Open Public Record Act:
The Michigan’s Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act ensure that each citizen is able to access government documents and observe proceedings where elected and non-elected officials conduct public business. There are exemptions to the these statutes. For example, some records are not open to the public. These include records that violate a person’s privacy, interfere with law enforcement proceedings, and disclose the identity of a confidential source.
The State of Michigan Vital Records Office maintains records of births that occurred in the state and were filed with the state as far back as 1867. Records of births can be requested online using a debit or credit card. You can also submit a request by mail or in person during business hours.You can also obtain a copy online from a third party vendor, VitalChek. If you wish to get information regarding obtaining a birth record, you can call 517-335-8666, press option #4.
In Michigan, birth records less than 100 years old are considered private. Only the following individuals are eligible to receive a copy of a birth record:
- person named on the record
- parent named on the record
- legal guardian of person named on the record
- legally licensed representative of the person named on the record
- heir of the person on record (person is deceased
- court of competent jurisdiction
The State of Michigan Vital Records Office maintains records of marriages that occurred in the state and filed with the office. The records date as far back as 1867. You can obtain copies of marriage records in person, online, or by mail. If you need more information, you can speak with a customer service representative at 517-335-8666, press option #4.
Anyone is eligible to apply for a certified copy of a marriage certificate if the request is made in writing and the appropriate fee is paid.
Divorce records filed with the State of Michigan Vital Records Office date as far back as 1897. Anyone can request for a divorce record. You can apply for a copy of a divorce record online, by phone, or by mail. The standard processing time for mail-in orders is 4-5 weeks while expedited processing is 2-3 weeks. Take note that the Vital Records Office can only verify key facts on a Michigan divorce record. The information that can be verified include name on the record, date, place, and date of filing.
Death records beginning 1867 are available at the State of Michigan Vital Records Office. Any individual may request for certified copies of death records online through VitalChek, by phone, by mail, or in person. If you require more information, you can call the office’s customer service at 517-335-8666, press option #4.
The Michigan State Police does not maintain a database or clearinghouse of missing person cases in the state. If you wish to locate information on a missing person, you can search the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).
The Michigan Government website lists all the public officials elected in the state. You can check all the different branches and government bodies, starting from the Governor’s office. Some of the elected officials listed such as Rick Snyder have links to their websites or profiles which will allow you to learn more about the official.