Friday, 7 January 2011

What's In A Name? Part I

So I am finally going through the process of legally changing my name and I thought, what the hell.  Let's blog about it.  Because even with all of its bureaucracy, or perhaps because of it, it can be a pretty interesting process.  This is of course how it happens in Alberta.  I don't know how much is different elsewhere.

It all starts with the Application for Name Change forms that I picked up at a local Registration agency.  They come bound in this book which is pretty neat, but also a little weird.  Not only do I now have the forms to change my own name, but also the forms to change my children's or my spouse's names, if I had any and thought this was something I wanted to do.  Now, I understand situations where one would want to change a child's name, adoption and what-not, but a spouse?  I don't know about you, but even if my hypothetical spouse and I decided together that we would change eir name, I'd be a hell of a lot more comfortable if e did it emself.  But I digress.

In case I didn't already know this, the front of the application tells me this isn't going to be free.  It's not even going to be cheap, really, which is part of why I've had to wait so long.

Fees for Name Changes:

Registry Agents will collect:

  • a government fee of $120.00.
  • a service fee, which may vary (I was quoted anywhere from $190.00 to something upwards of $200.)
  • a fingerprint processing fee of $25.00, on behalf of the RCMP in Ottawa as payment for the criminal record check.
Local Law Enforcement Agencies:

  • may charge a fee for fingerprinting ($30.00 in this case.)  Payment is made directly to the local law enforcement agency.
So that's... $375.00, or thereabouts.  And that's not including whatever the Notary Public may charge for affirming the affidavit at the end.  Way to make it easy on us, yeah?  Still.  Hoops.  Sometimes you have to jump through them, and sometimes they'll make you pay out the nose for the privilege.

And that's step one: getting the application.  Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the fingerprinting.

Also, just a quick FYI.  No, I will not tell you my original/old/"real" name.  I'm pretty open about the process of transitioning, more so than most people in my situation, but this is one of the few questions I won't answer.  The last thing I want to do is give more people the opportunity to call me by the wrong name.  Thank you.