99 Comments

Those who wish to complete a North Carolina name change have a number of options to choose from. It's also worth noting that there are procedures to be followed and legal expectations to be met for the procedure to be considered legally abiding. Here are a number of scenarios anyone in North Carolina needs to know relating to a change of name.

Marriage Name Change Options

Traditionally, it's married women who have always been taking their husband's surname after the conclusion of marriage. The state of North Carolina has a straightforward and simple name change process for anyone who wants to adopt the last name of their husband. What you need is to first obtain a marriage license's certified copy from your county's office of Registrar of Deeds about ten days after going down the aisle. The process comes at a fee and can be completed in person or by mail.

There are a number of name change options after marriage you can always choose from.

Hyphenate

You can add the name of your of husband into your own in any order you choose, but use a hyphen to separate the names.

Space

You can also use a space to separate your middle name with that of your newly married husband perhaps to maintain a middle name that is known at the same time taking your husband's.

Distinct combinations

You can also adopt the surname of your husband on every record or ID you have after marriage if you so want. The state also allows you to take the surname of your husband on your records and ID while at the same time continuing with the use of the maiden name in your social life or work.

Change nothing

You can also decide to enter into marriage without changing your name and leaving the name to remain as it has always been.

Divorce Name Change

At the time of divorce, North Carolina law gives one a chance to adopt a new name; the name change petition has to be filed at the time you are answering your spouse's complaint or filing your own divorce complaint. With the complaint you can request the court change the name to a prior surname or maiden name. As such, the court will be able to issue an order during the divorce process allowing you to change your name. If you change your name within the context of divorce there are no charges.

If you decide after the conclusion of divorce you need a new name you will only need to present the divorce judgment to the court clerk; for a nominal fee you can simply take up one of the name change options specified, such as a prior name of a husband who is the father of your children, a deceased husband's name or the maiden name.

In case you didn't change your surname during the divorce proceedings you still have a chance of returning to your maiden name. The Clerk's Office has a form you can use to revert to a maiden name. This requires the payment of a little fee and varies from one North Carolina County to another. Nonetheless, a divorce judgment copy will be required to change the surname through this process.

To revert to a deceased husband's name after divorce, you need his death certificate's certified copy obtainable from the vital records' state or local office. Fill the form required for this process, pay the fee and file all the documents with the Clerk's Office.

General Adult Name Change

North Carolina requires that you file a petition to effect a name change with a court within the state. While the process is straightforward, there are a number of documents needed. Firstly, you need to have a copy of documents that indicate you are a resident of the state, such as a driver's license of North Carolina, registered voter's card or a non driver's identification.

You also need to get notarized good character affidavits from your county of residence of at least two residents. The good character required is not specified in the state's law but you can always ask from the Superior Court's clerk the required content. You can then submit a written notice of your name change intentions to the Superior Court office within your resident county; the notice has to indicate your current name, new name desired, address and intention of filing the petition. The notice is important since it gives anyone who might be objecting your change of name to contact the Superior Court clerk.

After posting the notice of intent, wait for at least ten days and file the change of name petition with the clerk of the Superior Court. The filing fees are also not uniform across all the counties. After the approval of the petition by the clerk, you will receive a certificate that remains a proof of legal change of name.

You can use name change certificate certified copies to change all the documents important in your professional, business and social life, from Social Security Card, Passport, driver's license, to club membership, if the need be. Remember, your Social Security Number does not change.

Child Name Changes

Before you change the name of a minor in North Carolina you need to keep a number of things in mind. Firstly, the name change reasons need to be very clear, such as stepchild inclusion into your family or adoption. A guardian or parent will indicate the reason for the name change while submitting the petition with the other guardian or parent required to give consent for the process to continue. If both parents are still alive and appear on the birth certificate, they have no choice but consent on the minor's name change. The guardians or parents are then notified about the name change petition giving each parent a chance to come forward in case of an objection.

In case only one of the parents has the legal custody of a minor of about 16 years of age, the minor can apply a change of name through the parent who is the legal custodian; the clerk has to be convinced that the parent who does not have custodial rights has abandoned the child. In case the parent without custodial rights denies abandoning the child the case will have to be determined and transferred as required for that purpose. If child abandonment is ascertained the non-custodial parent's consent is not needed.

