Secretary of State
You will be given a knowledge test to determine how well you know Michigan traffic laws and safe driving practices. Applicants age 18 or older will be given this test at the Secretary of State office when applying for a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP).
If you are required to take a knowledge test for your original operator or chauffeur license, arrive at the Secretary of State office at least one hour before closing to allow enough time to complete the test.
If you have difficulty speaking or reading English, branch office staff will provide a list of available spoken language interpreters. Printed translations of the knowledge tests are also available in many languages. Please contact the branch office in advance to obtain a list of interpreters. Hearing-impaired customers can request a sign language interpreter in advance of a branch office visit or may use an interpreter they know.
Driving Skills Test
You must pass a driving skills test if you have never been licensed and are applying for an original driver's license, or your driver's license has been expired for more than four years. Driving skills tests are administered by independent driver testing businesses approved by the Secretary of State.
A list of approved driver testing businesses is available at all branch offices and on this Web site. Be sure to ask the driver testing business you choose about its fees before scheduling your test. The Secretary of State does not set the driving skills test fee.
The first part of the driving skills test requires you to pass a series of off-street, closed-course maneuvers. After passing the first part, you must then pass a road skills test to receive your driving skills certificate. The road skills test includes urban, expressway, rural highway, and residential driving.
Complete study information is provided in the Secretary of State publication Driving Skills Test Study Guide available at any branch office, or on this Web site. You should review this study guide thoroughly before taking the driving skills test. Once the driving skills test is passed, you are eligible for a Michigan driver's license. If you have a driver's license issued by another state, the driving skills test may be waived.
NOTE: Your situation may differ from the information provided. Please check with our Information Center at 888-SOS-MICH (888-767-6424) to make sure you have all the correct paperwork before going to a branch office.