How to Get a Driver’s License in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Drivers Services (DDS) is the counterpart to what is known in many other states as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This agency grants driver’s licenses to Georgia residents. There are several classifications of non-commercial driver’s licenses granted by the Georgia DDS, each of which is applicable to a certain type of driver.

License Requirements and Cost

For all driver’s licenses and permits, applicants must possess proof of identity, and documents showing legal address, social security number and proof of either citizenship or lawful residency in the United States. Any non-Georgia state drivers licenses held must be surrendered prior to issuance of a Georgia driver’s license.

The license cost for long-term Class C or Class M driver’s licenses, which are good for 8 years, is $32. The short-term Class C or Class M driver’s license — valid for 5 years — carries a fee of $20. The fee for a Class CP Instructional Permit is $10. If the testing required for a Class CP permit is failed, the fee will not be refunded and another fee payment is required for retesting. The fee for a Class D Provisional Driver’s License is $10.

Class D License
Class D Provisional Drivers licenses are granted to drivers under the age of 18. Those seeking a Class D license will first need to obtain Georgia Driver’s Permits, also known as a Class CP Instructional Permits. The Class CP permit can be obtained by applicants 15 years of age or older who a pass vision test and written knowledge exam. The knowledge exam consists of two sections: road rules and sign rules. Class CP applicants under the age of 18 must also obtain the signature of a responsible adult on their application. The adult signer can be a parent, guardian, certified drivers education instructor or other responsible adults.

CP Permit
The CP permit is valid for 24 months and allows the holder to drive only when a Class C driver’s license holder age 21 or older is riding in the front seat. When a Class CP permit has been held for one year, a Class D Provisional Drivers License may be sought. This requires another vision exam, a road skills test, surrender of the CP permit, and an adult signature on the license application similar to what was required for the Class CP Instructional permit.

Road Test
For the road skills test, the applicant will need to supply a vehicle that has both passed a safety inspection and is covered by liability insurance. Proof of current vehicle registration is also required. The road skills test will require the applicant to demonstrate proper techniques in each of the following areas: parallel parking, turning, passing, following, quick stops, backing up, a turnabout in a narrow space, and yield of right-of-way. Proper driving posture and steering wheel control must also be demonstrated.

Class D Provisional licenses allow the holder to drive only between the hours of 6:00 am and midnight and with restrictions on the number and type of passengers, depending on how long the license has been held. The adult signatory of the application at any time can revoke both Class CP Permits and Class D licenses.

Class C License
Class C driver’s licenses are issued to applicants age 18 or older. The applicant must pass a vision exam, written road rules test, and a road skills test. The road rules test is the same as the one administered for the Class CP Instructional Permit. It requires the applicant to demonstrate knowledge of safe driving practices and driver responsibility as well as the meaning of standard roadway signs.

Motorcycles License
Class M driver’s licenses are issued to drivers of motorcycles and motor-driven vehicles. Applicants must be at least age 17 but they are not required to hold a Class C license. Applicants must pass a vision exam, written knowledge test, and the Motorcycle Rider Skills Test. Those who have taken the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program rider education course will have the Rider Skills Test waived when applying for a Class M license.

The vision exams administered for all license applicants are done through the use of a mechanical device. To pass the vision test, vision must be at least 20/60 in one eye, whether or not corrective lenses are used. Field of vision must be at least 140 degrees.

Written Test
Written knowledge exams are given on a walk-in basis, but applicants must arrive at the DMV office location at least 30 minutes before closing to allow adequate time to complete the test and issue a license if the test is passed. Material covered on the knowledge exam can be found in the DDS driver’s manual available online. Georgia DDS practice tests can also be obtained on the DDS website at no cost.

Road skills tests can be taken on a walk-in basis only if time slots are available. It is recommended that an appointment be set up for taking the road skills test since scheduled appointments always take precedence over walk-in applicants.

Applicants who fail either the written knowledge or driving skills exams must wait at least one day to retest a second time. If a subsequent test failure occurs, retesting cannot be done for at least seven days.

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Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 1 (Signs)
Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 2 (Signs)
Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 3 (Rules)
Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 4 (Rules)
Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 5 (Rules)
Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 6 (Rules)
Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 7 (Rules)
Georgia DMV Practice Test – Quiz 8 (Rules)
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