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North Carolina name change for transgender people
Disclaimer: This is legal talk, not legal advice. Laws vary by state, and some of the information discussed on this page may not be applicable in your case. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and provide it without warranty. Laws change and this information may contain errors and omissions. It is up to you to confirm any information herein by doing your own research.
From a reader in September 2011:
Adult name change in North Carolina (all prices and location specifics apply to Wake County as of September 2011, but I imagine it is similar in other areas).
As of September 2011, I seem to be unable to find the full and correct forms online. The forms I found in July/August of 2011 were not up to date. The forms can be obtained in person from the Special Proceedings Division (in Wake County, this is on the 12th floor of the Wake Country Courthouse in downtown Raleigh). The forms cost $3.50 (cash or money order only, no personal checks or debit/credit cards).
The packet contains..
Before the notice can be posted, or any of the name change papers can be filed, one needs to obtain a criminal background check from both the SBI and FBI.
To do this, you need to go to the CCBI (City/County Bureau of Identification... in Wake County is it in downtown Raleigh, on the second floor of the Public Safety Center across from the court house) and get finger printed twice, filling out two separate finger print cards. It is $15 for the first set of prints, and $5 for each additional (again, cash only).
Mail the finger print cards to the SBI and the FBI with the filing fees ($14 and $18 respectively, Certified Check or Money Order), and wait for the results to be mailed back before proceeding.
In the packet there is a "NOTICE" which must be date-stamped in the Special Proceedings office and then posted on the Court House bulletin board for ten calendar days prior to filing.
The Petition for Legal Name Change, Two Affidavits of Character (filled out by friends/coworkers), and the Affidavit Regarding Outstanding Tax or Child Support Obligations should all be filled out, signed, and notarized before returning to file the papers after posting the notice.
Once your notice has been posted for ten full calendar days, you will then need to present these, along with your criminal background checks, your original birth certificate and photo ID to file for the name change.
The filling fee is $120 (cash or certified funds, no personal checks or debit/credit cards).
From a reader in May 2010:
I started my HRT's and came out to friends and family April of 2009. In October (last part of the month) I went to the Superior Court Building in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, and got a name change packet, cost $4.50, in the packet were three papers that had to be notarized, one was the petition, and the other two were people that had known me. After this was done I had to take the papers back to the clerk of court, she put a date/time stamp on the petition and told me to post it of their bulletin board outside the office. And to come back in 11 days. When I went back I paid the clerk of court $88.00, in under two weeks I received 5 copy's of my court order of name change. Hope this is helpful, oh I think every county in NC has a name change packet, just call the clerk of Superior Court for that county for information.
In December 2004, I received the following clarification and updated information:
There's a new thing about getting the driver's license updated here in NC. I went to get the new one, and they told me they are now hooked into the social security administration computers, so that I first have to change my name with the SSA, and then wait 24 hours for the computers to register that change, before I can get the new license. I went to SSA, and except for the long wait, and the misspelling of my name, there were no hassles. I haven't had time to try again at the driver's license office....
I would also like to clarify a small point that is confusing on your NC name
change pages as submitted by Jami. The description there indicates that one
should show up at the court house with the petition, which is dated and posted
for 10 days.
This is incorrect. The petition is not needed until the 10 days is complete
and the name change is ready to be executed. The document that is posted for
10 days is the Notice, a separate form for which you provide a link to a template
thanks to one of your other readers. So, to clarify:
I know of two other pre-ops who sought name changes and listed "has undergone gender change" as the reason and who did not have problems with that. I will be filing my petition tomorrow, and will send an update if I have any troubles.
After the name change was official, there were a few more things I thought
you might like to know/add for the site.
In June 2003 a reader sent the following:
Legal Name Changes in North Carolina
It is very easy to legally change your name in North Carolina. You do not require
the services of a lawyer to complete the name change, nor are you required to
go before a judge. You simply petition the court via the clerk of court in your
county of residence. The clerk of court for Wake County, North Carolina makes
name changes very convenient by providing a name change kit. This kit contains
instructions, character reference forms, and a fill in the blanks petition.
Check with your local clerk of courts special proceedings division to
see if they provide a similar form.
Your court petition must include the following items (NCGA Statute § 101-3):
After completing your petition, you will have the clerk of court place a date
on your document. You must then post the petition on the courthouse door for
ten days (NCGA Statute § 101-2). Make sure that you have an extra copy
in the event your document is accidentally removed. While
you are waiting for the time to expire, you must secure two notarized character
references from adults in your county of residence (NCGA Statute § 101-4).
After the ten days have expired, take your petition, an official copy of your
birth certificate, the notarized character references, and your identification
to the special proceedings division of your local clerk of court. You
will also have to pay a fairly nominal filing fee. As I recall, my fee was less
than $50 in 2001. Provided that your documents are in order, you will leave
with a court order certifying your new name. Take that order down to your local
DMV so that your drivers license can be changed.
Guidelines for name changes are outlined in North Carolina Statutes § 101-2, § 101-3, § 101-4, § 101-5, and § 101-6. The text of these statutes is included as an addendum to this article.
Jami Kathleen Taylor
In August 2004 a reader sent the following forms:
Here are my applications for North Carolina. Everything where you enter your information I have put in parenthesis and put instructions for what to do. Once done, it should all still line up like it does in these. Margins have to be .75" on top and bottom and 1" on the sides. You don't actually need the verifiction one. It is for if a lawyer prepares it for you to say that you know what they wrote about you. I didn't know that and did it anyway and it didn't count against me. In theory they will want a letter from your SRS surgeon if you mention it's for trans stuff, so I said some other reasons. In North Carolina the clerk of court has a lot more power than other places. This is the application I used and it went through without any problem. Ipresented it and then filled out another form with the clerk of court and paid forty dollars and ta-da. You will want to get a couple of certified copies from them at the time you do it as you will need to present these to various places to change your name on other documents.
North Carolina law
§ 101-2. Procedure for changing name; petition; notice.
Precedent for transsexuals
[no specific case noted]