Renewing Driver's License

Renewing and REAL ID
Renewing Online
Renewing by Mail
Renewing at a Secretary of State Office
Renewing - Making Corrections to Your License
Renewing Early - In State
Renewing Early - Out of State
Renewing or Expired License - Out of State
Renewing - Military
Expired License - Military
Fees
Related Documents & Topics

Renewing and REAL ID
It’s time to renew your driver’s license, and you may have a choice to make. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Michigan residents boarding a plane for domestic travel in the U.S., or entering certain federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants must present a REAL ID-compliant document.

Michigan offers driver’s licenses and state ID cards that are REAL ID compliant. For example, if you have an enhanced driver’s license, you already have a REAL ID-compliant card. Check your renewal notice. If it states that your license is REAL ID-compliant, you don’t need to do anything except renew your license as usual. If your renewal notice states that your license is NOT REAL ID compliant, you have to decide whether or not you should visit a Secretary of State office and apply for a REAL ID-compliant license.

How Do I Decide if I Need a REAL ID-compliant License?
You may not need a REAL ID-compliant license if you:

If the convenience of carrying a driver’s license that meets all requirements for boarding a plane for domestic travel appeals to you, then a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license is the right choice for you.

How Do I Obtain a REAL ID-compliant License?
Your renewal notice will state whether or not your license is REAL ID compliant. To apply for a REAL ID-compliant license, please visit a Secretary of State office.

To apply for a REAL ID-compliant license when it’s time to renew:

  1. Visit a Secretary of State office.
  2. Provide proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence by presenting your certified U.S. birth certificate with a stamp or raised seal; an unexpired U.S. passport or passport card; or other approved citizenship or legal presence document. If your name is different from what’s on your birth certificate, you’ll need to bring in a certified name-change document, such as your marriage license or court order. Multiple documents may be needed if your name has changed more than once. Name-change documents must show both the changed name and the previous name. Divorce decrees may be used if they are certified (copies are not accepted) and if they show the changed name and the previous name. Photocopies and faxes are not accepted. If your renewal notice states that you need to bring proof of a Social Security number, be sure to bring your Social Security card, W-2 or other proof of a valid Social Security number.
  3. Bring your glasses or contacts if used for driving.
  4. Pass the vision test.
  5. Pay the driver’s license renewal fee.

If you decide not to get a REAL ID-compliant license when renewing, but later change your mind, you may apply for one at any Secretary of State office. Please make sure you have the appropriate documentation before you go to the office.

> More Information on REAL ID

Renewing Online
You may renew your standard driver's license online through ExpressSOS if you are a U.S. citizen and your last renewal was completed at a Secretary of State office. Renewing online is convenient and saves time. Online renewal is not yet available for enhanced driver's licenses.

Renewing by Mail

  1. Fill out and sign the renewal notice.
  2. Update your address in the space provided.
  3. Pay by check, money order, Discover, Visa or MasterCard.
  4. Mail at least three weeks before your driver's license expires.

> More Information of renewal by mail

Renewing at a Secretary of State Office

Michigan law requires motorists to renew their driver's license in person at a Secretary of State office once every eight years. You must renew at a Secretary of State office if:

  • You have any health changes that may affect your ability to drive safely.
  • You renewed online or by mail last time.
  • It has been more than four years since you last renewed in person.
  • We could not verify your Social Security number. (You must present proof of a valid Social Security number when you renew. A letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration and proof of legal presence in the United States will be accepted in lieu of a Social Security number when renewing a standard license.)

When Renewing at a Branch Office:

  1. Bring your driver's license or other acceptable ID
  2. Bring glasses or contact lenses needed for driving
  3. You will be asked to take a vision test
  4. Pay by cash, check, money order, Discover, MasterCard or Visa debit or Credit Card.

> More Information on renewing at an office

Renewing - Making Corrections to Your License

You may also make corrections when renewing your standard or enhanced license.

