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Changing Your Last Name - Just Married!

When you get married, you are not legally required to change your last name (surname). It is your choice to:

  • keep your maiden surname (last name at birth),

  • change your last name to your spouse's last name, or

  • combine both of your last names into a hyphenated last name. 

NOTE: In the latter two cases you are assuming a new surname.

Changing from one surname to another does not constitute a legal name change under the Change of Name Act. This means, although you get married and you may chose to change your last name (surname), it does not change your last name on your birth certificate.  To do this would require a legal change of name.

Changing your Surname and getting a new ID

If you decide to assume your spouse's surname or hyphenate both surnames, a Marriage Certificate will be needed to change your identification (license, passport). Institutions and other businesses may also ask for a marriage certificate if you wish to make a name change on your mortgage, insurance, and other documents. It is important to check with the institution before making your request to Vital Statistics to ensure you are getting the correct document.   

If at any time following a marriage you wish to go back to your maiden name (surname at birth) you can do this by using your Birth Certificate. In most instances your Birth Certificate is all you will need to change your identification and any other necessary documents. However, it is important to check with the place of business about their requirements before making requests to Vital Statistics for related documents.  You want to be sure you are requesting the document you need to take care of your business.

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