State North Carolina Getting Married Inback to States


North Carolina recognizes both straight and same-sex unions.

Current Legislation:

As of October 10th, 2014, both straight and same-sex unions are recognized in the state.


Do I have to reside in North Carolina to get married there?

You do not have to be a resident of North Carolina to get married there.

How can I apply for a marriage license?

Both parties must appear at the Register of Deeds office to apply for a marriage license.

What are the fees?

The cost for a marriage license varies by county, averaging around $60.

Is there a waiting period?

There is no waiting period but the license will expire 60 days after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

A birth certificate or valid photo ID is required to apply for a marriage license. Applicants who are ages 20 and younger must show a birth certificate for proof of age. If an individual has been married before, they must provide the date of the divorce or death, and if divorced within 30 days, a divorce decree must be provided.

Is a blood test required?


Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

An ordained minister of any denomination, magistrate, tribal official or minister authorized by a religious institution can officiate weddings in North Carolina. Two witnesses are required.

How can I change my name?

With a marriage license: Obtain several certified copies from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed, as you will need these throughout the name changing process. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card (which can be found here) and go to your local Social Security Administration office (be sure to get there before it opens) with a certified copy of your marriage license, photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license and original proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Be sure to change it with the DMV, your employer, your bank, etc.

Any adult North Carolina resident can formally change their name without a marriage license, but it must be done in your county of residence. Note, you can only change your name one time using the North Carolina name change statute. To do so, you must request for a Name Change Petition at your county courthouse (fee $5). You must complete two background checksstate and FBI. These requests take 8-10 weeks to process and require that you get two sets of finger prints. You can have your finger prints taken at the county detention center ($10 each). FBI background checks cost $18 and the State background check costs $14 (money order or certified check). Once the background checks are complete you must have two adults, non-relatives, who live in your county of residence to fill out Affidavits of Good Character and these must be notarized. You must then post a Notice of Intent to change your name at the courthouse 10 days prior to filing the petition. Once the 10 days are up, file the Name Change Petition with the background checks, Affidavits of Good Character, and a pink Vital Records form (filing fee $120). Some counties require a certified copy of a birth certificate from the North Carolina Vital Records (waiting period for this is approximately 12 weeks) as well as a Title search which will require that you meet with an attorney. The Clerk of Court will review your application and make a determination as to whether a hearing is required. If so, you will be required to appear before the Clerk of Court, otherwise applicants are notified by phone. Make sure to receive both a copy of the pink order and the Clerk’s written court order. Have certified copies made which you will use when submitting name changes to the DMV, employer, the Social Security Administration, etc.

Will my same-sex marriage be legal in other states?

Unfortunately, same-sex marriages are only recognized in the 35 states that they can legally be performed in— Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Hawaii, Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Maine, Mass., Md., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., Okla., Ore., Penn., R.I., S.C., Utah, Va., Vt., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo., as well as Washington, D.C.

**Disclaimer: Requirements and protocols are subject change. Please regard the above information as a guide only, not professional legal advice. It is important to confirm the information with your specific county and state of residence before the wedding.