Name changes — Passports and travel documents

The name on your passport or other travel document should be the same as the name on your birth certificate or Canadian citizenship certificate.

You may change your given name slightly such as:

  • dropping given names
  • reversing given names

You will need to show another form of identification, such as a driver’s license, to prove you use your name in this way.

If you want to change your name you must:

For renewal applications, you need to keep the exact same name that’s currently printed in your passport.

Change of last name due to relationship change

When changing your last name due to a change in relationship status, you will need to submit documents as proof, such as:

  • marriage certificates
  • common-law relationship certificates
  • court orders issued in or outside Canada, such as:
    • separation agreement
    • divorce order/judgment
  • certificates to dissolve a registered common-law relationship
  • resumption of surname certificates

The document you submit to support your application must show the name you’re asking to have on your new passport.

Your guarantor doesn’t need to sign copies of these documents.

Legal name changes

Before you apply for a passport after a legal name change, you must get issued a new:

  • birth certificate or
  • citizenship certificate

Caution to travellers about changing your name on a passport

If you’re applying for a passport in your new name, be sure that you make all of your other travel bookings, such as tickets and hotels, in that name.

If the name on the passport doesn't match your bookings you could have issues such as:

  • countries not letting you in
  • travel companies not letting you board

This could happen even if you carry your marriage or civil partnership certificate with you. Check with the consulate of the country you plan to visit or your travel agent about your name change.

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