General Dues Questions
How much are my annual dues?
Active and inactive members are required to pay annual dues. Use the chart below to determine your dues.
||Active: 50 or more years of membership
||Inactive: 50 or more years of membership
|Client Protection Fund
When are the annual membership fees due?
Our fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. The dues are payable October 1 and
are considered delinquent if received postmarked after November 30 of the current fiscal year.
What are the membership options available?
There are four options:
Active membership: Members are eligible to practice law in Michigan. Active members with 50 or more years of membership are exempt from paying the membership portion of the dues, but are required to pay the disciplinary dues and the Client Protection Fund assessment.
Inactive membership: Members are not eligible to practice law in Michigan. An inactive member may return to active status within three years by applying for active membership, paying the active dues, and demonstrating that no disciplinary action has been taken or is currently pending in any jurisdiction. You may download a petition to return to active status.
Emeritus membership: An active or inactive member who is age 70 years or older or has been a member of the State Bar of Michigan for at least 30 years, and who is not subject to pending disciplinary action in this state or any jurisdiction, may elect emeritus status. You will no longer be eligible to practice law in Michigan. An eligible member who elects emeritus status is exempt from paying dues. Emeritus members are still eligible for section membership. To be readmitted as an active member, an emeritus member may be required to reapply for admission, undergo character and fitness, pass the bar exam, and pay applicable fees and dues. See Rule 3(F) of the Supreme Court Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan.
Resignation: Active and inactive members not subject to pending disciplinary action in this state or any other jurisdiction may resign from membership. To be readmitted as an active member, a member who has resigned may be required to reapply for admission, undergo character and fitness, pass the bar exam, and pay applicable fees and dues. See Rule 3(E) of the Supreme Court Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan.
What is the deadline to pay dues before a late fee is assessed?
Dues received postmarked after November 30th of the current fiscal year are assessed a $50 late fee.
What is the process for suspension for nonpayment of dues?
If dues are unpaid, active members are sent a reminder letter by certified mail in January. Inactive members receive this letter via first-class mail. Members have 30 days from the date of the letter to submit payment. Members whose dues are received after that date are suspended from membership and are assessed an additional $100 reinstatement fee.
Who can I contact if I have questions about my dues?
You may call Dues Processing at (517) 346-6377 with any questions concerning dues.
How can I check if the State Bar received/processed my payment?
If your payment was sent to our lockbox, you may contact your bank to determine if your check has been cashed. It may take a few days between the time we receive payment and we process the payment on our records. We cannot confirm receipt until your payment has been processed.
To check if your payment has been processed, login at e.michbar.org and click on Purchase History.
How can I pay my dues?
If using a Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card, dues must be paid online at e.michbar.org. A current and unshared (by another State Bar member) e-mail address must be on our records to access your record online. Dues may also be paid with a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to the State Bar of Michigan and mailed to us at PO Box 1406, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1406. WE DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENTS BY PHONE.
How can I obtain a duplicate member invoice?
You may log on to e.michbar.org and click on "pay dues by mail." If your dues are paid, go to Purchase History and click "print dues invoice." You may also leave a message at (517) 346-6392 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will mail, fax, or e-mail a duplicate invoice to you.
I am retiring this year. What are my options?
The State Bar of Michigan does not have a retirement status; however, if you plan to practice law on or after October 1, you must remain an active member. You may explore inactive or emeritus status in the future (see "What are the membership options available?" above).
Dues Payment Questions
What forms of payment are accepted?
We accept personal checks (checks returned by the bank will be assessed a $30 bank fee), money orders, and cashier’s checks. Visa & MasterCard credit/debit cards are accepted online only.
What credit cards are accepted?
We accept Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards online only. We will accept credit/debit cards at our office only for processing status changes. For all other transactions, credit/debit cards are not accepted.
Can I give you my credit card information over the phone?
We do not accept credit card information over the phone. Members are required to complete and sign the Mandatory Regulation Disclosures.
Can I fax my credit card payment?
