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How to Perform a Driver License Name Change in Michigan

You will need to perform a Michigan drivers license name change if your name has changed legally for any reason. Changing your name on driving license materials is done through the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). You must change name on drivers license credentials in a number of cases, including recent marriage or divorce. To apply for a DMV name change, you will need to prove that your new name has been legally changed. You will also need to pay a fee and take a new photograph at your local SOS office. Learn about how to handle a change of name on drivers license cards in the sections below.

When to Perform a Michigan Change of Name on Driving Licenses

DMV name changes follow any event in which your name is altered, including marriage, divorce or any other legal name change. It is somewhat more difficult to perform a MI name change on drivers license materials if your name has changed more than once, since you will need multiple documents proving all previous and current names. Documents are not accepted unless they show both your previous and current names.

Change Name on Driving License in Michigan Only After Contacting the SSA

Changing the name on your Michigan drivers license is not the first step you should take in the case of a legal name change. Before you perform a DMV name change, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your new name. SSA name changes require the following:

  • Documents proving your identity
  • Documents proving your legal presence in the United States
  • Documents proving your legal name change

In certain cases, the SSA will also request further documents to prove elements of your identity.

How to Change Name on Drivers License in Michigan

To change your name on your driving license, you will have to visit a local SOS branch office. It is not possible to perform a Michigan name change on drivers license materials online or by mail. To change the name on your driving license, go to your local SOS office after making the following preparations:

  • Gather your current driver’s license.
  • Collect documents proving your legal presence in the U.S.
  • Collect documents proving your legal name change.

To correct the name on your drivers license, your supporting application documentation must show your previous name and your new name. Divorce papers are acceptable if they are original (not copies) and show both names. In some cases, before you can perform a DMV name change, you may need to provide more than one document. Name changes on drivers licenses also require payment for a fee, which may vary based on the type of license you are trying to correct. You can also change the name on your MI license and renew that license during the same trip if your current license is set to expire in the next few months. It is possible to update your name on your drivers license for both standard and enhanced license types.

How soon should you change the name on your Michigan driving license?

It is important to perform a Michigan drivers license name change immediately after updating your name with the SSA, which in turn should be done as soon after your legal name change as possible. Failure to update the name on your driving license can lead to consequences that you may not be aware of.

Consequences for Not Changing Your Name on Your Michigan Drivers License

If you do not change the name on your drivers license in MI or change it with the SSA, you may have difficulty renewing your license when it becomes time to do so next. The Michigan SOS verifies your name each time you renew your drivers license, and if the SSA lists your name as anything other than your new name, your renewal will not be accepted. You will have to change your name with the SSA, then perform a DMV name change before acceptably renewing your license, which may result in your license expiring. If your license expires, you will not be allowed to operate a vehicle on Michigan roads. Therefore, you should not delay the process of notifying the SSA of your new name or updating the name on your Michigan drivers license with the SOS.

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