Legal Name Change
Any person requesting a change of name in St. Joseph County must be a county resident for a minimum of one year prior to requesting the change of name.
The Clerk’s Court Division Office has packets with the forms for a simple name change request. The personnel of this office cannot give you legal advice or direction on how to fill out the forms included in the packets. The actions of Court personnel are restricted by the Probate Code and Ethics.
For further information please contact the Clerk’s Court Division Office at (269)-467-5531.
- $150.00 filing fee
- $15.00 fingerprints at County Sheriff's Department
- $46.50 FBI Fingerprint check
- $? Notice of hearing in a county newspaper
Notes on Fees
- There is a $150.00 filing fee payable to the St. Joseph County Clerk when the Petition to Change Name is filed.
- If the person requesting his/her name be changed is 22 years of age or older, he/she must have fingerprints taken at the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department at a cost of $15.00. These fingerprints will be forwarded to the Michigan State Police and FBI at a cost of $46.50 payable to the State of Michigan.
- The Petitioner will also have to pay for publication of the Notice of Hearing in a county newspaper.
- At the time of the hearing, the petitioner will pay $11.00 for certified copies of the signed order.
Procedure: Under 22 Years of Age
- Complete the Petition to Change Name. Bring the entire packet, as well as a birth certificate, to the County Clerk's Office - Court Division with the filing fee. A file number, hearing date and time will be assigned.
- If box 7a on the petition is checked, a copy of the most current Circuit Court order addressing custody of minor child must be attached.
- The Clerk will prepare the Publication of Notice of Hearing form and the petitioner must submit it to a newspaper for publication. The notice of hearing must be published once at least 14 days prior to the Court hearing.
- Bring proof of Publication to the hearing.
Procedure: 22 Years of Age or Older
- Complete the Petition to Change Name. Bring the entire packet, as well as a birth certificate, to the County Clerk’s Office with the filing fee. A file number will be assigned.
- Petitioner will receive a copy of the petition to take to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department. Petitioner will pay the $15.00 fee to the Sheriff’s Department and have fingerprints taken for a criminal record check by the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- Bring the fingerprint card back to the County Clerk’s Office, with a check or money order for $46.50 payable to the State of Michigan. The County Clerk will forward the card and fee to MSP.
- The County Clerk will get responses from the FBI and MSP (allow at least six weeks), then mail petitioner the completed Publication for Notice of Hearing, reflecting the date and time of the Court hearing.
- Petitioner must submit the Publication of Notice of Hearing form to a county newspaper for publication. The Notice of Hearing must be published 1 time at least 14 days prior to the Court hearing.
- Bring proof of publication to the hearing.