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Obtaining a learner's permit is generally the first step that a beginner driver takes toward becoming a fully licensed driver in Michigan. You are eligible to apply for a learner's permit if you are at least 14 years and nine months old and:
- you have never been licensed to operate a vehicle, or
- you are a new resident of Michigan who has been licensed in another state, but your driver's license has been expired for longer than six months
HOW TO OBTAIN AN ORIGINAL LEARNER'S PERMIT
- Download a copy of the Michigan Driver's Manual, or get a hard copy by visiting a local Driver License Center.
- Meet the physical and mental medical standards as specified by the Secretary of State.
- If you are under 18 years of age, your application must be signed by a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult.
- If under 18, you must have completed segment 1 of an approved driver education course. As part of the course you have to pass a written test.
- Visit your local Driver License Center to submit the application. You must bring with you:
- Proof of identity and Michigan residency, as specified by the Secretary of State. If you have changed your name, you must bring documents that support and clearly indicate your current name.
- Your Social Security card.
- Segment 1 driver education course completion certificate.
- You also have to pass a vision test.
Once you meet the above requirements you will be issued a learner's permit, which is valid for 180 days. There is no fee for the learner's permit in Michigan.
When driving with a learner's permit you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age of 21 or older. This person must sit beside you.
THE INTERMEDIATE LICENSE
You are eligible for an intermediate license if you are at least 16 years of age and meet the following requirements:
- You have held a learner's license for at least six months.
- You have successfully completed segment 2 of an approved driver education program and have the certificate of completion.
- Have a parent, guardian or responsible adult sign the application and certify that you have completed 50 hours of behind the wheel driving experience under direct supervision of an experienced adult driver.
- You pass the road skills test and have a skill test certificate.
- You have not been convicted of any traffic violation or civil infractions in the last 90 days (immediately preceding the date of application).
- A fee of $25.00 will be charged to convert a Learner's permit to an Intermediate License.
Once you meet all the above requirements you will receive an intermediate license with which you can drive unsupervised except from midnight to 5 am when you need to be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years or older.
THE UNRESTRICTED LICENSE
A full, unrestricted license may be issued when you are at least 17 years old and have held an intermediate license for a minimum of six months. You also must have completed 12 consecutive months without any traffic violation or violation of the restrictions.
TEMPORARY INSTRUCTION PERMIT (TIP)
If you are over 18 years of age or older and have never been licensed, you may obtain a temporary instruction permit with which you can practice driving. You must be accompanied by a licensed adult when driving with a TIP which is valid for 180 days. You can take a driving skill test once you have practiced driving for at least 30 days. If you pass the skills test you will be issued a full license.
To apply for a TIP you need to:
- Provide proof of identity, legal presence and residency
- Provide documentation of social security number
- Pass a vision and written knowledge test.
- For more information, see our Beginner Drivers section.
- See also Applying for a Drivers License.
- See also Driver's Education, Driving Schools and Practice Tests
- Bear in mind that in order to drive legally in the state of Michigan, you must have valid auto insurance. See our Auto Insurance section for more information, or to obtain a competitive quote on car insurance.