Name Change FAQ

 

Who is an adult?

A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.

Who is a minor?

A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered a minor.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name or the name of a minor?

Yes.  The clerk must find that good and sufficient reason(s) exist(s) for the change of name that is consistent with the public interest.  A person is not allowed to change his or her name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations.  A person can not change his or her name to defraud any person.

Must the child agree to the name change?

No. but the court may consider the wishes of a child old enough to express his or her preference in considering whether to grant the Petition.

Must the parent(s) of the minor agree to the name change?

Yes. So long as both parents are on the birth certificate and are still alive, both parents must consent to the name change. If only one parent has legal custody of the minor, and the minor has reached the age of 16, he or she may apply for a name change with the consent of the parent who has legal custody (provided the clerk is convinced the non-custodial parent has abandoned the minor).  If the non-custodial parent denies that he/she abandoned the child, this issue of fact shall be transferred and determined as provided in G.S. 1-301.2.  If abandonment is determined, the consent of the non-custodial parent is not required. Upon final determination of this issue of fact the proceeding shall be transferred back to the special proceedings docket for further action by the clerk. [N.C. Gen. Stat. §101. Names of Persons, §101-2.]

Requirements for Order of Name Change:

For an Order of Name Change to be granted the clerk must find (1) compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the petition; (2) good and sufficient reasons for the change; and, (3) that it is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required?

No.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition?

The General Public must be provided notice of the name change by way of a posting of the petition at the courthouse.  The Mecklenburg County Courthouse has the bulletin board on the 1st floor just before you reach the elevators.

Can individuals “object” to the Petition for Name Change?

Yes.  Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the clerk’s findings as to whether the stated reasons for the name change are “good and sufficient” and that the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

How do I go about changing my name or the name of a minor?

After giving 10 days notice of the application by publication at the courthouse door, you should file an application before the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the person lives.  Follow the steps provided in the appropriate Name Change Packet (e.g. Name Change of an Adult) you received from the Mecklenburg County SelfServe Center.
An application to change the name of a minor may be filed by the child’s parent or parents, guardian, or guardian ad litem. This application may be joined in the application for a name change filed by the parent or parents. (A change of parentage or the addition of information relating to parentage on the birth certificate of any person is governed by G.S. 130A-118).

Contents of petition: 
The applicant shall state in the application his or her true name, county of birth, date of birth, the full name of his or her parents as shown on birth certificate, the name he or she desires to adopt, his or her reasons for desiring such change, and whether his or her name has ever before been changed by law, and, if so, the facts surrounding the previous name change. [N.C. Gen. Stat. §101. Names of Persons, §101-3.]

Proof of good character to accompany petition: 
The applicant shall also file proof of his or her good character.  Proof must be made by at least two citizens who know the individual well and who live in the county where the name change will take place.  Proof of good character shall not be required when the application is for the change of name of a child under 16 years of age. [N.C. Gen. Stat. §101. Names of Persons, §101-4.]

Clerk to order change; certificate and record: 
If the clerk thinks that good and sufficient reason exists for the change of name, he or she will issue an order changing the name of the applicant as requested.  The Order will contain the full name, the county of birth, the date of birth, the full name of parents as shown on birth certificate, and the name sought to be adopted.  The clerk will then issue a certificate to the applicant stating the change of name and record the application and order on the docket of special proceedings to be heard in court.  (If the applicant was born in North Carolina, the State Registrar shall note the change of name of the individual or individuals specified in the order on the birth certificate of that individual or those individuals and shall notify the register of deeds in the county of birth. If the applicant was born in another state of the United States, the State Registrar shall forward the notice of change of name to the registration office of the state of birth). [N.C. Gen. Stat. §101. Names of Persons, §101-5.]

Effect of change; only one change, except as provided: 
(a) When the order is made and the adult applicant’s name is changed, he or she is entitled to all the privileges and protection under his or her new name that he or she would have been entitled to under the old name. No person shall be allowed to change his or her name more than once, except if he or she is permitted to resume his or her former name upon compliance with the requirements and procedure of N.C. Gen. Stat. §101. 

(b) For good cause shown, and upon compliance with the requirements and procedure of N.C. Gen. Stat. §101, the name of a minor child may be changed not more than two times under this Chapter. [N.C. Gen. Stat. §101. Names of Persons, §101-6.]

NOTE: The information on this page was gathered from the following website:
http://www.uslegalforms.com/changeofname/north-carolina-name-change.htm