Teenage Drivers- What’s the deal about the laws in Georgia?

The State of Georgia Graduated License System~
3 Steps to getting the “final” license

In 2007 the State of Georgia passed Joshua’s Law.  This bill changed the process that a teen driver goes through to receive a driver license.

In addition, the Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA) has established a step by step graduated driver license system that minimizes high risk situations for the teen driver and increases supervision and involvement of a licensed adult driver.

TADRAinvolves an intense, three-step educational process that allows the young driver to gain more experience behind the wheel:STEP ONEINSTRUCTIONAL 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 TWOPROVISIONAL 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) hours of driving experience, including six (6) hours of driving at night, is always required for a Class D driver’s license.

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.

  1. In 2000, one out of five fatal crashes in Georgia involved speed, with drivers ages 16-17 having the highest rate of motor vehicle fatalities (based on the total number of drivers per age group.)
  2. Young, inexperienced drivers ages 16 to 24 have a higher rate of crashes, injuries, and fatalities than drivers over age 24.
  3. The Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA), enacted on July 1, 1997, led to a 44.5 percent decline in teenage speed-related crashes in 18 months, which was five times less than the rate of drivers over age 24.

Click here to find out more details about teen driving in Georgia.

4 thoughts on “Teenage Drivers- What’s the deal about the laws in Georgia?

  1. FYI, for when your Walter starts driving, my son Walton did the 40 hours of class time and 6 hours of driving with a group of Dunwoody friends at Norcross High School this past summer. They thought it was a great experience…and a good value of $350ish as opposed to $500 that some private programs charge.

    Trisha P.

  2. Hi Audra,
    As the mother of an 18 year old, son, I will tell you that he didn’t get his license until he was 2 months from his 17th birthday. We carpooled to Riverwood. The 2 students that got their licenses at 16 and immediately got cars, both totaled their cars. What a traumatic event for a 16 yr. old. There was some statistic that I read recently that said 10 kids will get into accidents when they are 16. Only 5 of them will have accidents when they are 17. Their brains are wired to make instant decisions when they are 16, especially boys. Good luck.

  3. Phyllis – use the link in my original post to find even more but here’s the gist of what you need:
    Documents Required

    Documentation showing your identity, residential address, full social security number, and U.S. citizenship or proof of lawful status in the United States. Click here for more information.
    Applicants new to Georgia must surrender any out of state driver’s license/permit/ID card.
    If the applicant was previously issued a driver’s license/permit/ID card in another state, and that card has been lost or stolen, the applicant must provide a certified copy of his or her driving record or motor vehicle report from the state that issued the card. The MVR must be dated within the last 30 days. The DDS does not accept uncertified copies printed from websites, but a fax may be sent to the DDS directly from the other state agency.
    Applicants under age 18 years of age are required to have a parent/guardian, responsible adult or authorized Driver Training Instructor to sign the application for the driver’s license. Responsible adult only applies to emancipated applicants with court ordered documentation. The signatories also have the authority to request the driver’s license to be revoked at any time before the minor’s 18th birthday.
    All documents must be in English.
    A Georgia DDS Certificate of School Enrollment (DS-1) must be signed and notarized from the applicant’s school. It is only valid for 30 days.
    All applicants under the age of 18 not enrolled in school must provide a high school diploma, GED, special diploma, certification of high school completion, or proof of enrollment in a GED program or a postsecondary school.

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