How to Change a Child's Last Name in Ontario

By Richard Long
Changing a child's name

child image by Byron Moore from

There are two ways to change your child's last name in Ontario: a Formal Name Change or an Election to Change the Name of a Child under the Age of 12. If your child is older than 12 or was not born in Ontario, a formal name change is required; in other cases, you may qualify for an election to change your child's name, which has a smaller fee and only requires an amendment to the child's birth certificate.

Formal Name Change

Make sure that you can change the child's name. You must have legal custody of the child, the child must have lived in Ontario for at least 12 months and there must be no court orders preventing the changing of the child's name.

Get an Ontario Application to Change a Child's Name. You can download and print an application from the Service Ontario website, by calling Service Ontario at 1-888-745-8888 or by visiting a Service Ontario center.

Complete the application. In addition to your and your child's personal information, you need to include signed legal consent and notice of name change forms from any person, such as the other parent of your child, who shares custody of your child; a signed statement of a guarantor confirming that he knows your child and knows that your child has been living in Ontario for the past year; and your child's original birth certificate or a copy of his permanent residence or citizenship card.

Sign your application. You must bring your completed application to a commissioner for taking affidavits or oaths and sign it in his presence. Lawyers, judges, municipal clerks and members of the Ontario legislative assembly are entitled to act as commissioners.

Pay your fees. Enclose a payment of $137 with your application. Payment can be made by check, money order or major credit card.

Send your completed application, documents and fee payment to:

Office of the Registrar General PO Box 3000, 189 Red River Road Thunder Bay ON P7B 5W0

Election to Change the Name of a Child under the Age of 12

Make sure that you can change your child's name in this way. To qualify for the election to change the name of a child, your child must be younger that 12 and must have been born in Ontario. Also, the child's new last name must be that of the mother or father listed on your child's birth registration.

Call 1-800-461-2156. Explain that you want to change your child's last name and answer the agent's questions about the nature of the name change. If your situation qualifies, you will be sent the appropriate forms.

Complete the forms and enclose your $37 payment. Send the completed application to:

Office of the Registrar General PO Box 3000, 189 Red River Road Thunder Bay ON P7B 5W0

About the Author

Richard Long is an English teacher in Toronto, Canada and has been writing for over five years. He has had work published in "Geist" and "Speak2Me" magazines and is currently completing a certificate in technical communication from George Brown College.

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