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Michigan Driver’s License Renewal (A Complete 2022 Guide)

Michigan Driver’s License Renewal (A Complete Guide)

Need to renew your MI driver’s license soon?

Don’t know what to do or where to begin?

We’ve got you covered. 

Here, we’re going to give you the details on how to renew your driver’s license in Michigan. We’ll list the steps and requirements for all the available channels. 

Not only that, but we’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions. 

So welcome to your complete guide to the Michigan driver’s license renewal. 

How to Renew Your Driver’s License in Michigan

In Michigan, you are given 4 channels to renew your driver’s license. These are: 

  • Online
  • Self-service station
  • By mail
  • In-person

Let’s break down each channel into requirements and steps.

How to Renew Your Michigan Driver’s License Online

The easiest way to renew your driver’s license is online – you don’t need to go anywhere. You can do everything from the comfort of your home. 

However, you’re only able to renew online if:

  • Your last renewal was done in-person 
  • The renewal notice sent to you says you are eligible for an online renewal 

If so, here are the steps to renew your Michigan driver’s license online: 

  1. Go to the Michigan Department of State online portal service.  
  1. Log in to your account. If you don’t have any, you can easily create one.
  1. Choose “license renewal” and give the necessary information, including driver’s license number and Social Security Number.  
  1. Pay the renewal fee with a credit/debit card and echeck/bank account number:
    1. Standard license renewal – $18 
    2. Enhanced license renewal – $38
  1. Wait for your new license to arrive by mail in 3 weeks. 

As easy and convenient as that!

How to Renew Your Michigan Driver’s License at a Self-Service Station

To give you a bit of background, the Michigan Department of State has launched hundreds of self-service stations in 2021. This was to make it easier for license holders to process their renewals. 

Now, similar to renewing online, you have to meet the same eligibility requirements to renew at a self-service station. 

Again, these requirements are:

  • Your last renewal was done in-person 
  • The renewal notice sent to you says you are eligible for a self-service station renewal 

If you are eligible, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to a self-service kiosk near you. Check here for locations. 
  1. On the screen, choose “License Renewal”.
  1. Type your license number or renewal notice number, as well as the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. 
  1. Pay the renewal fee of $18 for a standard license and $38 for an enhanced license. Also, you must pay the additional $3.95 self-service station fee. 

NOTE: Some kiosks accept credit/debit cards, while others accept cash. 

  1. Print your temporary renewed license. Wait for the official one to arrive via mail. 

How to Renew Your Michigan Driver’s License by Mail

You’re only allowed to renew your driver’s license by mail if the renewal notice says so. 

However, if you plan on changing details on your driver’s license (e.g. name, address), then you need to renew in person. 

That said, here are the steps to renew by mail:

  1. Fill up the renewal form included in your renewal notice. 
  1. Attach the payment of $18 for a standard license or $38 for an enhanced license to the renewal form. 

NOTE: Payments must be made by check or money order made payable to the Michigan Department of State. 

  1. Mail back the form and payment to the same address as the renewal notice. 
  1. Wait for your new license to be sent to you by mail. 

Keep in mind that, even if you’ve submitted your renewal documents, you need to wait for your new driver’s license to arrive before you are allowed to drive. So it’s best to renew before your current license expires. 

How to Renew Your Michigan Driver’s License In Person

Sure, going to a Secretary of State (SoS) office is the least convenient. However, this process is a must at least every other renewal. 

Also, if you need to change information on your license, you have to do it in person. And, if you’re switching from a standard license to a REAL ID, you guessed it, it must be done through this channel. 

But don’t worry, the steps are still very simple. 

  1. Go to the nearest SoS branch. For a shorter waiting time, it’s best to make an appointment. 
  1. Bring the following: 
    1. Driver’s license
    2. Valid ID
  1. Complete a renewal form on-site. 
  1. Submit all your documents, plus any proof of information change. For example, you should bring a marriage certificate if you are changing your name. 
  1. Take a vision test. 
  1. Have your photo taken. 
  1. Pay the applicable fees:
    1. $18 for a standard license
    2. $38 for an enhanced license
  1. Receive your new driver’s license. 

NOTE: If the branch you are in doesn’t have a printing service, you will be given a temporary driver’s license. Your new license will be mailed to you within three weeks. 

Still pretty easy, right?

Frequently Asked Questions

As promised, we’re going to answer some FAQs about the Michigan driver’s license renewal. 

Let’s begin!

When does my driver’s license expire in Michigan?

Your driver’s license expires every 4 years, on your birthday. However, you can renew your license as early as a year before the expiry date. 

You can also renew it when you receive a renewal notice, which will be 45 days before expiry. 

How long does it take to get your renewed license in the mail in Michigan?

It takes about 3 weeks, after your payment is received, to get your new license. 

To avoid waiting for it to arrive, make sure to renew at least 3 weeks before your license expires. 

What is the penalty for driving with an expired license in Michigan?

If you are caught driving with an expired driver’s license, you may be charged up to $500 or get jail time up to 93 days. 

How long do you have to renew your driver’s license after it expires in Michigan?

Unfortunately, there is no grace period for expired driver’s licenses in Michigan. So if you don’t want to be penalized, better to renew your license once you receive your renewal notice or even before that. 

Conclusion

And that is how to renew your driver’s license in Michigan. 

Thankfully, there are many different channels to renew your license. However, you need to make sure that you are eligible first. 

If not, then you can always trust in-person renewal. 

So what are you waiting for?

If it’s almost time to renew, go ahead and get started today. 

It’s so easy!

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