Legal Change of Name (born in Canada)
If you have been a B.C. resident for at least three months, complete an Application For Change Of Name. This application requires you to send the following:
- your original birth certificate;
- a photocopy of a receipt for fingerprinting completed within the past 30 days;
- any previous legal Change of Name documents;
- any marriage certificates;
- a photocopy of government-issued picture ID; and
- the required fees
Note on fingerprinting:
If you are 18 years of age or older AND are changing your name, the Name Act requires you to have your fingerprints taken as part of a criminal record check. If you have a criminal record, the name change is noted in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Fingerprints are only used for the purpose required by the Name Act and confirmation of the criminal record review is returned to the applicant directly from the RCMP.
Effective July 1, 2014, only electronic fingerprints are accepted. You can have your fingerprints taken electronically at any of the following facilities:
- Any RCMP-accredited fingerprinting company or its affiliate who submit fingerprints electronically for the purposes of criminal record checks. For a list of accredited companies and information about affiliates, visit: http://www.rcmp.gc.ca/en/where-do-get-a-criminal-record-check
- Most RCMP detachments
- Vancouver Police
- Victoria Police
- If you are not comfortable visiting a police station for fingerprints, you can get your fingerprints taken at https://commissionaires.bc.ca/fingerprinting
Please, also note…
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fingerprints are by appointment only until further notice.
- If there is a warrant out for your arrest, you will be arrested when you go for fingerprints. If this situation applies to you, get legal advice.
Fee waiver / reduction
If you require a reduction for the cost of fingerprinting (from $80 to $25) and you live in or near the City of Vancouver, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a reduction.
If paying for any part of your application will create a hardship, please contact email@example.com for information about a fee subsidy.
Note on required fees
We know the fees for these applications can be a significant barrier. Community advocates have asked the Government of British Columbia to review and remove these fees.
If your net income is close to or below $20,000 or you have other extenuating circumstances that affect your ability to pay, you can ask the Vital Statistics Agency to waive the fee for your British Columbia name change ($137) and/or gender change ($27) application.
To do this:
- Add a letter with the application asking for a fee waiver that includes proof of income.
- The application should be submitted directly to Vital Statistics or through Service BC.
- Be prepared for Vital Statistics to contact you for further information, as they may request your most recent Notice of Assessment from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) or other documents.
Please, also note…
- Requests for a fee waiver without proof of income are not usually granted.
- Applying for a waiver could delay your application.
You must see a lawyer, notary, or commissioner for taking affidavits to have the name change application completed. There may be an additional charge for this. This person can also certify copies of your documents if requires. Bring the copies and the originals with you. Staff at Service BC offices can do this for free.
Once your application is processed, you will receive a Change of Name Certificate in the mail. Once you receive this, you may order a new birth certificate from Vital Statistics.
You can take this certificate to update your school, banking and other records.
If you were born in a province/territory outside of BC, BC will notify you home province that you have changed your name. Once you receive a Change of Name certificate in the mail, you can contact your province of birth to have a new birth certificate issued. Do not order this yet if you also want to change your gender marker.
What to expect:
You will get a confirmation letter from the Vital Statistics Agency letting you know your name change application has been processed. You will get a Certificate of Name Change mailed separately.
Please note that if you are also changing your gender marker, be sure not to order a new birth certificate or other ID until you have also received your gender marker confirmation letter to ensure that your new birth certificate will reflect both the correct name and gender.
- Order a new Birth Certificate.
- Send a copy of your new Birth Certificate to Health Insurance BC.
- Wait for a new Service Card to come in the mail.
- Take you Change of Name Certificate, your new Birth Certificate and your new Service Card to ICBC at a Drivers Services Centre to get a new BCID or BC Drivers Licence.
Bring ID when you go:
- One piece of primary identification (see link for accepted identification)
- We recommend you do not get both BCDL/BCID and a Service Card combined into one card.
Take your new ID and your Change of Name Certificate to update your school, banking and other records.
Move on to the steps for changing Federal documents, if desired. Remember, name and gender markers can be changed at the same time. You should consider this approach if you want to streamline the process and minimize potential fees.
Vital Statistics Agency: Name Change Office
Attn: Confidential Services
PO Box 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Telephone: 250 952-2681 (Victoria & Outside B.C.)
Toll free: 1 888 876-1633 (within B.C.)
NOTE: This is a different office from the one that does gender change applications. Do not send both applications here.
Vital Statistics Agency: Gender Change Office
478 Bernard Avenue, #305
Telephone: 250 712-7562
Health Insurance B.C.
PO Box 9035 Stn Prov Gov
Toll Free: 1 800 663-7100 (MSP)