On Friday, I submitted my application for a legal change of name. First, I downloaded the application document from BC Vital Statistics. I filled out the application then composed a letter to explain my previous name change (I changed my last name in 1995). The letter was suggested by a clerk at BC Vital Statistics who felt it might help clear up any confusion about my current identity documents: my Quebec birth certificate bears my original birth name, and is accompanied by a Change of Name document from the government of Ontario which shows my current legal name.
I brought my completed package to my local BC Access Centre and paid $17 for the application to be signed. Then I was given a fingerprint package to take to the local RCMP (police) detachment where I would be be fingerprinted. Next, I went to my bank and obtained a certified cheque for $162, the change of name fee. I took that with my completed application forms to the RCMP station. I explained to the clerk about the extra letter I was providing to clarify that my Quebec birth certificate still carried my original birth name despite a legal change of name. She went on to say that she felt that’s really “how it should be done, a birth certificate shouldn’t carry a changed name.” I pointed to the field on the application form that listed the reason for my new change of name as “transsexual” and told her I sincerely hoped that Quebec would be issuing me a new birth certificate with my new chosen name. She looked the form, then up at me, then back and the form and said, “wow… WOW! OK. Yes, that would be good for you.”
I paid the $25 fingerprinting fee and sat in the waiting room for my turn. Then I was summoned for my fingerprinting with a booming, “Mr. [Last Name]!”
The fingerprints and completed change of name application were submitted through the RCMP. It’s unclear how long it will be until I obtain my change of name certificate. When I get it, I will apply to Quebec for a reissued birth certificate—bearing my new chosen male name. Hopefully, they will comply without hassle (I’ve been told that they will, but BC Vital Statistics had very little information to support that.)
For now, I am without any primary identity documents, as my birth certificate was surrendered with the application. (Though I do have a driver’s license and passport.) I have therefore asked my doctor to provide me with a carry letter that will help support my identity if I am detained, hospitalized or otherwise in a situation where ID is required. I provided her with the template from p. 73 of Dr. Nick Gorton’s Medical Therapy & Health Maintenance for Transgender Men guide.