If during the name change process a controversy arises relating to the name change, a hearing of the issue before a judge in the state might occur. The judge will then decide on the issue and what the best interest of the minor is. Do not forget that minor name change is not similar to legal adoption nor does it remove the responsibilities of every parent. This means a child living with an ex-wife whose name has been changed to the stepfather's, the obligations and responsibilities of a biological parent still stand.

Remember if you are the mother and the one seeking a minor name change the verification Petitioning Mother Name Change form needs to be filed while a father seeking the same has to file the verification Petitioning Father Name Change form. The noncustodial parent has to sign the Consent to Name Change. If the child is 16 years of age or above you will also need two people who are not related to the child filing two Good Character Affidavits in your county of residency. Some counties also request that an Order for Minor Name Change be completed.

The Clerk's Office should then get you the Order for Minor Name Change, dully signed. The Order's copy should be sent to you via mail. Together with photo identification, birth certificate and the Order you can then change the name of the child to the different offices that need to be notified about the change, such as the Social Security Administration.

Change of Name on Birth Certificate

The North Carolina Vital Records can help to change the name on either a death or birth certificate but do not handle changes on divorce or marriage certificates. In case of a court ordered name change, the process with N.C. Vital Records is clear. The birth certificate, amended with the name change as ordered by the court, will be processed for persons born within the state of North Carolina. The birth certificate form of application need to be completed with the information required to find the original birth certificate.

It's required by the court that a certified copy of the name change be provided after changing your name, together with the request to effect the change on the birth certificate. To process the change of name a $15 fee has to be paid, including another $24 for the requested certificate's first copy and another $15 for every extra copy you want for the altered certificate. Faster services can always be requested for an extra fee.

Cover Social Security, DMV, Passport, IRS

Whether you have changed your name through a court-ordered process for an adult, marriage or divorce, it's important that you have the change reflected on various government documents such as a Social Security Card and driver's license. Remember, the marriage certificate can only be ordered after marriage and a return of the marriage license to the Register of Deeds.

You can start by updating the Social Security documents before you approach the North Carolina Department of Transport for change of name on your non-driver ID or driver's license.

Name change with the Social Security Administration can be done via mail or in person but never online. You will need to complete an application for a Social Security Card, usually through the SS-5 form, legal documents for name change such as a court order, divorce decree or marriage certificate and a proof of identity like passport, driver's license and identification card, including U.S. citizenship proof such as naturalization certificate, citizenship certificate or birth certificate. Remember each of the documents has to be either a certified copy or original. Before you can report to the North Carolina DMV for a driver's license, wait between 24 and 36 hours after the Social Security Administration has changed your name.

After legally effecting a name change successfully you have to report to the local DMV in North Carolina in less than 60 days to have the ID card or North Carolina driver's license updated. You have to change the driver's license in North Carolina in person by visiting the local office; you cannot do it by mail or online. Visit the DMV North Carolina office with the ID card or driver's license you are using currently, legal documents showing the name change such as divorce decree, court order or marriage certificate, including a money order, check or cash of the $10 fee required. Those with vehicles should also change their vehicle records in the state after changing the name on the driver's license first.

Don't forget to send the name change order to the Bureau of Records or Vital Statistics in North Carolina to get a new birth certificate or have it amended.

Name Change with Non-Governmental Institutions

It's also important to also change your name with other non-government institutions once you are through with the government agencies, such as Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles and IRS.

You can go ahead and contact all other non-governmental and governmental agencies you believe need to know about your change of name, from your employer, insurance companies, credit card companies, Registrar of Voters, financial institutions, such as banks, welfare, professional documents, academic institutions, contracts, trusts, powers of attorney, lawyers and doctors, will and professional associations, among others.

Most of these institutions will require documentation effecting the change while others won't; a phone call or written request will probably be enough.

Recognized documents of the name change event

  • Certified copy of marriage certificate for marriage name change.
  • Certified copy of divorce decree for divorce name change.
  • Court order for general adult name change.
  • State or government identification.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship.

