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How to Perform a Car Registration Name Change in North Carolina

Motorists must change name on car registration in North Carolina if they apply for a new name after marriage, divorce, court order or for any other valid reason. Before completing a name change on car registration materials, however, residents must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of their new name. Drivers may complete the name change car registration application process after they notify the SSA and submit documentation of their new name, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree. To learn more about how to change name on car registration materials, review the sections below.

When to Complete a Name Change on Car Registration in North Carolina

Residents must change name on registration in North Carolina within 60 days of applying for a new legal name. To change name on car registration credentials, applicants must notify the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) under the state Department of Transportation (NCDOT) as well as the SSA. Before changing name on car registration materials, however, residents must apply for a corrected Social Security card and change the name on their driver license. Applicants may update name on car registration documents after they have updated their Social Security card and driver license.

Why do I need to change the name on my North Carolina registration?

After you marry or divorce, you must make a name change on your car registration and driver license credentials within 60 days if you decide to change your legal name. Furthermore, you must change the name on NC registration materials if you apply for a legal name change after a gender transition, court order, adoption or for any other reason. Before changing the name on your car registration materials, however, you must notify the SSA of your new name and apply for a corrected driver license. If you do not change name on registration or Social Security materials, you may run into future issues with the SSA and NCDMV.

Consequences of Not Changing Name on Car Registration in North Carolina

If residents do not apply for a name change on car registration or driver license materials, they may need to pay a penalty fee through the NCDMV. Additionally, drivers who do not change the name on their NC registration materials may experience delays when renewing their license plates or completing any in-person transaction, as current proof of identification is needed whenever motorists visit an NCDMV branch. Furthermore, residents who do not change their name through the SSA may experience additional complications when filing their taxes, as the Administration cannot track their wages if they do not correct their Social Security card after changing their legal name.

How to Change Name in North Carolina Through the Social Security Administration

Before motorists may change name on car registration or driver license credentials, they must notify the SSA of their new name and update their Social Security card. To apply for an SSA name change in North Carolina, residents must complete the following steps:

  • Fill out an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5)
  • Obtain proof of the name change, such as a marriage document, court order, Certificate of Naturalization or divorce decree
  • Submit the application and proof of the name change in person at an SSA office or mail all information to a local Social Security branch

After changing a name in NC through the SSA, residents must wait at least 24 hours before updating their information with the NCDMV. After 24 hours, motorists may apply for a name change on car registration materials by changing the name on their driver license and vehicle registration materials.

How do I change my name on my car registration in North Carolina?

After completing an SSA change of name in North Carolina, motorists may apply for a name change on car registration and driver license credentials. Before changing name on car registration materials, however, applicants must update their driver license and obtain a duplicate driving credential. When applying for a name change on vehicle registration documents, motorists must present their updated driver license to reflect their new name. To learn more about changing the name on auto registration documents, review the sections below.

In Person

If changing the name on a car registration in North Carolina, motorists may visit a local NCDMV office to complete the process in person, as residents cannot make this change online. However, the specific process of applying for a name change on car registration materials varies slightly depending on whether applicants wish to change the name on their vehicle’s registration and/or title certificate. When completing the name change car registration application process, residents generally need to submit following documentation:

  • An updated driver license
  • An Application for Duplicate and Additional Registration Certificates (MVR-10), to obtain a corrected card
  • Proof of the legal name change, such as a copy of the court order, marriage certificate or divorce decree
  • A Corrected or Substitute Title Application (MVR-5) and an odometer reading (if the vehicle is younger than 10 years of age), if changing the name on a certificate of title
  • Payment for obtaining a corrected registration card and a replacement title (if applicable)

To complete a car registration name change in NC, motorists must complete an Application for Duplicate and/or Additional Registration Certificates (MVR-10) to obtain a corrected credential. When completing the application to apply for a name change on car registration documents, residents must provide their vehicle’s identification number (VIN), body style, series model, year and make. Additionally, applicants must provide their vehicle’s title number and year of issue. Other required information pertains to the vehicle’s registered owner(s) and the total number of registration cards applicants wish to receive. When changing name on car registration documents, applicants may need to submit the vehicle’s current registration and title certificate as well.

By Mail

To apply for a name change on car registration in North Carolina, motorists may submit all required information by mail if they cannot visit a local NCDMV office. To change name on registration credentials, applicants must send all documentation to the following address:

NC Division of Motor Vehicles

Vehicle Registration

3148 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-3148

Note: To change name on NC registration materials, residents must enclose payment for obtaining a replacement registration card and title certificate, if changing the name on a vehicle’s title as well.

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