How to Get an Enhanced Driver’s License in Michigan
If you’re a resident of Michigan and planning to travel to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean by land or sea, you’ll need an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or a passport to cross the border. An EDL is a convenient alternative to a passport as it serves as both a driver’s license and a travel document. In this article, we will guide you through the process of obtaining an enhanced driver’s license in Michigan, along with answering some frequently asked questions.
Step 1: Gather the Required Documents
To apply for an EDL in Michigan, you need to gather specific documents that prove your identity, citizenship, and residency. Here’s a list of the required documents:
1. Proof of Identity: You’ll need to provide one document from the following list:
– Certified birth certificate or valid U.S. passport
– Certificate of naturalization or citizenship
– Valid foreign passport with a valid U.S. visa
2. Proof of Social Security Number: You must present your original Social Security card or a W-2 form showing your full social security number.
3. Proof of Michigan Residency: You need to provide two documents that clearly show your Michigan residency. These can include:
– Utility bills (gas, electric, water)
– Bank statements
– Mortgage or lease agreements
– Pay stubs
– Official government mail
– Voter registration card
Step 2: Schedule an Appointment
Once you have all the necessary documents, you need to schedule an appointment with the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) office. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recommended to schedule appointments online to ensure the availability of services and minimize wait times.
Step 3: Visit the SOS Office
On the day of your appointment, visit the SOS office with all the required documents and payment for the enhanced driver’s license fee. At the office, you will need to undergo the following processes:
1. Identity Verification: Your identity will be verified by comparing your documents with your appearance.
2. Thumbprint and Photo: A thumbprint and a photo will be taken, which will be printed on your enhanced driver’s license.
3. Vision Test: You will be required to take a vision test to ensure you meet the minimum vision requirements for driving.
4. Payment: Pay the enhanced driver’s license fee, which is currently $45 in addition to the regular driver’s license fees.
Step 4: Receive Your Enhanced Driver’s License
After completing all the necessary steps, you will receive a temporary paper license, which can be used until your permanent enhanced driver’s license arrives in the mail within two to three weeks.
Q1: How long does it take to get an enhanced driver’s license in Michigan?
A1: Once you have completed the application process, you can expect to receive your enhanced driver’s license within two to three weeks.
Q2: Can I use an enhanced driver’s license to travel by air?
A2: No, an enhanced driver’s license is only valid for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. For air travel, you will need a valid passport.
Q3: Can I renew my regular driver’s license and upgrade it to an enhanced driver’s license at the same time?
A3: Yes, you can renew your regular driver’s license and upgrade it to an enhanced driver’s license during the renewal process. You will need to provide the required documents and pay the additional fee.
Q4: Can I apply for an enhanced driver’s license online?
A4: No, currently, Michigan does not offer online applications for enhanced driver’s licenses. You must visit a Secretary of State office in person.
Q5: How long is an enhanced driver’s license valid for?
A5: An enhanced driver’s license is valid for up to four years.