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Tips & Resources

We have provided some information for you that explains the different requirements to obtain your Michigan driver's license, as well as some guides for driver safety. The process is straightforward, but there are some key details for which you should be familiar. As always, we are here to help you with any questions that you may have.

Graduated Licensing System

GDL is a driver licensing system designed to teach teens to drive by gradually increasing their driving privileges as they advance through the system. GDL consists of two segments of driver education instruction and three licensing levels.

The three licensing levels in GDL are: a supervised learner's license (Level 1 License), an intermediate license that limits passengers and unsupervised nighttime driving (Level 2 License), and a full-privilege driver's license (Level 3 License) issued after a teen driver has successfully completed all previous instruction and driving requirements.

 

GDL license levels 1 and 2 have certain restrictions to limit teens' driving exposure to high-risk situations and help protect them while they are learning to drive.

Level 1 Learner's License

To be eligible for a Level 1 Learner's License, applicants must:

Driver's Education - Segment 2

Before beginning Segment 1, a teen must be 14 years, 8 months of age and have parent/guardian permission.

Segment 2 driver's education is offered after the driver has held a valid Level 1 Learner's License for at least three continuous months and has acquired 30 hours of driving experience time, including a minimum of two hours of night driving. Segment 2 includes a minimum of six hours of classroom instruction.

 

The Driver Education Curriculum Guide was developed to provide driver education instructors and providers with a detailed framework of the concepts, objectives and standards students will need to master to successfully meet the goals of Segments 1 and 2. By ensuring that students are properly prepared to drive, we will reduce crash rates among teen drivers and make Michigan's road safer.

Skills Drive Test

Before your teen driver can apply to take the driving skills test, he or she must have successfully completed Segment 2 of the driver education course, received the white Segment 2 Certificate of Completion, and logged a minimum of 50 hours supervised driving, which includes a minimum of 10 hours at night. Driving skills tests are provided by independent third-party testing organizations approved by the department. A link is provided below for a listing of these testing organizations. The driving skills test will consist of two parts - a basic control skills test and an on-road driving test.

 

It is highly recommended that parents review the Michigan Department of State's Driving Skills Test Study Guide (SOS-360) with their teens prior to scheduling a driving skills test with a third-party testing organization.

 

To find an approved third-party testing organization, click on the Michigan Department of State Driving Skills Testing Locator by County. A skills test fee will be required, which varies with each testing organization.

Level 2 Provisional License

To be eligible to apply for a Level 2 Intermediate License, applicants must:

  • have a Level 1 Learner's License for at least six months

  • present a Level 1 Learner's License

  • be at least 16 years of age

  • meet minimum visual standards to drive. See Visual Standards for Motor Vehicle Drivers' Licenses

  • meet the Department of State Physical and Mental Standards for Drivers

    • must have successfully completed Segment 2 of an approved driver's education program and present a Segment 2 Certificate of Completion

    • must present proof of legal presence.  For more detailed documentation requirements, see Applying for a License or ID? (SOS-428).

    • pass a Driving Skills Test and present a Driving Skills Test Certificate

    • have no convictions or civil infractions, license suspensions, or at-fault crashes for the 90-day period immediately prior to applying for a Level 2 Intermediate License

    • have a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult sign the application to certify the 50 hours behind-the-wheel driving experience including a minimum of 10 nighttime hours

Level 3 Full License

To be eligible for a Level 3 Full License, applicants must:

  • 17 years of age

  • have Level 2 License for at least six months

  • complete 12 consecutive months without a moving violation, a crash in which a moving violation resulted, a crash, a license suspension, or a violation of the graduated license restrictions (may be six months at Level 1 and six months at Level 2, if consecutive)

 

A new Level 3 license is created and mailed from Lansing using the electronic image on file (obtained at Level 2). This license is issued at no-fee to the applicant. A teen will automatically advance to a Level 3 License provided he or she is age 17, has met all driving requirements, and has parental authorization. This authorization is granted when the parent or legal guardian signs for the teen's Level 2 License.

 

GDL ends for all teens when they turn age 18.

Useful Documentation:

Steps for Applying for a License                                                          Driver's Education Curriculum Guide

What Every Michigan Driver Needs to Know                                   Graduated Driver's License Parent's Guide

    Driving Skills for New Drivers                                                        Michigan's Graduated Driver's Licensing

Driver's Education - Segment 1 

Michigan's driver education curriculum is split into two segments and is required for all teen drivers under age 18.

Segment 1 driver education is offered before the driver begins supervised driving. It requires:

  • a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction

  • a minimum of six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction

  • a minimum of four hours of observation time in a training vehicle