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License and ID document requirements

  • Documents listed on the Identification Requirements for an Original Driver License or Personal Identification Card form are the types of documents applicants must present to prove their identity. Documents presented as proof of identity are subject to approval by Department of State personnel.  In some cases, document approval may not occur in the same day and may require an additional visit. Photocopies of original identification documents are not acceptable.

  • Michigan law requires that anyone applying for a driver's license or state identification card be a Michigan resident. With concerns about homeland security, identity theft and fraud, the Department of State is taking all steps necessary to comply with federal and state laws to ensure the integrity and security of the documents it issues. You can establish proof of Michigan residency (see SOS-428) by presenting at least two documents. Proof of a valid Social Security number, U.S. citizenship or legal presence if not a U.S. citizen and identity will also be required.

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

  • Event occurred in Michigan:
    You can order a record online using a debit or credit card, print an application to order by mail or to change a record, or get information about available services. The State of Michigan Vital Records Office has records of births, deaths, and marriages that occurred in Michigan that were filed with the state as early as 1867.

    Event occurred outside of Michigan:
    To find out how to obtain vital records you can visit the CDC Website - Where to write for vital records. You must first determine the State or area where the birth, death, marriage, or divorce occurred, then select that State or area. Please follow the provided guidelines to ensure an accurate response to your request.

  • Proof of residency establishes that you live in Michigan. Legal presence establishes that you were either born in the U.S. or in a U.S. possession or territory, are a naturalized citizen or a foreign national who legally lives in the U.S.

  • No photocopies or fax copies of an individual's identity documents can be accepted at branch offices when applying for a driver's license or personal identification card. Only original or certified copies of legal or identity documents are accepted.

  • The Secretary of State must be non-discriminatory in establishing eligibility criteria for original driver's licenses and PID cards.

  • To change your name on your driver's license or state identification card, you must go to a Secretary of State office to process the correction.  Present your valid driver's license or state ID card and proof of the name change. Proof of your name change must be established, such as a certified marriage license, divorce decree or legal name change document.

    Prior to having your name changed on your license or state ID card, make sure to process a name change with the Social Security Administration. To process a name change with the Social Security Administration, you must provide proof of identity, legal presence and name change. Additional proof may be requested. 

  • Two proofs of Michigan residency (see DE-40) must be provided whenever an applicant is applying for an original Michigan driver's license or identification card.

  • Michigan law requires every driver's license to include a person's residence address. A person's "residence address" is the place that is their settled or permanent home, where they usually sleep and keep their personal belongings. State law also requires a driver's license or ID card to include a residence address.

    All applicants applying for an original driver's license or personal identification card must provide two proofs of Michigan residency. Any item presented to establish proof of residency must include the applicant's name and a Michigan residence address (no P.O. boxes or Mailbox Plus addresses). Applicants may present any of the following:

    • Utility bill or credit card bill issued within the last 90 days (Electronic copies are acceptable.)
    • Account statement from a bank or other financial institution issued within the last 90 days. (Electronic copies are acceptable.)
    • Michigan high school, college or university report cards or transcripts less than two years old.
    • Mortgage, lease or rental agreement. (Lease and rental agreements must include the landlord's telephone number.)
    • Pay stub or earnings statement issued with the name and address of the employer.
    • Life, health, auto or home insurance policy.
    • Federal, state or local government documents, such as receipts, licenses or assessments.
    • Michigan title and registration (The registration must show current residential address.)

    Note: Residency documents in a family member's name may be used if the family relationship can be established by other forms of documented proof.

  • We contacted cell phone companies about their procedures for establishing new accounts. Many of the cell phone companies we contacted do not require a residence address. Cell phone numbers are not generally published making them difficult to verify.

  • Under Michigan law, the Secretary of State is prohibited from issuing an original driver's license or state identification card to anyone who is not a legal resident of the state. If you have recently moved to Michigan and have a valid driver's license or state identification card from another state, these can be used in the interim until sufficient residency documents are established. Once residency is established, please visit a Secretary of State office immediately to apply for a Michigan driver's license or state ID.

  • The foreign documents that are accepted as proof of identity when applying for an original driver's license or state identification card are a Canadian driver's license or a valid foreign passport in your name with English subtitles or translation. A foreign marriage license with English subtitles or translation may be presented to support a legal name change on legal presence or identity documents.

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

  • Anyone applying for an original driver's license or state identification card must provide proof of having a valid Social Security number, U.S.  citizenship or legal presence if not a U.S. citizen, identity along with at least two documents establishing Michigan residency. All documentation is subject to Department of State approval.  In some cases, document approval may not occur in the same day and may require an additional visit. 

  • If you are ineligible for a Social Security number, you must have a letter from the Social Security Administration documenting the reason.  Letters that are more than 30 days old will not be accepted.  All Social Security information will be verified.  If you fail to provide a valid Social Security number or provide proof demonstrating your ineligibility, your driver's license or state ID application cannot be processed.

  • If you have never been issued a Social Security card, you may apply for one at no cost at a local Social Security office. You will need to:

    • Bring a completed Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card) and,
    • Provide at least two documents to confirm your age, identity and citizenship or legal presence.

    Acceptable documents include but are not limited to an original birth certificate, valid U.S. driver's license, state-issued identification card or U.S. passport. If a U.S. birth certificate exists you MUST submit it. See Learn What Documents You Need to find acceptable documents. Only originals or copies certified by the agency that issued the document will be accepted. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens must provide a current U.S. immigration document and foreign passport with biographical information or photograph. 

    If you have lost your Social Security card and need to get a replacement, you may be able to request a replacement online:

    You can use a my Social Security account to request a replacement Social Security card online if you:

    • Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address;
    • Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card; and
    • Have a driver's license or a state-issued identification card from Michigan or one of the other states listed.

    If you cannot apply for a card online, you will need to work with your local office and provide documentation. See Learn What Documents You Need to find out what documents you will have to show. Fill out and print an Application for a Social Security Card; and take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.

  • Concerted effort and planning has taken place to ensure this information is protected. It is important for the public to know that the Social Security numbers are not displayed or encoded on the driver's license. This information is limited to select individuals in government agencies as allowed by law, for the purpose of child support enforcement. Michigan complied with this federal mandate only after proper safeguards were in place to protect the personal privacy of state residents.

  • Michigan law requires the Department of State to collect and verify Social Security numbers before issuing a driver's license or state identification card.

    (Michigan Vehicle Code, 1949 PA 300, as amended by 1998 PA 330 and by 2008 PA 7; and State Identification Card Act, 1972 PA 222, as amended by 2008 PA 31.)

    Social Security numbers are used for child support collection and to assist in establishing identity.