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Wake County opened the Wake County Justice Center in June 2013. Click here for relocated services.

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Special Proceedings Division:  Legal Name Changes
Several legal options are available for obtaining a name change. Names may be changed by an Adoption Decree, through a name change petition filed with the Special Proceedings Division, or through an application by a widow or divorced woman for the resumption of a maiden name, name of a prior deceased husband, or prior divorced husband if her children have that husband's surname.
In this Division
Special Proceedings
Guardianship Proceedings
Legal Name Changes 

Resuming a Prior Name

Resumption of a prior name is not considered a special proceeding and is filed with the Clerk's Office Civil Division located on the 11th floor of the Wake County Courthouse.

You may resume a maiden name once you have a divorce judgment; additionally, you may resume the name of a prior deceased husband if you are a widow or the name of a previously divorced husband if you have children with that husband's surname. These name changes require presentation of a valid photo ID, the completion of the appropriate forms, and payment of the applicable fee. You will need to attach a photocopy of the divorce judgment or death certificate.

For more information on resuming a maiden name or to obtain the appropriate forms, you may visit the Civil Division on the 11th floor of the Wake County Courthouse. Please see Directions for our location and directions.

Name Change of a Minor Child (Under 16 years of age)

A minor child's parent(s) or legal guardian may file an application to change the minor's name. However, the name of a minor child may not be changed without the consent of both parents (if living), unless no father is listed on the birth certificate and the child has not been legitimized by the father. If there is no father listed on the birth certificate, the child must be at least one year old to complete the name change and a Birth Certificate issued within 30 days of the name change request. (One can always request an updated Birth Certificate from Vital Records (Click here: If you are unable to obtain the consent of an absent parent, you will need to consult competent legal counsel to help you with the name change. Neither the ten (10) day Notice posting nor Affidavits of character are required for name changes of a minor child. Please bring the birth certificate and identification of the parents.

Other Name Changes

If you are not resuming a prior name but would still like your name or the name of your minor child changed, you must complete the appropriate forms available from the Special Proceedings Division.

Before a name change (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE means different than from what appears on your Birth Certificate) can be approved by the Clerk of Court, a notice must be posted for at least ten (10) days on the Courthouse bulletin boards located on the Ground floor (Parking/Salisbury Street level) indicating your intent to change your name, and you must demonstrate good and sufficient reason for the name change. You must also have at least two notarized affidavits demonstrating proof of your good character filed by citizens of the WAKE county who know you. You must also provide a National fingerprint criminal history record check.

NOTE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS 16 AND 17 YEARS OF AGE: To change the name of an individual 16 or 17 years of age, Affidavits of Character are required, but Notice is not required to be posted.

For more information on all name changes or to obtain the appropriate forms and more detailed instructions, you may visit the Special Proceedings Division on the 12th floor of the Wake County Courthouse. Please see Directions for our location and directions.


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Wake County Clerk of Court
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 351 Raleigh, NC 27602-0351
Automated Directory Phone: (919) 792-4000
Physical Addresses:
Wake County Courthouse
316 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27602
Wake County Justice Center
300 S. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27602
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