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Teens under age 18 are required to complete the Graduated Driver Licensing program (GDL) to obtain their first Michigan driver’s license. GDL includes two segments of driver’s education (Segment 1 and Segment 2) and three different licensing levels. Additional hours of supervised driving practice are required. Drivers under 18 are also subject to certain restrictions at each licensing level.
First-time license or ID requirements
The Supervised Driving Guide
What Every Driver Must Know
Technical resources list
 
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.
Michigan Graduated Driver Licensing Checklist
Go to Online Services
Schedule an office visit
 
 
To enroll in Segment 2, you must:
On-road driving instruction and observation with a driver’s education provider isn’t required for Segment 2.

However, providers do have the authority to mandate additional on-road instruction or observation.
You must pass a written driver knowledge exam provided by your state-certified driver’s education provider.
You must pass a written driver knowledge exam provided by your state-certified driver’s education provider.
Upon passing Segment 1, you will be eligible to apply for a GDL Level 1 learner’s license with your parent/legal guardian at a Secretary of State office.
You must have a Driver Education Certificate of Completion to apply. You will be issued a Driver Education Certificate of Completion if you have successfully done all of the following by the time complete Segment 1:
The certificate isn’t a permit to drive and can’t be treated as a driver’s license.
After Segment 2, you will be eligible to schedule an on-road driving skills test with your driver’s education provider or a certified driver testing business, if you have successfully done all of the following:
Once you pass the road exam, the provider will add your certificate to your driving record with the Michigan Department of State, which will automatically upgrade your Level 1 license to a Level 2 intermediate license.
To be issued a Parent Driving Permit, you must be:
The Parent Driving Permit is issued by state-certified driver’s education providers.
The permit is only required if you plan to practice driving outside of your required on-road driving instruction hours with your driver’s education provider while taking Segment 1.
Additional restrictions may be issued by your provider.
To apply for your Level 1 learner’s license, you will need to:
You will need to apply for your Level 1 learner’s license at a Secretary of State office with your parent/legal guardian to provide the following document:
At your visit, you will take a photo for your Level 1 card and complete a vision exam.
Level 1 license may only be used to practice driving with a licensed parent/legal guardian or a licensed aged 21 or older who is designated by your parent/legal guardian.
Note: It is prohibited by law to use a cell phone while driving (Kelsey’s Law – MCL 257.602c).
To be eligible for a Level 2 license, you must:
After successfully completing all GDL requirements and passing the on-road driving skills test, your Level 1 license will be automatically upgraded to a Level 2 license.
Unless you have a limited-term legal presence in the United States or were issued a paper Level 1 license (instead of a hard card), you don’t need to visit a Secretary of State office.
When your licensing level is updated, you will be sent a letter confirming the change.
Unless you are driving with your parent/legal guardian or designated licensed driver aged 21 or older or you are driving to/from your place of employment or another authorized activity, you aren’t permitted to:
These restrictions will remain in place until you have maintained your Level 2 license for 6 months, are at least 17 years old, and haven’t received a citation for a driving or licensing violation.
Note: It is prohibited by law to use a cell phone while driving (Kelsey’s Law – MCL 257.602c).
To be eligible for a Level 3 license, you must:
After successfully completing all GDL requirements, your Level 2 license will be automatically upgraded to a Level 3 license.
When your licensing level is updated, you will be sent a letter confirming the change. You don’t need to visit a Secretary of State office.
There aren’t any specific restrictions for the Level 3 license.
However, if you are ticketed for or convicted of a driving or licensing violation or are at-fault in a traffic accident, you will be placed on driver probation, referred for a driver assessment reexamination with the Michigan Department of State, and risk having your license suspended.
To be issued a standard operator’s license, you must be:
If you have met all GDL requirements through the Level 3 license, the Michigan Department of State will mail a standard, vertical operator’s license to your address around the time of your 18th birthday.
The license will expire when you turn 21.
If you don’t meet all GDL requirements prior to turning 18, you will need to start a new application at a Secretary of State office.
There aren’t any specific restrictions for the standard operator’s license.
However, depending on when your Level 1 license was first issued and whether you have been since ticketed for or convicted of a driving or licensing violation or were at-fault in a traffic accident, you may be required to complete a probationary period after your standard license is issued.
Your teen is eligible to enroll in Segment 1 once they are 14 years and 8 months old.
To enroll in Segment 2, your teen may need to present their Segment 1 Certificate of Completion, Level 1 license, and driving log or parent certification of driving hours (30 hours with 2 hours of night driving).
Locate a state-certified driver’s education provider under the Businesses Services section of Online Services. Select the link for “Driver Education and Testing Businesses”. You will be routed to a new page, where you can select the option to search for providers, classrooms, and instructors.
Go to Online Services
Michigan Graduated Driver Licensing: A Guide for Parents
Michigan Driver Education Curriculum Guide
You are responsible for supervising your teen while they practice driving or must authorize another licensed adult who is at least 21 years old to supervise driving practice with your teen. While your supervision is strongly encouraged as much as possible, there are segments of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) process when it is required:
After your teen graduates to their Level 2 license, you will need to supervise if they are driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. or with more than one passenger under the age of 21 (unless they’re driving to/from their place of employment or an authorized activity).
Throughout GDL and after they turn 18, it’s important that your teen exercises safe driving habits and limits distractions in their vehicle. Under state law, it’s illegal to use a cell phone while driving if you are under the age of 18 (Kelsey’s Law – MCL 257.602c). Texting while driving is illegal for drivers of all ages and license types.
The Supervised Driving Guide
The Supervised Driving Checklist
Technology Resources for Safe Driving
 
