Michigan Graduated Licensing Program

Michigan has instituted a graduated driver education system for drivers aged 14 years and 8 months up to 18 years of age. This licensing system has been credited with greatly decreasing teen driver deaths and accidents in the first two years of driving. Many insurance companies offer lower premiums for teens who have successfully completed an accredited driver education program.

The first step is to complete a Segment One Driver Training program. You must be at least 14 years, 8 months old or older for this class. It is 24 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind the wheel, 4 hours of observation, on the road training with an instructor. The state examination is given and the student receives a certificate of completion. Keys Driving offers this instruction for $430.

The completion certificate must be presented at the Secretary of States office by the student and a parent. They will issue the Level One Driver’s License. Some may refer to this as their “permit”. It allows the student to drive with a parent or another adult approved by them. The student must keep a driving log during the six months (possibly longer) that they hold the Level One license. The log should be kept until it has recorded 50 hours of driving practice.

When the new driver has held their level one license for nearly 6 months, or the student is approaching their 16th birthday, they should enroll in the Segment Two Driver Training program. This is a 6 hour classroom only review class. This class is three days in a row for two hours a day that reiterates defensive driving practices, defuses road rage, revisits alcohol and drug abuse issues and safe driving practices. The exam is given and successful students receive a certificate of completion.

Keys Driving offers this class each month for $50. You must show your log and level one license on the first day of class. This class may not be taken sooner than 3 months after completing segment one.

Next, the student and parent must make an appointment with an independent, third party road tester. They should expect to pay about $50 for the road test. They will need to bring their driving log, level one license, the certificate of segment two completion and the car in which they will be tested. Be certain everything on the car is in working order. Testing includes a parking lot section and an on the road section. Speeding is the most often listed reason for failure on the road test.

Once these steps have been completed, and the student is at least 16 or older,  then the Secretary of States office will automatically update your student’s license to reflect unsupervised driving. This is the  Level Two Driver’s License. The student may drive alone in the car, with family members, or with only one other teen friend in the vehicle. The state will allow driving this first year only between the hours of 5am and 10pm. Including no phone use.  Parents may make their own rules regarding passengers and time frames, but they may not be more generous than the law allows.

If there are no tickets, accidents or other incidents during this time period, the license becomes a Level Three Driver’s License after one year, with no restrictions of time or passengers.


  • Enrolled in Segment One when she was 14 years, 9 months old.
  • She received her level one license when she was 14 years 10 months old.
  • She practiced for over a year on her level one license, keeping a log for a few months until she reached
  • 50 practice hours.
  • She enrolled in Segment Two when she was 15 years, 8 months old, 11 months after taking Segment 1.
  • She passed her road test when she was 15 years, 10 months old.
  • On her 16th birthday she advanced to her Level Two Driver’s License.


  • Enrolled in Segment One when he was 15 years, 10 months old.
  • He received his level one license when he was 15 years 11 months, and he had to drive on this license
  • for the minimum period of 6 months. He kept his driving log until he logged 50 hours.
  • He enrolled in Segment Two when he was 16 years, 2 months old, 4 months after taking seg. 1.
  • He passed his road test when he was 16 years, 5 months old.
  • When he finished the requirements he advanced to the  Level Two Driver’s License.

The graduated licensing program is quite involved and we have tried to explain it as simply as possible, given the intricate design. Complete Michigan law regarding licensing is available at the following link:

Complete Michigan Law at Michigan.gov

If you have questions regarding any portion of the process, please feel free to contact Keys Driving.