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How to Get A Driver’s License in Georgia (A Complete 2022 Guide)

How to Get A Driver’s License in Georgia (A Complete Guide)

Each state has different steps and requirements to get a driver’s license, so we know it can be confusing.

Well, we’re here to help anyone that lives in Georgia. 

If you’re looking for a COMPLETE guide on how to get a driver’s license in Georgia, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Our guide will walk you through the ENTIRE process — from figuring out what documents you need to going through all the stages of Georgia’s graduated license program.

With this, you’ll know everything you need to know in full order. 

So shall we begin?

Georgia Driver’s License Requirements 

Georgia has a Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA). This gives you your driving privileges in stages.

You’ll go through 3 phases:

  • Getting your Instructional Permit (Class CP)
  • Earning Your Provisional License (Class D)
  • Receiving Your Full Driver’s License (Class C)

Don’t worry — we’ll detail the steps in each one. 

Are you ready? Let’s go!

How to Get An Instructional Permit (Class CP) in Georgia

You become eligible for an instructional permit once you turn 15. If so, you can start the process of getting your Class CP license.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. You need to gather several documents. Here’s a checklist of what you need:
  • One document proving your identity. You can use a certified birth certificate or U.S. passport.

NOTE: Those who aren’t U.S. citizens must include a document showing their lawful status.

  • One document with your Social Security number
  • Two documents proving your Georgia residency. This must be dated within the last 6 months

NOTE: For applicants who do not attend a traditional secondary school:

  • Homeschooled applicants must present a Certificate of Enrollment from Georgia’s Department of Education or a declaration filed with the DOE.
  • Applicants who are not enrolled but under 18 must provide one of these:
    • High school diploma
    • Special diploma
    • Certification of high school completion
    • GED or proof that you’re enrolled in a GED program
  1. Complete the Online License/ID/Permit form in the DDS Online Services portal. You must bring a copy of the form when you take your knowledge exam.
  1. Visit a DDS Customer Service Center and submit all the documents you prepared. A guardian or a parent must accompany you and sign the License/ID/Permit form in the presence of a DDS employee.

NOTE: If you already have an out-of-state permit, you must surrender it. If you’ve lost it, you must present a copy of your driving record dated within the last 60 days. You can also request your previous state’s agency to fax a copy directly to DDS.

  1. Take and pass the vision test.
  1. Take and pass the knowledge exam.
  1. Take a photo.
  1. Pay the $10 permit fee. Note: it is not refundable, so if you don’t pass the knowledge exam on your first try, you’ll have to make another payment.

And you’re done! 

You now have an instructional permit, allowing you to drive. However, don’t forget that your driving privileges are restricted.

You must have someone at least 21 years old and has a valid Class C license in the front seat at all times. 

How to Get A Provisional License (Class D) in Georgia

There’s a lot of preparation before you can switch from a Class CP license to a Class D license (also known as the Provisional License)

To make it easier to understand, let’s break it down into segments. 

Establishing Eligibility

You can apply for a Provisional License when you can check off all these boxes:

  • You’ve had your permit for at least 1 year and 1 day

NOTE: Applicants who are 17 and have enlisted are exempted, providing you submit a completed Verification of Enrollment in Military Service Form (DS-517).

  • You are already 16 years old
  • You did not commit any major traffic violations that led to your permit’s suspension
  • You have complied with Joshua’s Law Requirement

Understanding Joshua’s Law

Joshua’s Law is Senate Bill 226. It states that 16- and 17-year-old Provisional License applicants must complete a teen driver’s education program.

Teen driver’s ed in Georgia comprises 2 parts: classroom training and behind-the-wheel instruction. Fortunately, you can choose between these 4 options:

MethodClassroomBehind-the-Wheel
130 hours of classroom instruction at a certified school40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian (6 of which must be at night)
230 hours of classroom instruction at a certified school40 hours parent-taught BTW using the Parent/Teen Driving Guide.
330 hours of online instruction with a certified online driving school40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian (6 of which must be at night)
430 hours of online instruction with a certified online driving school40 hours parent-taught BTW using the Parent/Teen Driving Guide.

Applying for a Class D License

Once you’re eligible, here are the steps to get your provisional license in Georgia:

  1. Complete an Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP).
  1. Prepare the following documents:
  • Proof of identity
  • 2 proofs of Georgia residence
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful status
  • ADAP certificate of completion
  • Proof of school enrollment or its equivalent
  • Your driver’s ed certification of completion
  1. Complete the online form in the DDS Online Service portal. Remember, you must bring a copy of the form and have your parent/guardian/driving instructor sign it in front of a DDS representative. 
  1. Schedule your road test through the DDS Online Service website.
  1. Prepare your road test vehicle. 

