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Please use this information as a guide, but be sure to verify everything with an appropriate government official. Nothing on this website should be considered a replacement for legal advice on your particular situation.
You can get these at the sheriff’s office for around $10 cash or money order. You’ll need two copies, one for the state background check and one for the federal background check.
Post About Your Name Change
Complete a Notice of Intent to File Name Change. Call of the Clerk of Superior Court (Special Proceedings) in the county where you live to find out what to bring with you when you take it in. Get all the stuff together and go to the Clerk’s office. Have them file stamp your Notice with the date and time, and ask them where you need to hang it. It has to stay up for 10 days.
State Background Check
Fill out a “Background Check for NC Criminal Records” form and send it, along with $14 certified check or money order, your fingerprints, and proof of your identity containing name, address, race, sex, and date of birth (a driver’s license or birth certificate works) to the address on the form.
Get Everything Together
Generally, you’ll need proof of those two background checks, an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, two notarized affidavits of good moral character, a notarized affidavit stating you have no outstanding tax or child support (don’t lie), proof of residency and identification (driver’s license, passport, water bill), a self-addressed stamped envelope, and $120 in cash or certified check or money order. Check with the Clerk of Superior Court (Special Proceedings) to make sure this list is correct.
FBI Background Check
Visit the FBI website for instructions and options for obtaining your “Identity History Summary”. This process costs $18 and can be done online. You may request a waiver of the fee if you can prove you can’t pay it. It takes 3-5 days to get this back once they get your fingerprint cards. (You still have to mail those in.)
After your Notice of Intent has been posted for 10 days, but within 90 days of receiving your FBI and SBI background checks, file a Petition for Name Change, along with a Verification page and all of the things required by your county Clerk. Note that all name changes are subject to a hearing. You could do everything right, and a judge may still deny your request. The self-addressed stamped envelope is so the Clerk can send you confirmation or denial of your name change.
The National Center for Transgender Equality provides information on getting a name change and updating your name and gender marker on your driver’s license and North Carolina birth certificate.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Transgender Initiative has a presentation on changing your name, including a list of places you might not realize you need to change. They also have a (slightly outdated) documentation packet with sample forms.
Your county Clerk’s Office may have a packet with sample forms for your name change.