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Legal Resources

Legal Name Change in Michigan

Legal Resources



Gender Marker Change in Michigan


Legal Name Change in Michigan


While the process varies by county, the steps are generally the same:

1. Visit your local county clerk’s office–you can find the address of your local clerk’s office on this list.. You must use the clerk’s office in the county in which you legally reside.

Michigan Clerk’s Offices by County:

106 North 5th Street in Harrisville for Alcona County

101 Court Street in Munising for Alger County 

113 Chestnut Street in Allegan for Allegan County

720 West Chisholm Street in Alpena for Alpena County 

203 East Cayuga Street in Bellaire for Antrim County

120 North Grove Street in Standish for Arenac County

2 South Main Street in L’Anse for Baraga County

220 West State Street in Hastings for Barry County

515 Center Avenue in Bay City for Bay County

448 Court Place in Beulah for Benzie County

811 Port Street in St. Joseph for Berrien County

31 Division Street in Coldwater for Branch County

161 East Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek for Calhoun County

120 North Broadway in Cassopolis for Cass County

203 Antrim Street in Charlevoix for Charlevoix County

870 South Main Street in Cheboygan for Cheboygan County

319 Court Street in Sault Ste. Marie for Chippewa County

225 West Main in Harrison for Clare County

100 East State Street in St. Johns for Clinton County

200 West Michigan Avenue in Grayling for Crawford County

310 Ludington Street in Escanaba for Delta County

705 South Stephenson Avenue in Iron Mountain for Dickinson County

1045 Independence Boulevard in Charlotte for Eaton County

200 Division Street in Petoskey for Emmet County

1101 South Saginaw Street in Flint for Genesee County

401 West Cedar Avenue in Gladwin for Gladwin County

200 North Moore Street in Bessemer for Gogebic County

400 Boardman Avenue in Traverse City for Grand Traverse County

214 East Center Street in Ithaca for Gratiot County

29 North Howell Street in Hillsdale for Hillsdale County

401 East Houghton Avenue in Houghton for Houghton County

250 East Huron Avenue in Bad Axe for Huron County

341 South Jefferson Street in Mason for Ingham County

100 West Main Street in Ionia for Ionia County

422 West Lake Street in Tawas City for Iosco County

2 South Sixth Street in Crystal Falls for Iron County

200 North Main Street in Mt. Pleasant for Isabella County

120 West Michigan in Jackson for Jackson County

201 West Kalamazoo Avenue in Kalamazoo for Kalamazoo County

605 North Birch Street in Kalkaska for Kalkaska County

300 Monroe Avenue Northwest in Grand Rapids for Kent County

5095 Fourth Street in Eagle River for Keweenaw County

800 Tenth Street in Baldwin for Lake County

255 Clay Street in Lapeer for Lapeer County

8527 East Government Center in Suttons Bay for Leelanau County

301 North Main Street in Adrian for Lenawee County

200 East Grand River Avenue in Howell for Livingston County

407 West Harrie Street in Newberry for Luce County

100 South Marley in St. Ignace for Mackinaw County

40 North Main Street in Mount Clemens for Macomb County

415 Third Street in Manistee for Manistee County

234 West Baraga Avenue in Marquette for Marquette County

304 East Ludington Avenue in Ludington for Mason County

400 Elm Street in Big Rapids for Mecosta County

839 10th Avenue in Menominee for Menominee County

301 West Main Street in Midland for Midland County

111 South Canal in Lake City for Missaukee County

106 East Main Street in Monroe for Monroe County

211 West Main Street in Stanton for Montcalm County

12265 M-32 in Atlanta for Montmorency County

990 Terrace Street in Muskegon for Muskegon County

1087 Newell Street in White Cloud for Newaygo County

1200 North Telegraph Road in Pontiac for Oakland County

100 South State Street in Hart for Oceana County

806 West Houghton Avenue in West Branch for Ogemaw County

301 West Upton Avenue in Reed City for Osceola County

311 South Morenci Avenue in Mio for Oscoda County

225 West Main in Gaylord for Otsego County

12220 Fillmore Street in West Olive for Ottawa County

151 East Huron Avenue in Rogers City for Presque Isle County

500 Lake Street in Roscommon for Roscommon County

111 South Michigan Avenue in Saginaw for Saginaw County

60 West Sanilac in Sandusky for Sanilac County

300 Walnut Street in Manistique for Schoolcraft County

208 North Shiawassee Street in Corunna for Shiawassee County

201 McMorran Boulevard in Port Huron for St. Clair County

125 West Main Street in Centreville for St. Joseph County

440 North State Street in Caro for Tuscola County

212 East Paw Paw Street in Paw Paw for Van Buren County

