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SNL2009 CHAPTER C-8.1
CHANGE OF NAME ACT, 2009
2009 c16 s9; 2013 c13 s2; 2013 c16 s25; 2016 c4
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR CHANGE OF NAME
This Act may be cited as the Change of Name Act, 2009.
2. (1) In this Act
(a) "change" means a change by way of alteration, substitution, addition or abandonment;
(b) "child" means a person under the age of 16 years;
(c) "cohabitating partner" means either of 2 persons who have cohabited in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage for at least one year;
"court" means the
(e) "guardian" means a guardian as defined in the Mentally Disabled Persons' Estates Act;
"judge" means a judge of the
"mentally disabled person" means a mentally disabled person defined under the Mentally Disabled Persons' Estates Act;
(h) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;
(i) "name" includes surname and given name;
"registrar general" means the registrar general appointed under the Vital Statistics Act, 2009;
(k) "required form" means the form required by the minister; and
(l) "spouse" means either of 2 persons who are married to each other.
(2) Where the signature of the registrar general is required by this Act, it may be reproduced by photographic or electronic means.
Exceptions to application of Act
3. A person may change a surname without recourse to this Act in the following circumstances:
(a) as a result of marriage, a person may adopt the surname of that person's spouse or a combination of each spouse's surname; or
(b) during or after a marriage, a person may revert to his or her own surname or a previously acquired surname.
4. (1) A person who
(a) is resident in the province; and
(b) has reached the age of 16 years
may make an application under this Act to change his or her name.
(2) For the purpose of this Act, a person is a resident of the province if he or she has been ordinarily resident in the province for at least 3 months before making an application under the Act.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a child may apply to change his or her name where he or she
(a) has been married;
(b) has been a cohabiting partner; or
(c) is a parent of a child.
Consent of child over age 12 required
5. (1) The name of a child who is 12 years of age or over may be changed under this Act only with the consent of that child.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a judge may, on application, dispense with the consent of the child where in the opinion of the judge it is in the best interests of that child to do so.
Change of name of child by parent
6. (1) A parent may apply to change the name of his or her child and the registrar general may grant that application where the registrar general is satisfied that
(a) the applicant has provided
(i) the written consent of the other parent registered on the child's birth registration, or
(ii) where there was no other parent registered on the child's birth registration, confirmation that there are no legal proceedings ongoing in relation to the parentage or custody of the child;
(b) the applicant provides documentation satisfactory to the registrar general that
(i) the applicant notified the other parent of the child's proposed name and of the other parent's right to object to the change,
(ii) the applicant has provided an affidavit of service showing that the other parent was personally served with the notice or provided documentation showing that the notice was sent to the other parent by registered mail and that the other parent received that notice, and
(iii) 30 days have elapsed since the other parent received the notice and that parent has not filed an objection to the name change;
(c) the applicant provides documentation satisfactory to the registrar general that the other parent of the child is deceased; or
(d) the registrar general is directed to change the name of the child by order of the court.
(2) Where an applicant applies to change the surname of a child due to the applicant's marriage to a person who is not a parent of the child registered on the birth registration of the child, the requirements of subsection (1) shall apply and the consent of the other party to the marriage is required.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), an applicant may make an application to the court to dispense with the consent of the other parent required under that subsection.
(a) the registrar general refuses a name change under subsection (1); or
(b) the applicant has sought the consent of the other parent of the child as required under subsection (1) or (2) and that other parent objects to the name change and has refused to consent
the applicant may appeal to a judge for an order respecting the change of name and the registrar general shall comply with that order.
Custody of child - consent required
7. (1) Where a custody order has been made in respect of a child, an application to change the name of the child may be made by
(a) a manager of Child, Youth and Family Services where there is a continuous custody order;
(b) a manager of Child, Youth and Family Services with the consent of the parents where there is a temporary custody order; or
(c) where the custody of a child is given to a third party, that party, with the consent of the parents.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1)(b) and (c), the registrar general may dispense with the consent required under those paragraphs upon satisfactory proof that both parents of the child are deceased.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) and subsection (2), where one parent of the child is living, the consent of that parent is required.
