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How to Perform a Driver License Name Change in North Carolina

Motorists must apply for a drivers license name change in North Carolina whenever their legal name changes after marriage, divorce or court order. Failure to apply for a name change on drivers license credentials is punishable under state law. Before completing a DMV name change in NC, however, residents must apply for a change of name through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Residents cannot apply for a change of name on driving license materials until they notify the SSA of their new name. To learn about how to change name on driving license credentials, review the information below.

Instances When a Drivers License Name Change in North Carolina is Necessary

Motorists mustchange name on driving license in North Carolina whenever they change their legal name after marriage, divorce, court order, adoption or for any other reason. As such, residents must begin the process of changing name on drivers license credentials whenever their legal name changes from the information on their original driving credential. In addition to completing a DMV change of name, motorists must obtain a new driving license from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) under the state Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to reflect their new name.

When to Change Name on Driving License in North Carolina

Motorists must apply for a driving license name change within 60 days of changing their legal name after marriage, court order or divorce. Before changing the name on an NC driving license, however, residents must report the change to the SSA and obtain a new Social Security card. Since certified proof of the change of name is needed to complete these two transactions, residents cannot apply for an SSA or drivers license name change until after they finalize their new name with the courts or the Register of Deeds. For instance, if motorists wish to apply for a DMV name change after getting married, they must wait until they receive their certified marriage certificate before they may complete the transaction.

Consequences of Not Changing Your Name on Driving License in North Carolina

If residents do not apply for a driver license name change in NC within 60 days of changing their name after marriage, divorce or court order, penalty fees and additional complications may apply. Additionally, if residents do not apply for a change of name through the SSA, the Administration cannot track their earnings and future Social Security benefits. Furthermore, failure to report a change of name may cause delays when residents file their taxes. For this reason, motorists must apply for a change of name on driving license and Social Security materials within 60 days of updating their legal name information.

How can I submit a North Carolina change of name through the SSA?

Before changing name on drivers license materials, motorists must change the name on their Social Security card. To apply for an NC change of name through the SSA, residents must first complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) and submit it along with the following documents:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship status (if establishing U.S. residency with the SSA for the first time)
  • Evidence of the legal name change, such as a marriage document, divorce decree, court order or Certificate of Naturalization (if it displays the new name)

To apply for a change of name in North Carolina, residents must mail their application and all supporting documentation to their local Social Security office or they may submit all applicable materials in person at a local branch of the SSA. After doing so, motorists may apply for a drivers license name change through the NCDMV. Before applying for a name change on drivers license credentials, however, applicants must allow at least 24 to 36 hours between changing their name with the SSA and the NCDMV. Before the NCDMV processes the driving license name change, they confirm the change of name with the SSA.

How to Change Name on Drivers License in North Carolina in Person

After residents apply for an SSA change of name, they may change the name on their driving license materials. To apply for a drivers license name change in NC, motorists must visit a local Driver License Office to complete the process in person. When changing the name on a drivers license, applicants must submit the following:

  • Evidence of the name change, such as a certified marriage certificate, divorce decree, documented proof from the Register of Deeds or the courts, or a notarized Affidavit for Name Change (form DL-101)
  • The original driver license (to obtain a duplicate driving credential)
  • Payment for obtaining a replacement driver license (in the form of cash, personal check, money order or Discover, MasterCard or Visa credit cards)

Note: Motorists cannot perform a change of name on NC driving license credentials online or by mail, as documented proof of the legal name change is needed to complete the transaction.

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