February 18, 2020

Criminal Record Checks Required For Name Change

Saskatchewan will now require a criminal record check for someone requesting a name change, and is the first province that may reject a request for a name change because of certain criminal offences.

Amendments have been made to the regulations for The Change of Name Act, 1995, that introduce criminal record checks as part of the change of name application process for anyone 18 years of age and older.

“These changes are about helping to protect the most vulnerable in our society,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.  “We don’t believe sexual offenders should be able to change their name to avoid public disclosure and scrutiny.”

More than 20 different offences would prohibit the person from getting a name change.

Most of the offences are offences against children.  However, some of these offences, such as sexual assault and incest, can be committed against children and adults.

The offences are the ones that require registration in the National Sex Offender Registry.  The designated offences are set out in subsection 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code.  The change of name requirements are posted on eHealth Saskatchewan’s website.

If there is no criminal record showing on the criminal record check, the change of name may be processed.

If any of the criminal record checks show a criminal record or is inconclusive, then that person will need to be fingerprinted and provide the Registrar of Vital Statistics with a further criminal record check that shows the offences.