What types of driver's licenses does Michigan issue?
Michigan issues two types of driver's licenses: operator and chauffeur.
An operator's license is what most residents
mean when they use the term "driver's license." An operator's license allows
you to drive passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks with a gross vehicle
weight rating capacity of less than 26,000 pounds.
A chauffeur license is required if you have been
Transport passengers or property,
merchandise or goods for display, sale or delivery; or
Operate a motor vehicle with a GVWR of
10,000 pounds or more; or
Operate a bus or school bus; or
Operate a taxi or limousine
You will need a chauffeur license with the appropriate commercial driver
license (CDL) endorsement to drive larger commercial trucks, such as
semi-tractors or buses, or to transport hazardous materials. Certain jobs
and professions don't require a chauffeur license, such as farmers,
firefighters or emergency medical services personnel. For a complete
definition of a chauffeur license, visit the Michigan Vehicle Code at
To operate a motorcycle, you must have a
motorcycle endorsement on either an operator or a chauffeur license. The
motorcycle endorsement, CY, is added after you have successfully completed a
motorcycle safety course or passed the skills and written knowledge tests.
A limited-term driver's license is issued to
residents in the U.S. who have temporary legal presence. The limited-term
license is valid for only as long as the person is authorized to be in the
Michigan's operator and chauffeur licenses are available in two styles --
standard and enhanced. The enhanced operator and chauffeur licenses are
attractive options for travelers and commercial drivers. Enhanced licenses are
federally accepted documents that allow you to enter the U.S. at a land or sea
border crossing when returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. If
you have a standard operator or chauffeur license, you'll also need to present a
passport or other federally accepted identity document to cross at the border.
Both standard and enhanced licenses are accepted as identification for domestic
air travel. A passport or other federally accepted identity document will be
required when flying internationally.
For more information about license types, requirements, endorsements and fees,
click on "Driver's License/State ID" on the Department of State home page.