99 Comments

  1. Mona Aguirre

    Are yiu legally ur husbands last name if you didnt take his kast name or how is noted?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mona. Name change isn't automatic. Your husband's surname doesn't become yours just because you marry.

      Reply
  2. Larissa Campbell

    Hi. I have a question concerning about one of the options for name change. Listed under "Space", it states that this option allows the wife to keep her middle name while taking on her husband's last name.

    Could I use the "Space" name change option, if INSTEAD I keep my maiden last name (NOT my middle name) and add my husband's last name???

    At first, I thought about hyphenating to combine the two last names, but I heard that computers will mess your name up in the system…

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Larissa. I don't believe you can apply a space separator to your surname.

      Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Larissa. Yes, North Carolina does allow you to replace your middle name with your maiden name. Is that what you're referring to or are you referencing that as well as a space-separated surname?

          Reply
          1. Larissa Campbell

            Sorry for the confusion at the very beginning. Since I've done more research, I was referring to the option of replacing my middle name with my maiden name.

  3. Desiree K

    So can I keep my current middle name, drop my maiden name and take on my husbands last name as my own?

    Reply
  4. Delilah

    When I first married my husband I decided to keep my maiden name instead of taking his. We've been married for 11 year's now and I'm finally ready to change it. We lived in Florida when we were married but have since moved to North Carolina. Can I still change my last name through the DMV even though it's been so long? Thanks so much for any help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I still change my last name through the DMV even though it's been so long?

      Yes, you can still change your name. There isn't a time limit.

      Reply
    2. Hox

      Hi! I'm in a similar situation– married out of state; now living in NC; did not take my husband's last name when married, but want to change it now.
      I contacted my county superior court office regarding a legal name change, but was told the process would entail changing my *given* name ("the name on your birth certificate", as explained by the clerk), not just my *legal* name.

      I am not interested in amending my birth certificate, just want to take my husband's last name now. Is that possible in NC? Could I not just petition to have my name changed and not file the change with my birth state's Vital Records department?

      I have researched a lot, but can't find any clear answers. If it matters, I was not born in NC. Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Valera

        Hi Hox. If you're taking your husband's last name, you don't have to go to court. Just obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate and use that to change your name with the various government entities.

        Reply
        1. Natalia Ragulina

          Hi, I am in a similar situation. So if I obtain a copy of my marriage certificate there would be my maiden name, because I didn't change it when we got married with my husband. So what's the purpose of obtaining the copy of marriage license with my maiden name on it?

          Reply
          1. Valera

            Hi Natalia. NC marriage license applications don't provide a spot for you to specify a new name after marriage, so the subsequent marriage certificate would simply show whatever your current name was at the time. In this case, it would be your maiden name.

            The purpose of obtaining a certified copy of your marriage certificate is to change your name, if you so choose. The fact that it doesn't specify a new last name to change to does not mean you'll have to obtain a court order to effect a change. The certificate as-is is sufficient.

  5. Rashni

    HI , thanks for your nice and simple explanations. I do not have any middle name, just first and last. Can I use space and add my husband's last name at the end?

    Reply
  6. Andrea

    When my ex and I (he is Australian I am American) decided to divorce we were both living separately; myself being in the states and he in his native homeland of NSW. As a divorce is quite costly here he told me since it was free there he would file for it, and a few months later I received the divorce decree from the local court there. But when I took the decree to Social Security the girl behind the desk said she couldn't accept it because it was on the 'wrong type of paper' I had no idea what she meant so contacted the court that filed the decree in NSW and they said their environmental laws had changed and they no longer used the heavy thick paper which is what I guess is used here in the US? My father recently passed and this has really made me want to try and restore my name again. I called Social Security and they said that they had never heard of this reasoning. I just want my maiden name back that's all.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Andrea. You can try to get a document in writing from the NSW court that details what they told you, then present it as proof to the SSA. Also, make sure the decree they gave you is actually certified and not a photocopy or abstract copy.

      Reply
      1. Romana Peterson

        She said that the SSA had not heard of this reasoning. I would ask for a Supervisor

        Reply
  7. Bud

    Hi Valera! Very nice article! Really appreciate it.

    I am originally from Eastern Europe where men's last names end with "ov", while women's last names end with "ova".

