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New Passport Rules for Travelling After Divorce

Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, it is important to have your passport in order before you hit the road or the open sky. If your travel plans include trips south of the border or overseas, and your surname does not match your birth name, it’s important to familiarize yourself with current passport requirements.

Because the new passport rules have only been in effect since October 20, 2014, some people may not realize Passport Canada has new requirements for renewing passports.

New Rules for Passports

In the past, passport rules allowed individuals to obtain a new passport using an existing form of identification, even if the name on the existing I.D. did not match a person’s proof of citizenship.

Now, if you need a new passport due to a change in your last name, or you are applying for a passport for the first time, you must submit at least one additional identification document along with your passport application. These supporting documents include:

  • Marriage certificates
  • Common law relationship certificate
  • A court order, such as a separation agreement
  • Certificate to dissolve a common law relationship
  • Resumption of surname certificate

A supporting document must contain the person’s name, date of birth, gender, signature, and a photo. The rules allow an applicant to submit more than one identifying document in cases where a single document does not contain all the required information.

The new rules apply to anyone whose last name is different from the name appearing on their birth certificate or whose name has changed over time – something that can happen after a marriage, divorce, or remarriage.

Although the rule changes may seem relatively straightforward, they can seriously disrupt travel arrangements for the unprepared. According to a Global News report, one woman in Calgary had to scramble to locate supporting documents because she had been married and divorced, resulting in a change in her surname. In the end, she incurred $120 in additional costs to obtain the identifying documents she needed.

Butkowsky Immigration Law

With more than two decades of experience focused exclusively on immigration and refugee law, Larry Butkowsky has earned the respect of the Toronto legal community and the gratitude of many satisfied clients. He is committed to protecting his clients’ rights and making sure that they achieve their Canadian immigration dreams. Call (416) 979-2127 to discuss your immigration matters.

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