Married Last Name

In Alberta it is traditionally acceptable for you, as a married person, to assume your spouse's last name. A legal change of name is not required.

The assumed last name can be your spouse's last name or a combination of your and your spouse's last names. Combining a name can be with a hyphen or a space. The order of the two names is up to you.  

As a married person you can also keep your last name and not change it.

Changing to a Married Name

  • If you choose to assume your spouse's last name (or create a combined last name), you should change all your identification to reflect the new last name.
  • To change your name on your different pieces of identification, contact each organization and ask what they require to make the change. Most will want to see your marriage certificate; this can be purchased at a registry agent office or through Registry Connect; see Ordering a Marriage Document for details.
  • Contact all the organizations for which you have identification and/or accounts until all have been updated.

Changing Back From a Married Name

  • When you assumed your spouse's last name and now you want to go back to the last name you had before you married, it is the same process as when you changed to the assumed last name - only in reverse.
  • Approach the organizations for which you have identification and ask what they require to make the change back. Some may want to see your marriage certificate (which will reflect the name you used at the time of your marriage) or they may want to see your birth certificate, or they may want to see both.
  • Contact all the organizations for which you have identification and/or accounts until all have been updated.

Other Jurisdictions

It is important to note that Alberta may differ from other jurisdictions. For example, another province may require a legal change of name rather than permitting a spouse to assume a new last name through marriage. To understand the practices of other jurisdictions, contact them for their details; see Canadian and Other Vital Statistics Offices.