Your First-Time Michigan Drivers License Guide

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: September 6, 2023

In Michigan, teenagers must complete a driver training program as required by the graduated driver licensing, or GDL, process. A Michigan drivers ed program will prepare teen drivers to pass both their written and road tests as well as offer training to help them become safer and more responsible drivers.

Getting Started with Michigan Driver Training

The Michigan driver training program is broken into two parts. There are different qualifications required to begin each segment.

To begin Segment 1:

To move into Segment 2:

After completing Segment 2, you are ready to obtain your Level II intermediate license.

Completing Segment 1 of Drivers Ed Michigan

The first segment of Michigan drivers ed includes 24 hours of classroom instruction. You may not complete any more than two hours per day of this curriculum and at least four hours must be completed before any behind the wheel instruction can begin. It is also necessary that you complete at least three hours of behind the wheel instruction before you can take your last classroom session.

Segment 1 also includes 10 hours of behind the wheel instruction. These 10 hours will include six hours of you behind the wheel and four hours of you in the car observing other drivers.

Receiving a certificate of completion for Segment 1 will require that you pass a written test. After you are finished with the course, you will receive a certificate of course completion that you may take to your nearest Michigan Secretary of State office to apply for your Level I learners permit.

The most challenging part of this step is passing the required written permit test. While you can rely on what you have learned in class and what you have picked up from the Michigan driver handbook, perhaps the easiest way to boost your confidence would be to quiz yourself with a permit practice test. Permit practice tests feature questions from past Michigan permit exams, giving you the ability to see exactly what you’ll be up against when you go in for your test.

Moving to Segment 2 Of Michigan Drivers Ed

Segment 2 of drivers ed will begin after you have received your learners license. With your learners license you can complete the required supervised 30 hours of practice driving. This segment is comprised of six hours of classroom instruction. After completing this classroom portion, you will be ready to apply for your intermediate license.

Fulfilling the requirements for your intermediate license includes:

When applying for your intermediate license, there is much documentation you will need to submit to the SOS office. A detailed list of these required documents is available on the SOS website.

Becoming Fully Licensed after Michigan Driver Training

An intermediate license has rules dictating things like times that are permissible for you to drive and the number of people that you may have in your car with you. A full license carries no such restrictions.

In Michigan, you will automatically advance to a full drivers license after you turn 17, providing you have had your intermediate license for at least six months and have received no tickets in the 12 months before you apply.