If you need an official copy, use the bilingual (PDF) version. This version was current from January 1, 2019 to November 30, 2022.
Note: It does not reflect any retroactive amendment enacted after November 30, 2022.
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C.C.S.M. c. C50
The Change of Name Act
(Assented to July 17, 1987)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act
"approved form" means a form that is approved by, or acceptable to, the director; (« formule approuvée »)
"authorized agency" means a police service, agency or organization referred to in subsection 10.1(1); (« organisme autorisé »)
"change" means any change by way of alteration, substitution, addition, or abandonment; (« changement »)
"child" means a person under the age of majority but does not include a married child or a child who is cohabiting or has cohabited in a common-law relationship; (« enfant »)
"common-law partner" of a person means a person who, not being married to the other person, is cohabiting with him or her in a conjugal relationship of some permanence; (« conjoint de fait »)
"common-law relationship" means the relationship between two persons who are common-law partners of each other; (« union de fait »)
"court" means the Court of King's Bench; (« tribunal »)
"custody" means the care and control of a child by a parent of that child; (« garde »)
"director" means the Director of Vital Statistics; (« directeur »)
"guardian" means a person other than a parent of a child who has been appointed guardian of the person of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction; (« tuteur »)
"name" includes given name and surname. (« nom »)
For the purposes of this Act, while they are cohabiting, persons who have registered their common-law relationship under section 13.1 of The Vital Statistics Act are deemed to be cohabiting in a conjugal relationship of some permanence.
Any person may make application to the director for a change of name who has resided in the province for at least three months immediately before the date of application and who
(a) is 18 or more years of age;
(b) has been married;
(c) has cohabited in a common-law relationship; or
(d) is a parent with custody of the child.
An application shall be made on an approved form and shall include
(a) present and proposed name in full;
(b) the date of birth, place of birth and parents' names of the applicant;
(c) if the applicant is married, the full name before marriage of the applicant's spouse and the date and place of marriage;
(c.1) if the applicant is cohabiting in a common-law relationship, the full name before entry into the common-law relationship of the applicant's common-law partner, the date the common-law relationship commenced and whether the common-law relationship is registered in any other jurisdiction;
(d) proof of the length of the applicant's residence in Manitoba, and the applicant's current address;
(e) all consents required under this Act or a certified copy of any court order dispensing with consent;
(f) the reason for the proposed change of name;
(g) [repealed] S.M. 2002, c. 24, s. 7;
(h) an affidavit of qualification and bona fides signed by the applicant;
(i) evidence satisfactory to the director that any person requiring notification has been notified;
(j) information regarding previous legal changes of name under a Change of Name Act;
(k) such further documentary evidence or information as the director may require.
Subject to the regulations, when an application is made to change the name of a person, that person must be fingerprinted by an authorized agency, in accordance with procedures established by regulation.
When an authorized agency has fingerprinted an applicant, the agency must provide the applicant's present name and proposed name, date of birth and fingerprints to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for the purpose of linking the applicant's present name and proposed name if the applicant has a criminal history.
The director must not approve an application to change the name of a person who is required to be fingerprinted under subsection (2.1) until he or she is satisfied that the person's fingerprints have been provided to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The application shall be refused where
(a) the requirements of this Act are not met; or
(b) the director is of the opinion that the proposed name might reasonably cause mistake or confusion to any other person; or
(c) the director is of the opinion that the change of name is sought for an improper purpose or is on any other ground objectionable; or
(d) the director is of the opinion that the applicant has made frequent changes of name;
and the director shall notify the applicant of the reasons for refusal and of the right to appeal.
Upon the refusal of the director to register a change of name, a person affected by the refusal may, within 28 days of receipt of notification of refusal and upon 10 days notice to the director and to such other persons as the court may direct, apply to the court for an order that the director register the change of name.
An application under this Act may be made, and any consent required under this Act may be given, on behalf of a person by
(a) the person's committee under The Mental Health Act; or
(b) the person's substitute decision maker for personal care appointed under The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act, if the substitute decision maker has been given this power in the appointment.
A parent may apply to change the name of any children who are in his or her custody
(a) with the written consent of the other parent who has custody; or
(b) on notice by registered or certified mail to the parent who does not have custody.
Where an applicant is required to give notice under subsection (1), the application must be accompanied by
(a) acknowledgment of receipt of notice of the application; and
(b) evidence satisfactory to the director that the person entitled to notice has been advised of the child's proposed name and of the right to object.
