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Proof of Identity (Who You Are)

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Your client must be able to prove he or she is who they say they are. At least one, and possibly more than one document must be provided.

All papers must be originals or certified copies. Photocopies are not accepted. The first and last name and date of birth on your client's papers should match.

If your client's current legal name is different from the name on your client's birth certificate or legal presence papers, he or she must show legal proof of the name change such as an original marriage license, divorce decree or court order.

Your client  must show what they've done to try to get these papers before you can ask the SOS to consider other papers. Use the Record of Effort Form to show the efforts made to try to get these papers.

GOVERNMENT ID

  • Michigan driver education certificate. This is only for people 18 years old or younger.
  • Out-of-state or Canadian driver’s license or ID card: must have only been expired for a year or less
  • Michigan Department of Corrections Parolee/Discharged Prisoner ID Card: This is an ID card issued by the Michigan prisons for former inmates.    The SOS may need to take extra steps to make sure this ID is valid. The SOS will not accept this ID if the name does not match other documents your client has. 
  • Other Photo ID card issued by a federal or Michigan government agency

SCHOOL RECORDS

  • SOS will accept certain school records such as school ID cards with a name and picture, a diploma, transcripts, and a yearbook with your picture.

LEGAL PAPERS  

SOS will also take original or certified copies of the following documents:

  • Marriage License issued in the US.
  • Divorce Decree issued in the US.
    • If your client was married or divorced in MI, you can get a certified copy of your marriage license or divorce decree from the county clerk in the county where they were married.
    • If your client was married or divorced in another state, click here, for information about getting a copy of your marriage license.
  • Michigan adoption record. Contact the Probate Court in the Michigan County where your client was adopted.
  • US. Court Order for a name change: If your client had a name change,  SOS will accept certified copies of court papers as proof of your client's identity and to show your client used the old name.  If you have changed your name and your other papers have your old name, SOS will require papers showing the name change.

If your client has court records in another state,  you can go to the National Center for State Court website to find out how to verify if there are court records, and if so, how to obtain copies.

PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE U.S.

If your client has more than one paper from the list of papers that prove legal presence in the U.S.,  he or she can use the second document to prove identity. Click here to go to the list for legal presence.  That includes a Birth Certificate.

MILITARY PAPERS

  • Valid U.S. military ID card with photo (DD-2 or CAC card): This card must be current or expired for less than one year.
  • U.S. military discharge or separation documents (DD-214): These papers prove that you were in the U.S. military. If you do not have a copy of your DD-214 papers, you can request them by clicking here.

NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBAL ID PAPERS

A tribal ID card from a federally recognized Native American tribe. Contact your tribal government for more information about getting a tribal ID.

  • For information about the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, click here
  • For Information about the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, click here

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