FAQ
Driver's License and State ID - Proof of Residency
Why is the Secretary of State asking for proof of residency?

Michigan law requires that anyone applying for a driver's license or state identification card be a Michigan resident. With concerns about homeland security, identity theft and fraud, the Department of State is taking all steps necessary to comply with federal and state laws to ensure the integrity and security of the documents it issues. You can establish proof of Michigan residency (see SOS-428) by presenting at least two documents. Proof of a valid Social Security numberU.S. citizenship or legal presence if not a U.S. citizen and identity will also be required.

All documentation is subject to Department of State approval. In some cases, document approval may not occur in the same day and may require an additional visit. 

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What is the difference between "proof of residency" and "legal presence"?

Proof of residency establishes that you live in Michigan. Legal presence establishes that you were either born in the U.S. or in a U.S. possession or territory, are a naturalized citizen or a foreign national who legally lives in the U.S.

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"Why is the Secretary of State asking for proof of identity, legal presence, Michigan residency and Social Security number from all original driver's license and PID applicants?

The Secretary of State must be non-discriminatory in establishing eligibility criteria for original driver's licenses and PID cards.

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When do I have to provide proof of residency?

Two proofs of Michigan residency (see DE-40) must be provided whenever an applicant is applying for an original Michigan driver's license or identification card.

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What is acceptable documentation?

Michigan law requires every driver's license to include a person's residence address. A person's "residence address" is the place that is their settled or permanent home, where they usually sleep and keep their personal belongings. State law also requires a driver's license or ID card to include a residence address.

All applicants applying for an original driver's license or personal identification card must provide two proofs of Michigan residency. Any item presented to establish proof of residency must include the applicant's name and a Michigan residence address (no P.O. boxes or Mailbox Plus addresses). Applicants may present any of the following:

  • Utility bill or credit card bill issued within the last 90 days (Electronic copies are acceptable.)
  • Account statement from a bank or other financial institution issued within the last 90 days. (Electronic copies are acceptable.)
  • Michigan high school, college or university report cards or transcripts less than two years old.
  • Mortgage, lease or rental agreement. (Lease and rental agreements must include the landlord's telephone number.)
  • Pay stub or earnings statement issued with the name and address of the employer.
  • Life, health, auto or home insurance policy.
  • Federal, state or local government documents, such as receipts, licenses or assessments.
  • Michigan title and registration (The registration must show current residential address.)

Note: Residency documents in a family member's name may be used if the family relationship can be established by other forms of documented proof.


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What happens if I visit a branch with identification but no proof of residency?

You will be provided with a return pass.  This ensures that you will receive prompt attention once you return with your residency documents.

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Why aren't cell phone bills accepted?

We contacted cell phone companies about their procedures for establishing new accounts. Many of the cell phone companies we contacted do not require a residence address. Cell phone numbers are not generally published making them difficult to verify.

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What if I just moved to Michigan and do not have a residency document?

Under Michigan law, the Secretary of State is prohibited from issuing an original driver's license or state identification card to anyone who is not a legal resident of the state. If you have recently moved to Michigan and have a valid driver's license or state identification card from another state, these can be used in the interim until sufficient residency documents are established. Once residency is established, please visit a Secretary of State office immediately to apply for a Michigan driver's license or state ID.

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