Change of Address

Standard License: A change of address may be submitted online through ExpressSOS, by mail or at a branch office when renewing your license. Online renewal is not yet available for enhanced driver's licenses.
Enhanced License: At any branch office or by mail when renewing.

Name and Date of Birth Changes

Standard License: At any branch office.
Enhanced License: At any branch office.

Name Changes

If you need to change your name on your valid driver's license you must present it with proof of the name change. Proof of your name change must be established through an official record, such as a certified marriage license, divorce decree or a legal name change document. Multiple documents may be needed if your name has changed more than once. Name-change documents must show both the changed name and the previous name. Divorce decrees may be used if they are certified (copies are not accepted) and if they show the changed name and the previous name. A fee will be charged to correct your name and a new photograph will be taken.

> More Information on name changes

Social Security Number, Endorsement, Group Designation Changes

Standard License: At any branch office.
Enhanced License: At any branch office.

Renewing Early - In State

Your standard or enhanced driver's license may be renewed up to 12 months early at a Secretary of State office if you will be unable to renew it on time for any reason. You may also renew your standard driver's license online through ExpressSOS up to 12 months early if you are a U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security number. Online renewal is not yet available for enhanced driver's licenses.

> More Information on renewing in State

 

Renewing Early - Out of State

If you will be out of state when your standard or enhanced license is due to expire, you should visit a Secretary of State office to renew it before you travel. A driver's license may be renewed up to 12 months early if you will be unable to renew it on time for any reason. Eligible motorists may also renew their standard driver's license online through ExpressSOS up to 12 months early. Online renewal is not yet available for enhanced driver's licenses.

> More Information on renewing early when out of State

Renewing or Expired License - Out of State

If you are out of state and your standard or enhanced driver's license is up for renewal or it expires, you may:

  • Obtain a special extension permit allowing you to drive for up to 180 days from the license expiration date, or
  • Apply to renew you license by mail or online through ExpressSOS if eligible.

Which option is right for you will depend on your circumstances, such as how long you will be out of state or whether you are eligible to renew by mail or online. Online renewal is not yet available for enhanced driver's licenses.

> More Information on renewing expired license out of state

Renewing - Military

Your standard or enhanced driver's license may be renewed up to 12 months early at a branch office if you are unable to renew it on time for any reason.

If you are stationed out of state, you may renew your license by mail as long as it has not been expired more than four years and the Department of State has an electronic photograph of you on file. Proof of your Social Security number will be required if it hasn't been verified by the Department of State. For more information, contact the Out-of-State Resident Services Unit at:

Michigan Department of State
The Special Services Branch
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918
Phone: 517-322-1473
Fax: 517-322-5438

Spouses and dependents of active military personnel stationed out of state may also renew by mail, but they are not granted the same time extension. They should renew no later than their birthday in the year indicated on their license. Contact the Special Services Branch for more information.

Online renewal through ExpressSOS is available for standard licenses for military personnel and their families if they meet the eligibility requirements. Licenses expired more than four years cannot be renewed online.

Expired License - Military

If your standard or enhanced license has expired, you may continue to drive on it in conjunction with your military papers but only for the following period - whichever comes first:

  • Thirty days from your first leave of absence following the expiration of your license (the leave does not have to be to Michigan, this refers to any leave of absence), or
  • Thirty days from the date of your discharge following the expiration of your license.

It is recommended that you also carry your leave or discharge papers when driving on an expired license. Upon returning to Michigan, visit a Secretary of State office to have your standard or enhanced license renewed. Standard licenses that are expired for up to four years may also be renewed online for eligible drivers. Online renewal is not yet available for enhanced driver's licenses.

Fees

Refer to the Driver's License Fee Chart for information about the fees for renewing a standard license and the Enhanced Driver's License Fee Chart for fee information about the enhanced license.

Related Documents & Topics
> Renew Driver's License
> Standard License Fees
> Enhanced License Fees
> Documents Required for an Enhanced License or ID (PDF)
> Where to Apply for an Enhanced License or ID