Find out how to legally change your name in Alberta.
Name changes that don’t require a legal change of name
Not all changes to a name require a legal change of name through the government.
Married last name
You don’t have to change your name after getting married. You may use a married last name.Married last name
If you were born in Alberta, correcting an error on a birth record may be done with an amendment rather than a legal change of name. If you were not born in Alberta, you must request an amendment in the jurisdiction you were born in.
Change in parents
If you’re changing the parentage on a child's Alberta birth record, you can change the child’s name at the same time if the child is younger than 12-years-old.
Contact Vital Statistics for more information about amending parentage, since these issues can be complex.
Restrictions for a new name
There are restrictions when choosing a new legal name. The new name:
- must contain a first and last name
- must use the English alphabet
- can’t contain:
- non-letter characters
- can contain the following punctuation marks:
- period (.)
- hyphen (-)
- apostrophe (')
A name can also be refused if it:
- causes confusion
- embarrasses a person
- defrauds or misleads the public
- is offensive on any other grounds
You’ll need to pay a government fee of $120 for the legal change of name.
- this fee is for all the name changes on one application form
There is a fingerprinting fee. Contact fingerprinting agencies to confirm the cost as fees vary.
Registry agents will also charge a service fee. Contact a registry agent as service fees vary.
After you apply
Change of Name Certificate
A Change of Name Certificate with the new name will be mailed to you.
If you surrendered Alberta birth/marriage certificates, they’ll be replaced free of charge showing the new name.
If you didn’t surrender any Alberta birth/marriage certificates, you may purchase new ones from a registry agent.
If you were born/married outside of Alberta, you must contact the Vital Statistics office in the jurisdiction that the birth/marriage took place for new certificates.
All finalized legal changes of names are published in the Alberta Gazette, the official newspaper of the Government of Alberta.
If you don’t want your legal change of name published in the Alberta Gazette, the publication requirement may be waived for the following 3 reasons.
- The change is a minor one
- The person is already commonly known by the new name
- The person would be unduly prejudiced, embarrassed or harmed by the publication
To request the publication in the Alberta Gazette be waived, you may either
- write to the Registrar of Vital Statistics explaining your circumstances. Contact Vital Statistics for the details.
- get a court order issued by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench stating the publication requirement is waived.
Note that even though the Alberta Gazette publication would be eliminated, the information remains public and may be searchable provided Vital Statistics’ legislated search requirements for the name change information are met.