Secretary of State
Customers who do not speak English or may have limited reading skills are welcome to bring a translator or interpreter with them.
Foreign language interpreters may be used at a Secretary of State office visit or during an administrative hearing. They may also assist with translating the driver's license written knowledge and mechanic's tests.
Secretary of State office visit: Customers whose native language is not English are welcome to bring a qualified foreign language interpreter to a Secretary of State office for the purpose of communicating with staff at the office. Customers requiring assistance from a foreign language interpreter for the purpose of test taking must use a foreign language interpreter that has been approved by the department.
A list of volunteer interpreters who provide services at no cost is available from the department. The list is broken down by geographic region and languages. It is up to you to contact the interpreter and make the arrangements for the interpreting services.
Administrative hearings: If you have an administrative hearing scheduled and do not have an interpreter, you may contact the department for a list of interpreters. Unless the interpreter is volunteering his or her services, you are responsible for the cost.
For the list of interpreters, call the Department of State Information Center at (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424).
Contact the department ahead of time at (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424) if you need an interpreter or wish to use any of the alternative testing formats listed below.
Driver's license written knowledge test: A foreign language interpreter approved by the Michigan Department of State may assist in translating written knowledge tests. These volunteer interpreters cannot charge for their services. The test is available in many foreign languages. English and Spanish versions are available on audiotape.
Commercial Driver License tests: All CDL tests, except the hazardous materials and school bus endorsement exams, are available in English on audiocassette for those with limited reading skills.
Mechanic's tests: You are allowed to bring an interpreter to assist in translating the test material. You are responsible for paying the interpreter. The interpreter should never have been involved in automotive repair or related fields. The "Automotive Service Excellence Spanish-to-English" glossary is available for Spanish speakers, and clerks who know Spanish may also be available to assist.
Oral testing with a tape recorder and audiocassette in English is available if you have a reading disability.
If you are interested in volunteering as a foreign language interpreter, you must submit an application and meet the criminal history and driving record standards set by the department.
A passport, driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license or divorce decree from another country may be accepted as an identity document when applying for a Michigan driver's license or state identification card. If the information on the document is not in English, a translation must be provided.
Certain conditions must be met for a translated document to be accepted by the department. When having a document translated:
The translation must include the following:
Both original and translated documents must be presented to the department to be accepted.
There is no requirement that a translation must be prepared by an agency in Michigan or the United States. Translations prepared in other countries that meet the department's requirements are acceptable.
When having a document translated, choose someone who is fluent in your native language and English. Translation services and translators who work in related fields, such as a community or government agency, in the law, or at a college or university, are all good sources. The department also has a Translator Resource List of acceptable translators.
Please remember that:
Note: Check the Yellow Pages of your local telephone directory under "Translations" or "Translators" for resources available in your area.