You must have valid driver license to drive on Michigan public roads. Department of State offers standard driver license, which one you choose will depend on your driving needs. You driver’s license is issued for up to four years and expires on your birthday. For more information about obtaining, renewing, replacing or change of address, duplicate license see below.
How to get Standard Michigan Driver’s License if you are Teenager?
There are many steps to getting standard Michigan’s driver’s license if you are less than 18 years old. You need to go through Graduated Driver Licensing system before you can apply for your license. You also need to prove your identity, citizenship, and that you completed your driver education class. Read this article to learn about process of applying for driver’s license and documents you will need.
How much does it cost to get Michigan driver’s license?
Fees for getting your standard Michigan driver’s license vary. For more information on standard Michigan driver’s license fees structure see http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_14648-75447–,00.html
- Driver license cost is $25.00
- Renewal license cost – $18.00
- Late renewal fees – $7.00 if you renew your license after it expired
- Duplicate license costs – $9.00
- It also costs $9.00 if you need to change information on your current license
What is Michigan Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)?
If you are less than 18 years old, you need to go through Graduated Driver licensing (GDL) system. It teaches you to drive by slowly increasing your driving privileges. This GDL consist of two driver education segments and three license levels.
- Level 1 Learners License – this license issued to teen driver’s at least 14 years 9 months old
- Level 2 Intermediate licenses – Intermediate license give you certain limits to you and unsupervised nighttime driving for teen drivers at least 16 years old.
- Level 3 Full-privilege driver license- issued to teen driver’s at least 17 years of old after they have successfully completed all previous instructional and driving requirements
Finding Michigan Driver Education Program
Michigan Department of State certifies driver education providers and instructors to teach driver education in Michigan. This program is provided by both public school districts and private driving schools. Also, you can find list of driver education providers, certified education instructors on Secretary of State (SOS) website. http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_60169_60196-269624–,00.html . You can enroll in an authorized driver education program to begin your GDL.
Steps for driver education segment
Take driver education before you start supervised driving. You must be at least 14 years, 8 months old and have your parent or guardian’s permission before you can start driver education. Driver education following requirements is
- It requires minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction
- Six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction and
- Four hours of observation time in training vehicle.
You must successfully complete both classroom and driving instruction portions of course to get your certificate of completion from your driver education school. You must also pass written test. Certificate of completion is not permit to drive. Do not treat it as a driver’s license. After you finish course you and your parent can apply for learner’s driver’s license at SOS branch office.
Michigan Learners license
- You must be at least 14 years, 9 months old to apply for Learners license. There is no fee to get your Learners license. To get your Learners driver’s license, you must meet certain physical and mental standards. This includes passing vision test. You must also take documents that prove your identity and citizenship.
- Your Learners driver’s license lets you drive only with your parents or responsible adult, 21 years old or older, designated by your parent. There is no special process needed, other than your parent’s permission, to drive with designated adult.
- You must start driver education learner after you have valid learners license for at least three months. During those three months, you must drive 30 hours, including at least two hours of night driving with minimum of six hours of classroom instruction.
- You must complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours at nigh to complete course.
- You will get certificate of completion will be issued by driver education instructor. This certificate will be required to apply for Intermediate license. After you get your certificate and have been driving for at least six months, you can apply to take driving skills test.
Michigan Level 2 Intermediate Driver’s license
If you meet all requirements from learner’s license including driving skills test to get level 2 licenses. You must complete both segments of driver education course to qualify for level 2 license and must have level 1 learner license for at least six months.
- After you pass driving skills test, you can apply for your intermediate driver’s license.
- You must be at least 16 years old to apply for it.
- You must meet same mental and physical standards including vision exam as you did for your learner license
- You will also need to present identification documents
- You cannot have any convictions or civil infractions, license suspensions or at-fault crashes for 90 days before you apply for Intermediate license
- Parent, legal guardian or adult driver who drove with you must certify your 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience, including minimum of 10 nighttime hours
Level 2 Intermediate License Restrictions
Once you get Intermediate driver’s license, you cannot drive with more than one passenger who is under 21, unless
- Additional passengers are your family members
- You are driving somewhere for your job or going to an authorized activity
- Shall not operate motor vehicle between 10 pm and 5 am except when you parent, guardian or designated adult is with you
Level 3 Full Michigan license
After you have your Intermediate license for at least six months, to be eligible for your full license.
- You must be at least 17 years old to get your full Michigan license
- You must also have driven for 12 months without getting any moving violation, an accident, license suspension or violation of graduated license restrictions
If you are eligible for full license, you will get mailed using your picture on file from your intermediate license. There is no fee for this license. Once you get your full license, there are no state-imposed license restrictions. If you turn 18 at any time during GDL system, process ends. Depending on what stage you are at in system, you may need Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP). Check with SOS for instructions if you are in this category.
What are requirement documents when applying for three levels licenses?