    I am gonna marry my wife soon in NC, will the court allow us to add extra "a" to her last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Bud. If you're going to petition the court for a name change, then yes they would allow it.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Can a husband take a wife's last name as his own in NC?

      No, he'd have to get a court-petitioned name change.

      Reply
  8. Tiffany Cannady

    Hi
    I live in North Carolina and wanted to know if when I went change my last name to my husbands last name, am I able to change the spelling of my first name from Tiffany to Tiffanie or is that another process?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tiffany. No, first name changes are not possible when you change your last name. You'll have to obtain a court order to modify your first name.

      Reply
  9. Jody

    After marriage when changing stuff at social security office can you drop first name since it’s never used and use the middle and last name along with the husbands last name?

    Reply
  10. Meredith

    In NC, when I change my last name to my husband's last name, can I make my middle name my maiden name and drop my original middle name given at birth all together?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I make my middle name my maiden name and drop my original middle name given at birth all together?

      Yes, you can drop your middle name and insert your maiden name in its place.

      Reply
  11. Dani

    In NC, Do I have to petition the court for a name change if I am taking my husbands last name due to marriage? Or can I just use the marriage certificate and present this to the SSA office?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Dani. You don't have to petition the court. Just use your marriage certificate to change your name.

      Reply
  12. Debbie J Eddin

    How do I legally change my name as an adult that I have used my lifetime and just found out that it's different on my birth certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How do I legally change my name as an adult

      Submit a name change petition with the clerk of the superior court in your county of residence.

      Reply
  13. Sarah Caitlin Fletcher

    Hi, so I am about to get married in a few months. I have always went by my middle name. I plan on taking my husband's last name. What are my options? I really do not want to drop my maiden name.

    Thanks

    Reply
  14. LRP

    Living in Nc and and getting married soon. Want to change my sons last name to be the same as my married name. My sons dad and I, whom i am not marrying, have custodial and non custodial custody in which he lives with me. Am i able to change my sons name if we dont speak much?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi LRP. Your son's father can still object to the name change, which would have to be worked out through the court.

      Reply
  15. Kat

    Thank you for the information. I am preparing to file pro se divorce in NC, and have children from both my first marriage (husband deceased) and second marriage. My preference is to have both married surnames, hyphenated or not, rather than returning to maiden or prior married surnames. Is this an option under the divorce name change, or would this require a separate petition?

    Reply
  16. Chandra Stonewall

    I have a Application/Notice of Resumption of Former Name that has been signed and sealed by the Clerk of Superior Court here in Wake County, NC. Is this document sufficient for Social Security name change purposes? I hired an attorney to file this for me after my divorce was final because it wasn't done during the divorce proceedings.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Chandra. That's just the application. The clerk will need to provide you a certified copy of certificate of legal name change.

      Reply
  17. Tara

    Is there a time limit to changing last name after marriage? I was married in 2017 but intend on keeping my maiden name until finishing school and my husband can adopt my daughter. Can I change my last name from marriage 4 years after the marriage happened?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a time limit to changing last name after marriage?

      No.

      Can I change my last name from marriage 4 years after the marriage happened?

      Yes.

      Reply
  18. Megan

    I was married in Colorado, and we now live in NC. We have been married 6 years, and I'm ready to change to my husband's last name. Do I need any other documentation besides our marriage certificate to change my last name since we were married in another state? Also, can I change my middle name at the same time, or do I need to go through the court for that? I don't necessarily want to change my middle name to my maiden name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need any other documentation besides our marriage certificate to change my last name since we were married in another state?

      No, you don't need another document. Your Colorado marriage certificate will suffice.

      Also, can I change my middle name at the same time, or do I need to go through the court for that? I don't necessarily want to change my middle name to my maiden name.

      If you want to replace your middle name with anything other than your maiden name, you'll have to get a court order.

      Reply
  19. Bernie

    Greetings,
    I was curious what I have to do to drop the hyphenated name (My spouse last name) off my driver license. My driver license is the only piece of ID that has the hyphenated name on it. My social security card has the same day minus the hyphenated name.