While your teen may be the one behind the wheel, you hold the keys as the parent/legal guardian. Your written authorization is required for their enrollment in Segment 1 and 2, and on their application for a Level 1 learner’s license. Anyone who supervises your teen while they practice driving must also have a valid driver’s license, be at least 21 years old, and receive your prior authorization.
You are required to visit a Secretary of State office with your teen when they apply for a Level 1 learner’s license. At this time, you can provide your valid, unexpired driver’s license or ID as proof of identification for your teen.
You may provide two Michigan residency documents with your name and address on behalf of your teen, if you provide other legal documentation proving that you are their parent/legal guardian (i.e.: birth certificate, adoption paperwork, court order, etc.).
First-time license or ID requirements
The Supervised Driving Guide
When you are over 18 and looking to get your first driver’s license you can follow this easy six step process.
To apply for a Michigan driver’s license at age 18 or older, you will need to:
In Michigan, driving skills test services are provided entirely by a privatized driver testing program. This program utilizes a statewide network of approved public and private driver testing businesses that employ examiners authorized by the Department of State to conduct driver skills tests. Fees charged by testing organizations are not regulated by the department. Fees and polices vary.
Schedule an office visit
What Every Driver Must Know
To be issued a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP) in order to practice driving, you must pass the following at a Secretary of State office:

A $25 testing fee will be due at the time of your visit. 

Prepare for the written driver knowledge exam by reviewing What Every Driver Must Know and the Driving Skills Test Study Guide

It is strongly recommended that you schedule your office visit in advance. Tests are offered at all Secretary of State offices up to one hour before offices close. 
Schedule an office visit
What Every Driver Must Know
Driving Skills Test Study Guide 
Accessibility and accommodations  
Language services 
Once you have passed the written and vision tests, present all required documents at a Secretary of State office:   
After your documents have been reviewed and verified by Secretary of State staff, you will take a photo for your license. 

First-time license or ID 
At your visit, you will be issued a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP). A TIP is valid for 180 days and allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult or a certified driver education instructor. 

You must practice for at least 30 days before taking your driving skills test. If you have a valid foreign driver’s license, a license from another state or were previously licensed in Michigan, the 30-day practice period may be waived.

Driving Skills Test Study Guide 
You are required to practice driving with a licensed adult for at least 30 days after your TIP is issued. After the 30-day practice period, contact a driver testing business to take your on-road driving skills test. 

Locate a driver testing provider under the Business Services section of Online Services.  

Upon passing the on-road skills test, the Michigan Department of State will mail your driver’s license to the address recorded on your TIP. You may also print a copy of you temporary paper license from your online Secretary of State account to use until your driver’s license arrives in the mail. 

If this is your first license, you will be on probation for three years. Some medical conditions could mean restrictions on your license.

Additionally, if you have temporary legal presence in the U.S., you will be issued a limited-term driver’s license. The limited-term license is valid for only as long as you are authorized to remain in the country.

Go to Online Services
Congratulations! You have successfully met all the requirements for obtaining a Michigan driver’s license. You may visit online services to verify you license has been issued and print out the Temporary License Permit until you receive your license in the mail. If your license has not been issued you may visit a Secretary of State office and bring your skills test certificate, TIP, and appropriate identification documents, such as your certified birth certificate. If this is your first license, you will be on probation for three years. Some medical conditions could mean restrictions on your license.
If you have temporary legal presence in the U.S., you will be issued a limited-term driver’s license. The limited-term license is valid for only as long as you are authorized to remain in the country.
In addition to the standard driver’s license, The Michigan Department of State also offers a commercial driver and enhanced license, also known as a CDL. This type of license applies to those seeking to become commercial truck drivers, school bus drivers and other heavy weight vehicle operators.
A commercial driver’s license is needed if you are operating a vehicle:
Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
To apply for a commercial driver’s license, visit a Secretary of State office and provide:
If applying for a hazardous materials endorsement, you must also provide proof of a Federal Security Threat Assessment. 

