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Legal Information: North Carolina

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
February 6, 2020

What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

How do I register my protection order in North Carolina?

To register your protection order in North Carolina, go to the Superior Court in your county, and bring the following items:

  1. One (1) copy of your protection order. It does not need to be a certified copy.
  2. A copy of the “Request and Affidavit to Register and Registration of Out-of-state Domestic Violence Protective Order” (AOC-CV-315).  This form is available online and at the superior court. Go to our NC Download Court Forms page to find a link to this form online.
  3. A copy of the “Identifying Information About Defendant Domestic Violence Action” (AOC-CV-312). This form is available online and at the superior court. Go to our NC Download Court Forms page to find a link to this form online.

When you give the forms and the copy of your protection order to the clerk of the court, you will need to swear under oath that to the best of your knowledge, the order is still in effect and nothing about the order has been changed.  Then you will sign the form in front of the clerk.

To find the superior court in your county, go to our NC Courthouse Locations page.

Once the Superior Court receives all of this information from you, the clerk will send a copy to the sheriff who will enter your protection order into the National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC).1 

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in North Carolina for assistance.  You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our NC Advocates and Shelters page.

 1 NCGS

§ 50B-3(d)

Do I have to register my protection order in North Carolina in order to get it enforced?

No. North Carolina state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order and can truthfully tell the officer that you believe the order is still in effect.1 It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by a North Carolina police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid order.

1 NCGS



§ 50B-4(d)


Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our NC Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)

What if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Maybe.  While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be more difficult for a North Carolina law enforcement official to determine whether or not your order is real, which means that it could take longer to get your order enforced.

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area.  An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in North Carolina.  To see a list of local domestic violence organizations, go to our NC State and Local Programs page.

Does it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in North Carolina.