NovaScotia Name & Sex Marker Change Guide

Changing Your Legal Name and Sex Marker in Nova Scotia
Because the government is unorganized 

Make Sure You Are Eligible

For the forms and process listed below you need to be 16 years old or older, and must have been born in Nova Scotia OR have resided in Nova Scotia for at least three months prior to submitting the form. Call Vital Statistics at 902-424-4381 if you aren't sure you fit the criteria. 
** There is a different process and forms for people under the age of 16, but it is still possible to change your name and sex marker. 

Request the Form From Vital Statistics 

If you're changing just your name: 

If you’re changing just your sex indicator: 

  • You need the Change of Sex Indicator - 16 Years of Age or Older Form which can be found here https://beta.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/documents/2-573/change-sex-indicator-16-years-age-or-older-en.pdf or on the vital statistics website (https://beta.novascotia.ca/change-your-sex-indicator-if-youre-16-or-older).

If you’re changing both your name and sex indicator:

  • Email Vital Statistics at [email protected] for the Change of Name and Change of Sex Indicator Application - 16 Years of Age or Older Form. This will allow you to change both your sex indicator and name at the same time. 

**If you don't have access to a printer Halifax Libraries have general use printers for 10 cents a sheet or for free if you have a library card https://www.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/technology/printing/
**Or you can visit Vital Statistics in person (address listed below) for a paper copy of the form. 

Get Your Fingerprints Taken 

This can be done at Commissionaires Halifax. You will need two pieces of ID with your current legal name, one of which has to be Photo ID. You have to call and schedule an appointment, they usually book a day or two out and the appointment takes ~15 minutes. Here is a list of Commissionaires offices in Nova Scotia and their contact info: https://commissionaires.ca/en/nova-scotia/offices

  • The Commissionaires office will give you a confirmation paper once they have taken your fingerprints. Include this with your Vital Statistics form. 
  • Fingerprints are taken to match any existing criminal record attached to your current name, to your new name.

Have Your Completed Form Notarized 

The page of the application titled “Statutory Declaration” will need to be signed by a notary. In Nova Scotia this can be done by a lawyer, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public, or Commissioner of Oaths

  • The Commissionaires offices will often do this free of charge, specifically the Halifax Barrington St office. You can call ahead and ask, then bring the form when you go to get your fingerprints taken. 
  • Kym Sweeny is a Halifax based lawyer who will notarize these forms for free. She can be contacted by email at [email protected] 
  • Vital Statistics should have Commissioner of Oaths available free of charge. 

Gather Any Additional Documents 

If you were born in Nova Scotia:

  • Gather any Birth Certificates with your current name on them that you can access, to be submitted with your form. You don't need to get a birth certificate if you don't already have one.

If you were born in Canada but not Nova Scotia: 

  • You're required to submit an original Birth Certificate from your province of birth
  •  Proof of residency in Nova Scotia. 

If you were born outside of Canada: 

  • You will need to submit immigration documents stating your name and the names of your parents. 
  • Proof of residency in Nova Scotia. 

** If you return a copy of your Birth Certificate you will be able to request one copy of your new one (with your new name) free of charge. See Associated Fees below. 

Submit the Form to Vital Statistics 

The form can be submitted by mail to the following address:

  • Vital Statistics

PO Box 157
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 2M9 Canada

  • If you submit the form by mail you must pay the associated fees by cheque, credit card, or money order payable to the Minister of Finance 

The form can also be submitted in person at the following address: 

  • Maritime Centre, 5th Floor South

1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • If paying in person you can pay by cheque, money order, credit card, cash, or debit card. 

** The form currently has to be submitted by mail unless vital statistics is notarizing it for you due to covid restrictions**

Associated Fees 

Name change form submission  - $165.70

  • This is charged when you submit the completed form, not when you request a copy from Vital Statistics originally. 

Sex Indicator change forms - Free
Fingerprinting at Commissionaires Office - $55.57
Name change on Drivers License/Provincial ID - $25.10

  • This only costs $25.10 if you are changing your name, otherwise the sex marker update should be free. https://novascotia.ca/drivers-licence-gender/ 

** Additional Fees are required for new documents with the new name on them (Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, etc) and there is a list of these fees on all the name and sex indicator change forms. 

