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Michigan Permit Requirements

When applying for your Michigan driver permit with Department of State, it is helpful to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the prerequisites and that you have the required documents ready.

Drivers under the age of 18 in Michigan must follow a graduated licensing program that consists of a series of steps in order to get their permit. The process begins with a mandatory driver education course and written test in order to get a learner's permit that allows driving with parental supervision. This is followed by a road test in order to obtain an intermediate license that allows a teen to drive unsupervised between the hours of 5 a.m. and midnight.

Getting Started: Basic Requirements for Michigan Learner's Permit

  • Drivers must be at least 14 years and 8 months old as of the first day of their Segment 1 Driver Education Course.
  • Drivers must pass the Segment 1 Driver's Education Course before obtaining a learner's permit. The course requires parental permission to enter and consists of 24 total hours of instruction. Different courses run on different schedules, but they cannot run longer than two hours per day. Courses consist of both classroom work and driving instruction in a vehicle. To complete the course, students must perform satisfactorily during driving instruction and pass a written test consisting of multiple choice questions at the end of the course.
  • Students must be at least 14 years and 9 months old to qualify for a learner's permit.

When a teen driver meets the above requirements, they can apply for a learner's permit at any Secretary of State branch office. Paperwork and documentation to bring to driver license office include:

  • Certificate of Segment 1 course completion
  • Social Security card
  • valid birth certificate
  • local school transcript
  • payment of $25.
  • A parent or guardian must sign for anyone under 18 taking responsibility for their safe driving.

They will have to complete a vision test at the branch office before being issued their permit. This permit allows teens to drive under the supervision of a licensed adult over the age of 21.

Moving On To the Michigan Intermediate License and Full License

To obtain the intermediate license that allows teens to drive unsupervised, upon turning 16, students will need to show 50 hours of driving practice with an adult, and it will have to be at least 90 days from the date of issuance of the learner's permit. The state no longer administers driving tests, so drivers will need to schedule a road test with a certified private examiner. A list of licensed examiners is available here.

Successfully completing the private examination will get drivers a certificate of completion of Segment 2 and a road skills test endorsement. Teens will need to bring these to the Secretary of State branch office along with their learner's permit, a signed application from a parent or guardian certifying the driver has at least 50 hours of road experience, and $25 for the application fee.

The only restriction on the intermediate license is that a teen driver must be supervised by a licensed adult over the age of 21 when driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless they are driving to or from work.

Upon turning 17, and showing no accidents or tickets for 12 months drivers can apply for a full-privilege driver's license without restrictions.  All restrictions are lifted when they reach the age of 18. 


Other Michigan Licenses

A temporary instruction permit for drivers that are over the age of 18 is available. This allows drivers to practice on roads under the supervision of another licensed driver over the age of 21. Those over the age of 18 qualify if they have never held a learner's permit, have a United States license that has been expired for more than four years, or have a foreign license that is expired. If a driver meets these criteria, they will need to pass a written and vision test at a branch office and bring photo identification, a Social Security card and a fee of $25.


Michigan drivers may also be eligible for Enhanced Driver’s License which can serve like a passport to neighboring countries.

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Michigan Driver Handbooks & Manuals

Before you take a practice test make sure you've reviewed the Michigan drivers handbook. You will be tested on this content!