A driver’s license name change in North Dakota must take place soon after any legal name alteration occurs, such as following a marriage, divorce or adoption. Obtaining a name change on your driver’s license is generally recommended only after changing the name you have on record with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Applicants looking to change their name on their driver’s license must apply in person at any North Dakota DMV site location. Learn more about the rules and procedures for obtaining an ND DMV name change by reading the sections below.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your North Dakota Drivers License

Driver’s license name change requests in North Dakota usually follow life-changing events, although some name changes are simply a matter of personal preference. Marriage and divorce are the reasons behind most name change requests due to one or both spouses changing their surnames when they get married or when a marriage is dissolved. Teenagers who already have driving privileges will also need to change their name on their legal records if they are legally adopted by a family or a step-parent.

Some DMV name change requests are due to drivers changing their names to reflect a religious conversion or creating a connection to their ethnic history. Some name changes involve personal preferences, such as shortening a long name or changing a name that others find difficult to pronounce, and others change their name after transitioning.

Regardless of the reason behind it, you cannot request a driver’s license name change without a legal document or court decree proving that your name change has been legally established and has already been changed on your Social Security card.

North Dakota Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

You must change the name on a driving license within 10 days after a legal name change takes place. Failing to change the name on your legal documents within 10 days could leave you subject to a citation and fine if you are stopped by law enforcement or asked to present proper proof of identification for any reason.

How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration

Because a Social Security Number (SSN) is often used as a primary form of identification in America, changing your name on a driving license record is easier when you register your name change with the Social Security Administration (SSA) first. Doing so provides you with an updated Social Security card, which will show the same Social Security Number as before but will include your new legal name.

SSA name changes use the same documents needed for a DMV name change and are always free of charge. You can easily change your name with the SSA through the mail or in person at your local SSA office.

As with a driver’s license name change, the SSA needs to see original copies of important documents, which is why online name changes are not available for any type of legal name change. For this reason, many petitioners find it more convenient to visit the SSA office in person instead of waiting for the mail to return original documents. You will need to bring your valid ND driver’s license, a state-issued photo ID card or your current U.S. passport to verify your identity. In addition, the SSA must see one of the following as legal proof of your name change:

  • Certified marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • An affidavit or court order showing legal approval of the name change
  • An adoption decree

It often takes two or three days for name changes to show up in the SSA system, so you should wait a few days before applying for a name change with the ND DMV. However, because records are verified electronically, you can apply for your driver’s license name change before your new Social Security card arrives in the mail, as your new card may take a few weeks to reach you.

Online Drivers License Name Changes

Several ND DMV tasks can be performed electronically, but DMV name changes are not attainable online. Transactions involving a driver’s license name change require applicants to surrender their current driver’s license to the DMV, have a new photo taken and provide original documents in person at the North Dakota DMV, all of which cannot be completed online.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Person

Changing your name on driving license records in ND must happen in person at one of 19 DMV locations throughout the state. You may make an appointment online to save time and avoid waiting in long lines.

You must bring certified documentation confirming your legal name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or official court order. For example, when getting a name change on your driving records, a certified divorce decree must specifically state your current legal name and also bear a seal from the county clerk or recorder in the county that issued the decree.

North Dakota DMV Name Change Fees

If your ND DMV name change request does not correspond with a license renewal due date, you only need to pay an $8 fee to obtain your duplicate license. North Dakota DMV sites accept most standard forms of payment when replacing a driver’s license including cash, checks, money orders and most major credit and debit cards. On the other hand, you may pay just $3 to change the name on your drivers license rather than obtaining a replacement credential.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.