Renewing a Driver's License at a Branch Office

A driver's license is usually valid for four years and expires on your birthday in the year shown on the license's upper-right corner.  If you are under age 21, your driver's license will expire on your 21st birthday. Present your driver's license or acceptable proof of identity listed on the Applying for a License or ID form (standard license) or the Applying for an Enhanced License or ID form (enhanced license) when renewing at a Secretary of State office. 

As a helpful reminder, the Department of State sends a renewal notice about 45 days before expiration. The renewal notice is sent to the address listed on department records. You may renew your driver's license at a Secretary of State office up to 12 months before the expiration date.

If there is any change in your physical or mental condition that may affect your ability to drive since you last renewed, you must come to a Secretary of State office regardless of what the renewal notice says. Plan to renew at least three weeks before your current license expires. Your physician may need to complete a special form to certify your physical or mental condition before your license is renewed.

A driver's license won't be renewed if your driving record shows three or more unpaid parking tickets, or if your license has been suspended or revoked. When renewing your driver's license, you must pass a vision screening test and provide proof of a valid Social Security number. For standard license renewals only: If you do not have a Social Security number, you will need to provide a letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration attesting to that fact along with proof of  legal presence

A new photograph also will be taken. You will be required to take a written and road skills test if your driver's license has been expired at least four years.

Your Social Security number will be verified by the Department of State, so it is critical that the first and last name and date of birth that the Social Security Administration has on file for you matches the name and date of birth on your driver's license.

If your name has changed, make sure to get it updated with the Social Security Administration before renewing your license at a Secretary of State office.

To submit a name change to the Social Security Administration:

  • Contact your local Social Security office.
  • Provide proof of your identity, legal presence and name change. Additional proof may be requested.

After changing your name with the Social Security Administration, please wait three business days before visiting a Secretary of State office to renew your license to ensure your records with the Social Security Administration have been updated.

To submit a name change with the Department of State:

  • Present your valid driver's license.
  • Provide legal proof of the name change, such as a certified marriage license, divorce decree or other legal name change document.

Allow plenty of time to complete all necessary steps if you have changed your name and you need to renew your driver's license. If you delay, there is a risk that your license will expire before your renewal can be processed. An expired driver's license is not accepted as proof of identity by the Social Security Administration.

All Secretary of State offices accept cash, checks, money orders, Discover, MasterCard or Visa debit or credit cards at the counter. Make checks and money orders out to "State of Michigan."

Don't let your driver's license expire unless you are no longer driving.  Driving without a valid license is illegal. If a driver's license expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the expiration date of the driver's license is extended to include the next business day before assessing a $7 late fee.  Chauffeur's licenses aren't assessed a late fee.  

Note:  Your situation may differ from the explanations provided. Please check with our Information Center at  (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424) to make sure you have all the correct paperwork before going to a branch office.

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


Related Documents & Topics
Physician's Statement of Examination PDF icon
Vision Specialist's Statement of Examination PDF icon