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16 Year Old Driving Curfew In Michigan Explained

June 22, 2021 by Steven M. Gursten

16 Year Old Driving Curfew In Michigan Explained

The 16 year old driving curfew in Michigan is 10 pm to 5 am for 16-year-old teen drivers with a Level 2 graduated licensing status. The only exceptions are when driving with a parent, legal guardian or driver over 21, driving for work (including to and from) or to and from an authorized activity.

What is the 16 year old driving curfew in Michigan?

Under Michigan’s graduated licensing system, 16-year-old teen drivers with a Level 2 graduated licensing status “shall not operate a vehicle . . . [b]etween the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.” (MCL 257.310(6)(a))

Are there exceptions to the 16 year old driving curfew in Michigan?

The 16 year old driving curfew that runs from 10pm to 5am does not apply to Level 2 teen drivers when they are driving: (1) with a parent, legal guardian or driver over 21; (2) for work; (3) going to or from work; or (4) going to or from an authorized activity. (MCL 257.310e(6)(a))

The law defines “authorized activity” as any of the following:

  • “A school or a school-sanctioned event or activity. For purposes of this subdivision, school means a public or private school, including a home school.”
  • “A sporting event or activity, or extracurricular event or activity, that is not school-sanctioned but that is part of an official sports league or association or an official extracurricular club, or that is paid for as a service offered by a business specializing in those events or activities or training for those events or activities.”
  • “A class or program of vocational instruction offered by a college, community college, nonprofit association, or unit of government or by a business specializing in vocational training.”
  • “An event or activity sponsored by a religious organization that is tax-exempt under federal law.”
  • “Transporting an individual in need of immediate emergency care or personal protection to a health care professional, hospital, police station, domestic violence shelter, or public safety location.” (MCL 257.310e(15)

Penalty for violating the 16 year old driving curfew in Michigan

The penalty for violating the 16 year old driving curfew in Michigan is a civil infraction. A violation could also result in an extension of the 6-month minimum requirement for having a Level 2 permit as well as an extension of the 16 year old driving curfew and other driving restrictions. (MCL 257.310e(6), (7)(d) and (11))

Can 16-year-old drivers have passengers in the car?

16-year-old teen drivers with a Level 2 graduated licensing status cannot drive with “more than 1 passenger in the vehicle who is less than 21 years of age.” (MCL 257.310e(6)(b) However, there are limited exceptions.

A 16-year-old teen driver with a Level 2 graduated licensing status may drive without a passenger who is 21 or over if:

  • “The person is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or a licensed driver 21 years of age or older designated by the parent or legal guardian.”
  • “Any additional passengers who are less than 21 years of age are members of his or her immediate family.”
  • “The person is operating the vehicle in the course of his or her employment or while going to or from employment or while going to or from an authorized activity.” (MCL 257.310e(6)(b))

Can 16-year-old drivers talk on a cell phone?

No. Kelsey’s Law prohibits all teen drivers (regardless of age) with a Level 1 or Level 2 graduated licensing status from using a cell phone while driving to make a call, answer a call and/or talk or otherwise engage in a cell phone conversation. (MCL 257.602c(1))

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16 Year Old Driving Curfew In Michigan Explained

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