8. Where, on an application to change a name of a child, the consent of some other person is required and the applicant is unable to obtain the consent of the other person, a judge, having regard to the best interests of the child, may dispense with the consent of the other person to the change of name.
Consent of mentally disabled person
9. Where a person whose consent is required to an application under this Act is a mentally disabled person
(a) the public trustee if acting as the guardian of the estate of the mentally disabled person; or
(b) another guardian appointed in respect of the person or estate of the mentally disabled person,
may consent to the application on behalf of the mentally disabled person.
10. (1) An application for a change of name under this Act shall be filed with the registrar general and shall be in the required form.
(2) An applicant shall file with an application
(a) an affidavit of good faith in the required form;
(b) the consent in the required form of a person whose consent is necessary under this Act and a copy of an order made under section 6 or 8 ;
(c) the applicant's birth certificate or, where the application relates to the change of a child's name, the child's birth certificate, or other documentary proof of name or identity that is acceptable to the registrar general; and
(d) further documentary evidence of information that may be required by the registrar general.
Grant and refusal of application
11. (1) The registrar general shall, where an applicant has complied with the requirements of this Act and paid the required fee, grant the change of name and issue a certificate of change of name.
(2) The registrar general may refuse to grant a change of name where,
(a) the requirements of this Act are not met; or
(b) notwithstanding subsection (1), in the opinion of the registrar general,
(i) the proposed name might reasonably cause mistake or confusion to another person,
(ii) the change of name is sought for an improper purpose,
(iii) the applicant has made frequent changes of name, or
(iv) the name is undesirable in the public interest,
and the registrar general shall notify the applicant of the reasons for refusal and of the right to appeal.
(3) A certificate of change of name issued under subsection (1) takes effect immediately on the day it is issued.
(4) Registration under this Act effects, for all purposes, a change of name in accordance with the application.
(5) Where a change of name has been effected under this Act, a copy of the certificate shall be kept in the custody of the registrar general as part of the records kept under the Vital Statistics Act, 2009 .
(6) For the purpose of subsection (2), a name is undesirable in the public interest if
(a) it might cause offence to a reasonable person;
(b) it is unreasonably long; or
(c) without adequate justification, it is, includes or resembles an official title or rank.
(7) A person aggrieved by a decision of the registrar general under this section may, within 30 days of the notification of the decision, appeal that decision to the court, and the applicant shall serve notice of the appeal on the minister not less than 5 days before the hearing.
Vital Statistics records amended
12. (1) After registering a change of name the registrar general shall, without charge, amend the applicant's birth certificate accordingly.
(2) The registrar general may, after registering a change of name and only with the consent of the applicant's spouse, amend the applicant's marriage certificate accordingly.
(3) Where an applicant's birth, marriage or common-law relationship is registered in another jurisdiction, the registrar general shall immediately notify the official responsible of a change of name effected under this Act.
Issue of certificate of change of name
13. Upon registration of a change of name, the change of name certificate shall be issued and delivered to the applicant.
Publication of change of name
14. (1) The registrar general shall immediately publish a notice of a change of surname granted under this Act in the Gazette , except where publication of a notice is dispensed with by an order under subsection (2).
(2) The minister may allow an exemption to the requirement to publish the change of surname under subsection (1) where, in his or her opinion,
(a) the applicant would be unduly prejudiced or embarrassed by the publication;
(b) the change of surname applied for is of a minor effect; or
(c) the applicant has been commonly known under the surname for which he or she has made the application.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the minister may impose other terms and conditions respecting the notification of change of surname where publication is not required by that subsection.
Change in other jurisdictions
15. (1) Without restricting the effect that a change of name has by law, a person
(a) whose birth is registered in the province; and
(b) whose name has been changed while resident elsewhere than in the province in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the person was resident,
is entitled, upon production of satisfactory proof of the change of name and of the identity of the person, to have the new name substituted instead of the former name in the records kept and certificates issued under the Vital Statistics Act, 2009.
