Georgia is one of the few states that offer a driver’s permit option at the age of 15. At the age of 15, in Georgia you can apply for what is called an Instructional Permit or also referred to as a learner’s permit. It is the first step in Georgia’s graduated licensing system.
With an Instructional Permit, you will only be able to drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old, attentive and alert during your driving practice and must be sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle. In order to get the learner’s permit you will need to pass a vision test and a DMV written test as well as providing the right documents. This permit can also be taken away if you do not attend school regularly or have infractions for poor conduct.
A provisional license in Georgia can be gained at 16, if you completed an approved Driver’s Ed course during your instructional permit phase that included 40 hours of instructional driving with at least 6 hours of night time driving. You still need to hold an instructional permit for 12 months before applying for a provisional license. If you do not complete a Driver’s Ed course you will need to wait until you turn 17 to apply for the provisional license. This license requires another vision exam and a DMV road skills test.
Although the provisional license allows driving without another adult, there are several restrictions. You can only drive between 6am and midnight and during the first 6 months can only carry family passengers. For a second 6 months only 1 passenger under the age of 21 who is not a family member may be a passenger in your vehicle. After which until you receive your regular license you are still limited to only 3 passengers that are not family and under 21 in your vehicle.
Full Class C License
A full license is available at the age of 18 if you have not received any DUI infractions, reckless driving infractions or any other infraction worth 4 points or more within the last 12 months. A full license can be gained online or in person.
Out of State
If you are not from the State of Georgia you will need to apply for a Georgia license within 30 days of becoming a resident. You must meet the laws and regulations of Georgia’s licensing system, but time accrued with a license from another state will count towards your 12 months requirement for a license in Georgia.
DUI laws make it illegal for adults over 21 years old to drive a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of 0.8% or higher, 0.4% or higher while operating a commercial vehicle and 0.2% for any driver under the age of 21.
The DUI laws are a three strike type of system, where after your third offense you are labeled within Georgia as a Habitual Offender and face serious consequences. Yet even for 1st and 2nd offences you will be lose your driving privileges for a certain period of time, face jail time possibly, have to pay a fine and possibly seek counseling and treatment.
Georgian Driver’s Ed
These courses are offered by private institutions, at your local high school or college and through online courses. They are comprised of 30 hours of theory provided in a classroom or online with 6 hours behind the wheel training with an approved instructor or the 40 hour Parent/Teen Driver guide.
There are plenty of driving schools throughout the state that provide driver training courses including the standardized and required Driver’s Ed courses, commercial driver training courses, online theory courses and even defensive driving courses. Ensure that your selected program is approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services.