Married and Maiden Names - Customs Relating To Maiden Names in Marriages - Canada - Québec

Québec

In Québec, however, the custom until 1981 was similar to that in France. Women would traditionally go by their husbands' surname in daily life, but their maiden name remained their legal name. Since the passage of a 1981 provincial law, intended to promote gender equality as outlined in the Quebec Charter of Rights, no change may be made to a person's name without the authorization of the registrar of civil status or the authorization of the court. Newlyweds who wish to change their names upon marriage must therefore go through the same procedure as those changing their names for other reasons. The registrar of civil status may authorize a name change if: 1) the name the person generally uses does not correspond to the name on their birth certificate, 2) where the name is of foreign origin or too difficult to pronounce or write in its original form, or 3) where the name invites ridicule or has become infamous. This law does not allow a woman to immediately legally change her name upon marriage, as marriage is not listed among the reasons for a name change. However, she can use her husband's name socially and may eventually apply to change it under the "general use" clause.

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