You need to take below documents with you to Secretary of State Office when applying for your licenses at all three licenses. Getting a Michigan drivers license requires you to have all of your documentation and paperwork in order before visiting a Secretary of State Branch office. Apply for Michigan driver license or permit, you must bring along few pieces of documentation. Paperwork and documentation http://www.michigan.gov/documents/DE40_032001_20459_7.pdf to bring to driver license office include
- Social security card or letter from Social security administration that has your social security number.
- Proof of legal presence
- Michigan Residency proof documents
- Your identity
New-to-state Michigan Driver
Under state law, Department of State is prohibited from issuing an original standard driver’s license to anyone who is not legal resident of state. If you have recently moved to Michigan and have valid driver’s license or state ID card from another state, this can be used in until your state residency is established.
Once residency is established, you can visit Secretary of State Office to apply for Michigan driver’s license or state ID card. There is no grace period provided by Michigan law. You must pass vision test and pay fee. No other test is required if you are surrendering valid out-of-state license.
Department of State will contact your previous home state to get your driving record, if your previous driver’s license is suspended or revoked, you must contact your previous state to clear any outstanding issues before your application for Michigan license will be accepted. Once your application for Michigan license is accepted, your current out-of-state driver’s license will be invalid and returned to you because Michigan law permits driver’s to hold only one valid driver’s license at a time.
- Provide documentation of valid Social Security number
- Provide documentation of U.S. citizenship or legal presence if not a U.S. citizen, identity along with at least two documents establishing Michigan residency
- Pass vision test and certify that you meet certain physical and mental standards
- Pass written knowledge and driving skills test if you have never been licensed or your license has been expired for more than four years. Temporary Permit will be required to take driving skills test.
How to change address on your Michigan Driver license?
You make sure your driver’s license shows your correct name and residential address. Michigan law requires that you change address on your driver’s license when you move. Address must match on your voter identification card. If you fail to change your address, your driver’s license may be suspended. You have option to change your address by online, by mail or in person at Secretary of State Branch office.
Any of this option allows you to update your new address to your voter registration. However, driver’s license change of address must be processed in person at Secretary of State Branch office or by mail.
Online Michigan driver license change of address
You may submit change of address online https://onlineservices.michigan.gov/expresssos at Secretary of State Office website or by mail. When you change address online, letter containing new address will be mailed to your old address to verify that you have submit for change address. After that you will be mailed sticker with your new address for back of your driver’s license. There is no option available to register to vote by online, so voter registration form http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1640_11777—,00.html is available, you can take print and mail or visit to your local city clerk.
ExpressSOS.com is convenient and secure option for changing your address online. change of address submitted online will affect all Secretary of State files associated with your name, including your driver’s license or state ID card, vehicle records, voter registration as well as transactions in your online shopping cart. More info view https://onlineservices.michigan.gov/ExpressSOS/CustomerManagement/EligibilityRequirements
Michigan Change of Address by mail
You need fill out change your address form http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ed-109pg_16088_7.pdf . When completed, mail it to address listed on form. This form cannot be accepted by e-mail.
You will be mailed sticker with your new address for back of your driver’s license
When changing your address by mail, a letter containing the new address will be mailed to your old address to verify that you did submit the address change. If you do not want persons at the old address to have your new address, change your address in person at a Secretary of State Branch office.
Michigan Department of State
PO Box 30764
Lansing, MI 48909-8264
Change of address In-Person
If you are submitting change of address at branch office, bring your driver’s license. Your driver’s license will be updated with your new address. You will be given sticker with your new address for back of your driver’s license. There is no charge for this service.
Renewing your Michigan Driver’s license
Michigan driver’s license renewal is easy to complete, as long as you have necessary documents completed before your current license expires. Michigan driver’s licenses are valid for four years from date of original issue. After four years, license may be renewed by mail. If you are young drivers, your Michigan drivers’ licenses expire on their 21st birthday, after which four year renewal requirement begins.
Department of State sends renewal notice about 45 days before expiration. Renewal notice is sent to address listed on department records. You may renew your driver’s license at Secretary of State Office up to 12 months before expiration date.
If you renew your operator’s license after its expiration date, you will pay late fee in addition to regular renewal fee. Driver’s license will not be renewed if you’re driving record shows three or more unpaid parking tickets, or if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.
Renew by Mail or Online
You are eligible to renew your driver’s license online at ExpressSOS.com or by mail. If you last renewal was completed at Secretary of State Office. You must be U.S citizen to renew your license online. Online renewal is not yet available for enhanced license. If your renewal notice states, “You cannot renew your license by mail”, you must renew at Secretary of State Office.
Renewal by mail or online is easy. You only have to fill out and sign your renewal paperwork and include payment. Allow three to four weeks to process renewal before you current license expires. While license may be renewed once by mail, your next driver’s license renewal must be completed at Secretary of State once every eight years to renew your license in person.
If your physical or mental condition has changed and affects your ability to drive since you last renewed, you must renew your license in person at Secretary of State Office. This form is available on Department of State website http://www.michigan.gov/sos . Plan to renew at least two weeks before your current license expires. Make your money order or check payable to the State of Michigan and sign renewal notice.
Mail documents to:
Michigan Department of State
7064 Crowner Dr.
Lansing, MI 4890-0001
How to renew Michigan driver license in Person?
