Michigan Reentry Law Wiki

Considerations for Driving in Michigan after Incarceration

From Reentry

Six Months Prior to Release

Request for Driving Record
If individuals have not done so already, they may obtain a copy of their Michigan driving record. They will need to complete a Record Request form, and return the form and a check or money order made payable to the “State of Michigan” for $7.00. For additional information regarding driving records click on: http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_9068-107635--,00.html

Clearing Tickets and/or Suspensions
If their record contains open Failure to Answer Citation/Failure to Comply with Judgment suspension(s), they must contact each court with jurisdiction to obtain instructions on how to clear the suspensions or with any questions about possible payment arrangements. Court names are listed on the driving record next to the pertinent offense date. For additional information about clearing tickets and suspensions including reinstatement fees click on: http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8665_9074-29644--,00.html

Restricted/Suspended or Revoked Licenses
If an individuals driver license has been restricted; suspended; or revoked, they may be required to request additional hearings and/or required to pay multiple reinstatement fees prior to re-licensing.

Denied and Revoked Licenses
If an individual’s license has been denied and revoked, they will need to obtain approval from the Department of State’s driver License Appeal Division prior to re-licensing. For additional information about hearings click on: http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8665_9074-29353--,00.html

Driver Responsibility Fees
In addition to clearing FAC/FCJ’s, payment of reinstatement fees etc., an individual as a result of their actions, may be subject to additional fines as prescribed by Public Act 165 of 2003, also known as the Driver Responsibility Law, which took effect October 1, 2003. This law was amended by Public Act 52 of 2004.

Michigan's Driver Responsibility Law calls for a monetary assessment for drivers who:

  • Are convicted of specific qualifying offenses, or
  • Accumulate seven or more qualifying points on their driving records

For additional information regarding Driver Responsibility and a list of fees click on: http://michigan.gov/driverresponsibility

Identification Requirements

Original Driver License/Personal Identification Card
Individuals applying for an original license (never licensed in Michigan or any other state) must meet the requirements outlined in the “Identification Requirements for an Original Driver License or Personal Identification Card” document list. These requirements only apply if an individual has never been issued a Michigan driver license or PID and/or the department no longer has a record of the driver license or personal identification card.

To obtain a copy of the ID requirements click on: http://michigan.gov/documents/DE40_032001_20459_7.pdf

Previously Held Michigan Driver License/Personal Identification Card
Individuals who have been previously licensed or held a Personal Identification Card in Michigan and a record currently exists on SOS records must provide life documents, items not normally found in a purse or wallet such as mortgage papers, life insurance policy, child’s birth certificate, expired driver’s license or personal identification card with photo, court documents etc. as well as any of those contained in the aforementioned document list.

Any licensed or personal identification card issued or identification document presented is subject to approval by Department of State personnel.

Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
Per the federal Welfare Reform Act, individuals applying for an original or renewal Michigan license must provide their SSN.

A person who has never been issued a SSN must certify to that fact by completing an SSN Certification.

For additional information regarding SSN’s please click on: http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8667-88859--,00.html

Proof of Residency
All applicants applying for an original license or personal identification card must provide documentation of residency. This does not apply to applicants who are renewing a driver’s license or personal identification card.

For additional information regarding residency requirements please click on: http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8669-106092--,00.html

Expired Driver License
If an individual’s driver license has been expired for 4 or more years, they must complete all tests written and road skills test prior to re-licensing.

Upon release from confinement, individuals will need to visit one of our branch offices in person for further information. They will be required to present proper identification.

The Department of State’s website (http://www.michigan.gov/sos) includes additional driver and personal identification information, a directory of branch office locations, a sample test, and other publications about the services available.

Upon release individuals will need to visit one of our branch offices in person for further information or to re-verify that there status has not changed. Again, they will be required to present proper identification.

Freedom of Information (FOIA) Requests
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records or information cannot be processed. As provided in MCL15.231(2) and MCL15.232(a) of Michigan’s (FOIA), a person who is presently incarcerated and serving a sentence of imprisonment in a federal, state, or local correctional facility is not eligible to receive records or information under FOIA. Upon release from confinement, individuals will need to visit a branch office in person, as regulations and laws could change by the time of their release.

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