When a couple is married in British Columbia, they may use one of the following options for their surnames:
- The surname held immediately before marriage,
- The surname held at birth or by adoption, or
- The surname of the spouse.
You cannot use a combination of names, or hyphenated names, without making an application under the Names Act of British Columbia.
A divorcing spouse may use his or her married name, or the name he or she had before the marriage without an application. However, if the spouse wants a new given name (first name), or a new surname other than two possibilities above, an application can be made with the divorce application. No consent is required for the new name of a spouse.
Changing the name of a minor child does require the consent of the parents and the child if over 12 years old.
You can pick up a Name Change Package at a Vitals Statics Agency, as well as at Service BC offices. The package contains instructions for you to follow, as well as the appropriate forms.