Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Recommendation 17 Reclamation of Indigenous Names

As a residential school survivor or their family member, or an individual impacted by the Sixties Scoop, you may be eligible to receive a legal change of name through the Vital Statistics Agency, including a waiver of legislated fees.

Fees that may be waived include the application fee, witnessing fees (if your signature and documents are certified at a Service BC location or the Vancouver Vital Statistics office (located at 250605 Robson Street)), and British Columbia birth or marriage certificate replacement fees after your name has been updated.

Note: Fingerprinting fees cannot be waived by the Vital Statistics Agency as these are charged by an external organization. Please check with the Fingerprinting Service Agency to determine if they are able to waive their fees.  Fingerprints are a legislated requirement for a legal change of name in B.C.

When completing a change of name application form please consider the following:

  • an applicant’s new name must not be a single name; the new name must include a first name and a last name.
  • only the following special characters may be requested in your name change: apostrophes, periods, hyphens and the following accents: À Á Â Ä Ç È É Ê Ë Ì Í Î Ï Ò Ó Ô Ö Ù Ú Û Ü Ý.
  • numbers cannot be included in a name.

To be eligible for the waiver of fees, applicants are required to provide a written statement in the form of a statutory declaration confirming they are a residential school survivor, or their family member, or an individual impacted by the Sixties Scoop. A sample of the statutory declaration is available for reference.

If you were born and/or married in B.C. and are requesting a legal change of name, please also request a new birth certificate and/or marriage certificate. These certificates will be issued free of charge upon request and completion of your legal change of name application.

Once your change of name application has been processed, you will receive a new change of name certificate along with a letter of introduction to be used in conjunction with your name change certificate when dealing with Provincial identity providers.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please email HLTH.VSCONA@gov.bc.ca