Department of Health and Social Services Waives Change of Name and related NWT Vital Statistics Fees

Yellowknife — October 1, 2018
News Releases

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services, has approved a process to waive the Northwest Territories (NWT) change of name fee for Residential School Survivors and their families who wish to reclaim their name. The recommendation is to waive fees for a period of five years.

The Minister is extending this process to all Indigenous residents who wish to correct the names on their NWT birth certificates that were affected by historical errors.

Individuals must be residents of the Northwest Territories to be eligible to apply for a change of name and request a waiver of the change of name fee. Residents who were born in the NWT may also request that the fee be waived for certificates issued under the Vital Statistics Act that shows the name they applied for.

Indigenous individuals who were born in the NWT but who reside elsewhere in Canada must apply for the change of name in the province or territory where they now live. Once the change of name has been registered, they can apply for a new NWT birth certificate and request a waiver of that fee.

It is important to note that the Registrar General of Vital Statistics cannot waive fees for changes of name that are made outside of the NWT or fees for certificates if the individual was not born in the NWT.

Depending on the volume of applications, the change of name will be processed within 3-4 weeks of the original Application to Waive Fees form and completed Change of Name Package being received by the Health Services Administration Office in Inuvik.


“The GNWT is committed to supporting the revitalization of traditional practices and culture. The name-change process for waiving administrative costs for Residential School Survivors and their families to reclaim their names changed by the residential school system helps advance this commitment.”

-Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick Facts

  • The current cost to change a name in the Northwest Territories is $134.
  • The current cost of an NWT birth or marriage certificate is $22
  • Approximately 64 Change of Name Applications are processed by Health Service Administration (Department of Health and Social Services) in Inuvik each year.

Related Links

Media Contact

Damien Healy
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9052 ext. 49034