What You Need to Know About the Michigan Graduated Driver’s License Program

What You Need to Know About the Michigan Graduated Driver’s License Program

Michigan is one of the few states that allows teens younger than 15 start the three-stage GDL program that leads to full driving privileges. Even though younger teens are eligible to drive, there are numerous restrictions to be aware of and failing to follow them will end with severe penalties.

Stage One: You can apply for your learner’s permit at age 14 years and nine months if you have completed the first half of driver’s education and have acquired six hours of driving experience with the instructor, and pass a vision test.

While you have the permit, you must only drive when you are being supervised by a licensed driver over the age of 21. You will hold the permit for at least six months while you practice for at least 50 hours making sure that at least ten of those hours are at night, and complete your driver’s education class.

Stage Two: You can take the road test for your intermediate license when you are 16 years old as long as:

  • You have had your permit for at least six months
  • You fulfilled the driving experience requirements for your permit
  • You completed your driver’s ed class
  • You have no license suspensions, infractions, convictions, or crashes for the three months leading up to your application for the intermediate license

While you have the intermediate license, you are not to drive at night between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless you are going to or coming from your job. You are also prohibited from transporting more than one passenger who is under 21-years-old unless they are members of your immediate family, or you are going to or coming from school, a school event, or work.

Stage Three: Provided you have held your intermediate for at least six months, and you have driven for 12 consecutive months without causing an accident, getting a moving violation, violating any of the restrictions of the GDL, or having your license suspended, you can apply for an unrestricted license at age 17.

Be aware: Michigan is a Zero Tolerance state meaning if you have any alcohol in your system you could lose your license for six months and get four points added to you driving record. If you have alcohol in your vehicle, and you do not have an adult with you, you may be charged with a misdemeanor.

Under the laws of Implied Consent, you must comply with a request from law enforcement to take a chemical test, or you will lose your license for 12 months, and six points will be added to your record. If you use a fake ID to purchase alcohol, your license will be suspended for 90 days.

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