How to Get a Georgia Driver's License

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Like many teenagers, you're likely looking forward to the moment you'll get your first Georgia driver's license. It can be a major step toward adulthood, and it's a big responsibility to boot. That's why the state of Georgia has installed a thorough, step-by-step process to ensure that teen drivers are prepared to take to the road. Here's a breakdown of how to get a Georgia driver's license.

Step One: Getting an Instructional Permit

Before you can get behind the wheel, you'll need to get their instructional permit. Georgia residents must be 15 in order to apply. One of the trickiest parts of getting a permit is ensuring that you have all the necessary paperwork.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services requires applicants to bring:

  • One document to verify their identity (like a passport or birth certificate)
  • One document to verify their social security number (typically a social security card)
  • Two documents to verify their Georgia residence (like school records or bank statements)
  • Certificate of Attendance from their high school, signed within the last 30 days, or proof that they've earned their high school diploma or GED
  • A parent, guardian or approved driver's education teacher to sign their application
  • The $10 application fee in the form of a credit card, cash, check or money order

To get your instructional permit, you must also pass a vision exam and a written test. Permitted drivers are only allowed to drive if there is an adult with a valid Georgia driver's license who is 21 or older in the front seat.

Step Two: Earning a Class D License

The next step toward becoming a full-fledged driver, Georgia driver's license and all, is getting a Class D provisional license, which is available to 16 and 17-year-olds. You must have had you're permit for at least one year before you can apply for a Class D license. You'll also need to visit the Georgia DDS with all the same paperwork you brought along when getting your permit, where you'll take a driving exam.

Other requirements vary by age:

  • Sixteen-year-olds must complete an approved driver's education course, which requires 30 hours of classroom or online training, in addition to six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. Drivers who compete this course may be eligible for a discount on their insurance. Sixteen-year-olds are also required to log at least 40 hours of supervised driving, including at least six hours at night.
  • Seventeen-year-olds are not required to complete an approved driver's education course. They are, however, required to obtain 40 hours of supervised driving experience, including at least six hours at night.

Class D licenses come with several restrictions which must be closely observed, as violating them can interfere with your ability to get a Georgia driver's license when you turn 18. Class D license holders are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m., with no exceptions. They must also abide by the following passenger restrictions which are based on how long they've had their provisional license:

  • 0-6 months: All passengers must be immediate family
  • 6-12 months: Limit to one passenger under the age of 21 who is not immediate family
  • 12-24 months: Limit to three passengers under the age of 21 who are not immediate family

Step Three: Applying for a Georgia Driver's License

Once drivers turn 18, they are eligible for an unrestricted license as long as they haven't been convicted of any major traffic violations within the last 12 months. Class D provisional license holders have the option of applying for a Georgia driver's license either online or in-person. The fee for an unrestricted Georgia license is $32 and it must be renewed every 8 years.