(2) Without restricting the effect that a change of name has by law, a person
(a) whose marriage is registered in the province; and
(b) whose name has been changed while resident elsewhere than in the province in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the person was resident,
(c) with the consent of the person's spouse; and
(d) upon production of satisfactory proof of the change of name and of the identity of the person,
to have the new name substituted instead of the former name in the records kept and certificates issued under the Vital Statistics Act, 2009.
16. (1) Without restricting the effect that a change of name has by law, a person whose name has been changed in accordance with this Act or an Act of another jurisdiction is entitled to have the new name substituted instead of a former name in a document upon
(a) production of a duplicate or certified copy of the certificate issued under this Act or another Act;
(b) satisfactory proof of identity; and
(c) payment of the fees that may be required.
(2) The substitution of a new name in a document under subsection (1) may be made by the person in charge of issuing, maintaining or keeping that type of document, who shall also enter on the document a notation that the substitution was made under this section.
(3) For the purpose of this section "document" includes every record, certificate, instrument, contract or other document whether or not it is or is not of the same kind as those previously mentioned and whether it is public or private.
(4) A person entitled to the substitution in a document of a new name instead of a former one under subsection (1) is entitled to have all references to the former name removed from the document.
(5) This section shall apply to a document which references the name of the person who has changed his or her name, and, shall apply, with the necessary changes, to documents which reference both the person who has changed his or her name and another person only where the consent of that other person has been obtained.
Order by court
17. Where, in the application of section 15 or 16 , a question arises concerning the existence of compliance with the facts or matters required or contained in these sections, on the application of the person seeking substitution of a new name instead of a former name, the court may make an order
(a) declaring that the person has complied with all the requirements of that section; and
(b) directing the registrar general or other person to alter his or her records, certificates or other documents in conformity with that section.
Annulment of change
18. (1) The minister may, where satisfied that a change of name has been obtained by fraud, duress or misrepresentation, annul the change of name by order, effective from a date named in the order.
(2) A marginal notation of the annulling order shall be made on the certificate of change of name.
(3) Notice of the annulment shall be immediately published in the Gazette.
(4) The registrar general shall, without charge, make alterations in his or her records that are necessary because of the annulling order.
(5) Where the minister annuls a change of name, the minister may by order require a person to whom a duplicate or a certified copy of the certificate of change of name has been issued to deliver it up immediately to him or her.
(6) A person aggrieved by a decision of the minister under this section may, within 30 days of the notification of the decision, appeal that decision to the court.
19. (1) A person who
(a) refuses or neglects to comply with an order issued under subsection 18 (5);
(b) uses a name in respect of which he or she was convicted under subsection (2);
(c) uses a name that he or she sought to adopt in an application that was refused or that was the subject of an annulment order under this Act or the Act repealed by this Act, knowing that the change of name was refused or annulled; or
(d) after his or her name is changed under this Act, knowingly uses a birth certificate or change of name certificate showing a former name of the person,
is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 30 days, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
(2) A person who by fraud or misrepresentation obtains a change of name under this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 90 days, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
20. A certificate, a duplicate certificate or a certified copy of a certificate of change of name issued under this Act or another Act, is for all purposes conclusive proof of its contents and it is not necessary to prove the signature or official position of the person by whom the certificate, duplicate certificate or certified copy purports to be signed.
Validity of documents
21. A document issued under this Act under the signature of the registrar general is and remains valid, notwithstanding that the registrar general has ceased to hold office before the issue of the document.
Fees and forms
22. The minister may set fees and establish and require forms for the purpose and administration of this Act.
NLR 28/07 Amdt.
23. Paragraph 1.02(1)(b) of the Provincial Court Family Rules, 2007 is repealed and the following substituted:
(b) Change of Name Act, 2009;
RSNL1990 cC-8 Rep.
24. The Change of Name Act is repealed.
This Act comes into force on