If you want to take a name other than your birth name or husband’s surname, a legal name change must be filed with the court in the county where you reside. First, arrange for your fingerprints to be taken at your county Sherriff’s office and sent off for a criminal background check. FBI checks can take up to 6 weeks.
Once SBI and FBI checks are returned, complete form NC-100 Notice of Intent to Change Names and have it notarized. File this with your county court where it will be displayed on court bulletin board for 10 business days. After the 10 days, file form NC-101 Petition for Change of Name with the clerk of court and provide your birth certificates, character affidavits and any other documents required by your county.
Unless you have special circumstances, you will be required to submit to a criminal background check. Visit the Sherriff’s department to have your fingerprints taken. Fingerprinting fees are payable directly to the Sherriff’s department. The Sherriff can help you arrange for these to be sent to state police and the FBI for a criminal background check. Fingerprinting should be arranged before you file your notice for name change.
You can request copies of both form NC-100 Notice of Intent to Change names and form NC-101 Petition for Change of Name from your county court house. You must surrender your birth certificate. You are required to provide notarized affidavits of character from 2 residents from your county who are not related. Your county may have additional requirements, such as making a child support statement or additional publishing of your notice.
You are generally not required to attend your hearing. You can request the court to call you after your case has been scheduled, then return to the court to purchase certified copies of your name change order once successful.
There are a number of fees involved in legal name change. Not all fees are applicable to all applicants, so your final cost can vary from what is written here. While correct at the time of writing, fees can vary at any time without notice, so it is always best to check directly with each agency.
You need 2 sets of fingerprints, one each for the SBI and FBI. Fingerprinting generally costs $20 to $40. Criminal background checks cost around $14 from the State Bureau of Investigation and $18 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The filing fee is payable after your name change has been granted and costs $120. You also need to pay the court for each certified copy of your name change order. Expect to pay around $5 per copy.
Finally, there may be some cost in getting your records updated, depending on what ID and records you hold. There is no fee for a name change with the SSA. It costs $10 for your NC license or photo ID card to be issued in your new name. There is a $15 fee if you want a duplicate vehicle title in your new name. If you hold a valid passport issued over 12 months ago, a name change will cost $110 for passport books and/or $30 for passport cards. Most other organizations do not charge for updating your name on their records, unless a new credential is required.
Once your name change has been granted, you must notify all the necessary agencies directly. Start with updating the SSA. Easy Name Change can provide you with the completed, ready to send form that can be mailed in for a SSA name change. Next, visit any DMV office in person to get your license or state photo ID card updated. Finally, use our checklist to record all other places where you need to provide notice. If you don’t want to call each organization directly to learn the process, then write letters and complete forms, an Easy Name Change kit can provide you with all the necessary procedures, plus ready to send forms and letters where necessary.