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 (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 Segment 1 Driver Education Certificate of Completion. The certificate is NOT a license to drive. To obtain the Graduated Driver License (GDL), a parent must accompany their teen to the Secretary of State office with the Segment 1 Driver Education Certificate of Completion, an original birth certificate (one with a raised seal), their social security card, and proof of Michigan residency. Please refer to (Driver’s License and State ID, Teen Drivers).

Teens must be at least 14 years, 9 months to obtain their Graduated Driver License (GDL).

Teens may drive on their Graduated Driver License (GDL) 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 Graduated Driver License (GDL)

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 Segment 2 Driver Education Certificate of Completion.

Road Test

Once a teen has completed Segment 2 of driver education, has held their Graduated Driver License (GDL) for at least 6 months, 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 does not need to return to a Secretary of State’s office. The driver’s result is reported electronically to the Secretary of State by the driver testing organization on the same day the driver completes the road test. The Secretary of State will mail a letter confirming their advancement to a Level 2 Graduated Driver License. You can also view the status of their Driver’s License on e-Services  Restrictions for teens driving on their Level 2 License may be found at    (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 (Driver’s License and State ID, Teen Driver).