Answers to Common Questions
Who is the Saginaw County Clerk?
Where is Saginaw County Clerk's Office Located?
The office is located at...
Where can I find online forms?
For the most immediate service, all forms should be downloaded and filled out prior...
Is the County Clerk's Web Site compliant with the new Federal IT Accessibility Initiative?
We've tried to ensure that our web site is accessible to everyone. The Saginaw County Clerk's web site has been validated by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC) and tested on multiple systems, however, problems sometime still occur. If you are having trouble viewing this web site, please inform the webmaster.
Who can register to vote?
You are qualified to vote if...
Where do I register to vote?
The last day to register before an election occurs at...
May I register to vote by mail?
YES. Individuals who register to vote by mail must vote in person in the first election following their registration.
Do I have to reregister for each election?
NO. Registration is permanent as long as you continue to live in the city or township where you are presently registered. However, if you move, you must reregister at your new address. Persons changing their names as the result of marriage or a legal action should report this to their local clerk by reregistering. Also be informed if any changes are made to your Driver's License, this change will be reflected in the State's Qualified Voter File (QVF) and the Secretary of State's Office will give you the opportunity to register.
How is my residence determined?
By Law, residence is where you habitually sleep, keep your personal belongings, and have your regular place of lodging. You may not register at your business address. Military service members, U.S. Government employees and their families living outside of the U.S. may register to vote at their last legal residence within the U.S.
Do I need to declare a party preference when I register?
Does everyone have to register to be eligible to vote?
How do I know where to vote?
At the City/Township precinct you are registered. If you do not know the location of your polling place, check with your city or township clerk. Click here for the polling places list for Saginaw County or for the County Commissioners map.
When are polls open?
In Michigan, the polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. on election day.
What are the voting procedures?
The polling place is where you go to cast your...
What should I do if my name does not appear on the list of registered voters at my polling place?
Answer any questions the election inspectors may ask in attempting to confirm your registration, contact your city or township clerk.
Can I find out if I am registered to vote?
Registration records are currently held by the City, Township or County Clerk's Office.
May I receive assistance when voting?
Any elector may request voting assistance from the precinct board without stating a reason, in which case two inspectors (one from each political party), will render assistance. If you need assistance because you are blind, disabled or unable to read or write, you may ask anyone (except your employer, an agent of your employer or an officer or agent of your union) to give you assistance.
May I take campaign literature into the polling place?
Yes, as long as the articles are for your personal use and you do not distribute or display them to other voters in the polling place. In addition, you may not leave any materials in the polling place. Anyone wearing pins, labels, T-shirts or other visible items endorsing a candidate or ballot issue will be asked to remove that item upon entering the polling place. In the case of a T-shirt, the voter will be asked to either remove or turn the shirt inside out.
Is campaigning allowed on election day?
YES! As long as it is done at least 100 feet from any door used by voters to enter or exit the building in which the polls are located
What if I am unable to attend the polls?
You may apply for an Absent Voter Ballot if...
What do I state for the reason of requesting an absent voter ballot if sending a letter?
When sending your absentee ballot, please include the following information...
When must the absent voter ballot be returned?
Your completed absent voter ballot must be received by your city or township clerk's office no later than 8:00 p.m. on the date of election.
What are the procedures to run for an office?
Nominating petitions are available from...
Is Voter Information available for purchase?
Qualified Voter File records are available for purchase in...
What is the difference between a primary and general election?
A Primary Election is held by the political parties to select their nominees for the offices to be elected at the upcoming general election. In a primary, Republicans run against Republicans and Democrats run against other Democrats. And, of course, if other parties qualify to appear on the primary ballot, their candidates run against each other as well. In a primary you vote on only one party's ticket.
A General Election is between party nominees and any candidates without political party affiliation, the general election determines which candidates will occupy the office that is up for election. Statewide ballot proposals also appear on the general election ballot.
How much does it cost to get a marriage license?
$20.00 for Michigan residents; $30.00 for nonresidents.
How long does it take to get a marriage license in Michigan?
Once an application is made, there is a 3-day waiting period and the marriage license can be picked up any time after the waiting period. If the 3-day waiting period falls on a weekend, the license can be picked up on the first working day.
How long before our wedding date can we apply for our license?
Upon application, the marriage license is valid for 33 days which includes the 3-day waiting period. If the County Clerk's copy of the marriage license is not returned within those 33 days, the license will be canceled.
Do both people have to come to apply for the marriage license?
