What is the Michigan Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)?

The Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) is a special driver’s license that allows Michigan motorists to cross into the U.S. when traveling by sea or land from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean nations without the need for a passport or other identification documents. Explore the links below for more information about the EDL and the requirements for obtaining one.

How to Apply for an Enhanced Driver’s License?

Applying for an Enhanced Driver’s License (Over 18, Already Licensed)
The enhanced driver’s license is a cost-effective and convenient document that meets driving, identification and border-crossing needs. It is a federally approved document that allows you to re-enter the U.S. when traveling by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. While not required, the enhanced license is an excellent alternative to a standard license because it is especially handy for business travel, vacations or quick trips. Several border states, in addition to Michigan, offer an enhanced license.

Applying for an Enhanced Driver’s License
To upgrade your valid Michigan or out-of-state license to an enhanced Michigan license, follow these steps.


  1. You must be a U.S. citizen and a Michigan resident
  2. You must have no violations, suspensions, revocations or denials on your driving record that would prevent you from legally operating a motor vehicle

Note: When applying for an enhanced driver’s license, your first and last name and date of birth on documents should match. If your current legal name is different from what is shown on your birth certificate, passport, or other citizenship document, you must present lawful proof of the name change, such as an original marriage license, divorce decree or court order.

To apply:

  1. Visit any Secretary of State office. Make sure you bring documentation of:
    1. A valid Social Security number (for example, a Social Security card)
    2. U.S. citizenship (for example, a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal, must be issued by a governmental unit in the U.S. or U.S. territory)
    3. Identity (for example, a current Michigan photo license or ID card)
    4. Residency (for example, a current Michigan photo license or ID card)
      Please refer to the Documents Required for an Enhanced License or ID form for a complete list of acceptable documentation.
  2. Have a new photograph taken
  3. Pay $45 for the standard enhanced license. There are additional fees for an enhanced chauffeur license and commercial driver’s license designations and endorsements.

All documentation is subject to Department of State approval. In some cases, document approval won’t occur in the same day and may require an additional visit.

Once you complete the enhanced license application process, you will be issued a Temporary Operator’s Permit to drive. The operator’s permit doesn’t qualify as a secure document for border-crossing purposes. Your enhanced license is valid for up to four years and should arrive in the mail within two to three weeks.

Michigan also issues an enhanced graduated driver’s license (for teens under 18), chauffeur’s license and commercial driver’s license. If you are over 18 and have never had a driver’s license, you must successfully complete the written knowledge, vision, road signs and driving skills tests before a license can be issued.

MI Asian Staff
Author: MI Asian Staff