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North Dakota Century Code 14-03-20.1

Surname options.

1. Every person has the right to adopt any surname by which that person wishes to be known by using that surname consistently and without intent to defraud. 2. A person's surname does not automatically change upon marriage. Neither party to the marriage must change the party's surname. Parties to a marriage need not have the same surname. 3. One party or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which that party wishes to be known after the solemnization of the marriage by entering the new surname in the space provided on the marriage license application. The entry on the application must consist of one of the following surnames: a. The surname of the other spouse; b. Any former surname of either spouse; c. A name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the premarriage surname or any former surname of either spouse; or d. A combination name separated by a hyphen or space, provided that each part of the combination surname is the premarriage surname or former surname of either spouse. 4. Use of the option under subsection 3 has the effect of providing a record of the surname change. The marriage certificate containing the new surname, if any, constitutes proof that the use of the new surname, or the retention of the former surname, is lawful. 5. Neither the use of nor the failure to use the option of selecting a new surname by means of a marriage license application, as provided in subsection 3, abrogates the right of either party to adopt a different surname through usage at a future date. 6. Compliance with the surname provisions of this section is sufficient to meet the satisfactory evidence requirements of section 39-06-07.1.


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