7 Steps To Change Your Last Name

There really isn’t a step by step guide anywhere on the internet

As you know, I got married, and became the best/worst wife in the entire universe. I know there has been a lot of talk on the internet lately about why women shouldn’t have to change their last name, how times have changed, and that it is no longer very realistic. And I really don’t want to get into that. Mostly because that’s not why you’re here.

I am changing my last name for personal reasons that in the end, don’t really need to matter to anyone else. However, I have decided to keep using my maiden name for online use as I have already built a great portfolio, and this way I can maintain some privacy (maybe).


If you’re anything like me, you’re lazy. Which means you’ll spend more time researching how someone else can do something for you than you’ll actually spend doing the thing.

But wow, that is so not true with changing your last name. IT TAKES FOREVER.

The good news is that if you live in the United States, you can pay someone to do more than half of the work for you. If you live in Canada, you can’t. At least not through any legitimate company I could find.

*cries into pillow*

And the worst part about all of this? There really isn’t a step by step guide anywhere on the internet. Sure, each article will give you bits and pieces of the story, but in the end, they change the rules so much it’s essentially impossible to know if that information is legit.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Sure Alyssa, but there’s no way the government doesn’t tell us how to do that somewhere”, I wish I could say you’re right. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they tell you what you need to do. But how? That’s your own research ladies & gents.

And it’s slightly different in every province. I mean, I thought I had it all down – but nope. I went to the wrong place for the wrong things 4 times. Don’t be me.


Step 1 – You need to get your marriage registration certificate as soon as possible. Because, without this bad boy, you can’t do anything else (except step 2).

How do you order your marriage registration certificate? You can get it through any registry, but it’s different in each province. So here is Alberta, Ontario, and BC (sorry, everyone else).

Cost: I ordered the cheapest, smallest one possible, which I think was around $20, but I honestly don’t remember and SURPRISE, you can’t find it online (and I’m too lazy to call)!

Step 2 – Call CRA and tell them you are changing your last name.

You will need yours and your significant others SIN numbers. Here is the ringle dingle (please be my friend): 1-800-959-8281

Cost: free

Step 3 – Go to the nearest registry to get a new license with the name change, update your registration, and order a new health care card.

You will need your marriage certificate and you will be required to fill out forms that are available at the registry. I’m sure you can be proactive and fill the forms out at home, but it’s not the end of the world if you do it there. Your partner will also need to sign when you are receiving your new health care card – so probably just bring them to save yourself time and so that they understand why you're annoyed AF.

Cost: License - $24 Registration - $160 at a pro-rated amount Health Care - free

Step 4 – Update your SIN

Surprise, surprise, you can’t do this online. Which means you will have to go to the closest Service Canada office. Once you’re there, you will need your birth certificate, your new license, and your marriage registration certificate.

They will update your information, and you will no longer receive a new SIN card. Because, I don’t know if I was late to the party – but those don’t exist anymore.

Cost: free

Step 5 – Get a new passport

Unfortunately, you cannot just renew your passport after a legal change of name. This means, you must fill out a form, get a new photo, and go to your nearest Canadian Passport office. You will need your driver’s license, marriage certificate, and birth certificate.

Cost: $180 (10 years, includes photo cost)

Step 6 – Everything else, ever

It’s now time to change your name at your bank (which requires all new cards), work (on paystubs, insurance, etc.), anywhere you have bills (cable, cell phone, etc.), vehicle insurance, and anywhere you hold investments.

Cost: free

Step 7 – Resent the fact that you ever planned to change your last name, but be relieved because it’s finally over.

Besides getting used to the fact that you need a new signature (which I recommend practicing before you go get your new license - unless you want a two-year olds' signature like me), and having people refer to you as a Mrs., it actually feels pretty cool to officially become a part of your significant others’ family in that sense. Of course, you already were. But now they can’t get rid of you.

In other news, here is this weeks’ YouTube video on 5 quick tips to save money and still have your dream wedding!

Did you change your last name? Do you plan on it? Let me know in the comments!