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 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 14 days after your I-20/DS-2019 has been activated by IPS before applying for your license.

Step 1

Collect all of the following documents:

  • Two proofs of Michigan residency
  • Valid passport 
  • Visa
  • I-94
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • 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 Social Security Office (located next to the Secretary of State office)
  • EAD card, if applicable
    • F-1 students with an approved 12-month or 24-month OPT must bring the EAD card. Explain to the agent that you are on OPT, which means they can only verify your status using the EAD card's USCIS number. Students with a pending 12-month or 24-month OPT may have to wait to renew your license until your OPT is approved.

Step 2

Pick up the following from the IPS office:

Step 3

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

Step 4

Apply for your license in person at the Secretary of State Branch Office in Houghton.


902 Razorback Drive Houghton, MI 49931          


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

State of Michigan Identification (ID) Card

If you do not need a driver's license, but want extra identification, you can get a State of Michigan ID card 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.