200 North Main Avenue in Ann Arbor for Washtenaw County

437 East Division Street in Cadillac for Wexford County

2 Woodward Ave in Detroit for Wayne County

When you get to the counter, you’ll let them know that you’re there seeking a name change. To apply for a name change, you will fill out a small packet of forms. You can either download and print the forms and instructions ahead of time for free, or the clerk will give you a small packet of forms and instructions at the counter that might cost a small fee. In this link, there’s a PDF of instructions for how to fill out each part of the form. The forms must be completed entirely by you, but depending on how busy the office is when you go, you may be able to ask the clerks for clarification if you have any questions. In the field that asks why you’re seeking a name change, it’s okay to put something as short  as “I’m transgender”, or you can elaborate on wanting it for gender-affirming purposes.

Once you’ve filled out the petition for name change, bring it back up to the clerks and pay the filing fee ($175). If you cannot afford the filing fees, you may apply for a fee waiver. Your hearing date will typically be scheduled at least a couple months out to give you time to complete Step 3: fingerprinting and Step 4: publishing a notice.

2. If you’re over 22, fingerprinting is a required part of the name change process. The clerk will give you directions on where you’ll need to get fingerprinted at, and this will cost you around $45. Time is of the essence with this part because the results can take a while to come back, and you must have the results before your hearing date. The best rule of thumb is to plan on getting this done within the same week that you file–procrastination could mean rescheduling your court date.

3. You’ll need to publish a notice in the legal news, which is around $115 or so. The clerk’s office will have given you contact information for which publication you’re required to use. This process involves reaching out to the publication, filling out an affidavit, and paying their fee to both run it in the paper and send notice to the court that it’s been published. Begin this process early to ensure the publication has time to run the notice and notify the court before your hearing date.  If you feel that publishing a notice would out you as a transgender person and endanger your safety or livelihood, you may ask the judge to waive this requirement.

4. The hearing itself will be pretty quick. The judge will ask a few questions about if you’re changing your name to hide from police or creditors/to commit fraud, they’ll ask you why you want to change your name, and then they’ll (nearly 100% of the time) grant it, and the judge will sign the form.

On the day of your hearing, the judge will typically ask you why you’re seeking the name change, as well as asking if you’re seeking the name change for fraudulent purposes (to evade the law/debt collectors, or as a form of ID theft). They may also ask you to confirm the spelling of your new name. It’s likely that you’ll need to state your birth name at the beginning of the hearing, if that is something that you need to prepare for ahead of time. Court can feel stressful, but as long as you stay calm, explain that you’ve chosen/been using a name that better reflects your identity, and that you’re not seeking your name change for any reason other than gender-affirmation, you’re almost guaranteed to have your name change granted. In some situations, if the name change order is denied, you can petition for a return of some of your filing fees.

5. From there, you’ll head back over to the clerk’s office to wrap up and get your certified copies of the name change order. We recommend paying the few extra dollars to get a couple of extra certified copies of the order to avoid lengthy waits and delays in updating your vital documents so you’re not waiting for one paper to come back for weeks at a time. Your first stop when updating your information should be your closest Social Security office.


National Center for Transgender Equality–ID Document Center

Michigan Courts–Name Change Forms

Livingston County, MI–Name Change Procedure

Macomb County, MI–Clerk-Court Section

Monroe County, MI–Name Changes

Oakland County, MI–Legal Name Change

St. Clair County, MI–County Courts

Washtenaw County, MI–Name Change

Wayne County, MI–Name Change (Age 1-22) and (Age 22+)

Tracy Pease, Detroit Organizer w/ VoteRiders Voter ID Help

Tracy’s group helps people with doing their name and gender marker changes for free, they also accompany people to hearings and filings as assistance/moral support (Michigan Area).


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