- Location: Michigan
Drivers Ed in Michigan
Michigan has a history of demanding driver training for its teens. In 1955, it became the first state to mandate a program and to legislate that it be taught in all public schools.
In 1996, it became the first state to legislate a Graduated Driver License program. The program consists of three licensing levels and two components of driver education developed to help young drivers make a smooth transition onto the state's roads.
You can start driver education as soon as you turn 14 years and 8 months old.
In Segment 1 of your driver education, you'll be introduced to the basics of driving with 24 hours of classroom instruction and another 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
You'll probably spend some of your classroom time watching instructional movies and discussing different driving situations with your teacher. You'll learn about vehicle safety, Michigan's driver laws, how to avoid dangerous situations, and even some basic map reading.
You'll be required to pass a multiple-choice test to complete the course.
Your road time will be spent on the basics, too, and may include up to three hours of driving on closed courses.
After you successfully complete Segment 1, you'll receive a certificate from your driving instructor that you'll need to take to a local branch office of the Secretary of State to get your Level 1 Learner's License.
To apply for a Level 1 Learner's License, you must be at least 14 years 9 months old. Bring your Segment 1 certificate, proof of identity, and a parent or guardian along to sign for you.
This is your step up to the big time, and it's a pretty simple one―just 6 hours of classroom instruction.
Before you qualify to take it, however, you need to complete at least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving, including 2 hours of driving at night.
Once you've completed Segment 2 and have a total of 50 hours of driving experience, you can take a road skills test. The Secretary of State has posted a handy study guide for this test online, as well as a road skills testing organization locator. Assuming you pass the test, you'll be eligible for a level 2 License.
Once again, a trip to the local branch office of the Secretary of State is required. This time, you'll need to be at least 16 years old and have your road skills certificate, proof that you've had your Level 1 License for at least 6 months, and have a parent or guardian certify your 50 hours of driving experience (including 10 hours at night).
You'll have your picture taken and be given your level 2 License, which allows you to drive unsupervised between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. (If you have a job that requires you to drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., you'll be allowed to drive as long as you have proof that you are traveling directly to or from work.)
The fee for your Level 2 License is $25. Once you hold a Level 2 License for 6 months and turn 17 years old, with your parents' permission you can graduate to a full, restriction-free license―the level 3.
Since all three license levels require parental consent, parents should know their responsibilities as well. To that end, the Secretary of State has created a guide for parents to help you know what you're getting your kids (and yourself!) into.Local Drivers Education
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