Michigan Public Records

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act, MCL § 15.232, is the law governing public access to information that is deemed public information in Michigan. The law extends to almost all government records in Michigan, but does specifically exempt some types of records. Discoverable information includes criminal records, mug shots, salaries, and meeting minutes and agendas. In Michigan, every government office, including the city, village, township, county, and state levels, is required to name a Freedom of Information Act coordinator. Generally, requests should be in writing, as specific as possible, and include any requested fees. Agencies must respond to a FOIA request within five days, but may respond by denying the request or requesting additional time to fulfill the request.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Michigan

More About Michigan

Michigan is the nation’s tenth-most populous state. As of 2016, its population was estimated to be 9,928,300. Detroit is Michigan’s largest city. Michigan is located in the Midwest in an area specifically known as the Great Lakes Region. It is known for its abundance of lakes; in addition to the large lakes in the area, there are thousands of smaller lakes. Michigan has a diverse economy, but is known as the hub of the American automotive industry. Other important industries include tourism, high-tech, and manufacturing.


Public Records in MI

Although public record information is available, there is no single repository for public records in the state of Michigan. Instead, public records can be found in multiple locations. There are locations for property records, vital statistics, and criminal histories.

Property Records

Property records are records specifically relating to real property. Real property refers to real estate, which is includes land and any permanent attachments to that land, such as a house or other building. Property records are any type of record that reflects or impacts ownership or any type of obligation attached to the land, such as a mortgage or tax debt.

Land Records

Like most states, Michigan does not have a state-wide database of land records. Instead, land records are maintained at the county level. However, Michigan does have a database of publicly-owned land that is for sale, the Michigan Land Bank. There are also state and local land banks in Michigan.

Property Tax Records

The Michigan Department of the Treasury has a significant amount of property-tax-related information on its website.

Deed Records

In Michigan, each county has a register of deeds. The register of deeds is responsible for recording deeds relating to property in the county. In addition to deeds, the register of deeds records all legal papers and instruments relating to the transfer or encumbrance of real property within the county.


MI Vital Records

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services maintains vital statistics including birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage and divorce records. You can access that information at the state vital records office, over the phone, or online.

Birth Records

The Michigan Department of Health partners with a third-party vendor to provide birth records. You can order them online, by phone, or through the mail. To receive a birth record, you must be the individual named on the record or a parent or guardian. In addition, the offer affidavits of paternity to show paternity when the father is not named on the birth certificate.

Death Records

The Michigan Department of Health partners with a third-party vendor to provide death records. You can order them online, by phone, or through the mail.

Marriage Records

You can request marriage records from a third-party vendor associated with The Michigan Department of Health. You can also request records by phone, or through the mail.

Divorce Records

The Michigan Department of Health partners with a third-party vendor to provide divorce records. You can order them online, by phone, or through the mail. To receive a birth record, you must be the individual named on the record or a parent or guardian

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


Learn about Michigan criminal records or read about public records in another state from the list below: