There are two ways to change your name in Québec: via the Courts and via the Directeur de l’état civil. The Court can authorize a name change for a child in cases of abandonment by the mother or father; deprivation of parental authority; and adoption (or change of filiation). All applications that are not under the jurisdiction of the Court are handled by the Directeur de l’état civil.
To change your name with the permission of the Directeur de l’état civil, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age and have been resident (domiciled) in Québec for at least one year. If the applicant is under 18 years of age, an application can only be filed by the mother, father, or tutor; the child must also have been resident (domiciled) in Québec for at least one year.
If you were born outside of Québec and your birth is not entered in the Québec register of Civil Status: the Directeur de l’état civil must first insert your birth into the register before a name change can be processed. For more information, click here.
If you are eligible to change your name, you must first complete the Request for Preliminary Analysis for a Change of Name Application. The application will be assessed; if it is determined that the applicant is eligible to apply for a name change, you will be notified via mail. This notification will include the application for a change of name form.
Before the applicant can file their application with the Directeur de l’état civil, the following steps must be taken:
- A sworn statement must be made before a person authorized by law.
- If the application concerns a child under the age of 18, the child’s other parent or tutor must be notified of the application.
- If the application concerns a child under the age of 18, but over the age of 14, the child must be notified of the application.
- Public notice must be given of the applicant’s intent to change their name, unless you have been exempted.
The completed application with supporting documentation and applicable fees must then be submitted to the Directeur de l’état civil. They will render a written decision as to whether the name change has been accepted or rejected, accompanied by reasons for either scenario. If the applicant is unsatisfied with the decision, they have 30-days to file a motion to the Court to have the decision reviewed.
Ordinarily, after a person’s change of name has been approved, it would be their responsibility, or the responsibility of those responsible for that person, to notify certain departments/agencies. There is a simplified process for those who are changing their name or sex designation, for which an individual may apply. For more information on applying and on the simplified process, please click here.