Michigan, bordering 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, is proud to be known as the state with the most lighthouses. Living in the largest state east of the Mississippi River, Michigan residents enjoy world-class attractions as well as vast scenic wonders. This “Winter Wonderland” attracts tourists for its beauty on the northern peninsula and for its major industry on the southern. Michigan drivers enjoy white winters and warm, pleasant summers, so Cheap Car Insurance has put all the information drivers will need right here in one spot. That way, Michigan drivers can spend time enjoying “The Wolverine State” instead of searching for information.


Michigan’s past reveals a spirit of change and adaptation. The state’s driving laws and regulations have changed quite a bit as well, so this list will help the driver easily understand the important points of driving in Michigan.

Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Michigan

  • Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services requires all Michigan vehicles to purchase no-fault automobile insurance. Michigan outlines the minimums for only the Residual Liability portion of the policy:
  • Liability Coverage minimums:
    • $20,000 per individual to cover bodily injury or death.
    • $40,000 per accident involving bodily injuries or deaths.
    • $10,000 for property damage.

Failure to maintain proper insurance can result in fines and vehicle impounds

New Driver Licensing Requirements:

  • Michigan’s booklet, What Every Driver Must Know, serves as its driver’s manual. All Michigan drivers must be properly licensed to operate a vehicle within the state, and all new drivers age 18 and older may obtain a license by completing the following steps:
    • Prove Michigan residency
    • Pass the vision and knowledge tests
    • Drive for at least 30 days on a Temporary Instruction Permit
    • Pass the road skills test and pay the appropriate fees
  • Drivers possessing an out-of-state license that is current may waive the knowledge and driving tests as well as the Temporary Instruction Permit.
  • Michigan drivers under the age of 18, however, must participate in the Graduated Driver’s License Program (GDL). Outlined in the manual, this program involves three licenses prior to obtaining a full driver’s license: Level 1 License, Level 2 License, Level 3 License:
    • Level 1 License. Applicants age 14 years, 8 months may enroll in Segment 1 of the driver education portion of the GDL. This includes:
      • 24 class hours
      • 6 hours of driving instruction
      • 4 hours of driving observation
    • Once the applicant has completed the driver education portion and has reached 14 years, 9 months of age, he/she may apply for the Level 1 License. The following applies in this stage:
      • The applicant must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.
      • The applicant must complete 50 hours of driving time, with 10 hours of night driving.
      • The applicant must hold the license for at least 6 consecutive months.
      • The applicant must complete Segment 2 of the driver education course. To do so, the applicant must:
        • Held the Level 1 License for at least 3 months
        • Log at least 30 of the 50 driving hours
    • Level 2 License. To hold a Level 2 License, the applicant must complete Level 1 and pass the driving skills test. During this level, the following applies:
      • Must be at least 16 years of age
      • May not drive between 10 pm and 5 am unless:
        • Driving to and from employment or an “authorized activity” (refer to the driver’s manual)
        • Accompanied by a parent/legal guardian or a licensed driver age 21 or older
      • Hold the license for at least 6 months
      • May not drive with a passenger under age 21, with a few exceptions listed in the driver’s manual
    • Level 3 License. Applicants who successfully complete Levels 1 and 2 and reach age 17 will automatically move to a Level 3. This license becomes a full license when the holder turns 18.
  • Vision Exam. For an unrestricted license, applicants must pass the vision test with a visual acuity of at leat 20/40 and a peripheral of at least 140 degrees. Restrictions apply to drivers with visual acuity of less than 20/40 to 20/50 and a peripheral vision of less than 140 to 110 degrees. Daylight driving restrictions may be applied to drivers with visual acuity of less than 20/50 to 20/70.
  • Knowledge Test. The knowledge test is a written exam that evaluates the applicant’s understanding of basic traffic laws, regualations, signs and procedures. Information to pass the test can be found in the Michigan driver’s manual.
  • Road Skills Test. The road skills test evaluates the applicant’s ability regarding vehicle knowledge and control. Michigan has provided the Road Skills Test Study Guide to prepare applicants for the exam. The test consists of 3 parts:
    • The Vehicle Inspection
    • Basic Control Skills
    • On-Street Driving Test
  • Lists for the items included in the vehicle inspection and for the reguired maneuvers/knowledge to pass the driving test are included in the study guide.
  • Fees. Every applicant must pay a $25 fee for a new Michigan drivers license


