16 Year Old Driving Laws in Michigan

By Andrea Griffith
Make sure your child understands the responsibility of driving before allowing him or her to get a driver's license.

Knowing and understanding your state's driving laws can help keep you safe while driving. According to Child Trends Data Bank, in 2004, 36 percent of all teen deaths in the United States were the result of motor vehicle crashes. Michigan has laws to help keep young drivers safe whether they're behind the wheel or just passengers.

Segment One

To obtain a Michigan intermediate license, teenagers must complete segment one of the Michigan Graduated Licensing System. A teenager can begin this segment when he or she is 14 years and eight months old. He or she must have parental consent, must pass a vision and health test and must participate in the state's driver education program. Before earning the intermediate license, a teen needs to complete 24 hours of driver education classroom instruction, six hours of driving instruction, four hours of driving observation and a written test. At the age of 14 years and nine months, a teen can apply for his or her learner's permit. With this license, he or she can drive with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old. If the adult is not the driver's parent or legal guardian, he or she must have a written note from the youth's parents. Before beginning segment two, a teen must complete at least 30 of daytime driving and two hours of night driving.

Segment Two

Once a teenager completes segment one and has had a learner's permit for at least three months, he or she can begin can segment two. At this point, Michigan requires a young driver to complete six hours of classroom instruction, as well has logging 50 hours of supervised driving time, before taking the state road test. Once this is done, the driver will receive a certificate of completion that must be presented to the test examiner before taking the road test. After passing the road test, a teen will receive an intermediate license.

Unsupervised driving

With a Michigan intermediate license, a teenager can drive unsupervised; however, there are strict laws implemented for that first year. If a teen receives any traffic violations, parking tickets or fault accidents, it could result in a suspended license. By law, a teen cannot drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.—doing so can also result in license suspension. The only exception to that law is if the teen is accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years or older or if he or she is driving to or from work. After completing a full year or driving with an intermediate license, a teenager will receive a regular Michigan driver's license at the age of 17.

Other Guidelines

According to the Michigan state government, the majority of crashes happen between 9 p.m. and midnight, so the state encourages parents to set curfews for new drivers. Teen drivers should restrict the number of passengers in the car because more passengers mean more distractions, and an inexperienced driver can easily get into an accident when there are too many distractions.

About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.