Apply for Michigan driver's license

Choose Your LicenseApply-License

If you’re applying for a driver’s license for the first time or if you’re new to Michigan, you have the following license to choose from:

* Operator’s License (Class O)
* Chauffeur’s license
* Motorcycle (CY) endorsement
* Moped license
* Commercial (CDL) license (Class A, B, C)

If you are under age 18, you must take a driver’s education course and participate in the state’s Graduated Driver Licensing program.

Chauffeur’s License
This license is required for:

* Bus or school bus drivers
* Taxi or limousine drivers
* Anyone employed for the purpose of operating a vehicle with a gross weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more
* Anyone operating a vehicle as a carrier of passengers or as a common or contract carrier of property

Take a Driver’s Education CourseApply-License

Younger than 18: Driver’s education is required.

18 and older: It’s not required, but taking a driver education class will help prepare you for the tests.

Prepare for the TestApply-License

Michigan’s "What Every Driver Must Know" is the best source of information when studying for the written test. You may want to take a few practice tests, too.

Locate a DMV OfficeApply-License

If you’re 18 or older, you can take the test at any Secretary of State (SOS) branch office.

Applicants under age 18 will take the test as part of Michigan’s Segment 1 driver education class.

Make Test-Day PreparationsApply-License

If you’re over 18, you must:

* Provide proof of identity
* Provide your Social Security number or a letter from the Social Security Administration verifying your ineligibility
* Provide proof of residency
* Pass a vision test and meet the SOS’s designated health standards

Take the Written TestApply-License

If you’re 18 or older, you can take the test at any Secretary of State (SOS) branch office.

Once you pass, you’ll receive a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP), which is good for 180 days. You must hold it for at least 30 days before taking the road test.

Hearing-impaired applicants can request a sign-language interpreter or bring one they know. Applicants who are not comfortable with English can use an interpreter and/or request a printed translation of the written exam in another language.

Get a CarApply-License

Having a car will allow you to practice on your own so you can gain valuable experience. If you’re shopping for used cars, get a vehicle history report before you buy. It will show any reported accidents, odometer fraud, flood damage, etc.

Get Car InsuranceApply-License

Car insurance is legally required in Michigan.

Take the Driving TestApply-License

Make an appointment with a state-approved third-party testing office.

If you’re younger than 18, you must:

* Bring a valid Michigan Level 1 license that you’ve had for at least 180 days
* Bring a Segment 2 Driver Education completion certificate
* Be accompanied by a parent or guardian to sign the certification statement on your driving skills test score sheet, verifying you completed 50 hours of supervised driving, with at least 10 hours at night
* Provide proof of insurance and registration on the test vehicle
* Bring cash or a check to pay the test fee (since road tests are not regulated by the state, fees will vary)

If you’re 18 or older, you must bring:

* Current Michigan temporary instruction permit that you’ve had for at least 30 days (the 30-day minimum may be waived if you were previously licensed)
* Proof of the test vehicle’s insurance and registration
* Cash or a check to pay the test fee (since road tests are not regulated by the state, fees will vary)

New residents with a valid, out-of-state license do not need to take a road test.

Hearing-impaired applicants may use a sign language interpreter during the road test. Those not comfortable with English may use an interpreter.

Once you pass, take your signed skills test certificate to an SOS office where you’ll receive a temporary license. The skills test certificate is valid for one year. If it expires, you must take the written and road tests again.

If you fail, you must wait at least 24 hours before retaking the test.

Receive Your License in the MailApply-License

Expect your license in about two weeks.


You may drive in Michigan as long as your foreign license remains valid. It’s a good idea to get an International Driving Permit to carry with you as well. An IDP is a translation of your license so American officials can understand it.