Article discussing drivers ed in MI. When driver education courses are mandatory, benefits and costs, who offers classes, etc.
Most new drivers in Michigan are required to successfully complete a State-approved driver's education program in order to obtain a Michigan driver's license. In fact, for many applicants, the driver's education certificate of completion is part of the actual driver's license application.
WHO MUST TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATION
- Michigan residents under the age of 18 must complete Level 1 of a State-approved driver's education program before applying for a learner's permit.
- Michigan residents at least 16 years old, must hold a learner's permit for a minimum of six months, and also complete Level 2 of a State-approved driver's education program before applying for an intermediate license.
- Michigan residents 18 and older who have never held a license from Michigan, or any other US state or foreign country, must hold a learner's permit for a minimum of 180 days, or complete a State-approved driver's education program before applying for a new license.
WHERE TO TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATION
Driver's education courses are offered through both public and private school programs, all of which must be approved by the Michigan Driver Education Section. Driving schools, licensed by the Secretary of State, cover the same course content.
WHAT'S COVERED IN A DRIVER'S EDUCATION COURSE
While driver's education courses vary from one school to another, all licensed programs must include the following components:
- Twenty-four hours of classroom periods, focusing on issues including alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness, defensive driving, basic operating procedures, signs and signals, motorcycle awareness and organ and tissue donation; along with in-car instruction sessions, divided into six hours of actual driving and four hours of observation time, for Level 1 driver education.
- Six hours of classroom training and 30 hours of driving training with 2 hours of these at night or evening time, for Level 2 driver education.
After the successful completion of the driver's education course, your driving school will a send a copy of the completion certificate to the Michigan Secretary of State, after which you may be issued a permanent driver's license. Drivers under the age of 18 must have their certificate signed and authorized by a parent or legal guardian, who must certify that the student has had at least 50 hours of driving practice.
In addition to the core requirements of a driver's education course, many driving schools in Michigan offer optional programs that focus on particular aspects of driver education. Specialized courses include Auto Insurance Discount Courses or Defensive Driving courses, either of which may qualify students for a discount on auto insurance. These and other courses may also enable students to reduce points on their license, and/or get their license back sooner after a suspension. See our section on Michigan driving schools for more information.