Michigan Driver’s License Requirements

Michigan residents need to provide proof of their Social Security number, legal status, identity, and Michigan residency to apply for a driver’s license.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 18, 2023
New drivers in Michigan need to provide identification, proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency, proof of Michigan residency, and a Social Security number to apply for their Michigan driver’s license. And to get a license, applicants must pass a knowledge test, a road test, and state visual and physical standards.
A lot goes into getting your Michigan driver’s license, so
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What are the requirements for a driver’s license in Michigan?

Michigan residents must be at least 17 years old to hold a full Graduated Driver’s License. When you go to apply for your license at a Secretary of State (MISOS) office, you’ll need to be able to provide documentation of the following:
  • Social Security number (one document): Social Security card, W-2 form, paycheck including your complete SSN, 1099 form, or letter of ineligibility
  • U.S. citizenship or legal presence (one document): passport, certified birth certificate, state ID card, a report of birth abroad, certificate of citizenship, or other immigration documents
  • Proof of identity (one document): passport, a photo ID from a federal or state agency, marriage license, divorce decree, court order for a name change, immigration documents, or parent/guardian’s documents with authorization
  • Proof of Michigan residency (two documents): bills with your name and address (utility, insurance, etc.), bank account statement, mortgage statement, lease agreement, and other documents with both your name and address
You can find a guide to all accepted forms of documents on the
MISOS website
along with instructions and regulations on what will be accepted for different circumstances.
Lastly, applicants will have to meet state visual, physical, and mental standards to operate a vehicle before being approved for a license. These details can also be found on the MISOS website

What are the requirements for young drivers? 

Drivers below the age of 18 will need to complete an approved driver’s education course and hold a Level 1, then Level 2 license for at least a year combined before being eligible for a full license at the age of 17.  
Residents who are at least 14 years and nine months old can apply for their Level 1 Learner’s License with parental consent once they’ve completed Segment 1 of their driver’s education. Young drivers are eligible for their Level 2 Intermediate License when they are at least 16 and have completed the following:
  • Six months with a Level 1 License
  • Keeping a clean record for 90 days before applying
  • Segment 2 of driver’s education
  • Fifty hours (ten at night) of supervised driving
  • Pass a driving skills test
Once the driver turns 17 and has held their Level 2 license for at least six months, they will be issued their Level 3 Full License. 

What are the requirements for out-of-state drivers? 

Drivers with a license from another state or Canada can transfer to a Michigan license by presenting the required documents, meeting the state vision and physical standards, and paying a $25 fee. You do not have to retake a written or driving skills test!

How to get a driver’s license in Michigan

For new drivers: take an approved driver’s education course

Driver’s education in Michigan is broken up into two parts— Segment 1 and Segment 2.  Segment 1 needs to be done before applying for a Level 1 license and includes classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction, as well as observation time. 
Drivers can take Segment 2 once they’ve held their Level 1 license for at least three months and have completed 30 out of 50 supervised driving hours with two hours at night

Knowledge Test

All Michigan applicants will have to take a 50-question knowledge test with 40 correct answers to pass. Since applicants 18 years and older have different requirements and don’t need to take driver’s ed, their first step will be to study Michigan’s “
What Every Driver Must Know
” packet to prepare for the written test.
Once you feel prepared, have the previously mentioned
required documentation
, and meet the
visual and physical standards
for driving, you’ll be able to take the test at your local MISOS. It should take about one hour and if you pass, you’ll be expected to pay a $25 fee for a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP) valid for 180 days to use while practicing and taking your road test.

Driving skills test

The on-road driving skills test is the final requirement for eligibility for your Michigan license. Driver’s under 16 must show up for their test with a parent or legal guardian, their Segment 2 certificate of completion, and their logbook of 50 supervised driving hours with 10 hours at night. Drivers 18 years and older need to practice with their TIP for at least 30 days before taking the test.
Schedule your test at an approved
Driver Testing Business
. If the driver is younger than 18, a legal parent or guardian will have to be present for the whole test. You’ll have to provide your own vehicle for the test that meets the following criteria:
  • Functioning brakes, brake lights, headlights, heater/defroster, horn, muffler, safety belts, speedometer, taillights, tires, turn signals, and windshield wipers
  • Intact windows and mirrors with good visibility and proper functionality
  • A valid license plate, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration
  • More than enough fuel to perform the test
  • Proper maintenance of lug nuts, suspension, and working mechanical components of the vehicle
Drivers are encouraged to review the Michigan “
Driving Skills Test Study Guide
” to get familiar with the expectations and penalties. The test is broken into a basic control skills portion and an on-the-road portion to test the following:
  • Forward stopping distance
  • Curved path backing (or reversed parking)
  • Parallel parking
  • Right and left turning
  • Proper lane changing
  • Navigating different intersections
  • Expressway/highway driving
  • Urban/residential driving
  • Collision simulation and avoidance
  • Curving
  • Railroad crossing
  • Turning on car appliances while driving
Your instructor will assess points for any errors, boundary encroachments, corrective repositioning, and failures to follow traffic laws. To pass the test you’ll need to accrue less than 25 points. Make sure to keep a good driving posture and practice scanning around your vehicle while performing your test. 
Once you’ve passed your test and all other requirements have been met, you can
log into e-Services
or bring your Skills Test Receipt, TIP or Level 1 License, and identification documents to a MISOS to verify your graduated driver’s license!

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