In Ontario, you can legally change your last name, or you can assume your new, married name. The difference? If you legally change it, your birth certificate changes. If you assume it, your birth certificate remains the way it was when you were born.
Not going to be correct, soon! It’s probably grown over by now anyway.
For me, assuming Mr. Dragon’s last name makes the most sense. I kind of think it would be really weird to change my birth certificate—that was my name at birth, and it seems odd that I can change the record to reflect something else! And, if you go the assumption route, all you need is your marriage certificate, a form, and your photo ID (except I don’t have a photo health card yet, so I have to otherwise prove my citizenship, Ontario residence, and identity, which, as I mentioned, means I need to change my driver’s license in order to change it again!).
Other bonuses? It’s entirely free and you don’t have to go through any kind of application process. And, if you want to revert it back (not that I want to), it’s still free because your birth certificate has not changed.
The weirdest part to me is that the government publishes your name change in the Ontario Gazette! It seems to be a newsletter full of legal and legislative mumbo-jumbo about name changes, business registrations, awarding and cancellation of certificates, and so on.
Unfortunately, the option of assuming my new last name still won’t make it any easier to notify all the right people and organizations when it comes down to it. I started thinking about it, and it’s a pretty daunting list.
Some of the places where my name will need to be changed are obvious: my driver’s license, my passport, my health card (boo!), social insurance number, with the Canada Revenue Agency, with the bank, with my credit card companies.
A few of them I had to think about before realizing I’d need to make a change! That includes all of our utility companies—hydro, water, cell phone, home phone, and internet—along with my clinic and hospital, the organ donor registry (I think?), rewards programs, the post office, on my outdoors card, with professional organizations, possibly with my student loan office, on the big stack of cheques I’ve been carrying around for years, and on my vehicle insurance.
Working as a reporter I have a few extra places to worry about, that being my paper’s masthead, my byline, and all of my photo credits. I gave our production manager a heads-up recently, as he’ll have to do some changing to our templates before I get back from the honeymoon.
Some of my work-related stuff are things everyone changing a name has to deal with: employee records/payroll, the work website, work email, and on my business cards (though I’m inclined to think those are probably not going to change until I run out!).
And then there’s the online side of things. Of course, there’s Facebook and Twitter, along with Pinterest, Instagram, my blog, my website, and my personal email. Though I’m going to take this as an opportunity to de-link my last name from some accounts, I think the 10 or so other Shayla B******s there seem to be in the online world might be bummed out to have another one clogging up Google.
The email part is kind of sucky. I’ve been using a paid Mac iCloud account for the last five years or so, which I like and want to keep. But, it’s a first initial/last name combo, which means it’s going to be outdated really soon, and I don’t think I can change it.
I was shocked to find out that email@example.com was taken already (in all combinations), especially given my unique name! I had to take firstname.lastname@example.org, which feels really long.
I don’t want to switch over to Gmail entirely, but short of cancelling my current Mac email and making a new one, I think I’m SOL. All I can think of is setting up an auto-direct from my new Gmail account to my Mac account which seems overcomplicated and headache-inducing. Any tips and tricks or just plain commiseration are appreciated!
Is there anything on this list I missed?