in the form of either:
  1. signature (such as a passport; driver’s license; Canadian military identification document; identification card issued by a province or territory; health card issued by a province; Canadian citizenship card; Canadian permanent resident card); OR
  2. more than one of the following documents that, when combined together, contain the client’s name, date of birth, photo and signature: health card; government employee identification card; Canadian permanent resident card; U.S. passport card; NEXUS or FAST card; firearms license; U.S. Old Age Security card; OR
  3. a Secure Certificate of Indian Status and a Guarantor Declaration form; OR
  4. a Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) and one identity document listed under option 2 OR the client’s CIS and a Guarantor Declaration form; OR
  5. one of the identity documents listed under option 2 and a Guarantor Declaration form (if submitting by mail).

Applicants who wish to change their name on their Status Indian Certificate must include a “name linking document” such as a Certificate of Name Change.

Applicants who wish to change their gender marker on their Status Indian Certificate must include an updated birth certificate displaying their correct gender marker. At this time, only “M” and“F” gender markers are available, contact us.

Note: some cards are issued by individual bands and there may be a different process in place for your nation.


Social Insurance Number record

If you do not have a SIN number and you cannot visit a service Canada office, you can apply by mail here.


To update your name/gender on your SIN record, you must possess:

  • a primary identification document (e.g. updated Canadian Birth Certificate, Certificate of Canadian Citizenship, Permanent Resident Card).
  • a Change of Name Certificate may accompany a primary identification document that does not yet show the change in name requested. Take this document and apply, in person, at the nearest Services Canada office. To learn how to get a Change of Name Certificate, see the provincial document menu.

To update your name and gender visit a Service Canada Office, or write to:

Service Canada
Social Insurance Registration office
Post Office Box 7000
Bathurst NB  E2A 4T1
Canada

Toll free: 1 888 622-6232

You must province a valid primary document and supporting document for name changes. Here is information more about those documents.

Note: According to service Canada, “You now have the option to have your gender marked as “X” or not to declare your gender. Service Canada will add a note to your record indicating your choice. However, until our computer systems are upgraded to register this information, “male” or “female” will still appear on your SIN record.” If this situation applies (you need an X marker which is not available) seek legal advice.


Other Federal Documents


Canada Revenue Agency (taxes)

You need to tell CRA to update your tax records.

  • If you are only changing one name (your first or last name), call 1-800- 959 8281. You will need your Social Insurance Number.
  • If you are changing both your first and your last names, send a certified copy of your Change of Name Certificate to you local tax center.

The process to update you gender with CRA is unclear. Call them at 1-800- 959 8281 for advice.


Elections Canada (voting)

Elections Canada keeps a National Register of Voters. Check your name in the Online Voter Registration Service. If your deadname is listed, call 1-800-463-6868 or fill out this online form to request an Update Form. Wait for it to arrive and fill it out. You will need proof of identity and address.

You can also update your registration when you go to vote. It is best to choose an advance voting day to do this because the voting place will be less busy.

Note: Elections Canada is very bad at managing updates to the voters list and as a result, you may get a “You-vote-at” card from the government in your deadname; you may be listed in the voting book under your dead name (sometimes in addition to your chosen name); and because the voter’s list is shared with candidates, you may get campaign phone calls or mail to your deadname.


Other federal records

Other ministries issue their own documents. Consider other federal documents you may have, like student loans, business registrations, employment insurance, or firearms, hunting, and fishing licences. Each Ministry will have a different process. Please contact the government department directly.

Other types of federal applications are here.