Name Changes

A copy of an order granting a name change may be obtained only by the person whose name was changed (or the petitioner in the case of a minor). If the person whose name was changed was a minor at the time of the name change and is now an adult, that person must request a copy of the name change order. The request form must be completed and either brought to the Probate Court office or mailed. If making the request in person, bring the completed request form, your photo id, and cash, check, or money order in the appropriate amount to the Probate Court Office. If making the request by mail, the request form must be signed before a notary, a copy of the photo id for the person making the request must be made on the reverse side of the notarized form, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for returning the order and the appropriate fees must all be mailed to the Probate Court office.

General Information

A "name change" can be effectuated provided that you meet the requirements for a change of name that is contained in MCL 711.1, which is the law pertaining to name changes.

The minimum requirements are

  • The person whose name is to be changed must be a resident of Montcalm County for not less than one year prior to the filing of the petition; 2) 
  • The petitioner must show sufficient reason for the requested change
  • The name change is not being sought for fraudulent intent.

If the person seeking the name change has a criminal record, it is presumed that it is with fraudulent intent and the burden of proof is on the petitioner to rebut the presumption.

To change the name of a minor, the petitioner must have the consent of the non-custodial parent. It is the policy of the Montcalm County Probate Court that the request to change the name of a minor to that of a step-parent (without the benefit of adoption) is made with fraudulent intent and in most cases will NOT be granted.

After reviewing the law and determining that you meet the requirements to have either your name, your spouse's name or your child's name changed completely the petition and file it with the Court. Depending on the age of the person whose name is to be changed and whether fingerprinting is necessary, the petitioner will receive notice from the court by mail of the hearing date and time. The petitioner will be required to have a notice of the hearing published according to the time requirements established by Michigan Court Rule 3.613 and in the case of a minor, service must be made to the non-custodial parent. It is the petitioner's obligation to handle the publication with the newspaper and pay, directly to the newspaper, any publication costs.

The Petitioner(s) and those person(s) whose name(s) are being changed must attend the hearing.

The filing of a Petition is not a guarantee that the request will be granted by the Court. The Court can only order a name change when the legal requirements have been met. If you do not meet the legal requirements for a name change, you should not complete the forms or pay the filing fee since it is extremely unlikely a name change could be ordered. The court cannot refund the filing fee if the name change is not granted.

If the petition is granted and the name is changed, the petitioner will be provided with a certified copy of the Order Changing Name along with an Application to Correct or Change a Michigan Birth Record (PDF). The order and application must be submitted to the State of Michigan Vital Records with the applicable fee.

View the Notice to Persons Representing Themselves (PDF).