NC Wedding Changes -COVID 19 -September 2020

Mass Gathering Limit

This year has been challenging for couples who wish to marry. Many couples are postponing the wedding, reducing the guest size, or opting for a small legal ceremony with a larger celebration in the future. As of 9-4-20 in NC the mass gathering size had increased to 25 people inside and 50 people outside which allows for larger wedding receptions. IF county restrictions vary, they supersede the state restrictions. Orange County ( Chapel Hill and Hillsborough) will continue with the 10 people inside and 25 people outside limits until 10/31/20.  The wedding ceremonies are an unlimited number of people inside or outside in our state.


Marrige License From Any County 

I have found recently that is taking a long time to get the marriage license. The marriage license is valid for 60 days. In Wake County before COVID 19, you could go to the Register of Deeds and obtain a license the same day. Now you have to fill out an application, wait for a video call to be scheduled which can take up to 3 weeks. The license is then mailed potentially another week’s delay.

You may obtain a marriage license in a surrounding county. In NC, you can obtain a marriage license in any county. This gives you the option to be married in any of NC’s 100 counties, as long the license is returned to the issuing county. Most surrounding counties ask you to schedule an appointment before going to the Register of Deeds office. This seems to be a much faster process. Here are some counties are using this process: Johnston County:, Lee County:    Durham County:


Social Security Name Change 

At this time all face to face meetings at the Social Security Administration has been suspended.     The following information is from        ”

Until further notice, all the Social Security offices are closed and all the name changes are done by mail. Here is the procedure to change your name on SS card:

  1. Download form SS-5 from website.
  2. Fill it out. Item 1, line 1 should be the new name you want to be on your new SS card. Line 2 shows your former/maiden name, line 3 for any other names you have used.
  3. Not necessary to fill out Items 9 and 10, the information about your mother and father.
  4. Don’t forget to sign it! (Make a photocopy for your records)
  5. Supporting documents: It would be a good idea to photocopy your driver’s license or birth certificate as an additional identifying document but not absolutely necessary since the marriage certificate has a lot of information on it and has always been sufficient in the past.
  6. Mail the completed SS-5, an original Certificate of Marriage (photocopy not acceptable), any other ID you are submitting, in Wake County mail to 4701 Old Wake Forest Road, Raleigh NC 27609.
  7. It may take anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks to get your new card. They will return your original Certificate of Marriage”

    Then present a certified copy of the Marriage License to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) with your new SS card to change your name on the marriage license


Contact Ann

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at or 919-920-0569. I routinely make updates on the NC COVID 19 restrictions on Instagram IGTV

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