Teen drivers can obtain a driver’s license by law anywhere in the country at the age of 16. However, this rite of passage has three stages also known as the “Graduated Driver Licensing” program. The idea behind this program is to restrict the new young drivers and set higher experience and age requirements to get a license with full privileges.
Graduated Driver Licensing Program in Georgia
There are three stages of this program in the state of Georgia which are as follows.
- Instructional Permit – this one is for all the young drivers who are at least 15 years old
- Provisional Driver’s License (Class D) – for drivers aged 16 or higher and fulfill certain other driver’s license criteria
- Class C – this is a driver’s license with full privileges and available for anyone over the age of 18.
The instructional permit has been around for some time now, but it is the provisional license and delay in the issuance of a license with full privileges that make the driver’s license program in Georgia a bit unique.
The Joshua Law
The Senate in Georgia House passed a bill 226 in 2005, known as Joshua’s Law. This law tightened the laws for teen drivers with higher requirements and came into effect on January 1st, 2007.
According to Joshua’s Law, all young or new drivers aged between 16 and 18 must only drive accompanied by a family member (no peer passengers). This rule will apply to them for the first 6 months following the date of issuance of their driver’s license.
Once the initial six months are over, the new driver will be able to drive with only a single peer passenger in their vehicle for the next 6 months.
Joshua’s law has undeniably made a big impact by preventing teen drivers from exposure to the dangers of driving. Since the law came into effect, there has been a 60 percent decrease in teen driver fatalities. That translates into 181 teen lives saved each year.
New Requirements for Teens under Joshua’s Law
Every teen driver who is 16 years or older must qualify for a Class D driver’s license under Joshua’s law. Here are the requirements that every young driver must fulfill before they apply.
- You must hold an instructional permit for a total of one year and one day. This is the minimum time period of the instructional permit for all young drivers.
- A young driver must complete a 30-hour certified driving education course. Only courses approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services are acceptable. If you wish to know which driving schools offer state-approved driver’s courses, simply visit the Georgia DDS website.
- You must make sure that the young driver whether it is yourself or your child must complete certain hours of supervised driving. In Georgia, the numbers of supervised driving hours are a cumulative total of 40 hours minimum.
- All teen drivers applying for a license must pass their road skills test. Additionally, it is mandatory for them to score a minimum of 75 percent.
- At the time of taking their driver’s license test, it is mandatory that a parent or guardian of the young driver is present on site.
If you are a young driver or a parent of one, make sure to complete all the above-mentioned requirements before applying for a driver’s license. These laws for teen drivers are in place for their own safety and limiting exposure the dangers of daily driving.