How to apply for a Michigan driver’s license?

Steps to apply for a new driver’s license in the state of Michigan. If you are a resident of Michigan, you may be required to apply for a new driver’s license for your vehicle at some point.

How to apply for a new driver’s license in Michigan?

To apply for a Michigan driver’s license at age 18 or older, you will need to follow these steps.

Steps to apply for a new driver's license in Michigan.

  1. Although online, mail-in or self-service services are available, to apply for a new driver’s license Schedule an Office Visit from
  2. Complete and pass the written driver knowledge test and an eye exam at an MDS office.
  3. Submit all required documents and bring a photo for your driver’s license.
  4. Practice driving with a licensed adult for at least 30 days, using the Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP) issued to you at your visit to the MDS office.
  5. Schedule and pass the road skills test with an authorized driver testing center.

In the state of Michigan, driving skills testing centers are mostly conducted by private companies. In the case of examiners, they are licensed by the Department of State.

Costs for skills testing vary depending on where you take the test. Also, during your visit to the Secretary of State’s office, you can pay for your driver’s license or identification by cash, check, money order, credit card or debit card.

What do I need to apply for a driver’s license in Michigan?

You must provide one of the following documents.

Residents must present any utility bill, credit card, bank statement, insurance policy, government document, title or Michigan registration.
If foreign national Certificate of Citizenship, Naturalization or Passport and Permanent Resident Card.
Certified birth certificate.
Your Social Security Number.
If you have a driver’s license or identification card from another state you may also present it.

Driver’s license for minors under 18 years of age

For those under the age of 18 in Michigan who wish to obtain their first driver’s license, they must complete the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. GDL includes two driver education segments (Segment 1 and Segment 2) and three different license levels.

Additional hours of supervised driving practice are required. Drivers under the age of 18 are also subject to certain restrictions at each license level. Regarding the process you will need to complete the following.

  • Written knowledge test
  • Road signs test
  • Eye Examination

At the time of your visit to the Secretary of State’s office you will have to pay a $25 fee. It is advisable to prepare for the knowledge test and schedule your visit in advance.

Do I need a driver’s license or identification?

Some people hesitate between applying for a driver’s license or an identification card. Both documents provide proof of identity and residency, although a license includes the privilege to drive.

Are all new Michigan drivers required to complete driver’s education?

Michigan’s driver education curriculum is mandatory for all teen drivers under the age of 18. For residents over the age of 18, you must study Michigan’s driving laws.

To apply for your Michigan license, complete and pass the vision test and driver knowledge test at your office visit. You will be issued a temporary paper permit to practice driving with a licensed adult for at least 30 days.

Once 30 days have passed, you must contact a driver testing center to complete the on-road driving skills test. Upon passing, you may receive your license in the mail.

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