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Can I legally change my name?

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Civil and commercial litigation

Eugene from Lasalle asks us if it is possible to change his name because, since a young age, he has been ridiculed because of his name, which in turn has led him to suffer from anxiety.

Although the courts, and the law, favour the stability of one’s name, the Civil Code of Quebec provides, at article 58, the possibility of submitting a request to the Civil Registry for a change in one’s name, for a serious motive.

The law provides that the registrar of Civil Status has jurisdiction to authorize a change of name, for several reasons, including:

- if the name is of foreign origin;

- if the name is difficult to pronounce or to write; and

- if the name invites ridicule.

In Eugene’s situation, he can address his request to the Civil Registrar and invoke the fact that he has suffered from anxiety and has been ridiculed because of his name.

Once the name change is authorized, a new birth certificate will be issued with the new name, and all legal documents and personal identity documents will have to be modified to be in conformity with the new name.

Should the registrar of Civil Status refuse the change of name, it is possible for Eugene to present a request for a change of name to the Superior Court.

As each case is different, it would be prudent to consult a lawyer to discuss the possibility of requesting a change of name.

Gianina Fuschini, Attorney-at-law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats Inc.

 

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