The Michigan Graduated Licensing System
Michigan's graduated licensing system is a progressive approach to the full licensure of teen drivers. The system helps young drivers by limiting high risk driving situations, increasing adult supervision and extending the educational requirements of the novice driver. The system is based on two "segments" of driver's education and several levels of licenses.
Segment 1: Driver Education
After all of the following criteria are met, the teen driver can apply for a Level 1 Learner License:
- 24 Hours of Classroom Instruction
- 6 Hours of Behind the Wheel Instruction
- 4 Hours of Observation Time
In order to take Segment 1, teen drivers must have parental consent and be a minimum of 14 years and 8 months old. The student driver must also pass a vision and health screening before they are permitted to take behind the wheel driver training. In addition to passing all classroom and driving segments of driver education, the student driver will also be expected to pass a State of Michigan approved written test before they receive their Certificate of Completion.
Level 1: State of Michigan Learner License
The applicant must be a minimum of 14 years and 9 months old to receive a Level One Learner License.
- The level one license holder may only drive when accompanied by a licensed parent, legal guardian or a designated licensed adult that is a minimum of 21 years of age. If the accompanying licensed adult is designated, they should carry a letter of authorization from the parent or legal guardian.
- Teen drivers must complete a minimum of 30 hours of supervised driving before moving on to Education Segment 2.
- Two of the 30 hours must be nighttime driving.
- Supervised driving hours should be recorded on the driving log provided in the Driving Skills Test Study Guide .
Segment 2: Driver Education
To become eligible for Driver Education Segment 2, the teen driver must have held a Level 1 Learner License for a minimum of 3 months. In addition, the teen driver must have completed 30 hours of supervised driving with 2 of the 30 hours being nighttime driving.
Driver Education Segment 2 consists of:
- 6 Hours of Classroom Instruction
- 2 Hours of Maximum Instruction per Day
The student driver must complete a total of 50 hours of logged supervised driving before they are eligible to take the Road Test. 10 of the 50 hours must be nighttime driving. When all of the criteria have been met the teen driver will receive a Segment 2 Certificate of Completion. This certificate must be presented to a Driving Skills Text Examiner prior to the Road Test.
The Driving Skills Test Summary of Requirements:
- Must Have Segment 2 Certificate of Completion
- Must have completed 50 Hours of Supervised Driving with 10 of the 50 Hours being nighttime driving
- Must have held a Level 1 License for a minimum of 6 Months.
Level 2: State of Michigan Intermediate License
After passing the driving skills test the teen driver may be eligible for a Level 2 Intermediate License. Teen drivers must have completed Segment 1 and Segment 2 of Driver Education and be a minimum of 16 years of age to receive a Michigan Level 2 Intermediate license. Teen drivers must have their parent or legal guardian sign the Level 2 Intermediate License application verifying the 50 hours of on-the-road driving experience. All teen drivers must meet the physical and medical standards for driving and have possessed a Level 1 Learner License for a minimum of 6 months.
Applicants for the Level 2 license must present their Driving Skills Certificate proving that they have passed the driving skills test. You must have completed the 50 hours of logged supervised driving with 10 of those 50 hours being nighttime driving. In addition, it is mandatory that the teen driver has not received any traffic violations, at fault crashes or suspensions within 90 days prior to application for the level 2 intermediate license.
Level 2 intermediate license holders may drive unsupervised except between the hours of 12:00 AM and 5:00 AM. During these times they must be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21 unless they are driving to and from a place of employment.
Level 3: State of Michigan License
The applicant must be a minimum of 17 years old and have held a Level 2 License for a minimum of 6 months to be eligible for a Level 3 License. Drivers must have been traffic violation and suspension free with no at-fault crashes for the 12 months prior to applying for the level 3 license.
Although the State of Michigan Level 3 License carries no restrictions, parents may continue to restrict the teen driver. The level 3 license will automatically upgrade itself from a Level 2 Intermediate license once the above criteria are met. Once the teen driver has reached the age of 18 the graduated license system ends, at this time the teen driver may still be subject to probationary requirements.
Probation Beyond The Graduated Licensing System. All first time licensed drivers are placed on probation for a minimum of 3 years. Teen drivers that have at-fault accidents, traffic convictions or suspensions may be restricted, suspended or have their probationary period extended.
State of Michigan Insurance Requirements
Every owner of a vehicle in the State of Michigan must carry minimum automobile insurance coverage. In the State of Michigan it is illegal to drive without basic no-fault insurance. (See also Car Insurance Advice for Michigan Teens).
There are 3 parts to the Michigan no-fault policy:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Personal Protection Insurance
- Residual Liability Insurance (Bodily Injury and Property Damage)
The Minimum Coverage Requirements are Listed Below:
- $20,000 Per Person Injured or Killed in an Accident
- $40,000 For Each Accident of More than One Person is Injured or Killed
- $10,000 For Property Damage in Another State
Please check with your State of Michigan Insurance Agent for Details.
Other Michigan Information
The links below provide additional information found on this website surrounding Michigan driving laws.