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Changing Your Name Now You’re Married


How to get a Marriage Certificate in Ontario

Many of you will want to now change your last name in the taking of your spouse’s last name - You will want to ‘assume’ (the technical term, for changing it) your spouse’s last name. In Ontario this can go either way, a husband assuming his wife’s last name, or still far more popular, a wife who wants to assume her husband’s last name. To help in understanding the process, here’s a quick, simple and hopefully helpful blog on doing just that.

As we have had the privilege of officiating your wedding ceremony, we are now legally responsible to file your marriage license within 72 hours of performing your wedding ceremony. You of course are legally married the moment the pronouncement and signing occurs in your wedding ceremony.

Obtaining Your Certified Marriage License…

If you are seeking to ‘assume’ your spouse’s last name OR working through the Canadian immigration office, you will need to request a Certified Copy of your marriage license (this secondary step arose from a 9-11 world mentality and the increase of destination weddings, many of which are not legal) from the Ontario government 10 weeks or after your wedding date. You should have received papers at the time of receiving your license to do so. You may also make this request online. Currently the fee charged by the province is $22.00. This is not automatically sent out, as many do not need this certified copy (no name change, both Canadian citizens).  To access and request the form at Service Ontario’s website, please Click Here.

Changing Your Name Everywhere…

You should receive your Certified Wedding Copy approximately 4-6 weeks following, at which point you may begin to apply to the various agencies with your spouse’s last name. These may include:

  • Passport Canada
  • Service Ontario for your Drivers License & Health Card
  • Bank(s) to update info on your accounts
  • Credit cards will require a copy of your new photo ID
  • Other various services may request to see a copy of your Certified Marriage Certificate.

Helpful suggestions:

You’ll want to activate your major forms of ID (passport, drivers license, health card) close together in time as many institutions do require to see two forms of ID. Always wise to have matching names.

If you are booked on a flight perhaps on your honeymoon, a reminder ‘whatever name is on your passport, needs to match your airline ticket’. As well, if you have purchased an airline ticket 6 months ahead, be sure to NOT change the name on your passport until that ticket has become expired and used.

If you are travelling on your honeymoon shortly after your wedding day, we recommend taking a couple of photocopies with you of your marriage license to showcase at your resort or hotel – You may receive a free upgrade, or perhaps a bottle of champagne with chocolate covered strawberries will be awaiting you. We do NOT recommend taking the original license with you, as it is irreplaceable. It’s not the end of the world, and certainly not the end of your marriage if it was ever lost, but most couples do like to cherish it as meaningful element in their lives.

At Dream Weddings Canada our wedding officiants are committed to you and your special day, this includes ‘the paperwork’ and the legalities with your licensing. If you have any more questions about a specific issue, please do call or email – We’d be happy to help you

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