Proposed Amendments to the Vital Statistics Act and Change of Name Act

Public Service Announcement

Yellowknife — September 1, 2022

The Government of the Northwest Territories wants to hear from residents on proposed changes to the Vital Statistics Act and Change of Name Act.

The proposed changes are intended to ensure services remain consistent with the Human Rights Act and make them more inclusive.

The proposed changes to the Vital Statistics Act include:

  • give residents the option to remove the gender field on their birth certificate;
  • prevent companies from overcharging NWT residents by making it a requirement that a person, acting on behalf of someone requesting a certificate, must have known that person for at least one year; 
  • add a new change of gender certificate for NWT residents born outside the NWT;
  • add nurse practitioner as someone who may “certify a death” in the Medical Certificate of Death document;
  • provide evidence of births taking place outside of a hospital/health centre without medical assistance, to prevent fraud;
  • correct legal authority with respect to applications from mature minors who wish to change the gender indicated on documents; and
  • allow the Vital Statistics Registrar General to register up to four parents on a birth registration statement and birth certificate. This aligns with what several provinces and territories are doing to cover various scenarios of multiple parents (i.e., egg donor, sperm donor, surrogate, two intended parents, etc.).

The proposed changes to the Change of Name Act include:

  • require fingerprinting and a criminal record check for people aged 12 and older;
  • prohibit sex offenders, on the national Sex Offender Registry, from changing their names;
  • allow people to go back to their birth name at any time, not just after divorce or the death of a spouse; and
  • add situations where consent is not required.

For further details on these proposed changes, please see:

Please send feedback to by October 3, 2022.


For media requests, please contact:

Jeremy Bird

Manager, Communications

Health and Social Services

Government of the Northwest Territories 

(867) 767-9052 ext. 49034