Alberta name change for transgender people

Disclaimer: This is legal talk, not legal advice. Laws vary by state, and some of the information discussed on this page may not be applicable in your case. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and provide it without warranty. Laws change and this information may contain errors and omissions. It is up to you to confirm any information herein by doing your own research.

In July 2007 a reader sent the following:

Alberta is a very gender-friendly province, and as such, they tend to make transition and all that comes with it relatively easy. To change your name there, you need to go to an Alberta Registries office (I used one at my local AMA), pay a fee (it was $150 as of September 2001), fill out the documentation, provide your original birth certificate, and you will have to have the document notarized right there on the spot by one of the Registry Agents. The agency will then forward your documentation to Vital Statistics where the name change will be processed. You will receive a Certificate of Change of Name in the mail (mine took about 3 weeks). That document is proof of your name change, and with it you can change your name on your driver's license, Social Insurance, birth certificate, etc.

I will also include some information on changing your gender on your driver's license. Alberta will not change your gender on anything until you actually have filled out all the necessary forms (and your surgeon's affidavit has been presented). However, in my case, I was getting married only weeks after my surgery was over, and I hadn't had time to get my birth certificate changed. Being born in Newfoundland, however, made this a little easier. Newfoundland, also being a gender-friendly province, has a simple process to go through to change gender. There are two forms to be filled out, one by your surgeon, another by your general physician, proclaiming that your surgery has been completed and you now have the genitals of the opposite gender. I had gone to a Registries office in Alberta, and one lady told me to take those forms to another office (she couldn't change the gender for me because she 'knew' about what had happened with me), and she was sure another office would make the changes for me (Alberta Registries isn't government controlled). I did as she suggested, and they changed my driver's license right on the spot. Then I went to another office and applied for my marriage certificate, using my driver's license (you don't have to use a birth certificate in Alberta). It was a bit of legwork, but it worked to my advantage, and I was able to get married on our chosen wedding date.


Other resources

Change of Name, Address or Sex via Government of Alberta

British Columbia province law

Precedent for transsexuals

[no specific case noted]