An application to change the name of a child 12 years of age and over requires the written consent of the child.
Where an order of guardianship has been made in respect of a child, application to change the name of the child may be made
(a) by the agency where there is a permanent order; or
(b) by the agency with the consent of the parents where the order is temporary; or
(c) by the guardian with the consent of the parents where the order of guardianship is to a third party; and
where consent cannot be obtained under clause (b) or (c), notice of the application to change the child's name and their right to object under subsection 6(1) shall be given to the parents.
Where notice of the application mailed under section 4 cannot be delivered by the post office or where the last known place of residence of the parent who does not have custody is the same as the address of the applicant, the director may require the applicant to make a reasonable attempt to locate the parent who does not have custody and where the attempt is unsuccessful, the director may dispense with notice to the parent who does not have custody.
The director may dispense with the consent of any person required under section 4
(a) if a duly qualified medical practitioner states in writing that the person is incapable of giving consent; or
(b) if satisfied it is in the best interests of the child.
A person who has been served with notice under section 4 may, within 28 days of receipt of the notice, apply to the court for an order directing the director not to register the change of name on the grounds that the change would not be in the best interests of the child.
A person who applies to the court under subsection (1) shall forthwith notify the director of the application.
Where a person is required to be served with notice of the application under section 4, the director shall only register the change of name where
(a) the person consents to the application; or
(b) 35 days have elapsed from the serving of notice of the application and the director has not been served with notice under subsection (2); or
(c) the court has ordered that the change of name be registered and the time to appeal the order has elapsed or all appeals from the order have been exhausted.
On receipt of a completed application and payment of the prescribed fee, the director may register the change of name and issue a certificate of change of name.
Subject to subsection (3), when a certificate of change of name has been issued, the director must give public notice of the change by
(a) arranging for notice of the change to be published in The Manitoba Gazette, at the expense of the applicant; or
(b) providing notice of the change by an alternate method prescribed by regulation.
The director may waive the public notice requirement under subsection (2) where
(a) it would cause undue hardship for the individual; or
(b) it would be contrary to the public interest; or
(c) the applicant has been commonly known under the surname applied for.
The registration and the issue of a certificate of change of name shall, for all purposes, effect a change of name according to the tenor of the registration.
The original certificate of change of name shall be issued to the applicant and a duplicate copy shall be kept in the office of the director and a notation recorded and indexed in the records of the office maintained for that purpose.
Upon applying, furnishing information satisfactory to the director and paying the prescribed fee, a person whose name has been changed may obtain a certified copy of the certificate of change of name or an extract in an approved form which shall contain at least
(a) the name of the person at the time of application;
(b) the change to the name of the person;
(c) the date of the registration of the change of name; and
(d) the serial number of the registration.
Subject to subsection (8), any person, upon applying, furnishing information satisfactory to the director, and paying the prescribed fee, may have a search made by the director for the record of any change of name and the director shall make a report of the search which shall state whether the change of name is registered and, if registered, shall state the name of the person at the time of application, the change to the name of the person and the date of registration.
No search shall be made or report issued where dispensation of notice and publication has been authorized under clause (3)(a) or (b).
A certificate or a certified copy of a certificate of change of name or an extract in an approved form issued by the director shall, for all purposes, be conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein.
Upon registration of a change of name the director shall, without charge, alter all records maintained under The Vital Statistics Act which are affected by the change of name and where the applicant's birth, marriage or common-law relationship are registered in another jurisdiction, the director shall forthwith notify the official responsible of the change of name.
Any person whose name has been changed in accordance with the provisions of this Act shall, upon production of a certificate, certified copy or extract in an approved form, furnishing of satisfactory proof of identity and payment of any applicable fees, be entitled to have a memorandum of the change of name endorsed on any and every record, certificate, instrument, document, contract, or writing, whether public or private.
Where the signature of the director is required for any of the purposes of this Act, the signature may be written, engraved, lithographed or reproduced by another mode of reproducing words in readable form.
Every document issued under this Act under the signature of the director is and remains valid, notwithstanding that the director has ceased to hold office before the issue of the document.
The director may, if satisfied that there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a change of name of any person has been obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, on 10 days notice to the person, hold a hearing to determine whether the change of name should be annulled.
Where the director is satisfied after the hearing under subsection (1) that the change of name was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, the director shall order that the change of name be annulled and may order any person to whom a birth certificate or change of name certificate has been issued in connection with the change of name to surrender it forthwith.
