MICHIGAN — Residents here now can obtain an enhanced driver’s license that is harder to fake and can be used in lieu of a passport to cross U.S. borders with our neighbors.
The Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) is more secure because residents must apply for it in person at authorized branches of the Secretary of State’s office. They also must provide proof of U.S. citizenship, Michigan residency and a valid Social Security number. The license also can be issued in a nondriver’s ID format.
Michigan Notaries may accept the EDL as satisfactory evidence of a signer’s identity in the same fashion as a regular driver’s license, said Kelly Chesney, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office.
The EDL meets new federal travel document requirements taking effect June 1 and serves as a less-expensive but secure alternative to a passport for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. The ID contains electronically stored data that can be scanned at a border station to allow a bearer’s identity to be confirmed quickly. No personal data is transmitted during the process, the Secretary of State’s office said in a news release.
“As a card that people can carry on an everyday basis, the enhanced license can provide residents peace of mind that comes from always carrying what they need for border travel,” said Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.