Sarah Lightner, a Republican senator from the state introduced the bill last Thursday, referring it to Michigan's Committee on Transportation after calling parallel parking "an outdated practice." She stated that the bill was being introduced after her constituents complained that they were failing their license test before even reaching the public road. Lightner says that failing the test over a moot issue makes the process "a money game".
Specifically, the bill states that "The Secretary of State shall not require an applicant for an operator’s license to demonstrate proficiency in the skill of parallel parking to successfully complete a driving skills test.”
A poll sponsored by a local news station revealed that 46 percent of respondents were in favor or dropping parallel parking from the practical demonstration of the driver's license test. And while the bill would not alter the requirements for curriculum taught in driver training programs, high school students have admitted that they would rather study areas which would be required for them to pass rather than optional material.
Michigan would also not be the first state to drop parallel parking from its test requirements. Presently, a total of 16 U.S. states do not require proficiency in parallel parking in order to pass a driver's test, with the most recent state to have dropped the requirement being Maryland in 2015.
If you're thinking about taking your driver's license test in Michigan in the near future, don't stop practicing now. The bill must pass both chambers of the Legislature and be accepted by the state's Governor in order to be enacted. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to take the test in a self-parking car.