Georgia Graduated License Program - Joshua's Law Drivers License Requirements
Georgia has its own version of the graduated drivers license program, which comes under the name of Joshua's law. The bill was passed during the 2005 Senate's General Assembly and went into effect on January 1, 2007. Georgia graduated license laws mandate the licensing procedure for drivers who are under 18 years of age and sets a number of additional restrictions for youngsters.
The reason why teenagers have to follow a different procedure when it comes to obtaining a drivers license is the fact that teenagers have the highest traffic accident rates among all age groups. A number of factors contribute to this and lack of driving experience is just one of them. Teenage drivers much more likely to be distracted by peers present in the vehicle, cellular phones or a simple radio. Teenage drivers frequently fail to correctly judge the situation and predict the consequences, which is probably why they are more likely to display risk taking behavior.
The graduated drivers license law was introduced to address all of these problems and it achieves this by breaking the licensing process into a number of steps and gradually granting a teen driver with more privileges as new driving skills are learned. Georgia Joshua's law also sets the minimum age for a full drivers license at 18.
You must remember that the Joshua's law restrictions and requirements apply only to drivers who are under 18 years of age. If you are 18 or older, you can apply for a Georgia drivers license omitting all of these steps.
Georgia Graduated License Phases
The California graduated license process has three definitive stages and its key steps are very similar to graduated license programs of other states. The licensing process is divided into three steps:
- Learners permit
- Class D drivers license (restricted license)
- Class C driver license (regular license)
The student starts by taking a Georgia permit test and obtaining a temporary instructional permit. The permit allows students to gain some driving experience while being supervised by another licensed driver and to fulfill other Joshua's law requirements. The permit is then updated to a class D drivers license, which, in turn, culminates in achievement of a regular class C license.
Georgia Drivers Permit
The minimum age when you can apply for a Georgia learners permit is 15. You have to remember that you will need to take a driving permit test at the DDS, so you better start studying for it well in advance. Once done with the books, take a few Georgia practice learners tests that will help you identify the areas you may need to study a bit more. Practice permit tests also help you get adjusted to the wording which will be used on your real permit test.
Once you receive your permit, you may start driving while being supervised by another licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. The supervisor must be seated next to you and must be able to take control of the vehicle at any time.
During this stage of the graduated license program, the state also requires you to compete two compulsory classes - the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP) and a drivers education class. The ADAP course is usually taken at high school as part of your regular curriculum, but if you miss the class at school, you may sign up for one of the catch-up classes at the DDS.
When it comes to taking a drivers ed class, you are presented with the abundance of choice. The state supports pretty much every type of drivers ed, you can sign up for one of the Georgia online drivers education classes, take a class in person at high school, attend lessons through a commercial driving school or complete a home study program - all these options are available to you and allow you to fulfill your Joshua's law requirements. Just make sure that the course you are signing up for is approved by the state - you can check the list of certified drivers education classes at the DDS's website.
In addition to the above course, you will also need to fulfill the driving requirements at this stage. When it comes to taking behind the wheel lessons, you have a number of options.
- Complete 6 hours of behind the wheel lessons with an instructor and then 40 more hours of supervised driving with your parents.
- Complete the Parent Teen Driving Program with your parents, as prescribed by the Parent Teen Driving Guide. If you choose this option, you automatically fulfill the requirement for 40 hours of supervised driving and the best thing is - the program is free while professional lessons will cost you around $300.
Once these requirements have been fulfilled and you have held the permit for at least 1 year and 1 day, you may schedule a driving test and apply for your class d drivers license. Current graduated license laws state that if you choose not to complete drivers education at this stage, you will not be eligible for a class D license until you turn 17.
Class D Restricted License
The minimum age for obtaining a class D license is 16, provided you completed drivers ed and met the learners permit requirements stated above. The license allows you to drive unsupervised, but it comes with the following restrictions:
- Curfew. No driving between midnight and 6 a.m.
- For the first 6 months following the issuance of the license only immediate family members are allowed as passengers.
- During the second 6 months following the issuance of the license only one passenger who is under 21 years of age who is not a member of the driver's immediate family.
- No traffic convictions for 12 months preceding the application for a drivers license.
If these restrictions are met, you will be able to apply for a full driver license once you turn 18. You can get more details on class D drivers license requirements in the Georgia drivers manual.
Full Drivers License
The minimum age for a class C drivers license is 18. At this age, all restrictions that you may have had on the class D license are removed and you can drive just like any other driver out there.