At your visit, you will need to:
Upon being issued your CPL, you can begin driving under supervision of a driver who has a CDL for the type of vehicle you wish to drive. After practicing for at least 14 days, you may schedule a CDL on-road driving skills test with an approved driver testing business. Your skills test must be scheduled at least 2 days in advance of when you are eligible to test.

Locate a driver testing provider under the Business Services section of Online Services.  

After passing your CDL skills test, you will need to return to a Secretary of State office to pay the group endorsement fee ($5/endorsement) and correct your standard license for $9. Your corrected CDL will be mailed to you at the address on your driving record. 

Commercial driver’s license (CDL)


CDL medical certification 
The Department of State offers the industry or commercial driver license (CDL) in both a standard and enhanced version. The enhanced CDL is an attractive alternative to the standard CDL because it allows you to re-enter the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean without the need to show additional identity or citizenship documents at the border.
Yes. New drivers, including teen drivers under Graduated Driver Licensing, (GDL) are placed on probation for a minimum of three years.  The probationary period is a way for the Secretary of State to monitor the driving performance of new drivers.  Although probation is a separate program from GDL, the objective of both programs is to help inexperienced drivers reduce their crash risk and drive safely.
Yes. In fact, crash rates are highest during the first six months of licensure without supervision. The major reason for crashes among newly licensed drivers is the failure to accurately spot and react to potential risks. The most critical time for parents to be involved with young drivers is during the first six months of unsupervised driving.
Bring your current out-of-state driver’s license, proof of a valid Social Security number, U.S. citizenship or legal presence if not a U.S. citizen, identity and at least two documents establishing Michigan residency to a Secretary of State office. You will be given a vision test and your out-of-state driver’s license will be converted to a Michigan driver’s license. All documentation is subject to Department of State approval. In some cases, document approval may not occur in the same day and may require an additional visit.
Yes. All new Michigan drivers, regardless of age, are probationary for a minimum of three years if they have not been previously licensed. The probationary period is a way for the Secretary of State to monitor the driving performance of new drivers.
Yes. You may be denied a driver’s license for any of the following reasons:
If you currently have a hazardous materials endorsement, federal rules require you to take the hazardous materials written test every time you renew the endorsement. You must present a Federal Security Threat Assessment letter from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence to renew a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement. A vision test must be passed. No other CDL written tests are required unless you want to upgrade the group designator, remove an air brake restriction, or add a new endorsement when renewing your license.
More information about CDL licensure is available at the following Web sites:
The Transportation Security Administration
TSA is the federal agency responsible for administering the portions of the USA PATRIOT Act related to federal background record checks for hazardous materials drivers.
www.tsa.gov and Universal Enrollment Services at: https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/.
Universal Enrollment Service Call Center – Toll-free number 855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371) call to:
The UES’ call center hours of operation are from 8:00am to 10pm Eastern, Monday through Friday.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations information can be found at www.ecfr.gov.
The CFR provides the legal authority and basis for requirements for a federal background record check.
If your temporary license isn’t issued after passing your on-road skills test, visit a Secretary of State office to provide the following: 
You are exempt from certain restrictions if you are driving to or from any of the following activities with your valid Level 2 license:
If you receive a ticket or conviction while holding a GDL Level 1 or Level 2 license, it will impact your eligibility to move to the next licensing level and may extend the minimum time you will be required to maintain each licensing level. If you are found at-fault in a traffic accident, receive a citation or license sanction, or are convicted of a driving-related violation in the 3 months prior to scheduling, you will not be able to schedule the on-road driving skills test for the Level 2 license.
Once you receive full-driving privileges with a Level 3 or standard operator’s license, you, and all new drivers, will be on probation for a minimum of three years. If you receive a ticket or conviction during your probation period, you may receive a letter of contact from the Michigan Department of State for each violation. Depending on the violation, the contacts can range from warning letters to a driver assessment reexamination. If you receive multiple violations the contacts will progress in severity in response to continued unsafe driving. At a driver assessment reexamination, your driving privileges may be restricted and/or suspended.
You must complete the last ten months of probation without any unsafe driving events, such as traffic convictions, at-fault crashes, or suspensions. Most alcohol laws relating to “zero tolerance” or “minor in possession” require that a driver’s license be suspended upon conviction. If an unsafe driving event occurs in the last ten months of probation, the probationary period is extended until you are able to complete 10 consecutive months without an incident.
Note: Points placed on your driver record during probation or post probation are not automatically erased when probation ends. Most points remain on your driving record for two years from the conviction date.
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