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Getting a Michigan ID Card


    This article explains what you need to renew or replace your Michigan ID card, or to get an ID for the first time.

    The Process

    The first step is to visit a Secretary of State (SOS) office. The SOS is in charge of issuing standard Michigan ID cards. Once there, you will need to prove four factors:

    • 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 will need to pay a $10.00 fee for your standard ID card. If you are 65 years old or older or if you are legally blind, you will not have to pay the $10.00 fee. The SOS can also waive the fee for “good cause.” Anyone who can show they receive State Disability Assistance or Family Independence Program benefits has good cause. To learn more about good cause waivers read the article Common Problems Getting Michigan ID Cards.

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

    If you have temporary legal presence in the U.S., you may be issued a limited-term ID card. A limited term ID card is valid for only as long as you are authorized to be in the country.

    The Documents You Need

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

    Proving Your Identity

    You may need to present more than one document to prove your identity. Some acceptable documents include:

    • Michigan and out of state driver’s licenses or ID cards (less than one year expired)

    • Marriage licenses or divorce decrees

    • Michigan adoption records

    • U.S. school records, such as school ID cards with photos and names, diplomas, transcripts, or yearbooks

    • U.S. military ID cards

    • U.S. court orders for a name changes

    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, which may take more than one day.

    If you do not have a copy of your legal documents, such as marriage licenses, divorce decrees, or name changes, you can request certified copies from the county clerk’s office where the legal action occurred.

    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 to the SOS office with you, present his or her ID, and sign on your behalf.

    If you are not currently a U.S. citizen, you must submit two of the following documents to prove identity:

    • Your foreign passport

    • Your Employment Authorization Card

    • Your Refugee Travel Document

    • Your immigrant visa

    Proving Your Legal Presence

    You must prove that you are either a U.S. citizen or that you are authorized to be in this country. You can prove you are a U.S. citizen with a U.S. passport or birth certificate. Some examples of other acceptable documents are:

    • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. State Department

    • A Certificate of Naturalization

    • A valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card

    If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must use your immigration documents to show you are authorized to be in Michigan. Examples of these documents are:

    • A valid Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

    • A valid, unexpired Employment Authorization

    • Certain visas

    • Other Department of Homeland Security documents with I-94 or Alien Registration Number (A#)

    Proving You Live in Michigan

    You must prove you are a Michigan resident. This can be done using two documents that list your name and physical address in Michigan. Post Office Box (PO Box) addresses will not be accepted. Examples of acceptable document are:

    • Most type of bills (utilities, like gas and electric, credit card, mortgage, etc.) that were issued within the last 90 days

    • Account statements from your bank

    • A Michigan school report card or transcript

    • Pay stubs issued with the name and address of your employer

    Other documents listing your name and Michigan address may be acceptable, with a SOS manager’s approval.

    If you do not have a permanent Michigan address because you are homeless, you still might be able to prove you are a Michigan resident. If you are staying with a family member, you can use a document that has that family member’s name if you can prove your relationship. To learn more about this, read the article Common Problems Getting Michigan ID Cards.

    Your Social Security Number

    Finally, you need to prove you have a Social Security number (SSN) or that you are not eligible for one. Take your Social Security Card or another document from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that has your name and SSN on it with you to the SOS office.

    If you don’t have either of those documents you can take:

    • Your W-2 or 1099 tax form 

    • A pay stub with your name and SSN on it

    • A letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration that is not more than 30 days old (this must be presented with USCIS documents that show non-work authorized status)

    If you do not have SSN because of your religion, you must contact the SSA so they can provide you with the document you need to get your Michigan ID.

    To see all the documents the SOS will accept, visit the SOS Document List.