Applying for an Enhanced Driver's License (Over 18, Never Been Licensed)

Applying for an Enhanced Driver's License (Over 18, Never Been Licensed)
The enhanced driver's license is an attractive alternative to the standard license because it allows you to re-enter the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean without the need to show additional identity or citizenship documents at the border.

Because you have never been licensed, you must successfully complete the written knowledge and driving skills tests before a license can be issued. Although driver education is not required for individuals 18 and older, it is highly recommended.

To obtain an enhanced Michigan license, follow these steps.

Eligibility:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen and a Michigan resident
  2. You must have no violations, suspensions, revocations or denials on your driving record that would prevent you from legally operating a motor vehicle

Please note: When applying for an enhanced driver's license, your first and last name and date of birth on your identity and citizenship documents should match. If your current legal name is different from what is shown on your citizenship document, you must present lawful proof of the name change, such as an original marriage license, divorce decree or court order.

To apply:

  1. Visit any Secretary of State office. Make sure you bring documentation of:

    a. A valid Social Security number (for example, a Social Security card)

    b. U.S. citizenship (for example, a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal, must be issued by a governmental unit in the U.S. or U.S. territory)

    c. Identity (for example, a current Michigan personal identification card) If you do not have a state-issued ID card, there are other forms of ID that can be accepted as proof of identity. Please refer to the Documents Required for an Enhanced License or ID form for complete details.

    d. Residency (for example, a current Michigan personal identification card) If you do not have a state-issued ID card, there are other types of documents that can be accepted as proof of residency. Please refer to the Documents Required for an Enhanced License or ID form for complete details.

  2. U.S. citizenship (for example, a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal, must be issued by a governmental unit in the U.S. or U.S. territory)
    Identity (for example, a current Michigan personal identification card) If you do not have a state-issued ID card, there are other forms of ID that can be accepted as proof of identity. Please refer to the Documents Required for an Enhanced License or ID form for complete details.
    Residency (for example, a current Michigan personal identification card) If you do not have a state-issued ID card, there are other types of documents that can be accepted as proof of residency. Please refer to the Documents Required for an Enhanced License or ID form for complete details.

  3. You must pass the vision, road signs and written knowledge tests and pay $25 before a Temporary Instruction Permit, or TIP, can be issued. A TIP allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult or a certified driver education instructor.
  4. Practice the basic control and on-the-road driving skills described in the Driving Skills Test Study Guide. A licensed adult must be with you at all times. You must practice for at least 30 days before taking your driving skills test.
  5. Successfully pass a driving skills test. Driving skills testing is provided by third-party testing organizations across the state. Cost and hours will vary.
  6. Return to a Secretary of State office authorized to issue an enhanced license. Have your photograph taken.
  7. Pay the $20 remainder due for the standard enhanced license. There are additional fees for an enhanced chauffeur license and Commercial Driver License designations and endorsements.
     

Once you complete the enhanced license application process, you will be issued a Temporary Operator's Permit to drive. The operator's permit does not qualify as a secure document for border-crossing purposes. Your enhanced license is valid for up to four years and should arrive in the mail within two to three weeks.

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