Personal information

As of October 20, 2014, there will be new requirements for what you can show as proof of identity, and what to provide when assuming a new surname or when legally changing your name. Find out how these requirements affect your adult passport application.

Name in passport

The name that appears in the passport is guided by the following:

  • For a passport issued using the general passport application:
    • the name is normally the same as that appearing on the proof of Canadian citizenship (certificate of birth in Canada or certificate of Canadian citizenship).
    • you may request that not all your given names or surnames be used in your passport, as long as your supporting identity document contains the name you would like to appear. For example, you may drop one or more of your given names to read: "Monique Gauthier" or "Nicole Gauthier" instead of "Monique Nicole Mary Gauthier"; or you may drop one of your surnames to read: "Robert Smith" or "Robert Price" instead of "Robert Smith-Price".
  • For a passport issued using the simplified renewal application:
    • the name is the same as that appearing in the previous passport.

Name changes

All documentation, including your passport, should be issued under the same name. If you have changed your name on other identification documents, your passport must be in this same name.

For any name change, you must apply for a new passport:


  • For a married surname change, you may be asked to provide your marriage certificate (original or copy).
  • For a common-law name change, include a signed letter stating that you are in a common-law relationship and that the co-habitation has been ongoing for more than one year.
  • For any other legal name change, include one of the following:
    • a legal change of name document;
    • an adoption order; or
    • a birth certificate or citizenship certificate issued in the new name.

Place of birth

Your place of birth must be provided on the application form.

You may request that your place of birth does not appear in the passport. However, if you chose to do so, note that:

  • Place of birth is mandatory for entry to some countries. You should contact the consulate or embassy of every country you plan to visit to ensure that you will be allowed entry if your passport does not indicate your place of birth.
  • You may have difficulty obtaining a visa.
  • You may experience delays at border crossings.

It is your responsibility to verify requirements before travelling.

If you do not want your place of birth to appear in the passport, you must complete and submit with your application a "Request for a Canadian passport without place of birth" (PPTC 077, PDF, 350 KB).


Your signature must not exceed the inner limits of the signature box on page 1 (Declaration of Applicant) and must appear on all three pages.

Caution to travellers about changing your name on a passport

Be careful if you’re applying for a passport to use after you are married, perhaps for your honeymoon, showing your married name. It is important that the name on your passport match the name in which you have booked all of your travel. If the name on the passport doesn't match the bookings:

  • some countries may not let you in; and
  • some travel companies may not let you board.

This may be the case even if you carry your marriage or civil partnership certificate with you. Always check with the consulate of the country you plan to visit or your travel agent.

Language of documents

All documents submitted as part of a travel document application in a language other than English or French must be translated by a certified translator. More information.