How to Obtain a Divorce Certificate in Michigan
Each state has its unique procedure for looking up divorce records and applying for a certificate. Obtaining a divorce certificate in Michigan is no exception to this rule. Without following each step with great care, it is easy to get caught up in a bureaucratic tangle that delays receiving important documents.
In Michigan, your divorce certificate -- also referred to as proof of the dissolution of marriage -- is generally a public record. However, these records can be sealed by decree. There is no central server or database for these records.
To request a copy of a divorce certificate in Michigan, the MI Vital Records office is the only point of contact. While other states such as New York provide other options thanks to centralized databases, MI manages its records differently. Here are the steps to submit the proper documentation, word requests properly, and obtain your certificate as quickly as possible.
The Difference Between Divorce Certificates and Decrees of Divorce
There are two documents that denote a divorce in Michigan. To obtain a MI divorce certificate certified copy, you'll need to know which one to ask for. If you're wondering, "what does a divorce certificate look like in MI?" read on.
What Is a Divorce Certificate?
Divorce certificates are documents that:
- Show a straightforward indication that a divorce took place, and on which date
- Offers basic demographic information about both parties
- Lists the date that the divorce officially took place
What Is a Decree of Divorce?
Decrees of divorce are more detailed documents that include additional information such as:
- The results of a divorce settlement
- A judge's signature
- A case number
- Custody information
- Alimony payment details
A decree of divorce is a more complicated document with separate requirements to obtain. This article focuses on where to get the original divorce certificate in MI, and how to obtain a divorce certificate PDF in MI.
Who Can Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in MI?
Anyone can apply for divorce records in Michigan. But, in the case that a divorce decree has been sealed by the court, only those named on the document can apply for a copy of the actual record.
Because most divorce certificates provide sparse details, these tend to be publically available. The more detailed divorce decree, on the other hand, is rarely available without being named on the document directly.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce Certificate in MI?
Contrary to other states, like California, birth, death, and divorce records in Michigan all have the same costs.
Send cash, check, or money order for $34 alongside your application
Total fees range from $58.50 to $78.25, depending on whether expedited service is required.
Fees range from $58.60 to $78.25, again for expedited service.
Certified marriage certificates cost $34.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Certified Copy of a Divorce Certificate in MI?
How long it takes to get your divorce certificate in Michigan depends on whether one applies for expedited service. The basic processing time is two weeks but can take up to five weeks. If rush service is paid for, alongside overnight delivery, orders can arrive as quickly as 1-3 business days -- but only after the two-week expedited processing period is complete.
Because your MI divorce certificate certified copy is a sensitive legal document, any issues with confirming the identity of the applicant can set back shipping times indefinitely. For those wondering where in Michigan can they get their divorce certificate copy, there is no pickup service. All requests are mailed after the allotted processing time.
When Do I Receive the Certificate of Divorce From the State of Michigan?
There is no guaranteed timeframe. However, there are ways to structure and word your request to help expedite the process, which will be discussed later in this article.
What Documents Do I Need to Get a Divorce Certificate in MI?
Presenting the correct documents is crucial in obtaining legal copies of both marriage and divorce certificates from Michigan. Make sure to send clear copies of the following:
- The full name of the applicant
- Current home address -- the same as where the certified copy will be sent
- The date of the divorce
- Detailed reason for why the applicant needs a copy of the divorce certificate
How to Obtain a Divorce Certificate in MI On Your Own
There are three methods to apply for a divorce certificate in MI. To obtain a divorce certificate PDF in Michigan, you'll only be able to process your application online. Otherwise, you'll have to fill out a hard copy of your application and process it by one of the following methods.
Print out this application, and fill it out completely by following the directions above. Then send the application, including the appropriate fees, to:
Vital Records Requests
PO Box 30721
Lansing, MI 48909
Wondering what a mailed divorce certificate looks like in MI? Look for an envelope marked "URGENT" with the Vital Records mailing address prominently displayed.
Phone applications are not processed directly by the state of Michigan Vital Records office. A third-party company handles these requests and charges an additional $12.50 processing fee on top of the fees noted above. A credit or debit card is required. Call (866) 443-9897 and have all of your detailed information ready.
In-person orders can only be set up by appointment. These can be scheduled online here. Bring along a photo ID, all of the required information discussed above, and have cash, check, credit card, debit card, or money order ready for payment. This is also where to get the original divorce certificate in MI.
Online orders are not processed directly by the state of Michigan. For online applications, visit the third-party provider at this link. Only credit or debit cards are accepted.
What to Do if You Can’t Apply for a Marriage Certificate by Yourself
Most applicants can receive a copy of a marriage certificate. However, there will be additional, manual scrutiny applied to each application. This is the reason for the fairly long processing times demanded by the Vital Statistics office.
This means carefully wording your request. If someone else handles your application for you, they'll need to honestly and clearly state why they are doing so on the application itself. The Vital Statistics office can push for further details or decline applications at their discretion.
Streamlining the Steps to Avoid Common Pitfalls in MI Divorce Certificate Applications
Have you been wondering when you will receive your Michigan certificate of divorce if there’s a mistake with your application? DoNotPay can help you avoid that question in the first place. Each of the DIY methods described above has multiple steps and often requires crossing over into one option or another to finish the application.
Mail-in requests have you going online and printing out PDFs. Phone requests require you to send the payment manually if you prefer not to pay with your credit card. Online requests often add additional fees if you don't send in a hard copy of your application instead. And then there's that line that demands applicants explain why they're applying for a divorce certificate in the first place. DoNotPay cuts the fat from the application process, and carefully covers common pitfalls automatically to avoid correcting mistakes after a long processing period.
How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate Using DoNotPay:
If you want to get a copy of a divorce certificate in Michigan, but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 7 easy steps:
- Go to the Certificates of Divorce product on DoNotPay.
- Select whether the certificate belongs to you or a relative/loved one. If it belongs to someone else, enter the details of both people on the certificate, and select/upload evidence that proves your relationship with them. If the certificate is yours, enter the details of your spouse.*Please note: some states only allow people named on the certificate to apply.
- Enter the city, state, and county where the divorce certificate and original divorce certificate were issued as well as the dates they were issued on.
- Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.
- Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license.
- Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct.
- If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail-in your request form with a check on your behalf.
Why Use DoNotPay to Solve Your Michigan Divorce Certificate Problems?
- Fast—Processing times in Michigan are exceedingly long by default. DoNotPay's automated system asks for all the right information from the start, and words all of your documents in the perfect "legalese" that covers more bases than non-lawyers generally can on their own.
- Easy—Follow the steps in each unique web-based tool. Whether it's for marriage certificate applications or submitting a request for a refund, there are no mysteries here.
- Successful—There have been thousands of requests processed by DoNotPay. We always make sure to put out the best requests possible to keep things simple between clients and the entities they're dealing with.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Consider using DoNotPay for marriage certificates in any state you might be from, not just Michigan:
- Handle Texas marriage certificate requests with no problems
- Avoid wrangling with Florida marriage certificate services
- Cut through the mysteries of Nevada's document application process
- Don't let Arkansas' certified document bureaucracy keep you down
You can also solve any number of financial disputes, legal issues, or other types of document applications with DoNotPay:
And much more!