Name changes

The name that appears on your passport is normally the same that appears on your birth or Canadian citizenship certificate.

We accept the following variances on the name that appears on your birth or Canadian citizenship certificate:

  • Dropping of given names
  • Inversion of given names

Note that you will need another form of identification that supports the name you want to appear in your passport (for example, a driver’s license).

If you are changing your name, you are not eligible to renew your passport. Renewal applications require that you keep the exact same name that’s currently printed in your passport. For any name change, you must apply for a new passport and submit additional documents to support the name change.

Documents to submit

If you are changing your name, you need to submit documents to support the use of that name in addition to the documents you need to submit when applying for a new passport.

Change of last name due to relationship change

If you are changing your last name due to a change in relationship status, please provide a copy of one of the following documents with your application (copies do not need to be signed by your guarantor):

  • a marriage certificate; or
  • a common-law relationship certificate; or
  • a court order (i.e. separation agreement or divorce order/judgment) issued by a court of law in or outside Canada; or
  • a certificate to dissolve a registered common-law relationship; or
  • a resumption of surname certificate.

The document you submit to support your application must show the name you are requesting to have on your new passport.

Legal name changes

If you have legally changed your name, you must get a new birth certificate or citizenship certificate issued in the new name before you apply for a passport.

Caution to travellers about changing your name on a passport

Be careful if you’re applying for a passport to use after you are married, perhaps for your honeymoon, showing your married name. It is important that the name on your passport match the name in which you have booked all of your travel. If the name on the passport doesn't match the bookings:

  • some countries may not let you in; and
  • some travel companies may not let you board.

This may be the case even if you carry your marriage or civil partnership certificate with you. Always check with the consulate of the country you plan to visit or your travel agent.

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