    Reply
  20. LC

    I've been doing some research and asking some of my friends that have hyphenated names. One of my friends told me that she never got a new social security card after she got married/hyphenated her name. Also, she said that she just chose whichever name she wanted to use, when it came to her job and credit cards, etc…

    Question: Do people still use their middle name for identification purposes, even if they list their first name and hyphenated name?

    If I were to take a state or national test, I'm thinking the hyphenated name option might be an issue in the state of NC. I came across this video not long ago and I might just reconsider a different option.. This happened recently on September of 2017 in Selma, NC.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1FGHE9CmuI&sns=em

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Also, she said that she just chose whichever name she wanted to use, when it came to her job and credit cards, etc…

      Informal usage. Not the same as a legal name change.

      Question: Do people still use their middle name for identification purposes, even if they list their first name and hyphenated name?

      Only if it's asked for.

      If I were to take a state or national test, I'm thinking the hyphenated name option might be an issue in the state of NC. I came across this video not long ago and I might just reconsider a different option.

      That's a non-government organization which has their own internal rules. For all we know it could be something as simple as a flaky data entry system unable to accept certain characters.

      Reply
  21. Julie

    Can I change my middle name to my father's first name when I am changing my last name after marriage?

    Reply
  22. T. Noelle

    Hello,

    I just want to clarify because I’ve confused myself.

    I was married in 2013 and am now ready to change my last name to my husband’s.

    Am I correct that for Cumberland County all I will need is a copy of my marriage certificate? And that there is no time limit?

    I know I will have to send things to the SSA, would a certified copy of my birth certificate work?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Am I correct that for Cumberland County all I will need is a copy of my marriage certificate?

      Correct.

      And that there is no time limit?

      No, there's no time limit.

      I know I will have to send things to the SSA, would a certified copy of my birth certificate work?

      Birth certificate would be used if you needed to verify your age, such as correcting your date of birth on record.

      For name changes, the birth certificate isn't used, as it's not a proper identity document.

      If your marriage certificate doesn't sufficiently confirm your identity, you must supply another a supporting identity document, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID card, passport, military ID, employee ID, school ID, or medicare/health insurance card.

      Reply
  23. Sharita Harris

    Hi im Sharita. I want to know how can i drop my legal first name, to only carry my middle last and new last name. So it would read Renee Harris-Hawkins?

    Reply
  24. Alexandra

    Good morning, I got married last year in Lillington, NC, but they did not ask us if I wanted to keep my husband's last name so I kept mine, I am from another country and we are waiting for my SSN, is there any way that I can change it now?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I got married last year in Lillington, NC, but they did not ask us if I wanted to keep my husband's last name so I kept mine

      NC marriage license applications don't provide a space to specify a new name, which is why you weren't asked about it.

      I am from another country and we are waiting for my SSN, is there any way that I can change it now?

      You'd change your name using your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  25. Sara baker

    I was married in 2014 and yes the clerk does ask you to sign the marriage certificate with your now given as in after they stamp the paper name as I double checked and then signed with my husband's last name. I am aware there is no time limit for the ssa change and due to no driver's license there is small concern for me to change at the DMV. My marriage is completely legalized and my name has been legalized at the clerk of courts office.

    Reply
  26. Emy

    So I want to change my first, middle, and last name when I get married. Would it be best if I changed my first and middle name before I get married so I don’t need to obtain a new marriage license? Or can I change the whole thing on the marriage license and then fix all my other documents?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Emy. You'll have to petition the court to change your first name. The rest you can change using your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  27. Danielle

    I am applying for new federal license and if not that a passport. I was denied by the DMV wanted court ordered proof of official name change for my middle name. I spoke to SS Office and they showed me a law that states only first and names constitue the legality of a name, not middle. I'm looking to get my middle name legal because dmv says it isn't (even though I received a NC license years ago from them reflecting my new name) and SS says differently. Is this due to state and federal laws being different? Do I go to court and make name change for middle name only even though everything reflects new name? Do I have SS change my middle name back to original name before court process?

    Four years ago I married in NC and I changed my last name to my husbands and I also changed my middle name to something different than what I was given at birth. Social security office made this change and I chose to show middle name in whole name on card and thus changed my NC license to reflect and all other institutions from banks, irs, credit cards,etc.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Danielle. The SSA changing your middle name to something other than your birth name or a selection allowed by the state is unusual. The SSA is federal, while the DMV is state, so you'll likely have to obtain a court order to get the latter to budge.

