Use your browser's "Back" button to return to the original page. Or go to HomeStudentsOrientationPrearrivalBack

Hide Links


Prearrival Information

Driving in Michigan

If you plan to drive a car in Michigan, you must possess a valid Michigan driver’s license. Because you will stay in Michigan for more than 4 months, you are considered to be a resident of Michigan for licensing purposes and must therefore obtain a license as soon as possible after your arrival if you intend to drive. Until you are able to obtain a license, citizens of many countries are allowed to legally drive with a valid license issued by their home country and a certified English translation. Consult the OISS website for more information about which foreign licenses may be used in Michigan and how to obtain a certified English translation. The International Driving Permit may not be used by itself in place of the Michigan license; however, it can be used as a certified English translation of a foreign license.

You may apply for a Michigan driver’s license at a Secretary of State branch office (,1607,7-127-1640_14837-34560--,00.html). You must first pass written, vision, and road skills tests before your license will be issued. You can go to the branch office and pick up a booklet that will help you study for the written test. You must also provide proof of your legal visa status in the U.S., proof of residence in Michigan, and proof of Social Security (or lack thereof). Please see the OISS website for more information on these requirements: Driver's License (/students/license.htm).

© 2013-2018 Michigan State University Board of Trustees