A court order name change works by first preparing a name change petition for filing. Some courts require you to fill out local forms requesting a change of name. Your local court clerk is the best source to request forms. The local form can also be found on your superior court’s website.
If you are changing your name to reflect a gender change, be sure to check box 6 on Form NC-100. Have your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center review your forms. They will help you fill it out properly to proceed with the case. You will be asked to make at least two copies of all the forms. The court will keep the original documents, one copy is for you, and the other copy will be published in a newspaper if necessary.
Your local court clerk will help you file your forms and have them stamped. The Order to Show Cause will contain information on your court date, time, and department number. A filing fee is required to submit the petition. A fee waiver is also available if you cannot afford it.
In most cases, you may be required to publish to Order to Show Cause for Change of Name in a newspaper or other publication. Your local court will provide you with a list of approved newspapers that can publish legal notices.
You must go to your court on the hearing date and provide proof that the Order to Show Cause was published in a newspaper (if it was required). The judge will sign the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130) during the hearing.
If you have received the approval from the judge to change your name, the Decree Changing Name document (FORM NC-130) will be signed. The signed decree is your official proof of approval and you will receive a certified copy from the court clerk. The copy can be used to update all of your legal documents, these include your birth certificate, social security card, driver’s license, and passport.