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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101375
Experience:  Lawyer
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My legal given names (first and middle) and surname as documented

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My legal given names (first and middle) and surname as documented on my Quebec Birth Certificate are: i.e. Jane Sue Doe. Since my best friend's name since age 3 was also Jane, I, and everyone els always identified me on a daily basis as Sue Jane Doe. So when I moved to (and still reside in) Ontario at age 18, I applied for my driver's license as Sue Jane Doe. The Ministry of Transportation readily switched the sequence, and because my driver's license was used as my identity document for all subsequent applications (i.e. passport, credit cards, bank accounts, tax returns etc.) I am known by everyone and identified on every document other than my SIN and OHIP card as Sue Jane Doe. Do you foresee a problem down the road i.e. upon death, that the order of my first and middle name is XXXXX XXXXX my death certificate than it is on the assets to be distributed i.e.home title, RRSPs etc.?
Thank you for your question.

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No I don't see a difficulty.

There will be enough documentation to show that you used both names.

Perhaps in your Will it should say Jane Sue Doe also known as Sue Jane Doe?

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Debra - that's what I thought and hoped was okay, and in fact exactly what I did in my will. My passport and driver's license are coming up for renewal shortly. I'd really like to leave them as is but if I unknowingly did something illegal by changing the order of my legal given names, I'll go through the process of switching them back. So I guess my question is really "Is it legally acceptable to identify yourself on government documents with the order of your legal given names switched"?

I am surprised you were able to get your passport with the names in a different order than what is on your birth certificate.

But at this stage it's likely best to renew each document in the names they are in now.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I guess they did it because I used my driver's license to establish identity for my passport. While I am pleased that you concur with my plan to renew in the current name order, what I'm looking for is an answer to the question I asked above: Is it legally acceptable to identify yourself on government documents with the order of your legal given names switched"?

It is really only illegal to use a different name to defeat creditors or to impersonate someone else.

It's not illegal when you are simply using the name you are known by for legal documents so long as there is no fraud going on and so long as you are not holding yourself out as someone else.

If you were using a different name to avoid paying taxes or a credit card etc that would be illegal.

You can legally change your name if you like.

If you want to know how to do that then just let me know.
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