View Full Version : Driving License in Michigan

06-26-2009, 02:58 PM
1) I am in H1B status with visa stamp expired and I94 valid till 09/30/2009.
2) Currently I am in LA area and have California driving license valid till 08/14/2009.
3) Now I have to relocate to Detroit on 7/1/2009 and need to renew my driving license.
4) DMV Michigan website says that they need an "unexpired visa with stamped I-94" to prove legal presence, here is the link:

Does anyone have experience with Michigan DMV for this type of scenario? Do they not accept approved I797 as proof of legal presence?

Please help.

06-26-2009, 03:43 PM
Hello Friend,
I'm afraid, but i have to say that a valid visa is required to get a driving license in Michigan. I just went through hell to get a driving license for my wife on H-4 status.

1 .First requirement for my case was to get SSN letter stating that she is not eligible to get a SSN.
2. Then i have to provide my marraige certificate and my status in order to prove her status.
3. Then i had to present 2 additional residential proofs in her name as an evidence that she is a Michigan resident
4. She finally had a valid H-4 visa and a valid I-94 card with a stamp on it.

Only after presenting all these documents, they allowed my wife to get her driving license and state ID.

My personal feeling is that these ladies working at the Secretary of State office are not fully trained on the rules and regulations and acceptable documentation. Everytime i walked into there office to a new clerk, i got a different answer. It was a totally exhausting process for us, but i don't mean to discourage you in any way.

Just think positive and try to have all the necessary documentation with you before you walk in. Maybe the office you go to have well trained clerks. If they cannot accept a valid I-797 petition as your valid proof for status, i would recommend you to speak to the branch manager if they would let you. Otherwise, the only other option is to renew your visa stamp. Good luck.

06-26-2009, 09:48 PM
I dont know if it is still valid, but 5 years ago, when I first moved to Michigan, showing an unexpired license from another state along with the approved I-797 was enough to get my license

06-26-2009, 09:54 PM

they accept approved 797 no problem , they will accept ead too.


07-16-2009, 01:12 PM
Hi FOlks,

My license expires this friday, my company has applied for H1 B renewal but it is still in the process, can i take a letter of employment or some other letter to offer proof to extend the license ? Thanks guyz

09-24-2009, 08:10 PM
Just got my license and my wife's (who is on a H4) done. No problem at all at the DMV (or secretary of state). They were very polite and let US help them through the process! They did need the manager's signature to over ride, but it was almost a formality. Just need to make sure that all the other paperwork is clear. And having an unexpired license from NJ really helped!
One thing though- they gave us a temp license and said the original will be mailed to us in a couple of weeks. Did not know that.