The person affected by the order under subsection (2) may, within 28 days and upon 10 days notice to the director and to such other persons as the court may direct, apply to the court for an order that the director not annul the change of name.
Where the time for appeal under subsection (3) has elapsed and the director has not been served with notice of an application or an appeal under subsection (3) has been finally determined against the applicant, a memorandum of the order shall be endorsed on the records of the change of name maintained by the director and notice of the annulment shall be given as soon as possible in accordance with subsection 7(2).
A person who obtains a change of name under this Act by fraud or misrepresentation is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
A person who uses a name in respect of which he or she was convicted under subsection (5) is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
A person who 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 knowing that the change of name was refused or annulled, is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
A person who knowingly fails to comply with an order of the director under subsection (2) to surrender a certificate is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
A person who, 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 is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
Subject to The Vital Statistics Act and The Adoption Act, no change of name in the province has any effect unless made in accordance with this Act.
A change of name under this Act is not required by a spouse or common-law partner who
(a) elects to change to the surname that the other spouse or common-law partner had immediately before their marriage or their common-law relationship began;
(b) elects to change to a surname consisting of the surnames, hyphenated or combined, that both spouses or common-law partners had immediately before their marriage or immediately before their common-law relationship began; or
(c) elects to change to the surname that the other spouse or common-law partner had immediately before their marriage or immediately before their common-law relationship began, retaining his or her own surname as a given name.
A person may resume the use of the surname used immediately before marriage, entry into a common-law relationship or at birth, after the marriage is dissolved by divorce or annulment, the common-law relationship is terminated or after the death of a spouse or common-law partner.
A common-law partner who elects to change his or her surname under subsection (1) or (2) shall submit a declaration to the director in an approved form and no change of name shall be effective until the declaration is filed.
With respect to an election of surname under subsection (1) or a resumption of surname under subsection (2), the director may issue the following documents, on application and payment of the prescribed fee, only to the person referred to in subsection (5):
(a) a certificate of election or resumption of surname;
(b) a certified copy or photographic print of the declaration by the common-law partner under subsection (3).
The director may issue a document referred to in subsection (4) to
(a) a party to the marriage or common-law relationship;
(b) if both parties to the marriage or common-law relationship are dead, a child or parent of either party;
(c) a person authorized in writing by a person referred to in clause (a) or (b);
(d) a public officer or police officer who requires it for use in the discharge of his or her duties;
(e) a person on order of a court;
(f) a person authorized in writing by the director or the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act.
A certificate of election or resumption of surname shall be in an approved form and contain at least the following particulars:
(a) the full names of the parties immediately before the marriage or common-law relationship;
(b) the date of the marriage or the date the common-law relationship commenced;
(c) the surname elected by each party.
The filing of a declaration under subsection (3) confers no legal rights or responsibilities other than the right to alter a surname.
A police service, agency or organization designated by regulation is authorized to take the fingerprints of persons applying for a change of name under section 2.
An authorized agency must put in place reasonable and sufficient safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the fingerprints of applicants and other personal information relating to applicants in its custody or under its control.
The director may enter into one or more agreements with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police respecting the protection of fingerprints and other personal information provided to it under subsection 2(2.2) and the privacy of persons to whom that personal information relates.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) [repealed] S.M. 2011, c. 20, s. 8;
(b) prescribing fees to be paid under this Act and providing for the waiver of the payment of those fees by any person or class of persons;
(c) limiting the application of the fingerprinting requirement under subsection 2(2.1);
(d) respecting procedures to be followed when a person applying for a change of name is fingerprinted, including prescribing additional information or documentation to be provided to an authorized agency;
(e) establishing requirements to protect the confidentiality of fingerprints and other personal information relating to applications for changes of name in the custody or under the control of an authorized agency, including
(i) restrictions on the time that this personal information can be retained by an authorized agency, and
(ii) the manner in which records of fingerprints and other personal information relating to applicants are to be destroyed by an authorized agency;
(f) prescribing alternate methods of providing public notice for the purpose of clause 7(2)(b);
(g) designating agencies, organizations or police services for the purpose of subsection 10.1(1);
(h) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.
The Change of Name Act, chapter C50 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba, is repealed.
This Act may be referred to as chapter C50 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.
NOTE: S.M. 1987-88, c. 13 came into force by proclamation on September 1, 1988.