Legally Changing Your Name and Gender in British Columbia Herding Government Cats

This is part one of a multi-part process that will allow you to change your name and gender on your legal paperwork in British Columbia Canada

 

Part One

Steps required and funds needed to change your legal name in British Columbia


 

Firstly a note about my situation and what I was doing. It’s possible you need to do something a little different so your process may end up varying from what I describe here, so read this webpage and the government forms very carefully. I was changing my name, without changing a dependent child’s name or updating my birth certificate (I can’t do that at this stage as I was born outside of Canada).

 

Step One

Read and understand the required forms. Seriously it’s worth the time.

 

First visit the appropriate BC Government Website here – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/vital-statistics/legal-changes-of-name/legal-change-of-name-application – read this site as it contains a lot of info, which is mostly summerised in this PDF – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/residents/vital-statistics/legal-changes-of-name/vsa004.pdf – but in essence you are just required to complete all the steps in this form – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/residents/vital-statistics/legal-changes-of-name/vsa529.pdf

 

The cost of sending in that form is $137

 

Step Two

Get your Criminal Record Review completed

 

That form says that you need to have a criminal record review that includes electronic fingerprinting, you can do this through RCMP or local police or through private security firms that are recognised. The companies and the proceedure is described in detail here – http://www.rcmp.gc.ca/en/criminal-record-and-vulnerable-sector-checks

 

The cost of this check varies depending on the company involved, I went through the Commissionaires (a drop in service, no waiting and the staff were very respectful towards me) and it cost me $70

 

Step Three

Get your form Witnessed

 

The name change form needs to be signed in front of one of the following people:

  • Practicing lawyer • Notary public • Service BC representative • Individual appointed by the Attorney General as a commissioner for taking affidavits

 

Again, costs vary, Service BC representative is free, notary is about $35

 

As I was born outside of Canada and became a citizen of Canada I had to have my Canadian citizenship certificate certified, I went the notary route (I was already using them to do the signing of the form) and the cost was an additional $10

 

Step Four

Post and Wait
I included my marriage certificate because I was married in BC, if you are born in BC you also need to include your birth certificate. After I posted my completed package, the total cost of which was $252, I had to wait five weeks before my name certificate arrived and another week before a letter confirming the process had been completed arrived – the whole process was just over six weeks long, not too bad for the BC Government.

 

Part Two will describe how to go about changing your BC Drivers Licence and Care Card. You can find Part Two here.