So you want to get a Georgia driver's license? Let's get you started!
The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) has a few different sets of procedures for getting your license, depending on your age. We'll break them down for you.
Drivers Who Are at Least 15 but Under 18 Years Old
For teenagers, the first step toward getting a driver's license is obtaining an instructional permit. This permit allows you to practice driving as long as you are with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old.
To get your permit, go to DDS in person and fill out an application. Be sure to bring the following items with you:
Verification of your identity, including your full name, date of birth, and address.
Your Social Security card or proof of ineligibility for a Social Security number.
Proof of US citizenship or your legal presence in the US if you are not a US citizen.
Proof that you are currently attending or have already graduated high school. You can also bring proof of passing a high school equivalency test.
The $10 application fee.
The next step is to pass a written exam. "If the applicant is 15 years old, they must go to the DDS and take a knowledge exam test," says Kirk Brisette, CEO and co-founder of DriveSmart Georgia. "This test is two parts: Road Rules and Signs."
Applicants will also have to pass a vision test.
Drivers Who Are at Least 16 but Under 18 Years Old
All new teen drivers have to obtain an instructional permit as a first step toward getting a Georgia driver's license. But once a young person turns 16 years old, they are allowed to apply for a provisional (teen) driver's license as well.
Here is what is required:
Driver's ed: Georgia requires all drivers license applicants under 18 years old to take an approved Georgia driver's ed course.
Before applying for a provisional driver's license, you must hold your instructional permit for at least one year.
Practice driving for at least 40 hours. At least six of those hours must be at night.
Complete an alcohol and drug awareness program (ADAP). These courses are available through your high school or online.
Complete an application form and apply for your provisional license in person at DDS.
Pass a road test. You can take the road test at any DDS customer service center, by appointment only. You can make the appointment at the center, or do it over the phone by calling (678) 413-8400.
When you go to apply for your provisional Georgia driver's license, be sure to bring the same documents as listed above for your instructional permit, including the $10 application fee. You'll have to pass a vision exam at this time too.
*Note, as of July 1, 2021, 17-year-olds in Georgia are now required to fulfill the Joshua's Law Drivers Education requirements in order to obtain their drivers license.
Adults Applying for a Standard Drivers License
You must complete all of the requirements listed above for a provisional driver's license, with a few exceptions. You don't have to get an instructional permit first before applying for a standard adult Georgia driver's license. However, if you don't get an instructional permit, you will still have to pass the written exam.
Adults are not required to take a Georgia driver's ed course or ADAP. However, they must still certify that they have practiced driving for 40 hours, at least six of which must be at night. They also have to pass the road test. The application fee for adults is $32.
Best of luck with your driver's license applications. Be safe out there!
*This article was updated on 6/11/2021.