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Common Questions about Getting a Michigan ID

Contents

    This is a list of common questions about getting a Michigan ID.

    Questions about Getting a Michigan ID

    Where can I get my ID?

    You can get your standard Michigan ID card at your local Secretary of State office. Use the Secretary of State’s Branch Office Locator to find an office near you.

    How much does it cost to get an ID?

    It costs $10.00 to get a standard Michigan ID card, unless you are 65 years old or older or you are legally blind— then it’s free.

    If you do not meet those requirements you could still get a fee waiver for “good cause.” The SOS says anyone who receives State Disability Assistance or Family Independence Program benefits has good cause.

    To learn more about the good cause fee waiver read Common Problems with Getting a Michigan ID Card.

    How long does it take to get an ID?

    After you have paid your fee, you will be issued a temporary, paper ID while you wait for your card. It takes between two and three weeks for your ID card to arrive in the mail.

    I’m a minor; can I get an ID?

    Yes. You will need to prove the following four factors before you can get your ID card:

    • Your identity

    • That you are a U.S. citizen or that you have legal immigration status

    • That you live in Michigan and

    • That you have a social security number or that you are eligible for one

    If you are under the age of 18 and you do not have any form of ID, one of your parents or guardians must go with you to the Secretary of State office and present his or her ID and sign on your behalf.

    Should I get my child an ID?

    It depends. It is useful to have a state issued photo ID of your child.

    What if I lost my ID?

    You can request a replacement ID by going to your local Secretary of State office. You can also request one by going to the ExpressSOS website.

    I was recently released from prison; can I get an ID?

    Maybe. You will need to prove four factors before you can get your ID card:

    • Your identity

    • That you are a U.S. citizen or that you have legal immigration status

    • That you live in Michigan and

    • That you have a social security number or that you are eligible for one

    If you were recently released from prison, you can use your Michigan Department of Corrections prisoner ID card to prove your identity. However, this form of ID requires verification that may take more than one day.

    What documents do I need to get an ID?

    You will need to prove four factors before you can get your ID card:

    • Your identity

    • That you are a U.S. citizen or that you have legal immigration status

    • That you live in Michigan and

    • That you have a social security number or that you are ineligible for one

    You can prove the four factors with different documents. The SOS accepts original documents only. Faxed and photocopied documents will not be accepted. Some documents could be used to prove more than one factor. All documents are subject to SOS managers’ approval. Certain types of documents may take more than one day to be approved.

    The most common documents used include:

    • U.S. issued passports

    • Driver’s licenses/ ID’s from Michigan or other states

    • U.S. birth certificates

    • Social security cards and

    • multiple utility bills

    Things like year books, medical records, and tax forms might be acceptable alternatives. For a list of the Secretary of State’s “preferred documents,” visit the SOS Document List.

    What if I don’t have all the documents needed for an ID?

    If you don't have any preferred documents, you can ask your local office to request an exception from the Central Office in Lansing. Take any documents you have with you when you ask for an exception, and your Record of Effort. It will likely take the Central Office one or two weeks to make a decision.

    If you are requesting an exception because you do not have all the documents you need, you will need to show you tried to get them. The Record of Effort can be used to show the SOS office what you have done to try to get the papers that you need. It can also be used to show that someone else has tried to help you get the papers. This is very important in case you have a problem getting all the papers that you need.

    Give a copy of the completed Record of Effort to your local office. If you don't have the exact kinds of proof that are listed as preferred documents, you may want to take any documents you have with you to your local office when you are asking for an exception.

    Can I get an ID if I’m homeless?

    Maybe. If you are homeless, you may have trouble proving you live in Michigan. If you are staying in shelter, you may be able to use a letter from the shelter. It must be a shelter that the SOS knows. Contact your local SOS office to find out if your shelter qualifies.

    If your shelter qualifies, the letter must be on the shelter’s letterhead. The letter should be typed. It should be dated no more than 30 days before the date you request an ID. The letter should include the shelter phone number, your name, the shelter’s physical address (no PO Boxes), and the signature and title of the person from the shelter who wrote the letter. The letter should say that you are living at that shelter.

    If you are staying with a friend who is not a relative, it may be harder to prove you are a Michigan resident. The SOS does not usually accept proof from a friend that the friend pays bills at a particular address. However, if you have no other proof, you may want to ask if the local office will request an “exception” for you from the Central Office in Lansing. You may want to take any mail, medical record, or government proof that you live with your friend. You could also take a statement from your friend that says you live there.