Graduated Driver Licensing
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a driver licensing system designed to teach teens under the age of 18 to drive by gradually increasing their driving privileges as they progress through the different stages. GDL consists of Segment 1 and Segment 2 driver education instruction and three licensing levels. Please refer to www.michigan.gov/sos (Driver’s License and State ID, Teen Driver).
Segment 1 Driver Education
Segment 1 driver education is for teens who are at least 14 years, 8 months on the first day of class. It consists of:
- 24 hours of classroom instruction
- 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction
- 4 hours of observing another student drive
When Segment 1 is successfully completed, teens will receive a green Segment 1 drive education certificate. The green certificate is NOT a license to drive. To obtain the Level 1 License, a parent must accompany their teen to the Secretary of State office with the green Segment 1 certificate, an original birth certificate (one with a raised seal), their social security card, and proof of Michigan residency. Please refer to www.michigan.gov/sos (Driver’s License and State ID, Teen Drivers).
Teens must be at least 14 years, 9 months to obtain their Level 1 License.
Teens may drive on their Level 1 License while accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian, or a licensed adult who is 21 years of age or older, with the written permission of the parent or legal guardian.
Driving with Teens on their Level 1 License
Although a teenager has completed Segment 1 of driver education, this does not mean the skills involved in driving have been mastered. A teenager has demonstrated competency in: basic understanding of traffic laws and rules of the road, basic judgment and decision-making skills, and basic vehicle control and manipulative skills. Your teen will need to continue to drive regularly to become more skilled and experienced. The following is a list of suggestions to consider when driving with your teen:
- Provide regular driving practice. Log all driving time. Be instructive and positive.
- Begin with low-challenging drives. Avoid heavily congested areas initially. Drive slower than the posted speed limit and increase the following distance.
- Have your teen verbalize/rehearse driving maneuvers to you before performing them so you will know their actions ahead of time.
- Limit distractions in the car so your teen can concentrate on driving.
Segment 2 Driver Education
Segment 2 driver education is for teens who have held their Level 1 License for at least 90 days and have completed and logged 30 hours of driving (two of which are at night). It consists of:
- 6 hours of classroom instruction
At the successful completion of Segment 2, the student will receive a white, Segment 2 driver education certificate.
Once a teen has completed Segment 2 of driver education, has held their Level 1 License for at least 180 days, and has completed and logged 50 hours of driving (ten of which are at night), the student is eligible for the road test. Driving Right Training School administers the road test at different locations. Please refer to the Road Test section of our website for information and a location nearest you.
Level 2 License
Upon successful completion of the road test, the student will return to the Secretary of State’s office at age 16 or older to obtain their Level 2 License. The student must present to the Secretary of State their Level 1 License, their Segment 2 driver education certificate, the road test certificate, and their original birth certificate or passport. Restrictions for teens driving on their Level 2 License may be found at www.michigan.gov/sos (Driver’s License and State ID, Teen Driver).
Level 3 License
A teen will automatically advance to a Level 3 License provided they are at least 17 years of age, have met all driving requirements, and has parental authorization. Please refer to www.michigan.gov/sos (Driver’s License and State ID, Teen Driver).