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In 2005, Joshua's Law was passed by the Georgia General Assembly to help reduce the number of traffic accidents involving young drivers. The law, which took effect in 2007, primarily affects drivers who are 16 and 17, and it impacts them differently depending on their age.
If you're 16, Joshua's Law mandates that you must complete an approved driver's education course before you can get your Class D provisional license. The Georgia Department of Driver Services has compiled a list of certified driver training schools, which offer this course at an average cost of about $250.
The course includes 30 hours of classroom or online training, in addition to six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. If you complete this course, you might be eligible for an insurance discount.
If you're 17, you're not required to take a driver's education course before applying for a provisional license. You are, however, still affected by Joshua's Law.
In addition to requiring 16-year-olds to complete a driver's education course, Joshua's Law also mandates that all teen drivers must log at least 40 hours of supervised driving, including at least six hours of driving at night, before they can receive a Class D license.
This practice is typically overseen by a parent or guardian, who is required to submit written verification that it took place.
In order to get behind the wheel, even for practice, you must have your instructional permit. In Georgia, you can apply for your instructional permit at 15.
If you're 16 or 17, and you've fulfilled your Joshua's Law requirements, then you're ready to get your Class D provisional license. To do this, you'll need to have had your permit for at least one year. You'll also need to be prepared to pass a driving exam administered by the Georgia DDS.