NO. The applicant must be a resident of Saginaw County, and must bring all the required items for the other person - a birth certificate or birth information and a photocopy of the other person's driver's license or valid State ID, rather than the original.
YES. In the case of Nonresidents of Michigan, both parties should be present at the time of application.
What information do I need to know to complete the Marriage License Application?
The Marriage License Application is online. The application process will be expedited if it is completed and brought into the County Clerk's Office at the time of application
Can I apply for my marriage license in any County?
NO. You apply for your marriage license in the county in which you reside, then you can be married anywhere in Michigan.
Nonresidents of Michigan must apply in the County where the wedding will take place.
Must witnesses to marriages be 18 years old?
Is there someone in the Courthouse who can perform the marriage ceremony?
YES. The District Court Judges. Appointments for the ceremony must be made directly with the respective Judge after application. Any questions regarding appointment times, fees etc. can be answered by calling the District Court Office (989) 790-5380.
Can I get married if I'm only 16 or 17 years old?
A person may be married at age 16 or 17 with parental or guardian consent.
Can I get married if I'm under 16 years of age?
If under 16 years of age, the person and parents or guardian must appear before the Probate Court Judge at Juvenile Court to state their case. The Probate Court Judge will then decide if the marriage should take place.
How much does it cost to get a copy of a birth certificate?
All certified copies (birth, death or marriage certificates) are $15.00 for the first copy and $7.00 for any additional of the same record ordered at the same time. All return mail requests will also require an additional $1.00 to cover mailing costs.
I'm unable to come to your office, how can I get a copy of my birth record or marriage license?
Requests may be made by mail. We do not accept telephone requests. The fee must be paid prior to release of the record. Application Request Forms are available online.
How long does it take to get a copy of a birth certificate or other documents?
By visiting the County Clerk's Office, requests for certified copies of birth, death, or marriage licenses filed in Saginaw County can generally be filled on the same day as the request.
It is the County Clerk's Office goal to respond to mail requests within 5 to 8 working days from the date of receipt of the request.
Can I get a copy of someone else's birth, death or marriage license?
Birth records are confidential and are available only to the person and parents of the person named on the record. If you are an heir, legal guardian or legal representative of the person whose birth certificate you are requesting, additional documentation is required. Contact this office at (989) 790-5251 for additional information.
Death and marriage licenses are not confidential.
I am adopted and want a copy of my original birth certificate and/or birth certificate after my adoption, can I get it from this office?
Adopted person's birth records are not available through this office. Contact the Michigan Department of Community Health in Lansing at (517) 335-8656.
I was not born in Saginaw County nor in the State of Michigan, how can I get a copy of my birth certificate?
The County Clerk's Office maintains birth certificates for persons born in Saginaw County only. You must contact the County Clerk's Office in the County or Vital Records Department in the State where you were born to obtain a copy of your record.
How can I add the father's name to my child's birth record?
For information, go to Michigan Department of Community Health's website, Making Corrections and Changes to Vital Records.
Can I get a Social Security Number in your office?
NO. Social Security numbers are issued by the Social Security Administration only.
Why do I have to register my business name or Co-Partnership with the county?
Michigan law requires that persons who own, conduct or transact business in a county register their business names in that county as a matter of public record. This also secures your business name so that it cannot be used by anyone else in the County.
Is an assumed name the same as a business license?
NO. The County Clerk's Office does not issue business licenses. You are advised to contact your local City or Township Clerk where your business is located for information on business license requirements.
My business has been incorporated with the State. Do I also have to file with the County?
NO. Corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and nonprofit organizations owned by corporations do not file at the county level. However, there are other agencies besides the state that you may want to contact.
How much does it cost to file my business name or Co-Partnership?
The fee is $10.00 and renewable every five years. The County Clerk's Office will notify you by mail of your expiration date several months prior to actual expiration.
What do I need to do if my business address changes?
Your business address change should be updated on your Assumed Name registered with the County Clerk's Office. To change any information on an Assumed Name the present one needs to be discontinued for $10.00 and a new one needs to be issued for $10.00.
What if I want to add another person to my Assumed Name or Co-Partnership?
In order to add another person to my Assumed Name or Co-Partnership, it will be necessary to file a Notice of Discontinuance ($10.00 fee) on your present one, and file a new Assumed Name or Co-Partnership ($10.00 fee).
Where do I go to apply for a Passport?
The Saginaw County Clerk's Office is a passport processing agency of the U. S. Department of State and passport applications can be processed in this office Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm. They can also be processed at other processing agency around the country. Want to find an agency close to you?
Where can I get a Passport Application?
