How to Get a Georgia Driver’s License in 2021: A Complete Guide

How to Get a Georgia Driver’s License in 2021: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Mar 18, 2021

The process of getting a driver’s license can be daunting. Here at Zutobi, we’re committed to making the process as painless as possible by consolidating all the knowledge you need into one easy-to-navigate page. 

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to get your Georgia driver’s license.

Who is Required to Get a Driver’s License?

Georgia State law requires everyone who drives on public roads and highways to have a valid state license.

Anyone coming from another state has to get a license within 30 days of becoming a full resident. You are considered a resident if: 

  • You have a permanent home address
  • You have children going to school in Georgia
  • You are employed in the state, or you engage in any trade or occupation in the state

The Steps to Getting a Georgia Driver’s License

Instructional Permit (Ages 15-18)

The moment you turn 15, you can apply for an instructional permit. You’ll have to do this in person at your local Georgia DDS customer service center. 

On the day you go to the DDS to apply for your permit:

  1. Verification of your identity, social security number, and residency. You can find a full list of acceptable documents here. All documents must be originals- no photocopies.
  2. Proof of school enrollment form DS-1 signed and notarized by your school. You can download a pdf form from the Georgia DDS website.

NOTE: If you are under 18 and not enrolled in a school, you need to provide proof of school completion, such as a diploma, completion certificate, or GED.

  1. A parent or guardian must come with you to sign consent on your permit application. They can also revoke this consent at any time before your 18th birthday.
  2. You will be required to pass a vision test with or without corrective lenses. If you need corrective lenses to pass the test, you must wear them when driving.
  3. If you have any out of state licenses, permits, or ID cards, they must be surrendered.
  4. And finally, a $10 knowledge test based on road signs and road rules. This test must be taken at least 30 minutes before the office closes. The test consists of 20 questions, and you must get 15 correct to pass.

    If you fail the exam, you will have to pay the $10 exam fee for each retest. You can test your knowledge with our free practice test so you know how well prepared you are for your exam!

Once you obtain your permit, you may drive as long as a licensed driver is in the front seat next to you. This license is valid for two years. If you want to learn more, we recommend our complete Georgia learner’s permit guide.

Provisional License (Ages 16-18)

The requirements for getting a provisional license in Georgia vary depending on your age.

If you are at least 16 and you held an instructional permit for one year, you may apply for a Class D provisional license. 

If you are under age 17, you will need to complete 30 hours of classroom instruction at an approved class or online driver’s ed course to apply for your provisional license. Regardless of age, it is recommended to take the course to improve your road knowledge. You may also be eligible for a lower insurance premium if you take the course.

In addition, regardless of age, you will need to complete 6 hours of on the road practice with a certified driving instructor, and 40 hours of logged driving practice. Alternatively, you can complete the DDS Parent-Teen Driving guide to fulfill one or both criteria!

On the day you go to the Georgia DDS to apply for your provisional license, make sure to satisfy the following:

  • Bring approved documents to prove identity, date of birth, social security number, and citizenship or lawful status in the United States.
  • Bring proof of school enrollment form DS-1 signed and notarized by your school within the last 30 days before your appointment. If you are under 18 and not attending school, you must bring proof of school completion like a diploma or GED.
  • Bring a parent or legal guardian to sign your application. They also have the right to revoke this privilege at any time.
  • Bring a certificate of completion for the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program. Either the physical class (ADAP) or the online (eADAP) course.
  • You will need to surrender any out-of-state licenses or permits, if applicable.
  • You will pay $10 for a behind-the-wheel test. You will need to supply your own vehicle for the test, with registration and proof of insurance. During the test, you will demonstrate your competence in driving and your knowledge of driving laws and common safe driving practices.

    If you fail the exam, you must wait one day to take the test again. Then another seven days for each failed test from there. Pass your test on the first try with our Georgia Driver’s manual and practice tests!
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Pay the appropriate fee for your license. You will be given a temporary paper license and your permanent Georgia provisional license will come in the mail within 30 days.

Georgia Provisional Driver’s License Restrictions

  1. You can not drive between 12 AM and 6 AM.
  2. During the first 6 months, you can only drive with immediate family members.
  3. During the second 6 months, you can’t operate the vehicle with more than one unrelated passenger.
  4. During the remainder of the period, no driving with more than 3 passengers under 21, not counting immediate family members.

Unrestricted Georgia Driver’s License (Ages 18+)

The requirements for obtaining your full Georgia driver’s license depends on if you had a learner’s permit or provisional license prior to turning 18.

  • If you’ve had a Provisional License, you can exchange it for your full license. You must drive under the provisional license for a year and a day first. Plus you must not have any suspensions, revocations, or major violations on your record in the last 12 months. If you meet these requirements, you will not need any other documents or testing to upgrade your license.
  • If you’ve had a Learner’s Permit, you can skip the provisional license once you turn 18. However, you will still need to fulfill all the criteria you would have needed for a provisional license (see the section above). During your application, you will perform a road test and verify that you have completed 40 hours of driving practice, including six hours at night.

If you do not have a license or a permit, you will have to meet the qualifications for both the permit and provisional license listed above.  You will also take the knowledge exam, behind the wheel test, and vision exam when you apply for your full license.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Documents Do I Need to Bring?

Over the course of applying for your Georgia driver’s license, you’ll need some documentation before you can even apply. You can find the full list of approved documents here.

  • Verification of your identity (Secure DL/ID preferred)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of enrollment
  • Parental consent if you are under 18
  • Proof of driving hours (once you have your permit)

What Is The Difference Between a REAL-ID and a Standard ID?

A REAL-ID needs extra documents to prove your identity. Starting Oct 1, 2021, you will need a REAL-ID to fly on an airplane, enter a government facility, or visit a military establishment. 

If you get a Standard Driver’s License, it will be Printed “Not for Federal ID” and you will need extra proof of identity to enter these areas.

That’s It

That’s all you need to know about getting your driver’s license in Georgia. With all these steps, you’ll want to make sure you follow these instructions precisely in order to avoid any complications throughout the process.

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