If you have a damaged or lost drivers license, then you will need to use one of the replacement options offered by the Michigan Secretary of State’s (SOS) office. Since it is illegal to operate a vehicle without a valid copy of drivers license credentials on hand, you must begin the process of obtaining a replacement as soon as you realize the card is missing or invalid. A marred card with illegible information or out of date information can result in consequences if you are stopped by law enforcement or when you need to prove your identity.

An MI replacement drivers license will have the same information as your original drivers license. If your credentials were stolen, then you should consider reporting the theft. Keep reading to learn how to replace drivers license documents in Michigan.

When is a replacement drivers license required in Michigan?

You must replace lost drivers license cards as soon as you realize your primary form of photo identification is missing. You must also replace drivers license documentation that has been significantly damaged. Obtaining a new card is necessary if your card has tattered edges, unreadable text or a photo mutilated beyond recognition.

It is possible to receive a traffic ticket for driving with a damaged license, just as you can be cited for driving without a valid license in your possession. This is due to the fact that an illegible license cannot adequately prove your identity.

Along the same lines, you should get a drivers license replacement any time you change your name, address or physical appearance. A valid copy of drivers license credentials should always include up-to-date information about you. This means you will need to complete a change of name on your drivers license or an address correction if either of these details changes.

Note: If your license is set to expire in one year or less, then you should obtain a drivers license renewal instead of a replacement. However, because a stolen or lost drivers license can put you at risk for identity theft and other forms of fraud if it were to fall into the wrong hands, you should consider reporting a known theft to your local law enforcement agency.

How to Replace Your Drivers License Online in Michigan

If you are wondering, “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license quickly and easily?” then you should note that there is an online method to request a duplicate card. To be eligible for a drivers license copy online, you must be a U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security Number. To initiate the process, the online system requires you to enter the last four digits of your Social Security Number, your driver’s license number, your date of birth and your eye color.

After following the prompts, you will need to pay the fee required to get copy of drivers license credentials with a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. If your computer has a printer, then print a copy of the transaction. It is helpful to keep it with you whenever you drive until your new card arrives in the mail.

How to Replace Your Michigan Drivers License in Person

Although almost anyone is free to replace drivers license documents in person at a Secretary of State office, you must do so if any of the following apply:

  • You have renewed your license or applied for a duplicate drivers license within the past four weeks
  • You have changed your drivers license address within the past ten days
  • You have a temporary, enhanced or minor restricted license

To obtain a Michigan duplicate drivers license in person, visit one of the local SOS offices during normal business hours and bring a form of identification. This may be a certified birth certificate, a U.S. or Canadian passport, a marriage license or another type of photo ID issued by an MI government agency.

The SOS clerk reserves the right to accept or reject any document submitted when replacing drivers license cards and may request more than one form of ID. For that reason, it is best to go to the SOS office with at least two different forms of identification. When you apply in person, your previous copy of drivers license credentials will be immediately canceled, which helps protect against fraudulent use for border crossing, identity theft or other purposes.

Out-of-State Drivers License Replacement in Michigan

If you are temporarily out-of-state or even out of the country when you face a lost drivers license, then you may initiate a replacement online as detailed above. However, must obtain a duplicate drivers license by sending an application to the MI SOS by mail or fax if you are not a U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security number.

Complete the application online and print it or print it first and complete it by hand. All copies of this document must be signed by hand. Either include your credit card information at the bottom of the form or enclose a check or money order payable to the State of Michigan. Send all documents to the Michigan Department of State Special Services Branch in Lansing.

You may also fax all documents but you must pay your SOS duplicate license fees by credit card if you choose the fax option. Military personnel stationed outside of the United States who need to replace lost drivers license credentials in Michigan can follow the same out-of-state drivers license replacement guidelines. However, service members must use their APO/FPO address as their out-of-state mailing address.

Michigan Drivers License Replacement Fees

You will need to pay an MI drivers license replacement fee, which can vary based on the application method used. For instance, online transactions will incur a minimal convenience fee. If you opt for a license renewal instead of replacing drivers license documentation because you have less than one year until your license expires, then you can also expect to pay a renewal fee.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.