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  • New to Michigan

    Summary: New Michigan Residents

    If you're new to Michigan, you will need to transfer your out-of-state driver's license, as well as register your car in the state. You will also need to update your voter and organ donor registration information.

    When you move to Michigan, there are a number of tasks you will need to complete with the Secretary of State (SOS) to ensure you can enjoy all the benefits of being a Michigan resident. Read below for more information.

    Register Your Car in Michigan

    Once you've officially become a resident of Michigan, you'll need to register your out-of-state car with the MI SOS. You'll need to visit a Michigan SOS office in person with all of the required documents. For more information, visit our guide to Michigan Car Registration.

    Special Vehicles

    If you have a special vehicle other than your standard car, such as a motorhome or off-road vehicle, you may need to go through a different registration process. More information can be found on our Special Vehicles registration page.

    Mandatory Car Insurance

    Before the Michigan SOS will allow you to register your vehicle, you must provide proof that you have no-fault car insurance in Michigan. You cannot use your out-of-state policy. To compare quotes and find a suitable Michigan insurance provider, visit our Car Insurance section.

    Emissions Inspections

    In Michigan, you are not required to have your vehicle pass an emissions inspection before you can register it. If you have an eco-friendly car, you may be eligible for some incentives, such as federal tax incentives and auto insurance discounts. For more information, visit our Car Inspections and Green Driver State Incentives pages.

    Michigan Driver's Licenses & ID Cards

    Once you've established residency in Michigan, you'll need to transfer your out-of-state driver's license over to the state. To do this, you'll need to visit your local MI SOS office in person and surrender your out-of-state license. For complete instructions and fee information, visit our Applying for a New License in Michigan page.

    If you're a teenager, you'll need to satisfy the requirements of the Michigan graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program before you will be eligible for a full driver's license. For more information, visit out Applying for a New Teen License page.

    NOTE: If you need a commercial driver's license (CDL), follow the instructions on our Applying for a New CDL in Michigan page.

    Identification Cards

    If you don't need to drive in the state, you may wish to apply for a Michigan identification card. This can be used to prove your age, identity, and date of birth. For application instructions, including required fees, visit our Identification Cards page.

    Organ Donor and Voter Registration

    Once you move to another state, you'll need to re-register as an organ donor and voter, if you wish to. This can be done at the same time as applying for a Michigan driver's license, or completed as a separate transaction.

    Organ Donor Registration

    If you were a registered organ donor in your previous state and you want to remain a donor, you'll need to re-register with Michigan state's registry. To register and to find out more information about becoming an organ donor, visit our Organ Donation page.

    Voter Registration

    If you wish to vote in the next election, you'll need to make sure you're registered to vote in your new Michigan county. Visit our page on Voter Registration for instructions.

    Military Members Stationed in Michigan

    If you're not a Michigan resident, but temporarily living in the state due to military obligations, you may be exempt from some of the state's licensing and vehicle registration requirements. For more information, visit our Drivers in the Military page.

    MI DMV Locations & Resources

    If you're ready to make the trip to the Michigan SOS office, use our handy office finder tool.

    Before you get on the road with your MI driver's license, be sure to read the DMV's driving manuals and make sure you're aware of the state's road rules:

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    heroes have registered as organ donors.