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Michigan Learners Permit Restrictions - MI Driving Permit Rules

Michigan Permit Restrictions - Michigan Driving Permit Rules

Just like in many other states, the procedure that needs to be followed for obtaining a Michigan drivers license depends on the age of the applicant. In fact, even the type of a drivers permit that you get depends on your age. Applicants who are under 18 years of age are subject to the Michigan graduated license law and they are issued with a level 1 and level 2 restricted driver licenses before they can get a full license. Those who choose to apply for a drivers license after they turn 18 are issued with a temporary instruction permit. All of these permitting documents come with certain permit restrictions and observance of these rules is mandatory. Failure to observe the Michigan driving permit rules will result in your permit being suspended or canceled.

Why Do We Need Michigan Permit Restrictions

The Michigan driving permit rules serve one purpose - to increase the safety on public roads. Inexperienced drivers are highly likely to be involved in a traffic accident because they simply don't have the skills required to avoid a potentially hazardous situation. Experience is everything when it comes to driving, it allows you to recognize a potential accident a long time before it happens. Having a Michigan driving permit allows you to gain this essential driving experience while being supervised by another licensed driver who will steer you clear of any possible danger.

Teenage drivers are in the highest risk group when it comes to driving and lack of driving experience is not the only factor that contributes to this. Teens are more likely to get distracted by peers, they tend to engage in a risk-taking behavior and they are less capable of foreseeing the consequences of their actions. This is why the state has a special Michigan graduated drivers license program that governs the licensing procedure for teenage drivers and specified what permit restrictions must be observed by this age group. There is a lot of information on the GDL laws in the Michigan drivers handbook, so make sure to check it out.

Michigan Driving Permit Rules - Over 18

If you are over 18 years of age, you will have to take a Michigan drivers permit test at one of the SOS offices before you can be issued with your temporary instruction permit. Teenage drivers usually take this test as part of the segment 1 drivers education class, but you are not required to take the class. If you are looking for some study materials, you can refer to the official drivers handbook and supplement it with some Michigan permit practice tests.

The following permit restrictions apply to the Michigan temporary instructions permit:

  • Supervised driving only. You must have a licensed driver 21 years old or older seated next to you at all times while operating a motor vehicle. You are not allowed to drive alone.
  • No cell phones. Using communication devices while driving is not permitted. If you have to make a phone call, please stop, switch off the engine and make your call.

You must hold your permit for at least 30 days prior to applying for a Michigan drivers license and you must observe these learners permit restrictions during this period. Once you take a road skills exam and obtain a full license, the restrictions will be lifted.

Michigan Permit Restrictions - Under 18

Those who apply for a drivers license before they turn 18 have to go through 3 phases of the graduated license system. Each phase has it's own type a a drivers license and comes with a set of restrictions.

Level 1 Drivers License Restrictions

If you currently hold a level 1 Michigan driver license, you must observe the following license requirements:

  • Supervising driving only. The license holder may only drive while accompanied by a licensed parent, legal guardian or designated drivers age 21 or older
  • No communication devices. You cannot use your cell phone while driving a car
  • Traffic violations. No traffic infractions are allowed during the 90 days immediately preceding the application for a level 2 license

In addition to the restrictions, you must also fulfill the Michigan drivers education and supervised driving requirements. Once these conditions are met and you have held your level 1 license for at least 180 days, you can upgrade to a level 2 drivers license, which will require taking a driving test.

Level 2 Drivers License Requirements

The level 2 drivers license has substantially less restrictions than the level 1 license and it allows you to drive unsupervised. However, certain restrictions still need to be observed.

  • Curfew. No unsupervised driving allowed between midnight and 5 a.m. If you need to travel during this period, you must have a supervising driver accompany you.
  • Cell phones. Same as for the level 1 license holders, no cells phones are allowed to those driving a vehicle.

The level 2 license restrictions are removed when you are upgraded to a level 3 Michigan drivers license.