Get your Name Change Decree

If the judge approves your request to change your name, you will get a Decree. That’s the document you will use to change your name on all your legal documents. You'll need a certified copy of this signed Decree to change your IDs and other legal documents.

How to get a signed and filed Decree

  • Get your Decree from the court clerk

    You'll get your Decree from the court clerk. 

    • If you had a hearing
      • If the judge did not sign your Decree at the hearing, you may have to turn in the Decree to the clerk so the judge can sign it. The clerk will get the judge’s signature and then file it. 
      • If the judge signed your Decree at the hearing but the clerk did not file it, take it to the clerk’s office to file it. 
    • If you didn't have a hearing
      If there was no hearing because no one objected to your request, go to the clerk’s office and ask to get your Decree. If you didn’t turn it in at the beginning of your case, you will need the Decree Changing Name Form (form NC-130) now (fill out the boxes at the top and Item 3). 
  • Get certified copy of your Decree from court clerk

    To change your legal ID documents, you will need at least one certified copy of your Decree. The clerk can get you a certified copy. This means the clerk adds an official stamp to your Decree that says the copy is true copy of the original. Depending on how many legal ID documents you want to update, you can ask for more than one certified Decree

    There is a $40 fee for each certified copy. If you have a fee waiver, you will not have to pay this fee.

  • Change your legal identity documents

    Take the certified copy of your Decree to the different agencies that issued the IDs you have to update.  

    For example, contact the: 

    • Social Security Office near you to change your social security card and records 

    • DMV to change your driver’s license or ID  

    • Office of Vital Records to get an amended (updated) birth certificate  

    • US Passport office to change your passport 

    Your records are not updated automatically with your new name. 

    You must share a certified copy of your name change Decree with each government agency where you need to update your ID or record.

    Learn how to contact each agency where you might need to update your records

    Get more information 

You are done with the court's name change process. You use your Decree to update your IDs and other legal documents.

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