Licensing & State Laws
Georgia’s multi-stage driver licensing process allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing them into driving over an extended period of time. The instructional permit and intermediate stages are key steps.
At age 15, teens can apply for an instructional permit in the state of Georgia. The teen must pass the written and vision tests, present a signed school attendance form and have a signed parent consent form.
With an instructional permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat.
Georgia’s law requires teens seeking a first time license to take a “Joshua’s Law” 30-hour driving course in conjunction with 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training. AAA’s 30-hour online driving course is approved by the Georgia Division of Driver Service and satisfies the 30-hour classroom requirement.
Intermediate/Provisional Driver’s License
When teens turn 16, have had an instructional permit for at least one year without any traffic violations, completed 40 hours of practice driving (6 of which must be at night), passed a behind-the-wheel driving test, completed a vision test and provided proof of practice driving time, they can apply for the intermediate license.
Legal guardians must accompany their teens to the DMV to sign the application form, or their signature must be notarized on the form.
They must also have completed a driver education course approved by the Department of Driver Services. Teens who do not complete an approved driver education course cannot obtain an intermediate license until age 17.
Teens with intermediate licenses may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. For the first 6 months, they may not drive with any passengers other than family members. For the second 6 months, they may not drive with more than one passenger under age 21 other than family members. After 12 months with an intermediate license, they may not drive with more than three passengers under age 21 other than family members.
At age 18, teens can obtain a full unrestricted driver’s license if they have had no major traffic convictions during the previous 12 months. Such violations include driving under the influence, drag racing, reckless driving or any violation that adds 4 or more penalty points on the driver’s license.
A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.
The Georgia Department of Driver Services is in charge of licensing for all drivers in Georgia. The GDDS conducts the written exam and road test needed to get a driver’s license. It also provides study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams.
Remind your teen that police can and will enforce all requirements on seat belt use, drinking and driving and other laws. Breaking the law can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties. Talk to your teen about these and other consequences, and explain what to do if stopped by police.
- If stopped by the police, teens should expect to present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- If stopped as a driver or passenger, teens should always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, teens should talk to their parents about it, because this can create a learning experience.
If your teen gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance. Judges deal seriously and directly with teen traffic violations. They can assess fines and suspend driving privileges for traffic offenses—even for a first offense.