ID and name change

BC (provincial) documents

Legal Change of Name certificate

To change your name, complete an application with BC Vital Statistics Agency. They will issue you a Legal Change of Name Certificate, which you will need in order to change your name on your identification cards.

Instructions and application form – Legal Changes of Name (BC government website)

BC identification documents

In BC, a common gender policy between the BC Services Card program, ICBC driver licensing and BCID programs, the Medical Services Plan, and the Vital Statistics Agency was announced in 2014. An amendment to the Vital Statistics Act has been passed by the BC Legislature and given Royal Assent. Gender-affirming surgery or hormone therapy is no longer required to change gender or sex designation on BC identifications: BC birth certificates, BC Services Cards, BC Driver’s Licenses and BCID. This is a significant human rights victory for trans communities in BC.

If you were not born in BC and wish to update your birth certificate, you will need to contact the government agency responsible for issuing birth certificates wherever you were born. Gender-affirming surgery is no longer required to change gender or sex designation on identifications from Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

Canada (federal) documents

Social Insurance Number card

To change your personal information on your Social Insurance Number card, take your documents to the nearest Service Canada Office.

For a name change, bring your birth certificate and your legal change of name certificate issued by the Vital Statistics Agency. For gender or sex designation change, the sex or gender designation on your birth certificate needs to be updated first.

  • Service Canada – Government of Canada website that will help you identify the documentation you need to bring to the Service Canada office location. It also has instructions on how to apply by mail
  • To find a Service Canada office see the online office locator

Passport

  • To change your name on your Canadian passport, see Canadian passports (Government of Canada website)

Changing gender or sex designation on federal documents

Canadian citizenship certificate

Permanent resident card

Record of landing & permanent or temporary residence documents

Record of landing and permanent or temporary residence documents are not identity documents. Therefore, they can only be amended to correct errors made by Canadian immigration officials in recording the information you provided when you applied to come to Canada.

Resources

  • QMUNITY: BC’s Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Resource Centre – periodically holds a Transgender ID Change Clinic that provides basic notarial services for low-income transgender individuals who are applying for a legal name change or to change gender markers on their identification. Notarial services include witnessing statutory declarations and certifying true copies
  • PACE Society – has their Gender Self-Determination Project, which assists trans and non-binary persons in the Greater Vancouver area with legally changing their names and gender markers on government identification
  • The Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre provides free legal issue support (including notarization) http://www.cwhwc.com/services/lawyer/ . To book an appointment with the lawyer there your client can email  lawyer@cwhwc.com (good to note that the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre is volunteer run and only happens one or 2 times monthly).