9th Judicial Circuit Court

Filing Name Change Instructions

Instructions for Filing Name Change of an Adult

Pursuant to MCL 711.1 Sec.1(1), you must be a resident of Kalamazoo County for at least one year prior to the filing of a petition for name change.

Under Michigan law, every person 22-years of age or older who is requesting a name change must have a complete set of fingerprints taken at a local police agency. Those fingerprints will be used by the Michigan State Police (MSP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to check your criminal record. The Michigan State Police (MSP) will send a report to the court regarding any criminal records. If you have a criminal record, you must prove to the court that the name change is not being sought with fraudulent intent. It is the judge's decision to grant or deny your petition. It is not guaranteed that the name change will be granted.

Requirements for filing Petition for Name Change:

  • Filing fee $185.00 ($150.00 filing fee, $25.00 electronic filing fee and $10.00 name change order fee).
    • Certified copy of the order changing name can be purchased for an additional fee.
      • First copy - $15.00
      • Additional copies - $5.00 (purchased at the same time)
      • Any subsequent request for certified copies will be $15.00
  • Completed Petition to Change Name form (PC51).
    • Make two (2) copies of the petition.
      • If you need a copies from the clerk at the time of filing, the cost is $1.00 per page.
        • Copy for your record.
        • Copy for the Michigan State Police (MSP).
  • Copy of birth certificate.
  • Copy of photo ID.

Requirements after filing Petition for Name Change:

  • If you are over the age of 22, you will need to set up a time with your local police agency to have your fingerprints taken on Name Change Card (RI-008).
  • Take a copy of the Petition to Change Name with you to the local police agency.
  • Please make sure that all information on the top of the fingerprint card is completed. The results should be sent to:
    • 9th Circuit Court - Kalamazoo County
      150 E. Crosstown Parkway
      Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • Send the completed fingerprint card, a copy of the Petition to Change Name and the processing fee to the Michigan State Police (MSP). Contact 517-241-0606 for current fee for processing. Make checks payable to the State of Michigan.
    • Michigan State Police
      Criminal Justice Information Center
      PO BOX 30266
      Lansing, MI 48909
  • DO NOTE BEND OR FOLD THE FINGERPRINT CARD. The Michigan State Police (MSP) will review your criminal records and forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for their review. The results of your criminal history will be forwarded to the court to be reviewed by the judicial officer. This process can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.

NOTE: Per statute it is your responsibility to obtain all requirements regarding the petition for change of name. If the court does not receive your criminal record report, it is your responsibility to contact the Michigan State Police (MSP). The court may dismiss your petition without prejudice if the requirements of the statute are not completed by the date of the hearing.

Publication Requirements:

Pursuant to Michigan Court Rule 3.613 Change of Name, you must complete a Publication of Notice of Hearing (PC563). This can be done right after the petition has been filed.

  • The publication must be published in a paper of your choice that circulates in Kalamazoo County.

    Example: Climax Crescent's phone number is 269-746-4331. Publication submitted by noon Wednesday will be printed on Friday. After publication, the Crescent will send the court and the petitioner a copy of the affidavit of publication.

    • Climax Crescent
      150 N. Main

      PO Box 249

      Climax, MI 49034
  • The publication must run one (1) time.
  • The publication must occur at least 14-days prior to your scheduled hearing date.
  • Failure to publish according to requirements may result in the need to re-publish or the judge denying your petition.

NOTE: Per statute it is your responsibility to obtain all requirements regarding the petition for change of name. If the court does not receive your "affidavit of publication" it is your responsibility to contact the newspaper where you published. The court may dismiss your petition without prejudice if the requirements of the statue are not completed by the date of the hearing.

Obtaining a New Birth Certificate After Order Granting the Change Name:

  • You are responsible for contacting vital records in Lansing, Michigan (if you were born in Michigan) for them to create a new birth certificate in the new name.
    • Vital Records may be contacted at:

      • State of Michigan
        Department of Public Health
        3423 N. Logan Street
        PO BOX 30195
        Lansing, MI 48909
        517-335-8656 or 517-335-8666
  • Vital Records creates a new birth certificate in two ways:
    • If item #14 is filled out on your order that the judge signs, Vital Records will create a new birth certificate and will seal the original birth certificate.
    • If item #14 is NOT filled out, they will leave the original birth certificate in its original form and create an addendum to it that indicates the new name.
    • If you were NOT born in Michigan you must:
      • Call the agency responsible for creating birth records for that state.
      • Inquire as to their process for creating new birth record.

Important things to Remember:

  • If proper procedure is not followed, the judge may not sign an order at the hearing.
  • If publication is not done successfully, according to instructions, you may be required to reschedule the hearing until proper publication can be completed.
  • Please remember that this packet of information is designed to give you procedural information only.
  • Clerk staff cannot answer legal questions.
  • You may wish to consult an attorney.

Additional information can michiganlegalhelp.org

Instructions for Filing Name Change of an Minor

Pursuant to MCL 711.1 Sec.1(1), the petitioner(s) must be a resident of Kalamazoo County for at least one year prior to the filing of a petition for name change.

