How to Change a Name After Marriage in North Carolina

By Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

Many women traditionally assume the surname of their husbands after marriage. If you reside in North Carolina, the state provides a simple and straightforward process to legally adopt your husband's last name as your own. After the state's legal process has been completed, you must still notify other agencies, organizations and individuals that will continue to identify and address you under your maiden name.

Step 1

Obtain a certified copy of your marriage license from the Register of Deeds office in your county of residence no sooner than 10 days after the marriage ceremony. This can be done by mail or in person, and requires the payment of a fee.

Step 2

Prepare the application for a social security card. You can obtain a copy of the application form on the Social Security Administration's website, from a local SSA office, a Social Security Card Center or by calling 800-772-1213.

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Step 3

File the form "Application for a Social Security Card" and original identifying documents with the SSA. There is no fee to apply for a new card, but you must enclose the certified copy of your marriage certificate, documentary proof of your age, such as a birth certificate, and either your U.S. passport or a state-issued driver’s license or identification card. You can mail the application and supporting documents to any SSA office.

Step 4

Obtain a duplicate driver’s license or identification card from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. To apply, take the certified copy of your marriage license and your current driver's license or identification card in person to any DMV Driver License Office. North Carolina law requires that you notify the DMV within 60 days of your name change, which is the date of your marriage.

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