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How To Legally Change Your Name In Canada

Posted by on 11 July 2016
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One of the challenges faced by transgender people is that of changing their gender through the law. There are usually so many steps and processes involved before you can get your documentation amended to show your chosen name and gender.

How To Legally Change Your Name In Canada

This can be much harder in some provinces than others, causing many young transgender people to hesitate to take the legal measures to change their names. This reluctance is because they feel that they don’t want to deal with the hassle or simply to escape the embarrassment associated with the official acknowledgement that their gender was wrongly identified.

Failure to take the right action in a timely manner can lead to challenges getting a job in mainstream society, mostly because a background check could reveal their past private information. If mainstream work is not an option, the only way to earn a living is through odd jobs or low-income opportunities in underground economies including “under the table” odd jobs, drug-dealing, cash-only employment in the service industries, or joining the sex industry.

To avoid the potential challenges above, it is best to find someone who has already done this to assist you. Alternatively, you can seek help from a skilled legal professional. Here are the basic steps involved in a name change:

Step 1: Get the necessary forms

The first step is to obtain all the necessary forms for your name change by visiting a Human Resource Centre of the Federal Government Building. Typical areas of identification include a birth certificate, passport, and SIN application. You may have to go to court to explain the circumstances of the name change.

Step 2: Health insurance plan

Next, you must visit a Service Provincial Branch for your health insurance plan card. Here, you will explain your reasons for applying for a name/sex change application, a process that takes about two to three weeks.

Step 3: Visit the provincial licensing office (DMV)

When the first two steps are complete (this should take between two and three months), you will be able to go to the provincial licensing office of DMV/ministry of transportation to request the forms for a name change. However, you must have the original license with your masculine name and new birth certificate with your new name, which is rather simple.

Ask for a temporary license to help get past being pulled over or questioned for identification. Before receiving the temporary card, you may continue using your existing card together with a birth certificate in the event of anything, and explain that your application is pending. Though such questioning is very rare.

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