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Ontario Making Resuming Former Last Name Easier

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Ontario Making Resuming Former Last Name Easier

McGuinty Government Cutting More Red Tape

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Ontario is making it easier for men and women to legally switch back to their former last names after the end of a marriage.

Previously, those who chose to switch back to their former last names, after the end of a marriage, had to file a request within 90 days at a cost of $25.  If they did not, they had to go through a longer, more complex name change process that cost $137. 

A new provision that takes effect tomorrow removes the 90-day time limit and will only cost $25 -- meaning switching back to a former last name is easier and less of a financial burden.

Cutting government red tape for Ontarians is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to make it easier for families and businesses to access government services. 

Quick Facts

  • The change to the Change of Name Act only applies following a divorce, annulment or death of a spouse.
  • This does not impact people who assumed a last name as a result of marriage and did not legally change their last name.
  • Many people do not elect to change their name legally after they get married and simply assume their spouse's surname or combine or hyphenate their surnames at the time of marriage.
  • Effective January 1, 2012, amendments to the Pension Benefits Act and the Family Law Act will make it easier for couples to value and divide a pension in the case of marriage breakdown.

Additional Resources


“The last thing people should have to think about when going through a difficult time is government red tape. We're pleased to be able to make things easier for people during that time.”

Harinder Takhar

Minister of Government Services

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