Requirements for filing petition for name change:

  • Filing fee $185. ($150.00 filing fee, $25.00 electronic filing fee and $10.00 name change order fee).
  • Certified copy of the order changing name can be purchased for an additional fee.
    • First copy - $15.00
    • Additional copies - $5.00 (purchased at the same time)
    • Any subsequent request for certified copies will be $15.00
  • Completed Petition to Change Name form (PC51).
    • Make two (2) copies of the petition.
      • If you need a copies from the clerk at the time of filing, the cost is $1.00 per page.
    • Indicate any previous court case such as support, divorce, paternity, name change, adoption, child protective proceeding.
    • If the parents are married, both parents must sign the petition.
  • Copy of birth certificate(s).
  • Copy of photo ID of petitioner(s).
  • Copy of support order(s) (if applicable).
  • A printout from Friend of the Court showing non-payment of child support for the last 2-years.
  • A minor age 14 or older must sign the petition and must also attend the court hearing.
    • Minor's Consent to Change Name (PC51b) must be completed and brought to the hearing.
    • The minor 14-years of age or older will sign the Minor's Consent to Change Name (PC51b) before the judge at the scheduled hearing.
  • A minor age 7 - 13 must be present in court.
  • Minors below 7-years of age have no requirements to attend the hearing.

If the parents are not married, or are separated:

  • Only the custodial parent may file a petition to change name of a minor(s).
  • The custodial parent must obtain the non-custodial parent's signature on the Petition to Change Name form (PC51) or #7 on the petition must be checked.
    • If you check number 7(a), you must check the appropriate box under (a). Failure to check one of these boxes may result in dismissal of the petition with no refund.
  • The Waiver/Consent (PC561) that contains the original signature of the non-custodial parent must be filed with the clerk's office if the non-custodial parent's signature is not on the petition.
  • If consent of the non-custodial parent is not obtained it is the responsibility of the petitioner to prove that she/he has sole physical and legal custody and that the non-custodial parent has not supported the child in over 2-years. The following documents will be required:
    • Orders of Support, Judgment of Divorce, Order of Filiation.
    • Friend of the Court child support print out for the last 2-years.

Publication requirements:

Pursuant to Michigan Court Rule 3.613 Change of Name, you must complete a Publication of Notice of Hearing (PC563). This can be done right after the petition has been filed.

  • The publication must be published in a paper of your choice that circulates in Kalamazoo County.
    • Example: Climax Crescent's phone number is 269-746-4331. Publication submitted by noon Wednesday will be printed on Friday. After publication, the Crescent will send the court and the petitioner a copy of the affidavit of publication.

      • Climax Crescent

        150 N. Main
        PO Box 249
        Climax, MI 49034
  • The publication must run one (1) time.
  • The publication must occur at least 14-days prior to your scheduled hearing date.
  • Failure to publish according to requirements may result in the need to re-publish or the judge denying your petition.

Service to non-custodial parent:

  • The petitioner shall serve to the non-custodial parent the following at least 9-days before the hearing if served by mail, and at least 7-days before the hearing if served personally - MCR 2.119(C).
    • A copy of the Petition to Change Name (PC51).
    • A copy of Publication of Notice of Hearing (PC563).
  • Once service has been completed, the petitioner must return a Proof of Service (PC564) to the court prior to the hearing.
  • If the whereabouts are unknown after attempts to locate and serve you may:
    • Include their name in the Publication of Notice of Hearing form (PC563) in the section labeled TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS INCLUDING.

NOTE: Per statute it is your responsibility to obtain all requirements per statute regarding the petition for change of name. The court may dismiss your petition without prejudice if the requirements of the statue are not completed by the date of the hearing.

Hearing requirements:

  • If the minor is 14-years-old or older, he/she must attend the court hearing.
  • If the minor is 14-years-old or older the form Minor's Consent to Change Name (PC51b) must be completed and presented to the court for the minor to sign in front of the judge at the hearing.
  • If the minor's age is 7 - 13, he/she must be present in court.
  • If the minor is below the age of 7-years-old, he/she have no requirements to attend the hearing.

Obtaining a new birth certificate after order granting the change name:

  • You are responsible for contacting vital records in Lansing, Michigan (if you were born in Michigan) for them to create a new birth certificate in the new name.
    • Vital Records may be contacted at:

      • State of Michigan
        Department of Public Health
        3423 N. Logan Street
        PO BOX 30195
        Lansing, MI 48909
        517-335-8656 or 517-335-8666
  • Vital Records creates a new birth certificate in two ways:
    • If item #14 is filled out on your order that the judge signed, Vital Records will create a new birth certificate and will seal the original birth certificate.
    • If item #14 is NOT filled out, they will leave the original birth certificate in its original form and create an addendum to it that indicates the new name.
    • If you were NOT born in Michigan you must:
      • Call the agency responsible for creating birth records for that state.
      • Inquire as to their process for creating new birth record.

Important things to remember:

  • If proper procedure is not followed, the judge may not sign an order at the hearing.
  • If publication is not done successfully, according to instructions, you may be required to reschedule the hearing until proper publication can be completed.
  • If service to the non-custodial parent is not done successfully, according to instructions, you may be required to reschedule and re-notice the hearing.
  • Please remember that this packet of information is designed to give you procedural information only.
  • Clerk staff cannot answer legal questions.
  • You may wish to consult an attorney.
  • Additional information can be found at michiganlegalhelp.org