Have you started going by a new name? If this name is on your birth certificate, you can now make it official thanks to a new procedure that became available on June 8, 2023.
“Given names”: an already well-known concept
Quebec’s family law reform made the concept of “given names” official in the Civil Code. Your given name is the one you use in your daily life.
Before June 8, the Directeur de l’état civil (registrar of civil status) already identified people’s given names (usually the first name on someone’s act of birth and birth certificate).
Good to know: If this given name identified before June 8, 2023 is not the one you use in your daily life, you can contact the Directeur de l’état civil to make a correction free of charge.
How to change your given name
You can change your given name by asking the Directeur de l’état civil. This procedure is called a “substitution of the usual given name”. Your new given name must be among the ones on your act of birth (for example, your middle name).
A person born on or after June 8, 2023 can request this change via a simple written notice for 125$.
Unlike with name changes, you don’t need a serious reason to change your given name.
Who can change their given name?
You can change your given name if
- you have at least one other name on your act of birth, and
- you’ve been living in Quebec for at least a year.
Someone aged 14 and over can ask to change their given name on their own. Their parents will be informed and may object to this request via a written notice to the Directeur de l’état civil. On the other hand, parents can also ask to change their child’s given name. If the child is 14 or over, they will be informed and may object to this request (also via a written notice).
Will there be changes for births that take place after June 8?
Yes. Children born on or after June 8, 2023 will have their usual given name written on their act of birth. Parents will choose their child’s given name among the different names on their act of birth.
Did you know? Quebec’s family law reform deals with many important topics, like changing your sex designation on your official documents, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, adoption and more!