North Carolina
Legal name change

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How to change names legally, North Carolina

If your name change is not from marriage or divorce, then a court order is the only legal way to change your name. A private company cannot issue a legal name change order, although they may help you prepare the court documents for a fee. If you have a reasonable understanding of the court process you could manage your own application.

Use an Easy Name Change kit to get your accounts and records updated in a flash! No wasting time on hold or trawling websites looking for name change information. We provide detailed instructions and all corresponding paperwork. In many cases you can simply attach your court order and send! Customers save an average of 8 hours!

Expect your legal name change to take around 2 months. It takes time to prepare the petition and arrange criminal background checks. You need to provide 2 affidavits of good character and submit to a fingerprinting check. As name change notices are published at the courthouse, there is no need for newspaper publishing. All up expect to pay about $160 in various fees to get the legal name change order.


If you want to take a name other than your birth name or spouse’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 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 courthouse. 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 applicant to applicant. 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 $130 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.

If you have a vehicle title, take it along with a statement of Facts form (available in your Easy Name Change kit) and your current license. Submit to the DMV by mail or in person. Fees are only applicable if you request a duplicate title.

Your name is changed once your court order is issued. No records are updated automatically, so save yourself hours of work with an Easy Name Change notification kit. 

Recieve personalized and ready to send forms for all popular agencies. In many cases you can just attach a copy of the court order and send! For companies that don’t allow name changes by mail or email, follow our instructions to get your name updated in a flash.

Always start by filing the SSA name change form, provided in your kit. Next, visit the DMV to get updated photo ID. There is no particular order from there, simply send off all your forms, letters and emails, attaching the proof listed. For all other companies, follow the checklist provided, as you may need to call, visit a branch or log into your account to request the change. Feel like doing 10 hours of administration to save $35? Start with our free customized legal name change checklist


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  • Priority printed and posted to your door
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  • 3 stamped envelopes

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Legal Name Change

You can be known by any name, but to get identification and records changed you need a court order. Fees and turnaround times vary significantly between states. Apply for your court order, then attach to our notifications and send.

Learn how to legally change names

Legal name change petitions should be filed with your local court house. Turnaround times vary significantly by county and filing fees are set by your state. Companies generally do not charge to update your name unless a new credential needs to be reissued.

Find out how much it costs to legally change names

If you’re legally entitled to reside in the USA you can change your name legally. There can be significant costs with your petition and immigration filings. If you are planning on becoming a US citizen it may be cheaper and faster to wait.

Can I legally change names if I am not a US citizen?

This process is managed by your county court. We provide general information to get started on your child’s name change, but it’s always best to contact your local court directly.

How do I legally change a child’s name?

Once you have a court document proving your new name it’s then your responsibility to get your records updated. No records are linked, so you need to contact each organization directly and follow a separate process.

How do I update my accounts after legally changing names?

If you’ve decided to file a legal name change application with the court we’ve got some information to help you along the way.

Legal name change resources and state information

You’ve got your court order. Now it’s time to notify each company that you have a new name! Save money with our FREE checklist.

FREE interactive legal name change checklist