Michigan License Renewal: A Step-by-Step Guide

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The Secretary of State (SOS) oversees the Michigan license renewal process.

The state will send a renewal notice at least 45 days before the expiration date. This renewal shares what way you can renew your license (online, in-person, or by mail).

Your license expires on your birthday every 4 years. Otherwise, if you’re under 21 years old the license expires on your 21st birthday. You must renew in-person at least every 8 years.

You may renew a Michigan license up to 12 months before its expiration. Waiting until it expires incurs a $7 late fee. If your license is expired beyond 4 years, then you’ll retake a written and driving test. A suspended license requires you to get it reinstated before renewing (see our suspended license guide).

Michigan license renewals are done:

  • In-person
  • Online
  • Mail-in

The following shares a quick and easy guide to renewing your driver’s license in Michigan.

How to Renew Your MI Driver’s License

A valid MI driver’s license is required if you drive on state roads and highways. Michigan auto insurance is a requirement, too, if you plan to operate your own vehicle. The renewal process doesn’t take long if you have documents ready and follow the steps below.

In-Person License Renewal

You will do the following to renew in-person:

  1. Go to an MI DMV location
  2. Show your Michigan driver’s license or official ID
  3. Provide your social security number
  4. Pass a vision exam
  5. Get your photo taken
  6. Pay the renewal fee
    1. Standard: $18
    2. Enhanced: $38

Congratulations! You’ve successfully renewed your Michigan driver’s license.

Online License Renewal

Online license renewal is marked on the renewal notice and has requirements like:

  • Last renewal was done in person
  • Have a standard driver’s license
  • Haven’t changed your address within the last 10 days
  • Your license is valid and current with the state
  • Your social security number is on file

You will do the following to renew online:

  1. Go to ExpressSOS
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts
  3. Enter your personal information
    1. SSN
    2. License #
    3. Date of birth
    4. Eye color
  4. Submit a payment
  5. Print your confirmation

You’ll receive your documents by mail in the coming weeks.

Mail-in License Renewal

Mail-in renewals are available if your last renewal was done in-person, the state has your SSN on file, your personal information hasn’t changed, and your license is valid. This provides an opportunity to renew when out-of-state such as during an extended vacation, military duty, or schooling.

You will:

  1. Review and sign your renewal notice
  2. Include a check/money order for the renewal fees

Send your mail-in renewal to:

Michigan Department of State

7064 Crowner Drive

Lansing, MI 48980

Active military members’ license is valid for 30 days after a leave or discharge. Their spouses and dependents can renew on their behalf in-person, online, or by mail following the same procedures.

Out of state MI residents can renew online or by mail by following the same steps. They may request a temporary driver license extension, too. Those outside the state for longer than 180 days should contact the MI SOS for information regarding their renewal.

Become a Better Michigan Driver

Looking for more information and guides to become a better Michigan driver? Check out our MI DMV topics, browse our DMV directory, or get active in the community!