Apply for Georgia Drivers License
Applying for a Georgia drivers license is an easy and simple process and you should not have much trouble with it even if you have never been licensed before. First-time license applicants will have to start by applying for a drivers permit, while those who already have some driving experience may be able apply for a Georgia driver license right away. Those who would like to submit an application for a Georgia driver's license before reaching the age of 18 years will need to meet all graduated license requirements.
Driver License - Under 18 Years of Age
The risk of a teenage driver having a traffic accident is almost four times higher than that for an adult driver. In most cases, traffic accidents that involve teenagers are caused by lack of driving experience and failure to observe basic safety precautions. In the attempt to reduce the number of teen drivers who die on Georgia roads every year, the Department of Drivers Services has developed a set of laws and restrictions that counteract the most common causes of traffic accidents. These laws and restrictions came to be known as Georgia's graduated driver's license program and if you are applying for a driver license before the age of 18 years, you will have to meet all graduated license requirements.
The minimum age when you can enter the graduated license program is 15 years. At this age, visit a local DDS office, take a vision exam, a DDS permit test and file your application for a Georgia drivers permit (instructional CP permit). The permit allows you to practice driving while being supervised by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age.
You must hold a permit for at least a year and one day, be at least 16 years of age and complete a Georgia drivers education course plus either 6 hours of driving lessons with a professional driving instructor or a Parent Teen driving guide, which involves 40 hours of driving with your parents. If these requirements are met, you are good to schedule a drivers license test with the DDS. Those who pass the test are issued with a Georgia class D drivers license.
If you choose not to complete a drivers education course, you will have to wait until you are at least 17 years of age before you can apply for a class D driver's license in Georgia. The requirement for driving lessons still stands, whether you choose to take drivers ed or not.
Be advised that although called a “drivers license”, a class D drivers license is more like a provisional license and you will have to observe all Georgia class D license restrictions until you are 18 years of age. No additional testing will be required at the time.
Drivers License - 18 Years of Age and Older
Applying for a Georgia driver's license is much easier when you are at least 18 years of age since you do not need to concern yourself with the graduated license program. In fact, if you previously held a drivers license and have at least 40 hours of driving experience, you will not even have to apply for a drivers permit prior to submitting your application for a drivers license, you can just take the required tests and receive a license on the spot.
If you have not previously held a drivers license and did not accumulate at least 40 hours of driving experience, you will need to start by applying for a learners permit. You can apply for a permit by visiting the DDS, submitting the required paperwork and taking a vision exam and a drivers permit test. When you pass the tests, you are issued with a drivers permit that you can use to practice driving. Keep in mind that you are to observe all Georgia drivers permit restrictions, for example, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a person at least 21 years of age with a valid Georgia driver's license seated in the front seat next to you whenever you are driving. You have to receive a minimum of 40 hours of supervised driving instruction before you can proceed to applying for a Georgia driver's license and taking a road skills exam.
The good news is that once you pass the driving test, you are issued with an unrestricted Georgia driver's license.
Class D Drivers License
In Georgia, a class D driver's license is a restricted license that is issued under the state graduated drivers license program. This is the first license that allows unsupervised driving, however is still comes with certain drivers license restrictions.
If you are at least 16 years of age, you can apply for a class D driver's license, provided you have held your Georgia drivers permit for at least a year and one day, are at least 16 years of age, have completed a DDS-approved drivers education course and either six hours of driving lessons with a professional driver or a Parent-teen driving guide.
If you are at least 17 years of age, you can apply for a class D license without taking a drivers education course. All other requirements still stand.
The DDS has to make sure that you are physically and mentally capable of operating the vehicle and that you have the knowledge required for being a safe and responsible driver. When you apply for a Georgia drivers license, you are required to to take a vision exam, a learner's permit test and a driving test. You will also be required to answer a few health-related questions.
We cannot stress the importance of seeing well while operating a vehicle. Since you are traveling at such great speed, you need to be able to see far ahead, plus be aware of your surroundings all the time. You need to have a vision of 20/60 in one eye, with or without corrective lenses, and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees. If you wear your contact lenses while taking the exam, a restriction will be placed onto your driver's license that will require you to wear contact lenses while driving. If you are unable to meet vision requirements at the DDS, you will need to have an ophthalmologist or an optometrist to complete a Vision Report for you so you can file this report with your application for a Georgia drivers license.
Drivers Permit Test
A drivers permit test is based on the state driving rules, road signs and safe driving practices and is a must for all first-time drivers license applicants. Those who are exchanging an out-of-state license for a Georgia driver's license may be exempt from taking a DDS permit test.
Your Georgia permit test is based on the information contained in the official drivers license handbook, so you can use the book as your primary study guide when preparing for the exam. You may also compliment the book with Georgia practice drivers tests, should you want to test yourself before you go in for the real thing.
Drivers License Test
Taking a Georgia driver's license test is the final step of the application process. Contrary to the common belief, the driving test is not just about controlling your vehicle. During the drivers test, your drivers license examiner will also verify your knowledge of driving rules and your ability to apply that knowledge in real-life situations. In order to pass, you will need to get a minimum score of 75%.
In the process of applying for a Georgia drivers license, you will be required to present certain documents to prove your eligibility for a license. The following documents may be required at certain points of the application process:
- proof of identity
- proof of US citizenship or lawful presence
- proof of Georgia residency
If you are under 18 years of age, you may also be required to provide the following:
- proof of school attendance or completion
- drivers education certificate of completion
- a completed Parent Teen driving guide or an affidavit for six hours of professional driving lessons
- parental consent
You may find a list of documents that pass as acceptable proof of identity in the Georgia drivers license handbook. Alternatively, you may also call the DDS and get assistance on the phone.
As you may see, the application procedure is not that cumbersome and you may obtain your Georgia drivers license in no time at all, just take it one step at a time.