  • BAC limit: .08 Michigan’s Secretary of State has provided a web page full of useful information regarding the state’s Operating While Intoxicated (OUI) laws. Listed below are the major penalties for OWI convictions in Michigan:
  • First Offense:
    • Fine: $100 – $500 and one or more of the following
      • maximum 93 days in jail
      • maximum 360 hours community service
    • License suspension: 30 days followed by a restricted license for 150 days
    • Possible Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
    • Possible vehicle immobilization
    • Driver Responsibility Fee: $1,000 for 2 consecutive years
    • BAC of .17 or higher increases the severity of each penalty
  • Second Offense within 7 Years:
    • Fine: $200 – $1,000 and one or more of the following:
      • Jail: 5 days to 1 year
      • 30 to 90 days community service
    • License revocation: 1 year
    • License plate confiscation
    • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture
    • Driver Responsibility Fee: $1,000 for 2 consecutive years
  • Third Offense within a Lifetime – Felony:
    • Fine: $500- $5,000 and one of the following:
      • Jail: 1 to 5 years
      • Probation with 30 days to 1 year in jail
    • Community service: 60 to 180 days
    • License revocation: minimum 1 year
    • License plate confiscation
    • Vehicle immobilization: 1 to 3 years
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture
    • Vehicle registration denial
    • Driver Responsibility Fee: $1,000 for 2 consecutive years

OWI offenses involving minors, serious injury or death greatly increase penalties including permanent license revocations.

Texting & Driving Laws

Michigan has banned texting for all drivers, according to Distraction.gov. Cell phone use, whether handheld or hands-free, is band from all novice drivers.

Unique Laws

Michigan does a good job of keeping its citizens organized and honest. For instance, in Harper Woods, it is illegal to paint a sparrow with the purpose of selling it as a parakeet. It is also illegal for a man to make faces at his wife on Sundays, and if one would like to keep one’s cow on main street, the cost is 3 cents per day!


Best Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for Michigan

[additional_info state=’mi’]

CheapCarInsurance.net Methodology

Car insurance quotes are for one car and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 40 years old, female, married, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no moving violations, accidents, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicles are assumed to be garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Car insurance quotes include commonly available discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.

Average Car Insurance Premiums

NAIC.org reports that Michigan’s auto insurance premiums have fluctuated above and below the national average for many years. Both the state’s average premiums and its average premiums as a percentage of income remain above the national average.
[lineChartAverageCarInsPrem state=’Michigan’]
[lineChartAverageCarIns_Percentage_Of_Income state=’Michigan’]

Drunk Driving Fatalities

Michigan, after a rise in drunk driving fatalities in 2011, has since seen a drop off, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The state is below the national average and showing a downward trend.
[lineChart_Drunk_Driving state=’Michigan’]

Teen Drinking and Driving

Michigan reports that its teens drink and drive less than teens across the nation.
[barChart_Teen_Drinking_Driving state=’Michigan’]

Vehicular Theft in Michigan

According to a recent study by the FBI, Michigan’s auto thefts usually exceed the national average. That changed in 2014 when thefts dropped just below the national average.
[lineChart_Motor_Vehicle_Theft state=’Michigan’]


State Department of Insurance

Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
611 W Ottawa St, 3rd Floor
Lansing, MI 48933-1070
(517) 373-0220
877-999-6442 (Toll-Free)
Get Directions

Department of Transportation

Michigan Department of Transportation
State Transportation Building
425 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-2090
Get Directions

Department of Motor Vehicles

Michigan Secretary of State
3315 Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912
(888) SOS-MICH
(888) 767-6424
Get Directions

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