When a couple is married in British Columbia, they may use one of the following options for their surnames:

  1. The surname held immediately before marriage,
  2. The surname held at birth or by adoption, or
  3. 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.