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Michigan Drivers Education

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The Michigan Secretary of State requires motorists to successfully complete driver education before gaining full driving privileges. The driver education process differs for teens and adults over age 18. Both require a successful passage of road testing and knowledge testing prior to earning driving privileges.

Testing and Preparing to Drive

The Michigan Secretary of State certifies driver education programs across the state and regulates their operations. The state ensures driving instructors are qualified to train new drivers and teach them new driving skills and how to make smart and safe decisions while driving. The certified third-party driving instructors are fully qualified to provide driver education for teens as well as adults.

Graduated Driver License

Michigan requires aspiring teen drivers to gradually learn the rules of the road and develop generally safe driving habits. A teen driver who is under age 18 must complete a three-tiered graduated driver license system to obtain full driving
  • Level 1 License, which enables teens who are at least 14 years and 9 months of age to drive while supervised by a licensed adult over age 21.
  • Level 2 License, which is an intermediate license that enables teens who are at least 16 years old to drive with strict limitations on passenger numbers and driving at night.
  • Level 3 License, which gives full driving privileges to teens who are over age 17 and successfully completed the first two levels of Michigan’s graduated driver license system.
An aspiring adult driver over age 18 does not have to complete the graduated driver license system that is in place for teens. Instead, adults successfully must complete a state-approved and certified driver education program for adults. Adults can obtain a learner’s permit while completing the driver education training and must pass a skills test, knowledge test and vision exam before obtaining an unrestricted Michigan driver’s license.

Remedial Driver Programs

Eligible motorists can complete a Basic Driver Improvement Course when accruing points on their licenses due to moving violations. The Secretary of State office will notify eligible drivers by mail, email or both, after which the eligible drivers have up to 60 days to successfully compete a state-approved course. Drivers can complete the course online or in a classroom setting, which must include at least four hours of classroom or online training. Drivers do not complete the course until successfully passing a knowledge exam. The Michigan Secretary of State will not notify auto insurers or make the relevant moving violation information available when motorists successfully complete the basic driver improvement course. The state mandates a maximum cost of $100 for the course so that it remains reasonably affordable.

Defensive Driving Courses

The state of Michigan does not endorse any defensive driving courses or sponsors, but many are available through third parties within the state. The Michigan Secretary of State only provides the Basic Driver Improvement Course through approved driver training schools online and in classrooms across the state. The basic driving course does cover driver safety, including defensive driving.

Last Verified:
Aug 22, 2022