Michigan Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

The Courts are often willing to accept name changes for almost any legitimate reason. However, the granting of an application for change of name is discretionary with the Court. For an order/decree/judgment of name change to be granted, the Court must find compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the application. The Court must also find good and sufficient reason for the change, find the change consistent with the public interest and if the change of name is for a minor child, find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

You cannot change your name for a fraudulent purpose, such as to avoid debts, you cannot change to a name that could affect the rights of another person, such as a celebrity, you cannot use a curse word, racial slur, obscene and/or an offensive word as part of your name and you cannot change to a name that would cause deliberate confusion (for example, a name with punctuation and/or a number in it).

IMPORTANT NOTE: For name change actions which involve a minor, courts typically seek written consent from every adult who retains legal rights over the minor. As such, the applicant must directly notify each of these parties (Service of Process).

Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY. Our products/services should not be used if you have been convicted of a felony, have claimed bankruptcy and/or have judgments/liens against you. Instead, you should consider contacting an attorney in your area. These circumstances could cause complications, which may result in your action being denied and/or contested.

Overview of Process in Michigan for an Adult

The process to change your name in Michigan is relatively simple. Here are the basic steps involved:

  1. Fill out or have us complete the simple, Adobe .PDF fillable forms included within this kit;
  2. Print the forms and file them with the Family Division of your local Circuit Court;
  3. Pay the filing fee;
  4. Arrange to have your fingerprints taken (if you are twenty-two (22) years of age or older) at a local police agency (likely in the city where you reside). After your fingerprints have been taken, mail or deliver a copy of your Petition for Name Change, the fingerprint cards, and the applicable fee to the Michigan State Police. The Michigan State Police and the FBI will review their records and will prepare a report for forwarding to the court.
  5. After the court receives a copy of your criminal history report, it will make arrangements to publish a notice of your proposed name change; and
  6. Appear in person before the court if necessary (this step is normally not necessary; however, some cases may involve a hearing). At this time, the court shall proceed at chambers to hear and determine all matters raised by the Petition and to render final judgment or decree thereon. The Court may then proceed to enter an Order of approval of name change.

Requirements to File for a Change of Name for an Adult in Michigan

Michigan law identifies several criteria before you can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in Michigan. These requirements include:

  • You must have lived in Michigan for the last 12 months.
  • You must have lived in your county for the last 12 months.
  • You are not changing your name to avoid creditors or to defraud someone (for fraudulent intent).

Overview of Process in Michigan for a Minor

Here are the basic steps involved in changing a minor's name:

  1. Fill out or have us complete the simple, Adobe .PDF fillable forms included within this kit;
  2. Print all of the forms, including multiple copies of certain forms if needed;
  3. File the signed papers, with a filing fee, and a copy of the minor's birth certificate in the Circuit Court Family Division;
  4. Pay the Publication fee. (In some counties, the court will arrange the publication. Other counties require the petitioner to arrange the publication.);
  5. Notify parties who have legal rights to direct notification (service of process).
  6. Appear in-person with the minor child before the Court at the scheduled Hearing.

At this time, the court shall proceed at chambers to hear and determine all matters raised by the Petition and to render final judgment or decree thereon. The Court may then proceed to enter an Order of approval of name change.

Requirements to File for a Change of Name for a Minor in Michigan

Certain requirements exist which must be met before you can file for a name change for a minor and/or during the name change process for a minor in Michigan. These requirements include:

  • You (the Petitioner/Applicant/Plaintiff) are the minor child's parent or guardian.
  • If you are requesting the name change of a minor who is less than fourteen (14) years old, you must file the petition where the child lives.
  • In order for the proposed name change to be considered by the Court, the minor must have resided in the State of Michigan for at least one (1) year.
  • To file an application for a change of name for a minor in Michigan, the minor must be seventeen years of age or younger. Once the age of majority is reached, an application for an adult name change should be filed.
  • You (the Petitioner/Applicant/Plaintiff) must have proper and reasonable cause for the requested change of name for the minor.
  • You (the Petitioner/Applicant/Plaintiff) are not changing the minor child's name to avoid debts or to defraud creditors or anyone else (you are not seeking the change of name for fraudulent intent).
  • If the minor is fourteen (14) years of age or older, he/she must also give written consent by signing the petition in the presence of the court, otherwise the petition will be considered incomplete. If the minor is younger than fourteen (14) years of age, the court may consider the minor's wishes if the minor is of sufficient age to express a preference.
  • Written consent to the name change must be provided by all adults who retain legal rights over the minor.

Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95
Minor Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95
Minor Name Change $119.95

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