      Reply
  28. Patrick

    Me and the mother of my son want to change his last name to my last name… i work/live in texas she lives in NC. How long would the process take if i needed to be present for any appearances in court? And whatvare the steps we should take in doing this?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Patrick. You'll have to contact the superior court clerk responsible for your NC county regarding expected wait times.

      Reply
  29. Dani

    I was married in Onslow County, NC, in 1993 & divorced in Onslow County, NC in 2007. I kept my married name because of our two children. In 2011, I legally married my current husband in the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico (following the Puerto Rican traditional custom where the wife retains her maiden name on the official marriage certificate until her husband deceases). I never changed any of my other legal documents (driver's license, social security, etc.) from my previous married name to my maiden name after getting married in Puerto Rico. Now that my youngest son from my previous marriage is graduating high school, I'd like to officially change my last name to my current husband's last name (still living, not deceased). I have lived in Wake County for the past 3 1/2 years.
    How do I accomplish this? Where do I begin? What do I need to do? What documents do I need to provide?
    What documents do I need to complete/submit?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Dana. The process is the same as if you were married in any U.S. state: take a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change your name with the necessary agencies.

      Reply
  30. Taylor

    I got married in SC and signed my marriage certificate with my maiden name, will this be a problem when I change my last name to my husbands in NC?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      will this be a problem when I change my last name to my husbands in NC?

      No, it won't pose a problem.

      Reply
  31. Camille

    I have always gone by my middle name and was wanting to drop my first name, make my middle name my new first name, my maiden name as my new middle name, and my husbands last name as my new last name. When I went to social security today to get this done they said I needed a court order to change my first name. Would I be going through the 'Adult Name Change' process?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      When I went to social security today to get this done they said I needed a court order to change my first name. Would I be going through the 'Adult Name Change' process?

      Yes, you'll have to go through the adult name change procedure.

      Reply
    2. Allie Henry

      I have the same situation, my mom was able to "drop" her legal first name about 38 years ago after her first marriage, but laws have changed to prevent those attempting to evade a crime. My question is, If you complete the legal name change process post marriage, will the birth certificate then reflect the married name, or the maiden, sans first name?

      Reply
      1. Valera

        will the birth certificate then reflect the married name, or the maiden, sans first name?

        North Carolina birth certificates cannot be amended due to reflect a new married name. It can only be modified through a court-ordered name change. It's also not automatic. You have to request the change with NC's vital records office, otherwise the certificate will not change.

        Reply
  32. Brent

    Is it possible for the man to take the wifes last name? After I turned 18, I was forced to change my last name to couples last name whom I was living with at the time. When I was able to get away from that situation, I tried to change my name back to my original name. They told me I could only change my name one time after turning 18. I am getting married in the next year or so and do not want my family to have my current last name. I was wondering that if she changed her name to my original name, if I could take her last name when we get married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brent. You'd have to petition the court. Furthermore, you're not relegated to a "one time" name change. You can undergo multiple name changes, if you so choose.

      Reply
  33. Lina

    Hello, I recently got married but have not taken my marriage certificate to the Social Security office yet because I also want to get a court order to change my middle name.

    On my court order request, do I request to change my middle AND last name (to my married name) or should I just change my middle name and then use that court order, along with my marriage certificate, to change my middle and last name simultaneously at the SS office?

    I am concerned that my middle name changing, but appearing as the original middle name on my marriage certificate since that has already been filed, might pose a problem? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      On my court order request, do I request to change my middle AND last name (to my married name)

      Yes, that makes sense. If you're going to court to undergo a name change, you might as well kill two birds with one stone and have the court order reference both your middle and last name change.