Applications can be obtained at the County Clerk's Office or downloaded from our Online Forms. Forms are also available at public offices like Post Offices, courthouses or municipal offices where passport applications are accepted.
How do I fill out the Application?
Instructions are on the back of the form.
What do I need to apply for a Passport?
EACH PERSON NEEDS: Two 2 x 2 Passport Photos; Certified Copy of Birth Certificate w/raised seal from County or State Govt or Naturalization Papers; Social Security No.. Valid Drivers License/Mich ID or Parent with Valid Drivers Lic/Mich ID; $25.00 Processing Fee-Cash, Money Order or Check Payable to: SAGINAW COUNTY CLERK ,
SEPARATE Check or Money Order.
PAYABLE TO: DEPARTMENT OF STATE
FOR THE AMOUNT OF: $115.00 (Persons 16 & Over) OR $80.00 ( Person under 16)
NEW! PHOTOS CAN BE TAKEN AT THE CLERK'S OFFICE - $10.00
Can I apply for passports for my children?
Persons 16 & over must be present to sign their application. Persons under 16 must apply in person with BOTH parents who must be present with their identification. This requirement is in compliance with the New Special Requirements for Children under 16 Years of Age.
Do I need a passport for my newborn baby?
Yes, every individual leaving the country must have their own passport. For children under 16 years of age, you are required to follow the Special Requirements for Children under 16 Years of Age. (see previous question)
Will the Birth Registration Record my parents received from the Michigan Department of Public Health at the time of my birth serve as a Birth Certificate?
NO. The Birth Registration Record does not contain a File Date nor a raised seal, thus is not a valid Birth Certificate. It may have been sufficient in years passed for other governmental purposes, but the Department of State requires a certified copy of a Birth Certificate for a passport.
What is the normal application turnaround time?
Upon application, the turnaround time is presently approximately 4 weeks.
How do I get a passport in a hurry?
There is a process for expedited passports. For detailed instructions, visit The Bureau of Consular Affairs.
What if I need the passport within 4 weeks?
If you need your passport within 4 weeks, it will be necessary for you to expedite the application. It will be necessary for you to purchase from the post office one prepaid express mail envelope and bring it with your application. The total expediting fee for adults is $182.72 payable to the Department of State, plus $25.00 processing fee payable to Saginaw County Clerk and $152.72 payable to the Department of State plus $25.00 processing fee payable to the Saginaw County Clerk for children under 16. Please inform the Clerk working with you of your departure date. The Clerk's Office will process your application and put it in the prepaid express mail envelope.
What if I need the passport in less than 2 weeks?
There are passport expediting agencies available who will hand-carry your passport application to the Passport Office for a fee. Contact the County Clerk's Office regarding these agencies. In addition to the required expediting items (listed above), you must also furnish a copy of your itinerary and/or tickets for proof of expediting. It will also be necessary to include a Letter of Authority for the Agency giving them permission to hand-carry your application.
What should I do if I have a life or death emergency and need to travel out of the county?
Contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) at 1-900-225-5674 or 1-888-362-8668
How long is a passport valid?
Passports for 16 or Older are valid for 10 Years, 15 or Younger for 5 years.
How do I change my name of my Passport after I get married/divorced?
You will need to complete the Passport Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement Form (DS-5504), also available at the County Clerk's Office, and send it along with the following items to the nearest passport agency:
- certified documentation of your name change (e.g., marriage certificate divorce decree with your new name)
- your current, valid passport.
The Passport Agency will return your documentation with your amended passport. There is no fee for this service unless you require expedited service. (See How do I get a Passport in a Hurry.)
How do I report a lost/stolen Passport?
Please apply for a new passport immediately. You may report your lost or stolen passport when you apply for the new one. Along with your application, you must submit a Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport Form (DSP-64).
If you decide not to apply for a new passport immediately, you may report your lost or stolen passport by completing Form DSP-64 and mailing it to:
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 510
Washington DC 20036
How do I renew my Passport?
You can apply for a passport renewal by mail if you can answer YES to the following questions:
- Already have a passport that is not damaged.
- Received it within the past 15 years.
- 16 or over when it was issued.
- Still have the same name as in passport (or you can legally document your name change.)
Complete the Passport Renewal Application (DS-82) and mail the application along with two new passport photos, your old passport, and money order for $115.00 (payable to the Department of State) to:
National Passport Center
P O Box 371971
Pittsburgh PA 15250-7971
Be sure to sign and date your application.
If you cannot answer YES to the above questions, it will be necessary to complete the process for a New Passport Application (DS-11) and requirements.