Credit card payments are accepted online only. We will accept faxed credit/debit card payments only for processing status changes. For all other transactions, we will not accept faxed credit card payments.
Can I use a debit card to make my payment?
Yes, you may use a debit card online if the card features the Visa or MasterCard logo.
Do I need a password or login to pay my dues online?
Yes. All members and affiliates have a username and password. If you do not remember your username and password, click on the "Need your login information? Click here" link on the Login page. You must have an e-mail address not used by another State Bar member to pay your dues online.
How do I change/add my e-mail address to access online dues?
Attorneys and affiliate members can change or add their e-mail addresses by clicking the "Need your login information? Click here" link on the login page and following the directions. For additional assistance, please call the State Bar at 1-888-SBM-FORU [(888) 726-3678] to talk with a membership services representative. Please leave a message if the lines are busy. Business hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.
I am having a problem paying online. Who can I contact?
For login problems, e-mail email@example.com. All other questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I paid online but am unsure my payment went through. Who can I contact?
Contact Dues Processing at (517) 346-6377.
Do you have an installment payment plan?
Status Change Questions
I am inactive and want to return to active status. How do I become an active member?
If you have been inactive for three years or less, you may return to active status by electing that option on line 6 of the member dues invoice. You must also submit a Petition to Return to Active Status, available on the State Bar website at, along with the active dues. For more information, refer to the dues instructions.
If you have been inactive for more than three years, you must first be recertified. Contact the Board of Law Examiners at (517) 373-4453 for more information. The Board of Law Examiners application for recertification is available online.
How do I transfer to inactive status?
If you have not practiced law in Michigan since September 30 of the previous fiscal year, you may elect inactive status. As an inactive member, you may not practice law in Michigan. To avoid recertification by the Board of Law Examiners, limit inactive status to three years or less.
To elect inactive status, check the appropriate box on line 6 of the member invoice and sign where instructed. Your signature certifies that you have not practiced law in Michigan since September 30 of the previous fiscal year (active status paid to date) and that you are not subject to discipline in any jurisdiction. If you have practiced or will practice law in Michigan between October 1 and September 30 of the current fiscal year, you are not eligible for inactive status. For more information, refer to the dues instructions.
How do I become an emeritus member? Do I qualify?
Only active or inactive members may elect emeritus status. You must have at least 30 years of membership in the State Bar of Michigan or be at least 70 years of age, and you must not be subject to pending disciplinary action in this state or any other jurisdiction. You will no longer be qualified to practice law in Michigan. A member who elects emeritus status is exempt from paying dues. Emeritus members may not undertake any activities that constitute the practice of law in Michigan. In addition, at this time, professional ethics do not allow Michigan lawyers to provide referral fees to an emeritus lawyer. Emeritus members receive other member benefits, including section membership. To be readmitted as an active member, emeritus members may be required to re-take the bar exam and undergo the character and fitness process.
How do I resign my membership?
Only active or inactive members who are not subject to pending disciplinary action in this state or any other jurisdiction may elect to resign their membership. You may elect that option on line 6 of your member invoice. You will be notified when the request is accepted. Once your request has been accepted, you will no longer be qualified to practice law in Michigan effective on October 1 of the current fiscal year, or be eligible to receive any other member benefits. To be readmitted as an active member of the bar, a member who has resigned may be required to re-take the bar exam and undergo the character and fitness process.
I resigned my membership. Can I return to active status?
To be readmitted as an active member of the bar, a resigned member may be required to re-take the bar exam and undergo the character and fitness process and pay all back dues and fees from the date of resignation. To be recertified, contact the Board of Law Examiners at (517) 373-4453.
Is there a military waiver?
Effective October 1, 2008, an active or inactive member in good standing serving in the United States Armed Forces in full-time active duty status, as defined by the United States Department of Defense, is eligible for a waiver of payment of dues, including the attorney discipline system fee and the Client Protection Fund assessment. A request for a waiver of dues that includes a copy of military orders showing federal active duty status must be made each year for which a dues waiver is requested. A waiver will be granted up to a total of four times. A member for whom a waiver of dues is granted continues to be subject to the disciplinary system. Members who qualify for this waiver can deduct the State Bar dues, discipline dues, and Client Protection Fund assessment fee on line 4b of the member invoice. Military waiver requests must be made in the current fiscal year for the current fiscal year only.
