Please review the application instructions PDF prior to beginning your bar exam application.
A link is provided below to take you to the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. After registering by creating a login and password, you are required to pay a $21 fee, payable by credit card, VISA and MasterCard only, in order to fill out the application. You will, however, be allowed to print out a blank application for review, prior to paying the $21 fee. Note this copy is not valid for submission.
Your responses will be automatically saved upon advancing to the next question, and you may return to your application as many times as necessary for completion. Should you have any technical difficulties, the National Conference of Bar Examiners provides technical support by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your login will remain available as long as there is activity on your application every 90 days.
Note the finalized application printed from the NCBE website has the word "complete" next to the barcode at the bottom of each page, except the Application to Sit, F-1. Applications without this designation will be rejected. Additionally, a customized Submission Check List will be printed with your application. Use this check list to help ensure that all required information is submitted with your application. Please note that third-party information is not required to be submitted with your application; however, your Character & Fitness cannot be certified before all documents are received.
After finalizing your application, return to Step 3 on this website to start your third-party information requests (driving records and criminal history requests PDF). Application mailing information is available at Step 4. General exam information is located at Step 5.
Begin the Michigan Bar exam application. Applications for the February 2014 exam applications will be accepted after August 15, 2013, and must be postmarked on or before December 15, 2013. Applications for the July 2014 exam will be accepted after January 15, 2014, and must be postmarked on or before May 15, 2014. See Application Deadlines PDF and Fees PDF.
Board of Law Examiners—Frequently Asked Questions
How long is my C&F certification valid?
Character and Fitness clearance is valid for three years. The three-year period begins with the exam first applied for by the applicant, regardless of when clearance is obtained and whether the applicant actually sat for that examination. For example, an applicant applying for the February 2005 examination and receiving character and fitness clearance, would need to be re-approved before being allowed to sit for the February 2008 examination. Applicants not passing the examination within three years after receiving clearance must again be approved by the State Bar Standing Committee on Character and Fitness. (Rules for the Board of Law Examiners PDF Policy Statement 2(C)-1. Duration of Character and Fitness Clearance.)
What is required to receive certified bar examination results?
The Board of Law Examiners must receive certification of the applicant's:
- Graduation from law school,
- Character & Fitness, and
- Passing score on the MPRE.
Who do I notify if I will not be able to sit at the exam for which I applied?
Notify the State Board of Law Examiners in writing at:
Board of Law Examiners
P.O. Box 30052
Lansing, MI 48909
The Character & Fitness processing will continue unless you formally withdraw your application. Your written request to withdraw must be sent to the State Bar of Michigan Character & Fitness Department. There is a $200 re-open fee PDF.
I need to re-take the exam. How do I sign up?
The Board of Law Examiners sends out a re-exam form with notification of failing bar exam scores. Complete the re-exam form and return it, and the re-exam fee to the Board of Law Examiners. The Character & Fitness certification is generally valid for 3 years from the certification date or the first exam date for which you applied. If your C&F certification has expired, you will be required to complete a new Affidavit of Personal History (bar application) and pay additional fees.
Should I send in my application without my out-of-state criminal clearances or driving records?
Yes. Only items listed on Step 4 need to be turned in with the initial application.
Where do I find information about the MPRE?
Information can be obtained from the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The application for the MPRE may also be available at a Michigan law school. For records, contact the NCBE. score information is available at: BLE FAQ Category 1.
How do I transfer my MBE score?
See the F-2 form PDF or contact the Board of Law Examiners at (517) 373-4453. For information on the MBE exam please see the NCBE website.
I need special accommodations when I take the bar exam. How do I make arrangements?
Please contact the BLE for information about accommodations (BLE FAQ Category 2).
When will I get my admission certificate for the bar examination?
The State Board of Law Examiners sends out admission certificates and information about the bar examination around the first week of the month of your scheduled bar examination.
Where is the exam held? What are the exam dates?
Please see the Exam Dates/Location PDF information, top of Step 2.
