International Programs and Services

Get a Michigan Driver's License or Identification Card

State of Michigan Driver's License

To earn a Michigan driver's license, you must pass a written test, a road sign test, a vision test, and a driving test. Applicants are issued a limited-term license. This is only valid for as long as you are authorized to be in the US.

If you are a newly arrived student, a student changing academic levels, or a visiting scholar, and are eligible for a Michigan driver’s license, you must wait two weeks after your I-20/DS-2019 has been activated by IPS to apply.

Step 1

Read the guide and study for the written and road sign tests using the booklet What Every Driver Must Know.

Step 2

Bring two documents to the Secretary of State Office in Houghton that show your Michigan address:

See Proof of Michigan residency list for all acceptable documents, or use two of these:

  • Request a proof of residency letter IPS
  • Valid passport
  • Visa
  • I-94
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • EAD card, if applicable
  • I-797 in cases of change of status (e.g.: F-1 to H1B)
  • Copy of Social Security card or letter of ineligibility from the Houghton County Social Security Office (located next to the Secretary of State office)

F-1 students with an approved 12-month or 24-month OPT must bring the EAD card, along with other proof of residency, to the Secretary of State office. Explain to the agent that you are on OPT, which means they can only verify your status using the EAD card's USCIS number. You might have to wait to renew your license if you are waiting for your OPT to be approved.

State of Michigan Identification Card

If you do not need a driver's license, but want extra identification, you can get a State of Michigan Personal Identification card at any Michigan Secretary of State office for $10. The identification requirements are the same as the identification requirements for a driver's license. You can only have one, a Michigan ID card or a Michigan driver's license, at the same time—unless your license has been restricted, suspended, revoked, or is a driver's license from another state. Questions? Review the Standard and Enhanced State ID Card fee chart.

Secretary of State Branch Office

902 Razorback Drive
Houghton, MI 49931           


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 9 a.m.­–5 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m.–7 p.m.