INDIVIDUAL 22 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER or
FAMILY WITH AT LEAST ONE FAMILY MEMBER 22 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER
All persons contemplating any legal name change procedure should be aware that the law regarding name changes is complicated and is subject to change. Because the results of a mistake in a name change proceeding can be very serious, all persons are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney and retain legal advice and services in name change proceedings. The county clerk staff and court staff are specifically prohibited by law from giving legal advice or assistance in name change proceedings. Michigan Compiled Laws 700.1211 clearly states: “Court personnel shall not provide or offer to provide legal advice or legal counsel to a fiduciary or an interested person and shall not complete a form, petition, or document for a fiduciary or an interested person ....”.
All name change petitioners should be aware of the following general legal requirements and local practices. However, please note that even within these general statements, there are exceptions, and legal advice should be sought about the particular facts of each case.
All pleading forms must be filled out completely and in compliance with Michigan Court Rules. This requires that they be on clean, good quality paper, either typewritten or printed in black or blue ink with the print to be no smaller than 12 point. The clerk is required by MCR 1.109 to reject nonconforming pleadings.
All required pleadings, fees, and processes must be completed before the case will be scheduled for any hearings. These requirements include:
1. The petitioner(s) seeking a legal name change in Wexford County must be a resident of Wexford County for at least one year prior to the filing of the petition.
2. If the name change is sought for an entire family, it may be done with the filing of one petition. There is only one $175 filing fee, but separate fees of $50 per person are required to create a new birth record for each individual changing their name.
3. Complete the Petition to Change Name (PC 51).
4. Include a certified copy of the Birth Certificate of each individual changing their name with the completed petition.
5. Complete an Application to Correct or Change a Michigan Birth Record (if born in Michigan) for each individual changing their name and provide a copy of your Driver’s License or Michigan State ID to submit along with each of the completed Applications to Correct or Change a Michigan Birth Record. An Application to Correct or Change a Michigan Birth Record must be completed for each individual changing their name and must have a copy of a Driver’s License or Michigan State ID attached to each application.
6. Pay $175 filing fee to the Wexford County Clerk.
7. Pay $10 fee to the Wexford County Clerk to enter the name change Order.
8. Pay $10 fee to the Wexford County Clerk for one certified copy of the name change Order. There will be an additional charge of $4 for each additional certified copy you would like to purchase at that time.
9. Pay $75.25 (Check or Money order only) made payable to the Cadillac News for the publication fee (per MCR 3.613 a notice of any Petition to Change Name must also be published).
10. Pay $15 fee directly to the Wexford County Sheriff’s Department for taking fingerprints (see attached Special Instructions for Name Change).
11. Pay $49.25 fee directly to the Michigan State Police for State and FBI criminal background check (see attached Special Instructions for Name Change).
12. Pay $50 (Check or Money Order only) made payable to the State of Michigan for a new birth record (only if born in Michigan - if not born in Michigan you are responsible for changing the birth record with the appropriate state of birth). Separate fees of $50 per person are required for each individual changing their name.
In special circumstances, there may be other forms that are required. Again, it is stressed that the Clerk’s Office is not responsible for assuring that the correct forms are selected or filed, and if the incorrect forms are filed or are not correctly filled out, the case may be delayed or dismissed. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to do everything correctly, so assistance by an attorney is strongly recommended.