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In most states, you can renew your drivers license online, by mail or in person. However, be mindful that the online method is only available to certain applicants, depending on their age and citizenship status. During an online license renewal, you will be asked to identify yourself and pay the applicable service fees. To make sure that you are fully prepared to complete the process, you can download our informative online guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to renew your driving license quickly and easily. In it, you will also get step-by-step details about how to complete other important licensing transactions, such as replacing your license or updating your name or address.

2. By Mail

Certain motorists are eligible to renew their drivers licenses by mail. If your state DMV offers this option, you will be asked to fill out a renewal notice or request form and include certain supporting documentation in your application package. Additionally, you will need to provide an acceptable payment method for the renewal fees, typically a check or money order. All of these documents must be sent to a specified DMV mailing address. It is important to note that this method includes processing times, so it may take longer than others to complete. To minimize your wait time and to avoid delays, be sure to attach the correct paperwork to your renewal form.

3. In Person at the DMV

When renewing your driving license at the DMV, you may be required to pass a vision screening, to retake your photograph and to pay a service fee. Generally, you will need to present your existing license, fill out a drivers license renewal form and assess that your information is still up-to-date on the DMV’s records. Because many drivers are typically unsure of which forms to fill out in order to complete their transactions, delays are common when applying in person. Furthermore, potential mistakes on your application may require you to visit the DMV more than once to successfully renew your license.


Michigan residents must complete the drivers license renewal process to retain driving rights throughout the state. All license holders must submit DMV license renewal verification periodically. Understanding how to complete this procedure in advance is beneficial for drivers. Specific eligibility requirements must be met in order for renewal requests to be approved. Additionally, fees are assessed to process documents and provide applicants with new official permit cards.

MI drivers should understand that the license replacement process differs from obtaining approval for renewal. Unlike renewal, replacement is designated for situations where permits are lost, stolen or damaged. To learn more information about obtaining updated driving privileges in the state, continue reading the following sections.

Michigan Drivers License

Note: Drivers searching for the expiration date on their current Michigan driver’s license can find it located directly under the issue date on the top right.

Eligibility for Drivers License Renewal in Michigan

MI residents must meet specific eligibility rules for their method of license renewal. The drivers license renewal guidelines apply to all drivers, but differ for online, in person and by mail options. In general, license renewal applicants:

  • Must be 16 years old.
  • Must have a valid Driver’s License.

To renew drivers license online or in person, residents must offer proof of identity, residency and citizenship status. Each of the following documents can be used to verify personal information:

  1. Documents proving Social Security Number (SSN):
    • Social Security Card
    • W-2
    • 1099 form
    • Pay stub
  2. Documents proving identity:
    • Valid MI ID card
    • Marriage certificate
    • Valid US Passport
    • Divorce certificate
    • Employee photo ID
    • S. military ID
    • S. school records

Specific eligibility rules for mail-in renewal are as follows:

  • Applicants cannot be listed on the sex offender registry
  • Applicants cannot have previously renewed by mail
  • Applicants must have their Social Security number verified by the Social Security Administration (SSA)

In-person renewal at driver license offices is required for applicants who have:

  • Physical or mental issues affecting their ability to drive.
  • Health problems, such as fainting spells, blackouts or seizures.
  • Recently changed their name.
  • Renewed by mail last time.
  • Not had their Social Security Number verified with the Social Security Administration

Instances When You Cannot Renew Your Drivers License in Michigan

DMV permit renewal in Michigan is only allowed for applicants meeting specific renewal rules. Drivers in the state are unable submit drivers license renewal forms if:

  • Their current license is suspended or revoked
  • They have three or more unpaid parking tickets on record

When all outstanding parking tickets are paid, license renewal may begin.

How early can you renew your drivers license in Michigan?

Michigan drivers are eligible to renew their drivers licenses up to 12 months early. Furthermore, the Department of State provides a complimentary renewal notice 45 days before the official license expiration date.

Michigan DMV License Renewal Options

Various options for license renewal are available to Michigan residents. However, specific eligibility requirements must be met to utilize each method. Drivers should ensure they are able to apply for updated permits before starting the renewal process. Additionally, understanding what is needed to renew drivers licenses for each method can speed up the procedures.

How to Renew Your Drivers License Online

To complete the online DMV license renewal process via ExpressSOS, requests must be submitted via the online portal. Applicants must provide personal information, such as the following:

  • Driver’s license number
  • Full name
  • Birth date
  • Eye color
  • Social Security Number

If necessary, verification documents must be submitted by drivers. Next, driving license renewal fees should be using credit or debit card. Processing fees are applied to all online transactions. Receipts are provided for applicants to keep in their records.

The state licensing office must approve requests, verification documents and payments. New licenses are issued by mail when the submitted information is verified. New permit cards are sent to the applicants’ address on file.

How to Renew Your Driving License by Mail

The process for mail-in renewal must be started 3 weeks before the official expiration date on a license. Drivers must complete the following steps:

  1. Fill out renewal notice and sign the document.
  2. Provide payment by check or money order made out to the State of Michigan.

Upon receipt of the request and verification of payment, renewed licenses are mailed to the address on file.

How to Renew Your Drivers License in Person

For MI drivers wondering, “Where can I renew my drivers license?” in Michigan, applicants are eligible apply at official MI licensing offices.

When visiting these agencies, drivers must submit their old licenses, present verification documents and pay fees. Residents must provide accurate and up-to-date information during this process.

Additionally, applicants must take a license renewal vision test to be approved for a renewed permit. Drivers should then pay all relevant fees. Cash, check, credit or debit cards and money orders may be used for payment.

When submitted fees and documents are approved, renewed permits are issued.

Military & Out of State Renewal in Michigan

Active duty military members stationed out of state should utilize mail-in renewal to obtain updated licenses. However, this method is only valid if the driver has a photo on file with the Department of State. Additionally, according to drivers license renewal requirements, licenses may not be expired for over 4 years for mail-in renewal to be valid.

Military members with expired licenses can continue to drive using their official papers for the following dates:

  • Thirty days after expiration of a license while living out-of-state
  • Thirty days from the date of discharge after license expiration

Michigan REAL ID Drivers License Renewal

REAL IDs are available in place of standard Michigan drivers licenses. These forms of identification are used when taking planes for domestic travel and accessing the following areas:

  • Federal facilities
  • Military bases
  • Nuclear power plants

Drivers can visit a Secretary of State office to obtain REAL IDs. Additional verification documents are required for REAL ID license renewal, and online portals cannot be used.

Michigan Drivers License Renewal Fees

How much does it cost to renew drivers licenses for state residents? Michigan renewal fees for drivers licenses are as follows:

  • Operators License renewal: $18
  • Late renewal fee: $7
Last updated on Tuesday, December 4 2018.

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