Dues FAQ

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 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Dues Type   Active Active: 50+ years of membership    Inactive Inactive: 50 or more years of membership
Membership $180   $ 0      $90.00         $0.00
Disciplinary  120  120      120.00       120.00
Client Protection Fund    15    15          7.50           7.50
TOTALS $315 $135    $217.50       $127.50

Is there a dues increase this year?
Yes. Effective with the 2018-2019 fiscal year beginning October 1, 2018, the Michigan Supreme Court has increased the discipline portion of the dues by $15. Michigan Supreme Court Order No. 2017-1 ordered that discipline dues be increased to $120 in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Changes for the 2018-2019 fiscal year are reflected above.

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.

Effective fiscal year 2017-2018, dues notices will only be sent via email to every active and inactive member with an email address. Members without an email address will be mailed a paper invoice to their address of record. Notices will be sent on or around September 20.

Members need to log in and complete the annual disclosures and pay their dues with a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. Alternatively, members can log in and complete the annual disclosures, select "Pay your dues by mail," print a remittance statement, and mail with a check payable to the State Bar of Michigan.

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. Inactive members are still required to pay annual dues. 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 here.

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. 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, an emeritus member may be required to reapply for admission, undergo character and fitness, pass the bar exam (unless Rule 5 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners applies), and pay applicable fees and dues. See Rule 3(F) of the Supreme Court Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan. If you have questions concerning referral fees please contact the Ethics Helpline at (877) 558-4760.

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 (unless Rule 5 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners applies), 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 30 of the current fiscal year are assessed a $50 late fee. If you pay online, payment needs to be made online by 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30 of the current fiscal year.

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 email address (not used by another State Bar member) must be on our records to access your record online. Dues can also be paid online with an e-check.

Dues may also be paid by mailing a check, money order, or cashier's check, payable to the State Bar of Michigan, to PO Box 1406, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1406. WE DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENTS BY PHONE.

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 Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards online, as well as e-checks. We also accept personal checks (checks returned by the bank will be assessed a $30 bank fee), money orders, and cashier's checks.

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 know or forgot your login and password, you can reset your password immediately by supplying your P number, birth date, and county where you were sworn in. Otherwise, you can request a reset link be sent to your email address on record. You must have an email address not used by another State Bar member to pay your dues online.

How do I change my email address to access online dues?
If you do not know or forgot your login and password, you can reset your password immediately by supplying your P number, birth date, and county where you were sworn in. Otherwise, you can request a reset link be sent to your email address on record. For additional assistance, please call the State Bar at 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. EST.

I am having a problem accessing my online dues. What should I do?
You can easily reset your password by entering your P number, birthday, and county of admission. For other login problems, email sbmloginhelp@michbar.org. All other questions should be sent to sbmduesbilling@michbar.org.

Can my assistant handle my dues online?
We recommend that each attorney handle their own disclosures, information updates, and dues selections online. If an attorney shares their login credentials with their assistant, they are responsible for the account security.

What if I do not have access to a printer?
You should still complete your disclosures online and you may still select the "pay by check" option. Simply place your P# in the memo portion of your check. Your canceled check will serve as your receipt for payment.

I paid online and did not get a receipt so I am unsure my payment went through. Who can I contact?
Contact Dues Processing at (517) 346-6377.

Do you have an installment payment plan?
No.

Status Change Questions

Can I change my status online?
No. Contact Dues Processing at (517) 346-6377 to obtain the required forms.

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, 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 by the Board of Law Examiners. The Board of Law Examiners application for recertification is available online. Contact the Board of Law Examiners at (517) 373-4453 for more information.

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 eligible 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, unless Rule 5 of the Rules for the BLE apply.

Members suspended for non-payment of dues, if eligible, may elect emeritus status however, if the member changes his/her mind and is readmitted by recertification by the Board of Law Examiners, all back dues, late fees, and a reinstatement fee owing from the date of suspension will be required to process a status change to active.

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. A statement of disciplinary history from jurisdiction(s) other than Michigan are required. Resignation will be processed only after all requirements are met. You will be notified when the request is accepted. Once your request has been accepted, you will no longer be eligible 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, unless Rule 5 of the Rules for the BLE apply.

Members suspended for non-payment of dues, if eligible, may resign however, if the member changes his/her mind and is readmitted by recertification by the Board of Law Examiners, all back dues, late fees, and a reinstatement fee owing from the date of suspension will be required to process a status change to active.

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.

Waiver/Exemption Questions

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 will not have to pay State Bar dues, discipline dues, and Client Protection Fund assessment fee. Military waiver requests must be made in the current fiscal year for the current fiscal year only. Contact Dues Processing at (517) 346-6377 if you would like to request a military waiver.

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?
No.

Miscellaneous Questions

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 call Dues Processing at (517) 346-6377, or email sbmduesbilling@michbar.org, 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 email 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 listed on our website. If you are not subject to a disciplinary order and the suspension is for less than three years, you will be reinstated upon payment of all dues, late fees, and a $100 reinstatement fee owing from the date of suspension to the date of reinstatement. 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 request 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?
No.

How do I change my address?
Address changes must be made in writing. You may change your address of record by visiting our website at e.michbar.org. Address changes will not be accepted over the phone. Call (888) SBM-ForU with any address change questions.

Can I sign up for text alerts?
Yes. You can sign up for mobile text alert dues reminders by texting sbmdues to 74121.

Section Questions

Can I add or change my section membership?
You may add or cancel sections online when you pay your dues. You may also add a section at any time during the fiscal year online at e.michbar.org.

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 Law Practice Management & 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, go to e.michbar.org and click on Prospective New Attorneys, New Law Student Section Members. Then select the Law Student option and complete the application online.