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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Georgia

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    1) Choose Your License

    From teen drivers to folks who've just moved to the state, every Georgia resident must have a valid Georgia driver's license (or permit) in order to legally operate a motor vehicle. Georgia's Department of Driver Services (DDS) offers the following kinds of licenses:

    • Class C Licenses for driving regular vehicles and are available to drivers who are at least 18 years of ageand are the licenses discussed here.
    • Class A, B, AP, and BP Licenses are licenses and instructional permits for driving larger vehicles that aren't classified as commercial vehicles (see below).
    • Class M and MP Licenses are motorcycle licenses and permits.
    • Class A, B, and C Commercial Licenses (CDLs) are licenses for driving commercial vehicles.

    Teens should visit our Teen Drivers section for instructions specific to you.

    2) Take a Driver’s Education Course

    Driver's education isn't a requirement, but it's a good idea to take a supplemental course to improve your driving skills and learn the new driving laws.

    3) Prepare for the Test

    The Georgia Driver's Manual is a great help when you're studying for your test, and you can even take a few practice tests to help prepare yourself for the real thing.

    4) Locate a DDS Customer Service Center

    Georgia offers the chance to make reservations for certain driver license transactions, such as those involving teens and out-of-state drivers. Call and make an appointment with your nearest DDS Customer Service Center.

    5) Make Test-Day Preparations

    Class C

    On the day of your test, be prepared to:

    • Complete the application (available only at your DDS Customer Service Center).
    • Exchange your Class CP instructional permit or Class D provisional license. (Only drivers who went through the GDL process, or who opted to hold a Class CP license before applying for a Class C license, will have one or the other.)
    • Pay the appropriate fee ($20 for a 5 years term, or $32).
    • Give your Social Security number. The DDS doesn't require you to show your Social Security card, but they will penalize you if you give the incorrect number.
    • Show proof of identity, your Social Security number and two proofs of residency (Georgia provides a list of acceptable documents.)
    • Pass a vision exam.
    • Have your picture taken for your license.

    Noncommercial Class A and B

    In order to apply for a noncommercial Class A or B license, you must be at least 18 years of age and already have a Class C license. If that's you, make an appointment with your nearest Customer Service Center and be prepared to:

    • Complete the application (available only at your DDS Customer Service Center).
    • Pay the appropriate fee ($20 for a 5 years term, or $32).
    • Pass the same knowledge exams as given to CDL applicants.
    • Pass a vision exam.
    • Complete a Application for Issuance of Non-Commercial E/F License (Form DS-36).

    6) Take the Written Test

    If you're a new-to-Georgia driver who can present a valid out-of-state license (one that hasn't been expired for more than two years), you're exempt from the written knowledge exam.

    If you've lost your out-of-state license, you must either present a letter of clearance or certified driving record from your old state. If your out-of-state license has been expired for more than 2 years, you must take the written knowledge exam.

    First-time drivers must take the written knowledge exam. In addition to any driver education course you complete, studying the Georgia Driver's Manual is a great way to prepare for the exam. The exam includes questions regarding road signs and road rules and the questions are taken from information in the manual.

    The written knowledge exam is administered on a walk-in basis at every DDS Customer Service Center. While the road rules tests are available in some non-English languages, Georgia expects all applicants to show they can read and understand simple English. All road signs tests are administered in English.

    NOTE: Oral tests are available for applicants with special needs.

    Once You Pass

    You can take your driving test the next day.

    7) Get a Car

    Driver training courses generally provide vehicles for the learning process, but you'll need to provide your own once it's time to test―and hit the road with your new license.

    You may already have a vehicle to use, or you may be interested in purchasing a new or used vehicle (in which case a vehicle history report is an excellent tool in the decision-making process). Whatever your situation, make sure your vehicle is registered and insured according to Georgia laws.

    8) Get Car insurance

    In Georgia, it's mandatory for all vehicles, including those used for driving tests, to have a policy that meets the minimum liability insurance requirements. Our Insurance Center can help you make sure your insurance policy adequately covers your vehicle in Georgia―at the right price.

    9) Take the Driving Test

    All first-time Georgia drivers must take a driving exam. You can make an appointment for your driving exam, but note that unsafe weather conditions cancel all driving exams. Regardless of the license class for which you're testing (Class C, or noncommercial Class A or B), you must provide your own properly insured vehicle and it must be able to pass a safety inspection.

    Once You Pass

    In most cases, the DDS Customer Service Center will issue you your driver's license immediately.

    10) Receive Your License in the Mail

    If for some reason the DDS Customer Service Center can't issue you your driver's license immediately, they'll issue you a temporary license valid until you receive your permanent license in the mail. Please make sure the DDS has your most recent mailing address.

    If you don't receive your permanent license, you can contact your DDS Customer Service Center or call: (678) 413-8400, (678) 413-8500, (678) 413-8600, or toll-free at (866) 754-3687 for drivers outside the metro Atlanta area.

    Non-Citizens

    Georgia accepts valid out-of-country and International driver's licenses, and you can generally drive in Georgia for one year with one or the other. However, if you become a resident you must apply for a Georgia driver's license.

    How to Apply as a Non-Citizen

    1. Schedule an appointment with your nearest DDS Customer Service Center.
    2. Be prepared to take the vision, written knowledge, and driving exams, as well as pay the fee of $20.
    3. Provide your Social Security number or present a Form SSA-L676 if you aren't a citizen or aren't legally authorized to work in the United States. (The Social Security Administration provides these forms.)
    4. Provide proof of identity.
    5. Provide proof that you meet citizenship requirements.
    6. Provide proof that you meet residency requirements.
    7. Have you picture taken for your new Georgia license.

    NOTE: Georgia provides a list of all acceptable proofs of identity, citizenship, and residency, as well as a thorough explanation of these requirements.

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