      Reply
  34. Heloisa

    Hi! I just got married and on the marriage license it had no option for “ name after marriage “ or something like that. I got married last Friday so and walking outside the court I just realized that I never wrote anywhere about my new name so I got confused. Now I’m waiting to get the marriage certificate. Do you know if I can go and ask for them to change so whenever the certificate is ready it already comes with the new name or will I have to wait for it to be ready and then go and applay to change it?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Heloisa. You didn't miss anything. North Carolina marriage license applications don't provide fields to specify a new name after marriage. This isn't a hindrance. You can still change your name through marriage using a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  35. Reba Wellman

    Getting married soon and wanted to keep my name. Do I have to change it at the SS office or do nothing? Can I use my husband's name, but not change it legally in NC?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Getting married soon and wanted to keep my name. Do I have to change it at the SS office or do nothing?

      You can do nothing and your name will not change. That's a perfectly valid choice.

      Can I use my husband's name, but not change it legally in NC?

      You can opt to use your husband's name informally in social settings if you're not changing it for real. Just make sure you're using your proper legal name in legal contexts.

      Reply
  36. Christina Burgess

    I'm looking for some guidance and my account and case has already been closed by my family attorney. I have two questions I'm looking to solve:

    1- I've had my ex-husband's parental rights for my children terminated in NC based on abandonment. I have the orders for termination documented and signed by the judge. Do I still need him to sign a waiver allowing their name change because he's still alive and is listed on their birth certificates even though he's lost all rights as a parent? I don't see this addressed anywhere on the Clerk of Court site and the clerk won't answer the question for me.

    2- The court orders terminating my exhusband's parental rights were done in NC. My children were born in NC and at the time the court orders were completed, i was a resident if NC. I have since moved to SC. Am I still able to file the minor name changes in NC or do I have to do it in SC? I noticed on the forms I have to fill out, it's asking me to verify my county and state of residence so it seemed like maybe it was an important factor in whether or not I would be allowed to do it.

    I hate the idea of being automatically denied based on the two items above and am frustrated that the clerk won't tell me and the only way I have to find out is by paying the $250 in fees just to cross my fingers and hope for the best.

    Anyone have any insight

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Christina. In South Carolina, child name changes are handled by the family court. You have to file a petition/lawsuit to change your child's name. Any parent whose parental rights have been terminated is not required to be part of the lawsuit.

      Reply
  37. Barron Sherrer

    Hi,
    Me and my wife and children are a blended family. Due to intensive stress and border line harassment from our extended family and children's biologicals (names on certain ones birth certificates arent even on there as the legal parent) i would like to change my own name and then change the name of every one else in my household. How could i go about doing that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      i would like to change my own name and then change the name of every one else in my household. How could i go about doing that?

      That's handled by North Carolina's Superior Courts.

      Reply
  38. Harold

    hi anyone know where i can find a template for me to fill out myself for the notice of intent to file petition to change name in north carolina? i found a website that will charge me $10 to give me the template for the petition but i need to file the notice first and i can't seem to find a template for me to fill out and turn it in help!!! thank you

    Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Harold. I wasn't able to find a document for Stanley County, so you'll have to contact the Clerk of the Superior Court for District 20A.

          You can ask if they have forms available for download. If not, can they be mailed, faxed, or emailed to you as an attachment.

          Reply
  39. Karen

    I've been divorced for 8 years. I placed my maiden name for my middle and still have my exhusbands last name. I would like to go back to my middle name when I get remarried, as to not have my ex name. What's the easiest way to do this? And if I have to change it twice how long do I wait in between?

    Reply
  40. Kyle

    My husband and i got married 3 yrs ago. When we got married, my husband used his mother’s last name. So i used his last name too after marriage. Now, my husband recently changed his last name to his father’s last name and i want to change my last name too. I can’t change my last name in SSN if our marriage certificate is not changed since we both used his mother’s last name on that. How do i process that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kyle. You'd have to petition the court and the court order you receive can be used to change your name to match your husband's.

      Reply
  41. Nicki S

    Hello. I’m currently married, pending separation and possibly divorce. I would like to know if I can change my name back to my maiden name while still technically married? It’s becoming an issue with my lien holder of my house as it was purchased before marriage and when I have to get documents for assistance I have to explain the name change and show the marriage certificate. Lien holder won’t change it and I don’t want it changed just want to go back to my maiden name. Is this possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I would like to know if I can change my name back to my maiden name while still technically married?

      You'd have to obtain a court order from the Superior Court.

      Reply

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