What if there is an error in the passport I just received?
In order to correct the error as quickly as possible, submit the following :
Mail the above to the Rewrite Desk of the Passport Agency that issued your passport.
Will I get my Birth Certificate back from the Passport Agency?
Yes, your birth certificate will be returned with your passport.
If I renew my Passport, will I get my old one back?
Yes, your old passport will be returned with your new passport.
Can I get a VISA at your office?
NO. Contact your local Travel Agent for information regarding a VISA. We do know that you will need a passport prior to applying for a VISA
Where do I file a lawsuit?
In the County Clerk's Circuit Court office located in the Lower Level of the Saginaw County Governmental Center, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Saginaw MI
Can the County Clerk's Office help me with filing the appropriate forms or give legal advice?
NO. It is important to remember that we are not attorneys, and are prohibited by law from giving legal advice.
How do I file for a Divorce?
You need to file a summons and a complaint for divorce along with appropriate number of copies in the County Clerk's Circuit Court Office.
Where do I get the forms?
There are several Michigan do-your-own divorce books available on how to do this (available through a bookstore, i.e. Barnes & Noble) or at the Michigan Supreme Court site. The County Clerk's Office does not provide forms of any kind.
Do I need an attorney?
No. No one is required to have a lawyer. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may call Legal Services at 755-4465. They will provide assistance and guide you through the proper procedures thru the entire process.
Can I file a divorce on my own?
If you choose to represent yourself (Pro Per), you need to know the court procedures. This means you have to understand court rules and procedures as well procedural requirements, i.e. timely filing of the appropriate forms, copies etc. You will also need to know the 2 letter suffix code required on court cases which can be obtained by reviewing the Michigan Bar Journal Code Book.
How much does it cost to open a case, file a lawsuit or a divorce?
It costs $150 with an additional $60 due if you want a jury trial. There is a $70.00 Judgment Fee due on divorce with children when the divorce is settled.
How long does it take for a divorce to become final?
The length of time between the initiation (filing of a complaint for divorce) of a divorce action and entry of a final judgment is determined by a number of factors. Obviously, the greater the number of contested matters to be resolved by the court, the longer the time until final resolution. This would be primarily due to the tremendous demands on the court for trial time.
In addition, even assuming an amicable resolution of all issues, by statute the parties must wait 60 days from the date of filing to entry of the judgment for divorce in those actions with no minor children, and six months where there are children born of the marriage.
If I live in the state of Wisconsin and my wife and children live in the state of Michigan, where do I file for a divorce?
In Michigan, a divorce must be filed in the state and county of residence. Therefore, if you file for a divorce, it must be in Wisconsin. If your wife files, it must be done in Michigan.
Can a woman who is pregnant be divorced in Michigan?
Being pregnant at the time of service of the divorce complaint would have no bearing on this issue. The unborn child must be included in the pleadings if s/he wasn't initially. It is very important that the orders of the court entered in the divorce action include all minor children born or conceived during the marriage.
How do I get child support for my children?
You will need to contact the Friend of the Court office.
Where is the Child Support Division?
The office is located within the Saginaw County Friend of the Court in the Saginaw County Governmental Center, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Saginaw MI.
Are Court records open to the public?
Yes. The County Clerk's Circuit Court Office has a computer available for public use.
Are copies from court files available, and how do I obtain copies?
All files, with the exception of suppressed files, exhibits and transcripts, are available to the public. Copies are available at $1.00 per page. If a Certification is required, there is an additional charge of $10.00. It will be necessary to complete the County Clerk's Office Circuit Court File/Copy Request Form and provide proper identification.
How can I obtain copies of transcripts?
Transcripts must be ordered from the presiding Judge's Court Reporter and information may be obtained by calling the Circuit Court Administrator's Office at 790-5470.
Court database starts with 1984 forward, what is the best way to request information or copies from theses files?
It would be advisable to write to the County Clerk's Circuit Court Office with the names that were used during that time period to enable us to properly identify the documents and we will advise you the charge and when they will be ready for pick up.
Can I bring my own copies in to the Clerk's Office and have them certified?
NO. We can only certify documents copied directly from the court file.
I'm applying for a new job and need a criminal check, where do I go and is there a charge?
The County Clerk's Circuit Court Office will do a criminal check for Circuit Court after proper identification is given, and there is no charge for this service. Your request must be in writing
Can I get information on files for the other courts in Saginaw County?
NO. The Clerk's Office cannot print out, obtain or give out any information for the Friend of the Court, District Court, Probate Court or Juvenile Court