I am turning 70 this year. Am I exempt from paying dues?
No. In 2003, the Supreme Court eliminated the dues exemption based on age. Currently, members with 50+ years of membership are not required to pay the State Bar dues portion, but must pay the discipline dues and Client Protection Fund assessment.
Is there a hardship waiver?
How do I obtain a receipt for my dues payment?
You may log on to e.michbar.org and click on Purchase History. If your dues are paid, click on "print receipt." You may also leave a message at (517) 346-6392, call Dues Processing at (517) 346-6377, or you may e-mail email@example.com to request a receipt.
I paid my dues but have not received my bar card. When will I receive it?
Bar cards are issued daily October 1 through December 31; after December 31, they are issued less frequently. Please allow 14 business days from the date your dues are processed. If you did not complete the Mandatory Regulation Disclosures on the back of your invoice, your bar card will be delayed. A letter or e-mail will be sent to you requesting that information. When we receive your response, your bar card will be issued.
What happens if I do not pay my annual bar dues?
Active and inactive members who fail to pay their dues by November 30 of the current fiscal year, will be assessed a $50 late fee. If dues remain unpaid, a written notice of delinquency will be mailed to the address of record. Active members will receive this notice by certified mail, and inactive members by first-class mail. If the dues and late charge are not paid within 30 days after the notice is sent, the individual is suspended from membership in the State Bar. If you are suspended from membership, your name will be included in a list of attorneys suspended for nonpayment of dues to be disseminated to the courts of this state, the Attorney Grievance Commission, the Attorney Discipline Board, and the clerk of the Supreme Court, and published in the Michigan Bar Journal. If you are not subject to a disciplinary order and the suspension is for less than three years, you will be reinstated on the payment of all dues and late fees owing from the date of suspension to the date of reinstatement. A $100 reinstatement fee is also assessed. If the suspension is more than three years, you must also apply for recertification under Rule 8 for the Board of Law Examiners. The Board of Law Examiners application for recertification is available online; click on application for recertification. The Board of Law Examiners can be reached at (517) 373-4453.
Are membership fees refundable?
No. However, if a member pays dues before October 1 and also requests a refund in writing before that date, the dues will be refunded.
Are there CLE requirements in Michigan?
How do I change my address?
Address changes must be made in writing. You may change your address of record on your member invoice or you may download a contact information change form. You may also visit our website at e.michbar.org. Address changes received after January 16 will not appear in the printed April Directory for the current year. Address changes will not be accepted over the phone. Call
1-888-SBM-ForU with any address change questions.
Can I add or change my section membership?
You may add or cancel sections on your member invoice. You may also add a section at any time during the fiscal year online at e.michbar.org and click Section Membership or by submitting a section membership application for existing members, available at . or
Newly admitted members (within the first two years after joining the bar) should use this Application.
Are section membership fees refundable?
The refunding of section membership dues paid by a member who decides not to retain section membership (or who was enrolled in a section by error) is at the discretion of the section and must be approved by the section chair.
Affiliate Membership Information
How do I join the Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section?
To become an affiliate member of the State Bar of Michigan and member of the Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section, download an application. Your application must be approved by the Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section.
How do I join the Legal Administrators Section?
To become an affiliate member of the State Bar of Michigan and member of the Law Practice Management & Legal Administrators Section, download an application. If you meet the requirements for membership, submit your application and payment to the State Bar of Michigan at the address on the form. Your application must be approved by the State Bar of Michigan.
How do I join the Law Student Section?
To become a member of the Law Student Section, you must be enrolled and in good standing at a Michigan law school approved by the State Board of Law Examiners, or a resident of the State of Michigan while in good standing at an American Bar Association-approved law school outside of Michigan. To join, download an application.