Important Things to Remember

    • Nova Scotia has a X option for your sex indicator, and an option to request documents without a sex indicator at all. These are not valid everywhere and some places might require a sex indicator, or not accept an X sex indicator. 
    • Even if you havent lived in the province for three months, you can request the form and have the paperwork ready to submit at the three month mark. 
    • If you are a university student some universities have bursaries to offset the legal costs - you can contact your schools health services, lgbtq+ groups, or student union. 
  • When changing your legal name in Nova Scotia it will be published in the Royal Gazette. If you can't have this done for safety reasons or otherwise you can attach a letter explaining the circumstances with your form and they won't publish your name. 
  • Updating new documents requires your name change certificate and you may want to purchase an additional copy ($18.64) if possible. You can indicate you'd like a second copy on your original name change application.
  • You are loved and valid. 

Potentially Helpful Contact Info 

Vital Statistics 

  • Phone: 902-424-4381
  • Toll-free: 1-877-848-2578
  • Fax: 902-450-7313
  • [email protected]
  • Maritime Centre, 5th Floor South

1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia

  • Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Mailing address: PO Box 157, Halifax NS B3J 2M9

Halifax Commissionaires Office 

  • Barrington Place

1903 Barrington Street, Suite 2075
Halifax NS B3J 3L7
Canada

The Youth Project 
These folks have lots of resources and support available, they should be able to help with any additional questions. Not Wheelchair accessible. 

  • 2281 Brunswick St.

Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3K 2Y9

 
The South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre
The South House has helpful resources and a $50-$250 bursary available that prioritizes lgbtq+ applicants. Wheelchair accessible. 

  • 1443 Seymour Street

Halifax, NS
B3H 3M6

  • Phone: (902) 494-2432
  • Hours: 10am-4pm Monday-Friday
  • https://southhousehalifax.org/

Documents You Will Need to Update Following an Approved Application

Your health card (MSI): 

  • No fees associated
  • Can be contacted at 1-800-563-8880 (toll free) or at [email protected]
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm

Lease: 

  • Contact your landlord to make sure you have your legal name on your lease. 

Student ID

  • Contact your schools Registrar's Office
  • Dalhousie: (902) 494-2450
  • SMU: (902) 420-5582

SIN Card

  • You can do this online at https://sin-nas.canada.ca/en/Sin/ or by mail, by mailing a SIN application form and required documents to Service Canada Social Insurance Registration Office, PO Box 7000, Bathurst NB  E2A 4T1, Canada. 
  • SIN application can be found here: https://catalogue.servicecanada.gc.ca/content/EForms/en/Detail.html?Form=NAS2120
  • You will need to attach a copy of your name change certificate to this application.

Passport

  • Complete an adult application form using your new name, which can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/ircc/migration/ircc/english/passport/forms/pdf/pptc153.pdf 
  • If it’s still valid, return your passport with your application when you submit it
  • Provide supporting ID with your application that shows the name change, such as your new Birth Certificate. 
  • Provide your proof of citizenship - It can have either your new name or your previous name. 
  • Provide a copy of your name change certificate. 
  • You can apply in person at a passport program regional office or a participating service canada center OR apply by mail to ‘Passport Program, Gatineau QC K1A 0G3, Canada’. 

Bank

  • This will depend on your bank, but make an appointment at the branch you originally registered with, and bring proof of your name change. 
  • This may need to be done separate for bank accounts and credit cards, both need to be updated. 

Utilities 

  • Phone 
  • Internet 
  • Power 
  • Water
  • Insurance (Car, home, renters)

CRA 

  • You can call them at 1-800-959-8281 
  • They require your Social Insurance Number, full name and date of birth, your complete address and your personal account open or an assessed return, notice of assessment, reassessment, or other tax document. 
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm

 
Workplace 

  • This is important for any pension plans or health benefits you may receive from them.
  • You'll want to contact your workplace's HR department. 

Review any autopay accounts 

  • Such as Netflix or Amazon prime, if they try to charge your credit card under the wrong name the payment won't go through. 

 
** If you know of a resource I should add here please let me know at [email protected] : )
 

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