Probate Court

Name Changes

Prerequisite

Applicant must have been a resident of the county in which the petition for name change is filed for a minimum of 12 months immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

Application Instructions

Petitions for name changes has recently come under the jurisdiction of the Family Division of the Circuit Court. However, many Probate Courts, including Kent County Probate Court, continue to process petitions for name changes. To obtain a name change, the applicant must complete the Petition for Name Change, form PC 51 and file it with the court, and pay the required fee. Currently the filing fee for a petition to change a name is $160.00. The fee is payable in cash, personal check or by money order payable to the Kent County Circuit Court Family Division. The form may be obtained via this site or by visiting Probate Court.

If the applicant is 22 years or older, then he or she must have a criminal history background check performed. After the background check is complete the applicant will contact the court to set a hearing date to have the name change. If the applicant has a criminal history, it will be up to the applicant to rebut the presumption that the name change is being sought for fraudulent reasons.

If the applicant is 21 years or younger, he or she may begin the filing process without the background check.

Background Check

A background check is performed to determine if the name change is sought with fraudulent intent.

A background check is not performed on applicants 21 years of age and younger. To obtain the necessary background check, the applicant must take the completed copy of the Petition for Name Change to their local Police Department and obtain a set of finger prints.

Once the applicant has obtained the fingerprint card from the Police Department, he or she must mail or deliver the following items to the address listed below.

MICHIGAN STATE POLICE
CENTRAL RECORDS DIVISION
7150 HARRIS DRIVE
LANSING, MI 48913

The applicant's background check must go through the State of Michigan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks for the background check to be completed. The court upon receipt of the completed background check will then contact the applicant to set the hearing date for the name change.

It is very important that the applicant file with the court a copy of the petition for the name change at the same time that the fingerprints are being sent to the State Police. The court will use the information on the petition to contact the applicant once the background check has been completed and returned to the court.

Once the applicant has received notice from Probate Court that the court is ready to proceed on the petition for the name change, he or she must visit the Probate Court building during normal business hours to begin the filing process.

Name Change Fees

Description Payee Fee
Finger Printing, Adults 22+ State of Michigan $49.25
Court Filing Fee Kent County Circuit Court $160.00
Paper Publication Legal News $80.25
Certified Order of Name Change Kent County Probate Court $12.00
Name Change of Birth Certificate State of Michigan $40.00

Contact Us

Probate Court

Kent County Courthouse
180 Ottawa Avenue NW, Suite 2500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Filings are accepted until 4:30pm

(616) 632-5440

(616) 632-5430

Judge David M. Murkowski
Chief Judge Probate Court

Susan B. Flakne, Register

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