REAL ID-Compliant Driver's License and ID Information
Is a REAL ID-compliant Driver's License or State ID Right for You?
- REAL ID Frequently Asked Questions
- NEWS RELEASE: SOS offices to issue optional REAL ID-compliant licenses, ID cards
- Renewing Driver's License - Renewing and REAL ID
What is REAL ID?
Under the federal REAL ID Act, Michigan residents boarding a domestic flight or entering certain federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants must show a REAL ID-compliant document beginning Oct. 1, 2020. The federal standards were drafted in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. The REAL ID law sets document and security protocols for the production of driver’s licenses and ID cards, including the use of features to prevent illegal copying or altering. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is charged with enforcement of REAL ID. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has more information about the REAL ID Act, including frequently asked questions.
Do I Need a REAL ID-compliant Driver’s License or State ID?
If the convenience of carrying a license or ID that meets all requirements for boarding a plane for domestic travel appeals to you, then a REAL ID-compliant license or ID is the right choice for you.
How do I Obtain a REAL ID-complaint Driver’s License or State ID Card?
If you have an enhanced driver’s license or enhanced state ID card, you already have a REAL ID-compliant card. If you don’t have an enhanced card, please continue reading.
Michigan Residents: Take your Michigan license or ID card and proof of your Social Security number and citizenship or legal presence to a Secretary of State office. For a list of acceptable documents, see “Required Documents” below. You may apply for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card at any time. Or you can wait until it’s time to renew. Your renewal notice will state whether or not your license or ID is REAL ID compliant if there is any question about it.
First Michigan License or ID: If you are applying for your first (original) Michigan driver’s license or state ID card, visit a Secretary of State office and present documents verifying your Social Security number, identity, U.S. citizenship or legal presence, and Michigan residency.
All Applicants: Your photograph will be taken at the branch office and the appropriate driver’s license or ID card fees will be due. There is no additional fee for obtaining a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card.
Required Documents: Please make sure you have the correct documents before visiting a Secretary of State office. If you are applying for your first Michigan driver's license or ID card, please review what documents are accepted to verify your Social Security number, citizenship or legal presence, identity and residency.
Name Changes: If your name is different than what is shown on your birth certificate, you will need to provide evidence of a legal name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court action.
Temporary Legal Presence: If you have temporary legal presence, the legal presence documents you need to present will differ from those required by U.S. citizens. Please make sure you have the required documents before visiting a Secretary of State office.
Help: If you have any questions about obtaining a driver’s license or state ID, please call the Department of State Information Center at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424). A list of REAL ID FAQs is also available to help you find the information you need.
Standard Michigan Licenses or ID Cards After Oct. 1, 2020, your standard Michigan driver’s license remains valid for driving, and a standard license and state ID continue to be legal identification for cashing checks, renting vehicles, purchasing alcohol and tobacco, or entering casinos. A standard license or ID card will have "Not for Federal Identification" printed on it.