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New Michigan residents
Welcome to Michigan!
Once you establish Michigan residency, you will need to complete these steps:
- Apply for a Michigan license or ID at a Secretary of State office
- Register as a Michigan voter
- Get a Michigan license plate for your vehicle(s)
Apply for a Michigan license or ID (Choose tab)
Converting your current out-of-state license
REAL ID (in effect May 2025)
Beginning May 7, 2025, Michigan residents will need to present a REAL ID-compliant document to fly within the United States and enter certain federal facilities in accordance with federal law.
Register as a Michigan voter
By state law, when you apply for a Michigan license or ID, you will be automatically registered to vote unless you choose to opt out at the time.
Voting by absentee ballot
Michigan voters can request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason. During or after registration you can sign up to automatically receive an absentee ballot application before every election.
Get a Michigan license plate for your vehicle(s)
When you move to Michigan, you are required to purchase a license plate for your vehicle. To do so, you will need to visit a Secretary of State office and provide the following:
- If possible, your previous state registration (it can be recently expired)
- An original copy of the vehicle title (photocopies not accepted)
- Proof of Michigan No-Fault insurance coverage on the vehicle
- Your driver’s license, ID, or valid, unexpired passport
- If applicable, a written statement from the lien holder or leasing company
- Payment for registration fees
If converting your title to Michigan, all owners named on the title must be present at the time of this transaction or they may appoint an agent to sign on their behalf. You will be mailed a copy of your new Michigan title. In most cases, you will receive your license plate, a tab to immediately place on plate, and two copies of your Michigan registration at your office visit.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Who is required to get a Michigan license or ID?
If you plan to drive, you will need to apply for a license, and your license will act as legal identification. ID isn't required by the state, but is generally required by employers, retailers, and to access certain services.
Why do I have to visit a Secretary of State office in person?
While most transactions can be completed online, by mail, and at self-service stations, some still must be completed in person at a Secretary of State office, including:
- Applying for a first-time standard or enhanced driver’s license or ID
- Converting a license or ID to a REAL ID-compliant credential
- Correcting a name, gender designation, commercial endorsement or designation, or other information
- Title transactions
- Registering a vehicle for the first time
I just moved to Michigan and there is an upcoming election. Can I register to vote?
You can register to vote at your local clerk’s office through Election Day. You must be a resident of your city or township for at least 30 days prior to the election, a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old when you will vote, and not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison.
If it is an Election Day, after registering to vote, you can vote with an absentee ballot at the clerk’s office or visit your polling place.
When registering, you must show proof of your address. The document must include your name and current address, and can be a digital copy. Acceptable documents include:
- Michigan license or ID
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Paycheck or government check
- Other government document
My title is being held in my previous state. Can I still register and plate my vehicle in Michigan?
The Michigan Department of State will issue a Michigan registration and plate to a vehicle with an out-of-state title. If your out-of-state title is being held by a lien holder or leasing company, you may provide your previous state registration (it can be recently expired) or proof of your title.
Can I keep my current, out-of-state vehicle insurance?
Michigan law requires that all vehicles must have proof of valid Michigan No-Fault insurance coverage to be registered or renewed in Michigan. The Michigan Department of State isn't able to accept proof of valid out-of-state insurance coverage in lieu of Michigan No-Fault insurance.