What can I bring to the Bar Exam?
The Board of Law Examiners policy regarding items that may be brought into the examination room and/or testing area may be reviewed at the Board of Law Examiner's website.
How do I know if the State Bar of Michigan has received my application?
Due to the volume of mail received, we are not able to confirm receipt of a specific item or application over the phone. Please mail your application certified with a return receipt requested, use a courier with a tracking number system, or enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard with the application. We will gladly date stamp your postcard and return it to you, usually the same day the application is received.
Other bar applicants have already received their Character & Fitness certification, and I haven't received mine.
If the C&F Investigators need additional information from you, you will be notified by letter prior to sitting for the bar exam. Periodically "status" letters are sent to bar applicants notifying them of information missing from their applications. The sooner you respond to our requests for additional information and follow up with outside agencies to prompt them to send your information to the State Bar, the more quickly we will be able to complete your file and move it on to the next step, either approval or District Committee interview. Your Character & Fitness does not have to be complete before sitting for the bar exam for the first time. However, you may not take the bar exam again until your Character & Fitness has been certified.
Do I need a certified driving record from a state in which I lived but never held a driver's license?
Yes, you must obtain a certified driving record even if you did not possess a driver's license, or drive, in that jurisdiction. You are responsible for obtaining a certified copy of your driving record for each state (including District of Columbia, other U.S. possessions, and Ontario Canada) in which you have lived, worked, attended school, or visited/vacationed for more than two consecutive weeks during the ten years preceding the date of your Affidavit of Personal History. See instructions PDF at Step 3.
My out-of-state criminal clearances haven't been received yet. Will I be charged late fees?
The Application to Sit (F-1), Examination Fee, Affidavit of Personal History with attachments (F-3), and Investigation Fee are the only documents required to be submitted initially. Do not delay the submission of your application materials while waiting for an out-of-state criminal history report or other third-party information. You may forward the criminal history reports to the State Bar of Michigan as soon as they are received by you. You are responsible for following-up with the agency in writing and retaining copies of your correspondence to ensure the materials are received timely. Keep our office informed in writing of problems and explanations for delay. See instructions at Step 4.
I have moved many times and do not have five people to list for references. What do I do?
You must supply a written explanation if a reference person has not known you for the required five-year time period, and ask for a waiver of that requirement. An F-6 form PDF, available at Step 3, can be used for your waiver request. You are required to list the names of five individuals who have known you for five years or longer on your Affidavit of Personal History (Question 56). Anyone related to you through blood or marriage may not serve as a reference, although your references may be related to each other.
What if I cannot remember the complete address for my residence or employment history?
Please be as specific as possible by providing all available information to the best of your recollection. For example, if you do not recall the dormitory or apartment number for a previous residence, indicate the street address or dormitory name with the city and state. Do not provide mailing addresses (such as post office boxes), but rather the addresses of the places where you actually resided. When completing your employment history, list the address of the location where you worked, not the company's corporate headquarters.
Can F-12 Reference Letter Forms be submitted if it does not have a bar code on the bottom of the page? Yes. We will accept this form without the bar code (available at Step 3). Please note that reference forms will print with your completed application.
Do all of my application exhibits need to be notarized?No. The only exhibits that need to be notarized are foreign documents translated into English. However, you should initial the first page of each exhibit.
Where do I send my application? Please see Step 4 for mailing instructions. Supplemental materials sent in after your application, should also be sent to the State Bar of Michigan.
Can I send personal checks for the examination and investigation fees? No. Both payments must be in the form of certified checks or money orders. see the Fee PDF information for amounts and payee information, top of Step 2.
Should the application materials be single or double sided? The F-1 (Application to Sit) and F-3 (Affidavit of Personal History) are only accepted as single sided documents. Original documents received from third-party agencies, such as police stations and courts, may be double sided. Also, when submitting your application packet, if necessary, please use paper clips and binder clips. Do not use staples, plastic comb binding, 3-ring binder or tabs.
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