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  • Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Georgia

    Applying for a New Teen Driver's License in Georgia

    The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) requires teens to follow a graduated driver’s license (GDL) process to help you become a safer driver.

    The steps of the process are explained below, giving you a clear and simple guide that takes you from your instructional permit all the way to your full driver’s license.

    New to Georgia?

    When you move to Georgia, you have to transfer your out-of-state permit or driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a GA resident.

    Regardless of your previous state’s licensing rules, you must meet the age and experience requirements of the Georgia DDS graduated driver’s license program (see below), and you'll need to surrender your out-of-state permit or license.

    You will need to have held your Georgia instructional permit for 12 months before you can be issued a driver’s license, and your time with your out-of-state permit WILL count toward this time.

    Georgia Graduated Licensing Program

    Georgia’s GDL program is called the Teenage & Adult Drivers Responsibility Act (TADRA) and applies to teen drivers who are 15 to 18 years old. TADRA includes age restrictions to advance to a the next type of license as well as required practice driving training hours.

    The purpose of TADRA is to decrease accidents by making sure you get the experience you need before becoming a fully licensed driver. It has proven effective in reducing teen car accident rates.

    The GDL program has three stages:

    • Instructional permit.
    • Provisional/Intermediate license (Class D).
    • Full driver’s license (Class C).

    Age Requirements

    Each stage of Georgia’s GDL program has a minimum age requirement:

    • Instructional permit: 15 years old.
    • Intermediate license:
      • 16 years old, if you complete an approved Driver’s Ed course.
      • 17 years old, if you do not complete Driver’s Ed.
    • Full driver’s license: 18 years old.

    Georgia Instructional Permit

    If you are at least 15 years old, you can apply for a instructional permit, also called an learner's permit, which is the first step toward getting your driver’s license.

    You can apply for an instructional permit by visiting a DDS Customer Service Center in person. You’ll need to bring:

    • Your parent, guardian, or authorized Driver’s Ed instructor to sign your application.
    • A completed Certificate of Attendance (Form DS-1) dated within the last 30 days, or a high school diploma or GED.
    • 1 document proving your identity, such as your:
      • Passport.
      • U.S. birth certificate (original or certified).
    • 1 document proving your Social Security number, such as your:
      • Social Security card.
      • W-2 showing your name and all or part of your Social Security number.
    • 2 documents proving your Georgia residence, such as your:
      • School records, including report card or Certificate of Attendance.
      • Bank account statement.
    • $10 fee payable by credit or debit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express), cash, check, or money order.

    You’ll have to pass:

    • A vision exam.
    • A DMV written test.

    Instructional Permit Driving Restrictions

    While you have your Georgia instructional permit, you can ONLY drive with a licensed driver who is:

    • At least 21 years old.
    • Attentive and alert so that they can take control if necessary.
    • Sitting in the front passenger seat.

    Behind-the-Wheel Experience

    Your GA instructional permit gives you the chance to learn and practice the skills you’ll need to move on to your intermediate driver’s license.

    You must hold your instructional permit for at least 12 months and during this time you must:

    • Successfully complete Driver’s Ed.
    • Log at least 40 hours of supervised driving practice, including 6 hours at night.

    NOTE: If you don’t take an approved driver’s education class, you’ll have to wait until you’re 17 years old to get your provisional license.

    GA Provisional License

    You can move on to the next phase of the GDL process and apply for your provisional or intermediate Georgia driver’s license if:

    • You’re 16 years old and have completed an approved Driver’s Ed class OR you’ve turned 17 years old.
    • You’ve had your instructional permit for at least 12 months.
    • You’ve logged 40 hours of supervised practice driving, including 6 hours at night.
    • You have completed an Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP).
    • You haven’t had your instructional permit suspended.

    Apply for a Provisional License

    To apply for your provisional driver’s license, visit DDS Customer Service Center with:

    • Your parent, guardian, or authorized Driver’s Ed instructor who can sign:
      • Your application.
      • A statement to confirm your 40 hours of supervised driving.
    • A completed Certificate of Attendance (Form DS-1) dated within the last 30 days (or a high school diploma or GED if you have graduated).
    • 1 document proving your identity, such as your:
      • Passport.
      • U.S. birth certificate (original or certified).
    • 1 document proving your Social Security number, such as your:
      • Social Security card.
      • W-2 with your name and all or part of your Social Security number.
    • 2 documents proving your Georgia residence, such as your:
      • School records, including report card or Certificate of Attendance.
      • Bank account statement.
    • $10 fee payable by credit or debit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express), cash, check, or money order.

    You’ll have to pass:

    • A vision exam.
    • A DMV road skills test (driving test).

    Provisional License Restrictions

    While you are on your provisional driver’s license, you must follow the following restrictions:

    • You can ONLY drive between 6 a.m. and midnight.
    • Passenger restrictions:
      • For the first 6 months: Immediate family members ONLY.
      • For the second 6 months: No more than 1 passenger under under 21 years old who is not immediate family.
      • After the second 6 months: No more than 3 passengers under 21 years old who are not immediate family.

    Full Unrestricted GA Driver's License

    Obtaining your full, unrestricted driver’s license is your final step in the Georgia graduated licensing process.

    To qualify for your unrestricted GA driver’s license, also called a Class C license, you must:

    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Have not received any convictions for major traffic violations within the last 12 months, including:
      • DUI.
      • Reckless driving.
      • Any violation worth 4 points or more.

    You can apply for your GA driver’s license:

    • Online.
    • In person.

    You can use our new driver checklist to track your progress along the way.

    Online

    To apply for your driver’s license online, visit the DDS online services website. You’ll need to:

    • Create a DDS online account, if you don’t already have one.
    • Have a regular intermediate (Class D) license that has not been suspended, cancelled, or revoked.
    • Be at least 18 years old or within 7 days of your 18th birthday.
    • Be a GA resident and a U.S. citizen.

    The fees for a driver’s license are:

    • $20 for 5 years.
    • $32 for 8 years.

    Fees are payable by VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.

    Your new license should arrive within 14 days after you complete the online process.

    In Person

    To apply in person:

    • Take your provisional license with you to your local DDS Customer Service Center.
    • Pay the driver’s license fee:
      • $20 for 5 years.
      • $32 for 8 years.

    Fees are payable by credit or debit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express), cash, check, or money order.

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