Has Georgia Waived Driving Road Tests due to Covid-19?
The Georgia Department of Driver Services (GA DDS) has waived the requirement for a driving road test for under 18-year-old drivers until Georgia's public health state of emergency that was declared by Governor Brian Kemp terminates. The GA DDS is advising teens during this limited time period to create an online account to apply to have their licenses upgraded or renewed.
An under 18-year-old Georgia driver with a Learners Permit (Class CP) who has held his or her CP for 1 year and 1 day with no violations is able to upgrade to a Class D license. A Class CP license is defined under Georgia law as such: “Applicant must be at least 15 years old and be able to pass the vision and knowledge test. When driving, there must be a licensed driver at least 21 years old in the front seat with him or her at all times. The permit is valid for 24 months. Parental consent is required for applicants under 18 years of age.”
The waiver application also asks the under 18 Georgia CP driver to affirm that he or she has completed a certain amount of hours driving, including during the nighttime, supervised by a licensed driver, and requires permission from a parent or legal guardian or responsible adult to complete the application. Under 18 Georgia CP drivers who have had driving convictions will not be able to upgrade their licenses during this period.
The GA DDS system will also display a Class D License for those with Learner’s Permits that are over the age of 18, if they are eligible.
Class D License Defined
Georgia law defines a Class D license as such: “Provisional driver’s license for Class C vehicles (under 26,000 lbs). May not operate between 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. Passenger restrictions:
- For the initial six-month period immediately following the issuance of a Class D driver’s license, only immediate family may be passengers in the vehicle.
- During the second six-month period immediately following issuance of a Class D driver’s license, only one non-family member under the age of 21 may be a passenger in the vehicle.
- After the second six-month period, no more than three non-family members under the age of 21 may be passengers in the vehicle.
Parental consent is required for applicants under 18 years of age.”
The GA DDS Commissioner, Spencer Moore, has stated that the waiver will allow thousands of teens who have been delayed from upgrading their permits to move to that next phase without having to take the road test.
Once the GA under 18 driver’s waiver application is approved, he or she will able to print a provisional Class D license. The actual driver's license will arrive in the mail at a later date.
However, the temporary waiver has been met with concerns from some Georgia parents of under 18 drivers who believe that eliminating the driving test puts people on Georgia Highways at greater risk.
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