Graduated Driver Licensing and Driver Education

Graduated Driver Licensing and Driver Education

Graduated Driver License (GDL) and driver's education requirements.

Per Michigan law, you must complete and pass the following requirements to be issued a Michigan driver's license before turning 18 years old. Classroom and driving instruction will be integrated and related, meaning both should be completed around the same time.

  • Enroll in a certified driver's education course: Per Michigan law, you can enroll in Segment 1 of driver's education once you are 14 years and 8 months old. To locate a driver's education provider, go to Online Services and select "Driver Education and Testing Businesses" under the Business Services option to search through state-certified instructors.
  • Segment 1 of driver's education: You will need to complete all required classes, instruction hours, and pass a written knowledge test before graduating from Segment 1.
  • Apply for your Level 1 learner's license: Gather all required documents. Photocopies won't be accepted, and all documents must be in English or include an English translation.
  • Complete required practice driving time of at least 30 hours with at least 2 hours at night: The Level 1 license allows you to drive with your parent/legal guardian, or a parent-designated licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. You are required to practice driving for at least 30 hours, including at least 2 hours of night driving before you can enroll in Segment 2. The Level 1 license expires on your 18th birthday.
  • Enroll in Segment 2: Training can be completed with any certified provider, it does not need to be the same one as Segment 1. You will need to complete all required classes, instruction hours, and pass a written knowledge test before graduating from Segment 2.
  • Complete additional required practice driving hours: Before you take your on-road driving skills test you must complete a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving with a licensed adult, 10 of which must be at night (this includes the time accumulated during Level 1).
  • Schedule and pass on-road driving skills test: Contact your driver education provider or a certified driver testing business to take your exam. Upon passing, your driver's permit will be automatically upgraded to a Level 2 intermediate license when you turn 16.
  • Complete Level 2 license probationary period: Once you're issued your Level 2 license you can drive without the supervision of a licensed adult, however certain restrictions will apply. A probationary period will be in place for at least 3 years.
  • Meet requirements for Level 3 license: If you are 17, have held a Level 2 license for at least 6 months, and haven't received a citation for violating probation requirements for at least 1 year, your Level 2 license will be automatically upgraded to a Level 3 license with full driving privileges.
  • Complete GDL at 18: If you have met all graduated driver's licensing requirements by the time you turn 18 the Michigan Department of State will mail a standard Michigan operator's license (standard driver's license) to you. If you haven't completed GDL by the time you turn 18, you will age out and need to start the process at a Secretary of State office.



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