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Michigan Name Change Forms | Petition PC-51

Michigan name change forms allow anyone who has lived in the state for at least a year to apply for a legal name change. The petition should be filed with the Circuit Court in the county where they live. For name changes involving marriage or divorce, a petition is not required.
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How to Change Your Name (7 steps)

1. Petitioner Qualifications

The petitioner, or filing party, must be 22 years old and a resident of Michigan for the 12 months preceding the filing with the court.[1]

2. Complete the Court Forms

To start the process, complete the following forms:

3. File with the Circuit Court

Bring the following documents to the Family Division of the Circuit Court in the county you reside:

  1. Petition to Change Name (PC-51) – 3 copies
  2. Publication of Notice of Hearing (PC-50) – 2 copies
  3. Order Following Hearing on Petition to Change Name (PC-52) – 2 copies
  4. Filing Fee – $175 filing fee or complete the Fee Waiver Request (MC 20)[2]
  5. Government-issued ID – Driver’s license, State ID, or passport are sufficient.

4. Obtain a Background Check

Within 15 days of filing, it is required to have a criminal background check conducted by a police station or “Live Scan” location (depending on the court).[3]

  • Police Station – Must be submitted using the RI-008 Applicant and Personal Identification Card. This type of background check process can take anywhere from three to five weeks to process.
  • “Live Scan” – Some circuit courts allow the use of a “Live Scan” submission (find a vendor). It takes approximately seven business days to process.

Either option will be a processing fee of $43.25.

Make sure to bring a copy of the filed Petition to Change Name (PC-51) to the police station or “Live Scan” location.

5. Mail to the State Police

Mail a copy of the Petition for Name Change (PC-51) and completed fingerprint cards (mark the boxes on Segment E under “search requirements” for ‘FBI’ and ‘State’). Include the appropriate fee and send it to:

Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center
Identification Center
P.O. Box 30266
Lansing, MI 48909

Once complete, the FBI and State police will send a report to the court.

6. Make a Newspaper Publication

Use a copy of the Publication of Notice of Hearing (PC-50) and take it to a local newspaper that serves the county where the court is located. When requesting the publication, make sure to obtain a copy of the Affidavit of Publication, which must be filed with the court.

7. Go to the Court Hearing

Bring a copy of all the documents to the court hearing, including a complete version of the Order Following Hearing on Petition to Change Name (PC-52). Prior to the hearing, it is recommended to contact the clerk’s office to ensure the background check has been received. If not, a request to reschedule the hearing should be made.

If the court approves the name change, the judge will sign the Order Following Hearing on Petition to Change Name (PC-52), which can be used to legally change a person’s name with other government agencies and organizations.

Marriage Certificate

A couple in Michigan can change their names as part of applying for a marriage license.[4] Afterward, a certified copy of the marriage license can be used to change your name at government agencies. No court process is necessary.

To obtain a certified copy of a marriage license, an individual can request a copy online or by standard mail using the PDF application (DCH-0569-MX).

Divorce Decree

A woman involved in a divorce may change their name as a part of the court proceedings and record in the divorce judgment.[5] However, a man can request a judge to change their name as part of a divorce, which is not guaranteed under State law.

A certified copy of the divorce judgment, which is legal proof of the name change, can be requested online or by mailing the PDF application (DCH-0569-DIV).

Driver’s License

To update a driver’s license, schedule an appointment at least six months after the name change. Bring the following documents to the appointment:

  • Proof of use of the new name (i.e., utility bill, bank statements, etc.)
  • Current driver’s license
  • Proof of name change: (choose one)
    • Order Following Hearing on Petition to Change Name (PC-52);
    • Marriage license; or
    • Divorce judgment.
  • $9 fee

Voter Registration

After a name change, a resident of Michigan must update their voter information by using the online registration or schedule an appointment (in person) at a Secretary of State office.

To update online, it is required for a driver’s license to be changed first.