Petition the family division of the circuit court in the county where you currently reside. You are required to have lived within the county for at least a year before filing a name change petition. You are required to have a sound reason for legally changing names, as it cannot be undertaken to defraud or deceive anyone. You will be required to publish your intent to change names in a newspaper so the public is aware of your name change intent and has the opportunity to object if necessary. Applicants 22 years and older must provide fingerprints for a criminal history check. The courts can accommodate special situations where name changes must be kept confidential.
Once you meet the above requirements, attend your scheduled hearing at the court and the judge will rule on your name change. Certified copies of your court order are usually available on the same day. Most agencies, such as the SSA and DMV, will need to see a certified copy of your court order before changing names. Use an Easy Name Change kit to help get all your records changed into your new name as quickly as possible, including receiving ready to send forms and letters wherever your name change is required in writing.
Individuals with a good understanding of the legal system are usually able to prepare and file their own name change petition. Should you have a complex situation or are not confident dealing with the court you may choose to seek out professional representation. This can significantly increase the overall cost of your name change. You may qualify for legal aid or find adequate assistance via court self-help programs. Speak with your local circuit court for more information.
Applicants 22 years of age and older are required to have their fingerprints taken and submitted with their petition. Your circuit court can provide a list of approved fingerprinting agencies. There will be separate, additional charges payable direct to the fingerprinting agency. Your fingerprints will be sent to the Michigan State Police and FBI for a criminal history check, then reported back to the court. Applicants with a criminal history are generally denied the opportunity to change names.
Complete Petition to Change Name, form PC 51. File with the circuit court where you have been residing for at least 1 year. When completing form PC 51 online, you should print enough copies to file with the court and to keep a copy for yourself.
Once you file your petition, the court will set a date, time and place for the hearing. This information is included on form PC 562, Notice of Hearing. The Notice of Hearing should be provided to an approved newspaper so your name change can be published. There is a time limit to have the newspaper publication completed. Following the newspaper publication and criminal history check (if applicable) you will return to the court for the hearing on the scheduled date.
You must attend your hearing or your name change will be denied. Dress neatly and arrive at the court house at least 30 minutes before your scheduled hearing time. Be prepared for lengthy waits. Attend your hearing with proof of newspaper publication, photo ID and a copy of your filed petition. The judge will consider your application and make a decision at the hearing. Once the name change is granted you can generally expect to be issued a court order on the same day.
If you were also born in Michigan you can apply to the State Registrar for Vital Records to have your birth certificate updated. Your updated birth certificate will list both your birth and legal names and can be used anywhere as proof of name change. There is a $50 fee to update your birth record and includes one certified copy of your birth certificate. Additional certificates ordered at the same time cost $50. Most other states can also facilitate changes to birth records after legally changing names. If you were born interstate locate your state vital records contact details here.
The final cost for changing name varies, depending on each applicant’s unique set of circumstances. While these fees were accurate at the time of writing, they are subject to change without notice.
You can begin updating your identification and accounts immediately after receiving your name change order. We recommend purchasing an Easy Name Change kit to save hours in figuring out what to send where. Receive your ready to send Social Security Administration form, plus procedures, forms and letters for hundreds more companies. No guesswork, no unnecessary time waiting on hold.