HomeLocal NewsHow To Legally Change Your Name In Michigan: The Guide

How To Legally Change Your Name In Michigan: The Guide

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If you are considering changing your name in Great Lake State, you must know how to legally change your name in Michigan.

Legally changing your name can be overwhelming, whether it’s due to marriage, divorce, or simply wanting a name that better reflects your identity. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Changing your name is a significant decision that can profoundly impact your life. That’s why knowing the legal process for changing your name in Michigan is essential. 

With this article, we aim to provide you with relevant and accurate information on legally changing your name in Michigan. Let’s get into it.

How To Legally Change Your Name In Michigan

  1. Get and Fill Out the Form

   – Visit your county clerk’s website to download and print the PC 51 form.

   – Ensure all sections of the form are completed. If you have a Birth Certificate (should be Michigan), you can simultaneously update it through line 9 on the form.

  1. Look for Your County Clerk’s Office

   – Locate your county clerk’s mailing address or office. Fees may vary but are typically around $175.

   – Check for fee waiver eligibility if unable to afford the cost. However, you should not that may affect the duration of the entire process.

  1. Submit the Fee Waiver Application

   – Print the MC 20 from https://courts.michigan.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/courtforms/mc20.pdf

   – Sign the form in the presence of a notary public or court clerk.

   – Verify payment methods and fees for mailing if required.

  1. Mail Your Petition and Required Documents

   – Mail or physically drop your petition, current ID, a copy of your Birth Certificate, and payment to the County Clerk’s office using a S.A.S.E.

  1. Undergo a Background Check ( for 22 years or older)

   – Get fingerprinted at your nearest police station, and mail fingerprints, the petition copy, and payment to the State police.

   – Allow 3-5 weeks for processing.

  1. Schedule Your Hearing

   – The clerk will send hearing information using the provided stamped envelope. Schedule your hearing if required.

  1. Publish the Notice of Hearing

   – Publish a notice in a local newspaper eight weeks to 15 days before the hearing. Also, ensure the court obtains evidence of publication before the scheduled hearing date.

  1. Be Present At Your Scheduled Hearing

   – Arrive on the hearing day with the necessary documents, including the PC 52 form.

   – Answer the judge’s questions truthfully and follow any instructions carefully. Some of the questions you are likely to be asked include:

  1. Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  2. Do you want this name change request for any fraudulent purposes?
  3. What is your reason for wanting to change your name?
  4. Are you currently indebted to any creditors?
  1. File the Order

   – The court will file the order following the hearing on form PC 52, usually on the same day as the hearing.

  1. Update Your Driver’s License or State ID

    – Obtain a new SSC, then update your Driver’s License or State ID with a certified duplicate of the order.

    – Follow the specific requirements of the Social Security Office and Secretary of State.

  1. Update Your Name Everywhere

   – Now, it’s up to you to find where your name is, be it school, workplace, or loan agencies, and change it to reflect the new name.

What Are the Requirements?

Before initiating a name change process in Michigan, certain criteria must be met by state law. These requirements include:


  • You must have resided in Michigan for the preceding 12 months.
  • Additionally, you should have maintained residency within your county for 12 months.
  • The name change should not be pursued with the intention of evading creditors or perpetrating fraud.


  • As the petitioner/applicant/plaintiff, you must be the parent or legal guardian of the minor child.
  • If the minor is under fourteen (14), the petition for name change must be filed in the jurisdiction where the child resides.
  • You must provide valid and reasonable cause for changing the minor’s name.
  • The name change request should not be driven by motives to avoid debts or defraud creditors or any other party.
  • The minor must have resided in the State of Michigan for not less than one (1) year for the proposed name change to be considered by the court.
  • A minor aged seventeen (17) or younger is eligible for a name change. Once they reach the age of majority, they should pursue an adult name change application.
  • Their written consent is required if the minor is fourteen (14) or older. The court may consider their preferences for minors younger than fourteen (14) if they are deemed old enough to express them.
  • All adults with legal rights over the minor must provide written consent.

How Much Does It Cost? Cost Breakdown.

While these fees can vary slightly depending on the county, here’s a breakdown to give you an idea of what to expect:

1. Initial Fees For Filing – Plan for approximately $175 as the initial filing fee. This fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing your name change request.

2. County Processing Fees – In some cases, individual counties may impose additional processing fees, typically ranging from $25 to $50.

3. Publishing Fee – Expect to allocate around $60 for the newspaper publishing fee. This step is often required by law to announce your name change publicly, ensuring transparency in the legal process.

4. Filing the Order and Certified Copies – Following the hearing, there’s typically a fee of about $30 to fill the order and obtain two petition copies.

It’s advisable to request two certified copies. Various agencies may ask for an original copy for their records, which you may need to provide or lend for a specified period, often up to 42 days. 

Two copies ensure you always have one for safekeeping while fulfilling agency requirements.

5. New Driver’s License or State ID – Finally, don’t forget to budget around $10 for obtaining a new state ID or driver’s license reflecting your updated name. This only applies to those with driving licenses.

Two copies ensure you always have one for safekeeping while fulfilling agency requirements.

6. New Driver’s License or State ID – Finally, don’t forget to budget around $10 for obtaining a new state ID or driver’s license reflecting your updated name. This only applies to those with driving licenses.

How Long Does Name Change Take In Michigan?

The process of legally changing your name can be exciting and transformative. However, you need to understand the timeline before starting this journey to properly plan yourself.

Here is the estimated timeline.

  1. Filing the Petition – Initiate the process by obtaining and completing the PETITION TO CHANGE NAME PC 51 form. This usually takes about a week. Once filled out, you’ll need to mail it using standard USPS mail.
  2. Background Check – If you’re 22 years or older, you’ll need to undergo a background check, which typically takes 3 to 5 weeks to complete. This step ensures that your name change request complies with legal requirements.
  3. Hearing Scheduling – Following submitting your petition, you’ll receive feedback from the clerk regarding your hearing. This phase can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks as it involves scheduling and coordinating with the court’s calendar.
  4. Notice Publication – Once your hearing date is confirmed, you need to promptly publish a notice of the hearing in a local newspaper. This step should be completed within 1 to 3 days of receiving your hearing date to adhere to legal protocols.
  5. Obtaining New ID – After your hearing, you must visit the Secretary of State to update your identification. It typically takes 3 to 4 weeks to receive your new ID via mail.
  6. Overall Timeline – While the duration from filing to hearing can vary depending on caseload and administrative processes, the average timeline for a name change in Michigan ranges from 4 to 8 weeks. 

Can You Also Change Your Gender In Michigan? Do You Need Surgery?

Yes, you can change your gender in Michigan, and you don’t need surgery. In Michigan, if you’re looking to legally change your gender, the process involves contacting the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

You must complete an Application to Change a Michigan Birth Record. This application should be accompanied by essential documents such as a copy of a court-ordered Sex Designation Form.

Don’t forget to include a copy of your photo ID. A nominal fee of $50 is associated, which covers issuing one corrected birth certificate. If you require extra copies, they can be obtained at $16 each.


If you’ve read up to this point, you know how to legally change your name in Michigan. The entire process requires following a specific legal process.

With our guide, you shouldn’t have any problems applying for a name change. Remember, whether it’s for personal, professional, or cultural reasons, your chosen name is a fundamental aspect of your identity,

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.


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