Ontario 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.

I received the following in May 2010:

First, your name.  This will encompass all areas of identification.  Firstly, you must go to an Human Resource Centre (which is the Federal Government Building) to obtain all of the forms necessary for your name change.  Generally, you will get the passport, birth certificate, and SIN application (Canadian Equivalent of Social Security Number).  It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you have a letter of referral from either a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist.  Of course, you will have to make an appearance in court to explain the nature of the name change, which, again is universal.  Cost expected to be about $200.

Next, you must go (at least for Ontario) to a Service Ontario Branch (provincial government).  This will be for your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Card.  Once you are there, explain that you must apply for a name/sex change application.  As of this writing, I haven't received one yet, but I would expect it to be between 2-3 weeks.

Once that is complete (expect about 2-3 months), you will be able to go to (at least in Ontario) to the provincial licensing office (DMV).  You can ask for the forms for a name/sex change there. Provided you have the ORIGINAL licence with your masculine name on it and your new birth certificate with changed name, it should be effortless.  Depending on where you are (or who you get, believe it or not [rookie]), you may get a temporary licence.  MAKE SURE YOU ASK FOR IT.  Should you get pulled over, or questioned for identification, and do NOT have the temporary or new licence, you may use your existing with a birth certificate and explain that you have applied.  However, the chances of this are very slim indeed.  You may have to pay a nominal fee for administration costs.  No more than $20.  Should be no later than 10 days.

The top establishment for LGBT Services in Ontario is the Sherbourne Health Centre and here is a PDF file indicating what is required for the standards of care for us and the price listings for all name/sex change documents that one would have to go through.

Here is the link:


There, you will find all there is to know about Transgender health care in Ontario.

In February 2004 a reader sent the following:

All info is available at:


Cost: $137 CAD

This government department is ridiculously slow, so apply for your name change months ahead. One FTM guy told me it took him 2 months just to get the forms from them in the mail. I am still waiting for them to process my name change, and it has been 7 months. Somebody else I know said it took about 4 months for them to process their name change.

From a reader in June 2004:

I eventually got through to a human being on the number (416) 325-8305 that the link supplies.

The phone number is really busy, if it lets you into their system wait for a voice before entering numbers - 1 then 2 then 4 then 0 it should then try to give you a name change person. If it's another busy signal then press 1 and repeat 2,4,0 ad nauseum. Eventually that line will connect and after listening to horrible musac for ages a very pleasant person will take you name and address and promise to send you the appropriate application form.

Mine informed me that the current applications are expected to be preocessed in 52 to 54 weeks!!! [see below]

Geez I don't know about RLE I will probably be post-op before they get around to me lol.

A reader wrote in May 2006:

There is now a name change wizard that allows you to answer a few questions and get the appropriate forms to change your name in Ontario.

The wizard is at this link http://www.serviceontario.ca/changeofname/default.htm, but the link that you have is still valid and will point the user to this wizard as well.

Also, the time taken to change your name in Ontario is now down from the 52-54 weeks reported in February 2004 to 6-8 weeks. I will be submitting my name change at the end of May, so I will let you know if this is true or not.

Other resources


Ontario Provice law

Precedent for transsexuals

[no specific case noted]