NOTE: You must bring your own vehicle to the road test because Georgia DDS does not provide one. It must pass a safety inspection before you can begin.

Depending on your situation, you will need to bring supporting documents:

SituationRequired Documents
The vehicle is your parents’ or guardian’sA valid insurance cardA copy of the vehicle registration
You’re using a rentalThe rental agreement with your name on it
Your vehicle is new (bought within the last 30 days) or has temporary tagsBill of sale
  1. Visit the DDS Service Center on your scheduled appointment and submit your documents. 
  1. Take and pass a vision test.
  1. Take and pass the road test.
  1. Have your photo taken.
  1. Pay the $10 license fee.
  1. Surrender your Instructional Permit (Class CP)

Congratulations! You’ve now upgraded to a Class D license!

Now, when you turn 18, you can upgrade it to a full driver’s license or Class C license through DDS’ online card services. You can also download the DDS 2 GO mobile app and do it from there. 

For the upgrade, you’ll need to pay a $32 license fee. 

Knowing Your Class D Restrictions 

Since Class D isn’t the full license yet, you will still have some restrictions. These are:

  • You cannot drive between 12 am to 5 am. There are no exceptions to this.
  • For the first 6 months, only immediate family members can ride with you
  • For the second 6 months, only 1 person under 21 who is not part of your immediate family can ride with you
  • After 1 year, 3 people under 21 who are not part of your immediate family can ride with you 

How to Get A Full Driver’s License (Class C) in Georgia

We get it. 

Not everyone gets their first driver’s license before they turn 18. 

What if you’re just getting started but are already 18 years old or older?

Well, you don’t need to get an instructional permit anymore.

Instead, here are the steps to getting your Class C license in Georgia: 

  1. Practice driving for 40 hours, with which 6 hours must be done at night. 
  1. Prepare all the necessary documents. These include:
    • Proof of identity
    • 2 proofs of Georgia residence
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful status
    • Documents for your vehicle (see above for required documents)
  1. Complete the online form through the DDS online portal. Here, you will be required to encode your complete Social Security number.
  1. Schedule your road test online here. 
  1. Go to a DDS service center and submit all your documents. If you transferred from out of state and already have a license, you must surrender it.

NOTE: If you lost your previously-issued license, you must present a copy of your driving records pulled within the last 60 days. You can also ask your previous state’s agency to send it directly to DDS through fax.

  1. Fill out and sign the Driving Experience Affidavit (Form DDS-7) to prove 40 hours of driving practice. You can find the form at the DDS office. 
  1. Take and required tests, including:
    • Vision test
    • Knowledge test
    • Road test
  1. Have your photo taken.
  1. Pay the $32 license fee.

Tada! You are now a fully licensed driver in Georgia. 

Congrats!

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you even further, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about driver’s licenses in Georgia. 

Can I get my license online in Georgia?

No. However, Georgia now has a lot of online services that can help make the whole process easier. 

For one, you can now take your driver’s ed online. On top of that, you can also apply for a permit or license online, as well as schedule road tests. 

Can you get a license in Georgia without a road test?

In 2020, Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order stating that teens can upgrade their instructional permits to licenses without completing an in-person road test due to the Coronavirus.

Currently, there are 2 ways to take the road skills test — in person and virtually. The latter involves an examiner who conducts it remotely.

Your parent or guardian sits with you and acts as your passenger in the vehicle during the exam.

How many questions are in the Georgia permit test?

There are 40 questions on the Georgia permit test. 

The test comprises 2 exams. One is on road rules, while the other is on road signs. Each exam has 20 items. You need a score of 15 in each to pass.

How do I study for my permit test in Georgia?

The best document to study is the Georgia DDS Handbook. Also, taking an exam prep can increase your chances of passing the knowledge exam on your first try.

You can take a practice test from the DDS website for free. Another option is to complete your driver’s ed course with an online provider that includes an exam prep program. 

For example, DriverEdToGo offers practice tests as an upgrade for $10, while DriversEd gives you unlimited ones for free! Find out more here.

The Wrap Up

And there you have it — EVERYTHING you need to know on how to get a driver’s license in Georgia.

As you can see, starting at the young age of 15 will make you go through stages. These stages will help you become a responsible and safe driver. 

But if you’re already above 18 years old, then the process might be shorter, but you’ll have to do everything at once. 

So now that you know what to do, it’s time to get started right away!

What are you waiting for?

Good luck!

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