License Renewal in Michigan

Renew Your Driver's License in Michigan

Before your Michigan driver's license expires, you need to renew it with the Secretary of State (SOS) so you can continue to legally drive in the state.

On this page, you'll find information on how to renew your MI driver's license online, by mail, and in person.

If you've already renewed your license, you can check the status of your order by contacting the MI SOS.

Michigan REAL ID Driver's License

The Michigan SOS has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses. As of October 1, 2021, the REAL ID will function as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—a standard license will not after this date.

All newly issued licenses in Michigan are now automatically REAL ID-compliant. However, renewals have the choice to maintain a standard license or upgrade to a REAL ID or enhanced license. We'll walk you through each choice below.

When to Renew Your MI Driver's License

Your Michigan driver's license expires on your birthday every 4 years.

If you are under 21 years old, your MI driver's license will expire on your 21st birthday.

The MI Secretary of State (SOS) will mail you a renewal notice about 45 days before it expires. It will notify you whether you can renew:

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

Once every 8 years, you must renew your MI driver license in person at a DMV office.

Renewal requirements may vary based on the status of your driver's license, and whether it is currently:

  • Valid.
  • Expired.
  • Suspended.
  • Lost, damaged, or destroyed.

NOTE: If you have an enhanced driver's license, you cannot renew online.

Valid Driver's License

If you hold a valid MI driver's license, you can renew it up to 12 months before the expiration date.

Expired Driver's License

If your Michigan driver's license is expired, you'll need to pay a $7 late fee for a standard license and $45 late fee for an enhanced license, when you renew.

If your MI license has been expired for 4 years or more, you must pass a:

  • Written driving knowledge test.
  • Driving skills test.

Suspended Driver's License

If your MI driver's license is suspended, you'll need to reinstate your driving privileges before you can renew it.

For more information, please see our page on Suspended Licenses in Michigan.

Is your license valid or suspended?

Make sure your driver's license is in good standing—check your driving record to prevent unwarranted fines and penalties.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Driver's License

If your Michigan driver's license is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can still renew it as long as you know your driver's license number.

If you'd like to replace your license, please see our Replacing a Lost License in Michigan page.

IMPORTANT: Upgrading to a REAL ID

If you currently have a non-compliant license, you have the option to maintain it at your renewal. However, if you want to be able to use your MI license to board an airplane or enter federal buildings, you have to upgrade to the REAL ID.

REAL ID upgrades at renewal must be done in person. This is a one-time requirement so that you can submit certain identity documents for the SOS to put on file.

Renewing Your MI Driver's License

Depending on your particular eligibility criteria, you may be able to renew your Michigan license:

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

When upgrading from a non-compliant standard license to a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, you MUST do your renewal in person so that you can submit your additional identity documents for a one-time verification.

Online Driver's License Renewal

You are eligible to renew online if:

  • You are NOT upgrading from a non-compliant to a REAL ID-compliant license.
  • You have a standard noncommercial driver's license.
  • Your last renewal was completed in person.
  • You have not requested a replacement license in the last 4 weeks.
  • You have not changed your address in the last 10 days.
  • Your health condition has not changed.
  • Your Social Security number is on file with the MI DMV.
  • Your driver's license has been renewed in the past 4 years.

Note that the MI ExpressSOS has regularly scheduled maintenance outages. You can view a list of scheduled unavailability so as to make your transaction smoother.

To renew your standard Michigan driver's license online, visit the ExpressSOS website and provide:

  • The last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
  • Your driver's license number.
  • Your birth date.
  • Your eye color.
  • Payment for the renewal fee. (See the “Fees" section below.)

By-Mail Driver's License Renewal

You can renew your MI driver license by mail if:

  • You are NOT upgrading from a non-compliant to a REAL ID-compliant driver's license.
  • You are renewing a non-commercial driver's license.
  • Your last renewal was done in person.
  • The Michigan SOS has verified your Social Security number (SSN).
  • You have not changed your legal name since you last renewed.

To renew by mail, you'll need to:

  • Complete and sign your renewal notice.
  • Provide payment for the renewal fee. (See the “Fees" section below.)

Mail the above to:

Michigan Department of State
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48980

In-Person Driver's License Renewal

You must renew in person at your local Michigan DMV office if:

  • You haven't completed a renewal in person in the last 4 years.
  • Your last renewal was completed online or by mail.
  • The MI SOS has not verified your Social Security number.
  • Your health conditions have changed.
  • You are planning on upgrading to a Real ID, which means that you will also need to bring (in addition to the identification documents you need for a standard license):
    • Any of the following:
      • Valid U.S. passport.
      • Certified birth certificate with raised seal or stamp.
      • Approved citizenship or legal presence document.
    • Proof of name change (if applicable).

To renew your license in person, visit your local Michigan Secretary of State office. You'll need to:

  • Bring your current MI driver's license or an acceptable identity document, such as your:
    • U.S. passport.
    • U.S. military ID.
    • U.S. government employee ID.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Provide your Social Security number.
  • Have your photo taken.
  • Pay the renewal fee. (See the “Fees" section below.)

NOTE: If your medical condition has changed, the MI SOS recommends renewing your MI driver license before the expiration date. Your doctor may need to complete additional forms.

Military & Out-of-State Michigan Residents

Military Members

Notice for Military Members Stationed in Germany

If you are currently stationed in Germany, please be aware that some states require you to have a valid U.S. driver's license in addition to your USAREUR license. Read our article for more information.

If you are an active duty military member, your expired MI driver's license will remain valid for:

  • 30 days after any leave of absence.
  • 30 days after being discharged.

When driving with an expired driver license in Michigan, make sure to carry your military documents with you.

Military members, spouses, and dependents can renew in person, online, or by mail through the MI Special Services Branch (see below).

Out-of-State Renewals

If your Michigan drivers license expires while you are out of state, you can either:

  • Renew online or by mail.
  • Request a temporary driver license extension.

If you will be out of state for more than 180 days after the expiration date, you must contact the MI SOS Special Services Branch to check if you can still renew your MI driver's license.

  • Mail:
    • Michigan Department of State
    • Special Services Branch
    • 7064 Crowner Drive
    • Lansing, MI 48918
  • Phone: (517) 636-5872.
  • Fax: (517) 636-5865.

If you are eligible to renew by mail, you'll need to provide:

  • Proof of your Social Security number.
  • Proof of your MI residency.
  • A vision statement from an eye doctor.

To renew your MI driver's license online, see the “Online Renewal" section above.

You can also apply online for a free temporary permit valid for up to 180 days, depending upon your particular circumstances.

Fees to Renew Your MI Driver's License

Your Michigan driver's license is valid for 4 years and will cost you the following to renew:

  • Standard: $18.
  • Enhanced: $38.

Accepted Forms of Payment

For renewals made online and by mail, the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) accepts payment by:

  • Check.
  • Money order.
  • Credit/debit cards.

NOTE: Online transactions completed with a credit/debit card will be charged an additional processing fee.

For renewals at a Michigan DMV office in person, you can pay with:

  • Cash.
  • Check.
  • Money order.
  • Credit/debit card.
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