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Name Change Law and Procedures


The procedures for legally changing the name of an adult or minor in North Carolina is set forth in Chapter 101 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The following is a summary of the procedures and laws that are applicable to name change petitions under North Carolina Law:

If you are 18 years of age or over, you begin the process of legally changing your name by filing a North Carolina Adult Name Change Petition with the Special Proceedings Division of your local state courthouse. Adults who wish to legally change their names in North Carolina must comply with the specific notice procedures of the county in which they reside. You must provide the court with a Petition for Name Change, Notice of Intent to File Name Change, and Affidavit of Character. When you file your name change petition, you will need to pay the court a filing fee of $120.00. You will be directed to post a notice of your name change application within the courthouse. Each courthouse has a different location for the posting of your notice, and the clerk will be able to give you guidance about how and where to post.

In addition to the above, you must also submit a state and national criminal history record check. Instructions are available at the following web sites for obtaining both record checks:

State Criminal Record Check:

Federal Criminal Record Check:

If you are changing your surname in connection with a marriage (changing your surname to that of your new husband), you do not need to file any petition, and no court order is required. You simply need to provide your marriage certificate, together with Bridal Name Change Forms, to state and federal agencies.


Name Change For North Carolina Minors Under 16 Years of Age:

A minor child's parent(s) or legal guardian may file an application to change the minor's name. However, a minor's name may not be changed without the consent of both parents (if living), unless no father is listed on the birth certificate and the child has not been legitimized by the father. If there is no father listed on the birth certificate, the child must be at least one year old to complete the name change and a Birth Certificate issued within 30 days of the name change request. You can download a Minor Name Change Kit that includes an Affidavit of Parental Consent Form, as well as step-by-step instructions. For minors under the age of 16, you do not need to post the name change in the courthouse or provide an affidavit of good character. If you are unable to get the consent of the child's other parent, and still wish to proceed with the minor's name change, you are strongly advised to retain an attorney rather than seek to handle the case yourself.

Name Change For North Carolina Minors Who Are 16 or 17 Years of Age:

To change the name of a minor who is 16 or 17 years of age in North Carolina, the minor name change process is followed, except that affidavits of good character must be provided. Unlike adult name change proceedings, there is no requirement of posting notice of the name change in the courthouse for 10 days.


Changing The Name Of A Minor Child In North Carolina Without The Consent Of Both Parents