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Disposition of Public Records

In accordance with sections 399.811 and 750.491 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, public records can only be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of an approved Retention and Disposal Schedule. Retention and Disposal Schedules indicate when and how a public record may be disposed of. It is illegal to destroy a public record without the authorization of an approved schedule. There are two types of record disposition: destruction, or transfer to the Archives of Michigan for permanent preservation.


Some public records contain sensitive or confidential information. These records should not be placed in a regular trash or recycle bin when they are destroyed. It is important that government agencies ensure that these records are destroyed in a manner that prevents the inappropriate release of the information. The State of Michigan administers a master contract with a vendor that complies with the state's requirements for confidential destruction of records. This contract states that the vendor must comply with standards found in IRS Publication 1075 "Tax Information Security guidelines for Federal, State and Local Agencies and Entities." Paper records must be reduced to 1mm x 5mm particle size, and non-paper records must be reduced to dust, which is defined as a 1/35 inch particle size.

The rates and terms for this contract apply to state government agencies only, but local governments may contact Records Management Services for a price quote and information. For more information, see the Confidential Destruction of Records Brochure.

State of Michigan Confidential Destruction Vendor - Rapid Shred

  • Locked bins are available for storing records until they are picked up for destruction
  • Each location that hosts a bin is linked to an agency's index code for billing
  • Flexible scheduling for pick-up of materials is available
  • Vendor must destroy records within 24 hours of pick-up (chain of custody is documented)
  • Transportation and processing areas are secured to authorized employees
  • Employees are bonded and have background checks

Rapid Shred contact:
Scott Dennis, President

Transferring Records to the Archives of Michigan

Government agencies that want to transfer records to the Archives of Michigan need to complete the "Direct Records Transmittal" form (MH-85). Be sure to include a complete description of the records, the inclusive dates for the records, and the record series number from the Retention and Disposal Schedule on the form. The MH-85 form may be obtained by contacting the Archives of Michigan at (517) 373-1408 or by visiting the Archives' website The completed form must be approved by the Archives before the records are shipped. To arrange approval of the transfer, please send or fax the completed form to the Archives of Michigan (address and fax number are on the form). The Archives' staff will contact you within 30 days of receiving the form to arrange shipment of the records.

Please maintain the order of your filing system when you pack records for transfer to the Archives. Only pack the records in boxes with the dimensions 15" x 12" x 9.75", because other boxes will not fit on the shelves. To properly seal the box:

  • Fold the back flap first, then fold the side flaps, and fold the front flap on top.
  • Place the tape across the front flap to seal the box.
  • The top and sides of the box should not bulge.

Local Governments

Effective May 13, 2004, local governments are no longer required to submit a Certificate of Records Disposal (MH-38) to the State of Michigan prior to disposing of public records.

Updated 8/25/2022