How to Apply for a New Drivers License in Michigan
New drivers licenses cannot be obtained online or by mail. Instead, you must apply for a new license in person at a local DMV. While there, you must pass a vision screening, a written exam and a skills test. To make sure that you are prepared, download our informative online drivers license guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to complete this application easily and quickly. In it, you will get in-depth details on how to complete other important licensing transactions, such as updating personal information on your license, renewing your license and replacing a lost one.
2. In Person at the DMV
To obtain a new drivers license at the DMV, you must submit identification documents and pass mandatory tests. A birth certificate or passport can verify your name and age, and a utility bill can prove your state residency. Generally, you must pass a written knowledge exam and a road skills test. You must also fill out a drivers license application form and pay the applicable fees. However, you may not know which forms to complete or if you are already eligible to take your exams. Arriving at the DMV unprepared may result in long wait times and potential mistakes, which could mean having to redo the process.
Michigan drivers licenses are available to eligible teen and adult drivers in the state. DMV licenses are issued after the application process is completed and fees are paid. The steps to obtain a permit include providing personal information, taking necessary exams and presenting verifying documents. Applicants must demonstrate their driving knowledge and ability to operate a vehicle.
The eligibility standards and license procedures for adults and teen residents is slightly different. Teen drivers must complete additional requirements to ensure preparation to be licensed in the state. The cost and specific methods for applying depends on the age of the applicant and type of license desired. Read the following sections to learn more about receiving driving privileges in the state.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Michigan as an Adult (Older Than 18)
The DMV drivers license eligibility standards for adults must be met in order for licenses to be issued. Applicants can research this process in advance so they are more fully prepared. Additionally, drivers can decide what class of permit they would like to obtain. Based on this information, more specific application steps can be learned.
To apply for driver licenses in Michigan, specific information and verification documents must be provided. New drivers licenses are issued when these items are successfully processed by the state. Eligibility requirements are based on a variety of factors.
The following items must be provided by applicants to prove eligibility status:
- Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
- Social Security Card
- W-2 form
- 1099 form
- Proof of identity and age, such as:
- Birth Certificate
- S. Passport
- Permanent Resident Card
- Foreign passport
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Proof of residency, such as:
- Insurance card
- Financial statement
- Federal or MD tax return
- Loan document
- Property tax statement
- Professional state license
- Mortgage documents
- School-issued transcripts or report cards
Steps to Get a New Drivers License in Michigan as an Adult (Older Than 18)
When potential applicants determine their eligibility to receive licenses, they can begin requesting driving privileges in the state. During this process, online drivers license applications are not available. Alternatively, residents must visit an official licensing office to receive permits.
A Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP) is the first type of license that may be issued to an adult driver. TIP drivers license requirements state that drivers must operate motor vehicles only in the presence of a valid supervisor. In order to receive a TIP permit, applicants must pass vision, road sign and written tests. Exams are administered at the Secretary of State office. In addition to taking these tests, specific documents and personal information should be presented. Lastly, fee payments are due when visiting the licensing office.
After a TIP license is utilized for at least 30 days, drivers are allowed to apply for regular unrestricted permits. The following steps should be completed in order to obtain full driving privileges:
- Take the required road skills test at a valid testing center
- Obtain a certificate verifying successful completion of the skills test
- Provide TIP license drivers license, exam certification and verification documents at a Secretary of State office
DMV drivers license skills tests are offered via third party institutions throughout the state. Fees may vary.
When the required documents and information are verified, a regular driver permit is issued. Additionally, fees must be paid by applicants. The official license card is sent via mail. All new drivers are placed on probation for the first 3 years of licensure.
Getting a Michigan Drivers License as a New Resident
Understanding how to get a drivers license is a necessary part of moving to a new state. In Michigan, an updated license must be received when a driver officially establishes residency.
Finding where to get a drivers license as a new resident is as easy as locating the nearest Secretary of State office location. Applicants should visit the closest office to request and updated driving permit. Each of the following steps must be completed by drivers:
- Provide valid Social Security Number.
- Provide identity, citizenship and residency documentation.
- Meet physical standards for holding regular licenses.
- Pass the required vision test.
- Pay fees and take permit photograph.
In some cases, a written knowledge exam and/or driving skills test must be completed by applicants. New licenses are mailed to residents within 3 weeks.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Michigan (18 or Younger)
Young Michigan residents must complete a series of requirements in order to be granted driving privileges in the state. Various types of MI driver permits are available to teens. Completion of practice driving hours and examinations ensure new drivers are ready to utilize safe practices on the road.
General eligibility rules for new teen drivers submitting driving license applications are as follows:
- Applicants must be at least 14 years and 9 months old to obtain permits.
- Applicants must visit a local Secretary of State office with a legal guardian or parent.
- Proof of Social Security number must be presented.
- Proof of legal presence, identity and state residency must be present.
- Drivers must take all required examinations for licenses.
Drivers Ed Requirements to Get a Drivers License in Michigan
Drivers education is only required for applicants age 18 and younger. However, adult drivers are still recommended to take courses. A wide variety of drivers license information and on-road practice is completed by students.
In Michigan, drivers education is divided into Segment One and Segment Two courses. During Segment One, 24 hours of class time and at least six hours of driving practice are gained. During Segment Two courses, drivers are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of supervised driving practice. Drivers must pass an exam at the end of Segment Two courses.
Michigan Graduated Driver Licensing Requirements (18 or Younger)
Young drivers age 18 and below must pass a graduated driver license program. In addition to completing driver education courses, various license levels are available to applicants over time. Driver license service locations grant upgraded driving privileges for each available permit class.
The following requirements are established for each level of the graduated license program:
- For Level One licenses, driving must occur with a valid supervisor. Fifty hours of practice, including 10 night time hours are required.
- For Level Two licenses, drivers must have passed a skills exam and utilized a Level One license for 6 months. Drivers may operate vehicles without supervision, but certain restrictions are applied.
- For Level Three licenses, drivers must use Level Two licenses for at least six months. This permit grants unrestricted driving privileges unless the applicant’s parent or guardian does not provide approval.
Michigan Drivers License Costs
- Standard drivers license $25
- Enhanced drivers license $45