Licensing & State Laws
To get your driver’s license in Georgia, you’ll move through three licensing stages. As you progress, you’ll also need your parents’ permission at each step.
At age 15, you can apply for an instructional permit in the state of Georgia. You must pass the written and vision tests, and have a signed parent consent form.
With an instructional permit, you may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older who has a valid driver’s license or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. You must complete 40 hours of practice driving (6 of which must be at night) with a parent or guardian. You must also take a 30-hour “Joshua’s Law” driving course and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training. AAA’s 30-hour online driving course is approved by the Georgia Division of Driver Services and satisfies the 30-hour classroom requirement.
- Keep track of your practice driving with the AAA Driving Log.
Intermediate/ Provisional Driver’s License
When you turn 16 and have had an instructional permit for at least 1 year without any traffic violations, passed a behind-the-wheel driving test, completed a vision test and complete and provided proof of practice driving time, you can apply for this intermediate license. You must also have completed the required driver education course approved by the Department of Driver Services. A legal guardian must accompany you to the DMV to sign the application form, or their signature must be notarized on the form. If you do not complete an approved driver’s education course, you cannot obtain an intermediate license until age 17.
When you have an intermediate license you may not drive between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. For the first 6 months, you cannot drive a motor vehicle when any other passenger in the vehicle is not a member of your immediate family. For the second 6 months, you cannot drive a motor vehicle with more than one other passenger in the vehicle (who is not a member of the driver’s immediate family) less than age 21. After 12 months, you cannot drive a motor vehicle with more than three other passengers in the vehicle (who are not members of the driver’s immediate family) less than age 21.
At age 18, you can obtain a full unrestricted driver’s license if you 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 with 4 or more points of penalty on the driver’s license.
For more information on the licensing process, visit the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
The Georgia Department of Driver Services is in charge of licensing for all drivers in the state.
- Conducts the written exam and road test for your instructional permit and intermediate license.
- Provides study materials to help you get ready for the exams.
- Keeps track of your license status and can suspend your license if you get too many tickets, don’t keep insurance on your car or commit other violations.
Your parents will do most of the rule setting and enforcement as you learn to drive. But state and local police are involved, too.
Police enforce traffic laws and investigate crashes. By enforcing traffic laws and requirements on seat belt use, distracted driving, drinking and driving, and teen licensing laws, police keep everyone on the road safer. Breaking laws can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.
- If pulled over by the police, present your driver’s license, the vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- If stopped as a driver or passenger, always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
- If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, talk to your parents about it immediately afterward.
If you get a ticket or are involved in a crash, you may need to appear in court, whether you believe you were at fault or not. This is serious stuff: Judges often assess fines and suspend driving privileges for traffic offenses.
- Use a parent-teen driving agreement.
- Keep your parents in the know about who you ride with.
- Let your parents know when and where you’re headed.
- StartSmart: Practice Driving – AAA’s tips for parents and teens about practice driving.
- StartSmart: Always Use Seat Belts – 63 percent of 16- to 20-year-olds who die in car crashes aren’t buckled up.
- StartSmart: Distractions and Driving – Read about the most common distractions, and get helpful advice for teens and parents.