Learning to drive is an important milestone. Driving is a complex task requiring mastery of various performance skills. It requires processing and accurately evaluating risk in the driving environment, developing appropriate responses to minimize risk, and gaining experience to predict what action others may take.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of 15 to 20-year olds. In 2005, 136 Young Drivers (Ages 15-20) were killed and an additional 193 others killed as a result of a crash involving a driver (Ages 15-20) in Georgia. In 2008, 3,500 15- to 20-year old drivers were killed and an additional 350,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes nationally.

Research shows that in order for young drivers to remain collision-free, parents must model safe driving behaviors and invest in meaningful guided practice over a long period of time to turn these skills into good driving habits! It is our hope that new drivers will have a solid foundation to develop safe, collision-free driving habits that will last a lifetime.

Commissioner Rob Mikell encourages parents and guardians to take an active role in educating their teen drivers. Additionally, he stresses the importance of being familiar with and enforcing the teen driving laws, and always letting good driving habits be the example.

Joshua's Law

Joshua's Law is a bill that changes the requirements that teen drivers must meet in order to obtain a Class D driver's license.

To get a Class D driver's license at age sixteen (16):

  • You must have completed a driver education course approved by the Department of Driver Services and
  • You also must have completed a cumulative total of at least forty (40) hours of other supervised driving experience, including at least six (6) hours at night.

If you have not completed an approved driver's education course, you cannot get your Class D driver's license until you reach age seventeen (17). Remember, forty (40) hour of driving experience, including six (6) hours of driving at night, is always required for a Class D driver's license.

School Attendance

Any applicant who is younger than 18 years of age must be enrolled in and not under expulsion from a public or private school and has satisfied the attendance requirements listed in #1 and #2 below for a period of one academic year prior to application for an instruction permit or driver's license. This suspension is mandated by O.C.G.A. 40-5-22(a.1)(2).

The DDS will suspend the license of a minor who:

  1. Has dropped out of school without graduating and has remained out of school for ten consecutive school days.
  2. Has ten or more school days of unexcused absences in the current academic year or ten or more school days of unexcused absences in the previous academic year.
  3. Has been found in violation by a hearing officer, panel, or tribunal of one of the following offenses, or has waived his or her right to a hearing and pleaded guilty to one of the following offenses:
  • Threatening, striking, or causing bodily harm to a teacher or other school personnel.
  • Possession or use of a weapon on school property or at a school sponsored event.
  • Any sexual offense prohibited under Chapter 6 of Title 16.
  • Causing substantial physical or visible bodily harm to or seriously disfiguring another person, including another student.
  • Possession or sale of drugs or alcohol on school property or at a school sponsored event.

Any infraction of the above conduct offenses will be a one-year suspension, or the minor shall be suspended until his or her eighteenth birthday, whichever comes first.

Temporary Driving Permit

A student can obtain a temporary driving permit from the Department of Driver Services to drive to and from work with a suspended license, if he or she has demonstrated the need for the permit. The permit would only be granted if the driver's license has been suspended for a school-related infraction or for dropping out of school.

Resources

Forms and Manuals
Authorization for Issuance of LP Limited Driving Permit
Certificate of Attendance
Certificate of Eligibility for Restoration of Driving Privileges following School Suspension
Driver Training School Parental Affidavit
Petition for Hardship Exception to School Conduct and Attendance Requirement

Schedule A Road Test

Visit our Road Test Appointments page for more information on how to schedule a road test at a Customer Service Center near you.

Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA)

TADRA is a graduated driver's license program for young drivers ages 15 to 18. It was established in Georgia by a collaborative effort of highway safety advocates, legislators, law enforcement officials, educators, businesses and media in the wake of a high number of fatal vehicle crashes involving young, inexperienced drivers.

This act directly addresses the leading killer of our young people - traffic crashes. The law significantly changes the way young motorists earn and maintain the privilege of driving by providing a controlled means for new drivers to gain experience, and by reducing high-risk driving situations. While the law does focus on young drivers, it also contains important provisions that affect drivers over 21, particularly in the area of DUI prevention and enforcement.

Three-Step Process in TADRA

TADRA involves an intense, three-step educational process that allows the young driver to gain more experience behind the wheel:

STEP ONE - INSTRUCTIONAL PERMIT (CP) is granted to 15-year-olds upon successfully passing a written examination. The driver with this permit must be accompanied by a passenger who is at least 21 years old and possesses a valid Class C driver's license at all times while driving.

STEP TWO - INTERMEDIATE LICENSE (Class D) The license is granted to drivers between 16 and 18 years of age who have held an Instructional Permit for 12 months and passed a driving test. The Intermediate License has the following restrictions:

  1. No driving between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. No exceptions.
  2. Passenger restrictions:
    • For the initial six-month period immediately following the issuance of a Class D license, any Class D license holder shall not drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads, streets or highways of this state when any other passenger in the vehicle is not a member of the driver's immediate family.
    • During the second six-month period immediately following issuance of a Class D license, any Class D license holder shall not drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads, streets or highways of this state when more than one other passenger in the vehicle (who is not a member of the driver’s immediate family) is less than 21 years of age.
    • After the second six-month period, any Class D license holder shall not drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads, streets or highways of this state when more than three other passengers in the vehicle (who are not members of the driver’s immediate family) are less than 21 years of age.
  3. Joshua's Law - On or after January 1, 2007, any 16 year old who obtains an initial Class D license must have completed:
    • You must have completed a driver education course approved by the Department of Driver Services and
    • You also must have completed a cumulative total of at least forty (40) hours of other supervised driving experience, including at least six (6) hours at night.

If you have not completed an approved driver's education course, you cannot get your Class D driver's license until you reach age seventeen (17). Remember, forty (40) hour of driving experience, including six (6) hours of driving at night, is always required for a Class D driver's license.

Since January 1, 2013, (pursuant to Senate Bill 236) the DDS accepts out-of-state Driver Training certificates of completion from military dependents who move to Georgia within nine (9) months of his or her sixteenth (16th) birthday. The parent’s Military Orders are required for proof of their active military service.

STEP THREE - A FULL LICENSE (Class C) driver's license is granted to drivers ages 18 years of age and older who hold the class D license and have incurred no major traffic convictions during the previous 12 months. The following violations must not occur during this period:

  1. DUI
  2. Eluding a police officer
  3. Drag racing
  4. Reckless driving
  5. Hit and run
  6. Any violation that assesses four or more points on the driver's license

** Drivers under the age of 18 years in a 12-month license suspension period must not incur a violation point count over four points.

** Georgia has a zero tolerance for underage drunk driving. Convicted drivers with a blood-alcohol content level of .08 grams or higher will face a 12-month license suspension on the first offense.