You are also required to renew at branch office if your ability to drive has get worse or if state cannot verify your Social Security number.
- At branch office, you must bring your current drivers license
- Pass vision test
- Provide Social Security Number (If you do not have an SSN, provide letter of ineligibility from Social Security Administration and proof of legal presence).
- Proof of Identity
- Renewal fees of $18. Payment can be done by cash, check or money order at all Secretary of State Offices. To renew a license you can go to the online system, https://onlineservices.michigan.gov/ExpressSOS/RenewDriverLicense/DriverLicenseEligibility Requirements as long as you did not renew online last time.
Replacing lost or stolen Michigan driver’s license –In State
Your driver’s license has been lost, destroyed, can apply for duplicate at Secretary of State Office. Standard licenses may also be replaced online. Replacing your license online is convenient and also saves time. To replace lost or stolen license or ID you can go online https://onlineservices.michigan.gov/ExpressSOS/DuplicateLicense/EligibilityRequirements to request duplicate license.
Replacing Michigan license by online
You can replace your lost or stolen license through online ExpressSOS. To apply for duplicate online, you must be U.S citizen with valid Social Security number. Online replacement is not available for enhanced licenses. If your license is expire within one year when applying to get replacement, online system will give you option to renew your license or cancel transaction. You can select “Replace Driver’s License from ExpressSOS home gage.
Replacing at Secretary of State Office
When replacing license at branch office, you need to provide identification, such as certified birth certificate, U.S passport, marriage license or photo identification issued by Michigan government agency. Only original documents will be accepted. If your driver’s license is due to expire within one year, and then you have option to renew rather than replace it.
Replacing a Lost or Stolen Driver’s License – Out of State
If you are out-of-state and lose your driver’s license, you may request duplicate online at ExpressSOS.com. You may request for temporary extension permit for 180 days that allows you to drive back to Michigan. As soon as you return, you should immediately apply for new driver’s license at Secretary of State Office. Replacement license will mail to your residential address.
Replacing license by Mail
You need to fill duplicate driver license application and mail or fax it to Department of State special services branch to request replacement and get temporary permit. Also include credit card payment details in payment method section of application and fax printed copy of application to 517-322-5438.
If you are paying by check or money order print completed application and mail it with check or money order payable to State of Michigan to address provided below. If you are replacing standard license and do not have social security number, you must provide letter from social security administration and proof of legal presence.
Michigan Department of State
Special Services Branch
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918
Applying for Michigan License if You Are Already Licensed in another State
Applying for Michigan driver license is much simpler if you already have license and know how to drive. If this is case, take your social security card, proof of identity and Michigan residency to Secretary of State Branch office. Rather than having Michigan DMV, most paperwork is completed by Secretary of State. You will need to pay $25, turn in your old license, pass vision test and then you can receive your Michigan enhanced drivers license in mail.
How long does it take to get driver’s license?
It depends. If you are over 18 and getting your first driver’s license , you must pass knowledge test and practice driving with licensed adult for at least 30 days before you can take driving skills test. After you pass driving skills test, you are eligible to get temporary, paper driver’s license while you wait for your actual driver’s license. It takes two to three weeks for your actual driver’s license to arrive in mail.
If you are under 18 and getting your first driver’s license, you must use Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system to get your license. Depending on your age and your driving experience, this process could take few years. Read Getting Standard Michigan Driver’s License if You Are Teenager to learn more about GDL.
If you are renewing your driver’s license, you can get temporary, paper driver’s license immediately, after you pay fee. It takes two to three weeks for your actual driver’s license to arrive in mail.
If you have driver’s license from another state that is current or expired less than four years ago, you may be able to get your temporary, paper driver’s license immediately. Check with your local Secretary of State office to learn more.
How to schedule an appointment for driving license in Michigan?
You can schedule an appointment at your convenience. You can select day, time and Michigan-time line location you would like to visit. And also plan to arrive 5 minutes early and service agent will call you to the counter when it is time for your appointment. However, you can save time at Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) driver license office by knowing requirement to complete your transaction.
Many services can also completed online https://onlineservices.michigan.gov/ExpressSOS . You can reserve place in line at certain branch offices by going online, calling or sending test to office you wish to visit.
Michigan Drivers Manual
Driver’s manual provides information you need to know in order to pass your written test and to get your driver’s permit. It is important to read manual because Section 2 and 3 have pertinent information necessary to pass this test. Manual provides information regarding different types of licenses, state traffic laws, road signs, safe driving information and regulations – all of which will help you drive safely and successfully. You can download copy of Driver manual for more details http://www.michigan.gov/documents/wedmk_16312_7.pdf
Michigan Secretary of State Location and hours
Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) allows all driver and vehicle services in state. You have several options when it comes to contacting the MI Secretary of State’s main offices. You can get your standard Michigan driver’s license at your local Secretary of State office. You can use Secretary of State Branch office locator to find an office near you. See location locator https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1640_14837-34560–,00.html
- Department of State Information Center toll-free number: 888-767-6424, this phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Mailing address – Michigan Department of State, Lansing, Michigan- 48918