How to Renew Car Registration in Michigan
Applying for a car registration renewal in Michigan is an important step to take before your vehicle’s current registration expires, as driving without valid credentials is against the law and may result in penalty fees if a police officer notices and pulls you over.
To reduce your risk of receiving a traffic citation for driving with expired registration stickers, it is important to renew your credentials with the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) as soon as you receive a renewal notice from the department.
To apply for a DMV registration renewal before your vehicle’s credentials expire, you can typically complete the process online, in person or by mail, depending on your preferred method. To learn more about each of these application methods and the different types of documents you may submit when renewing your license plates, review the information below.
Applying for Registration Tag Renewal in Michigan
When you need to apply for license plate renewal in MI, you may choose to complete the process electronically, in person at a local SOS branch or by mailing an application to the Michigan Department of State in Lansing.
Online renewal is typically the quickest and most convenient method, but you may choose to apply in person at an SOS branch if you prefer, especially if you need to renew your credentials more than several months in advance. Review the sections below to explore these application methods in greater detail.
Note: If your registration is lost but is not expired or expiring soon, you may be able to request a duplicate vehicle registration instead.
How to Renew Online
You may choose to renew registration online through the state’s ExpressSOS service if you can provide your vehicle’s license plate number and the last four digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN). Additionally, you must be able to pay the registration fee with an accepted form of payment. In some cases, you may also need to provide your driver’s license number or personal identification number.
Moreover, you may check vehicle registration status online before renewing your license plates if you wish to look up the registration fee you will have to pay. To do so, you must be able to provide your vehicle’s license plate number.
If you wish to perform your car reg check and renewal in person rather than online, you may visit a local SOS branch as early as six months ahead of your registration’s expiration date. In some counties, you can schedule an appointment online or reserve your place in line before heading in to apply.
During your office visit, you must be able to pay the registration fee with an acceptable form of payment, present your valid driver’s license and submit proof of a current insurance policy. Additionally, you must present your DMV car registration renewal notice or an old registration card.
Moreover, some SOS branches also provide you with the opportunity to renew your registration credentials at a self-service kiosk station. However, you must be able to pay the auto registration renewal fee with a valid credit card and pay an additional processing fee.
Get helpful information about renewing your registration by downloading our free guide.
To perform your car registration check and renewal by mail, you must have received a reminder notice from the Michigan SOS. Then, you must return your SOS renewal notice to the Department of State’s Renewal office in Lansing. Be sure to send payment for the applicable fee and proof of your valid automobile insurance policy.
If ordering new license plates for your motor vehicle, you must submit a completed renewal worksheet along with your other application materials.
Requirements for Michigan Vehicle Registration Renewal
As part of the state’s DMV registration renewal application requirements, you must replace your vehicle’s license plates once every 10 years. If you need to renew your vehicle’s registration credentials but your license plates are 10 years of age or older, you must purchase replacement tags at that time.
To learn more about renewing a car registration, download our guide.