Driver license laws in Georgia vary, depending on the type. Age and other restrictions may apply, which is important to know before getting behind the wheel.
To get a Class C driver's license, the applicant must:
- be 18 years old;
- pass a knowledge test;
- pass a road skills test; and
- pass the vision exam.
Below are other important requirements for special types of licenses or classes of drivers.
Georgia Law for Obtaining a Provisional Driver's License (Class D)
To obtain a learner's permit (known as a Class D driver's license in Georgia), an individual must meet the following requirements:
- be at least 16 years old;
- had an instructional permit for at least a year and one day;
- no major traffic violations;
- minimum of 40 hours supervised driving experience (at least six hours of nighttime driving);
- pass vision exam;
- pass road skills test; and
- application for driver's license signed by a parent, guardian, authorized driver training instructor or responsible adult if under the age of 18.
In 2007, the state passed Joshua's Law, which applies to 16-year-old applicants. This includes the minimum 40 hours driving experience with six hours driving at night (required for anyone seeking a Class D driver's license). But it also requires the individual to complete an approved driver education course. Without this course, the applicant must wait until age 17 to get a Class D driver's license.
Georgia Driver License Law for License Renewal for Seniors
Drivers ages 60 and up can obtain a short-term license (five years). This is because of the requirements for vision screening in drivers ages 64 and over. At each renewal period, they must meet the minimum vision requirement of 20/60 in one eye and a field vision of at least 140 degrees (with or without corrective lenses).
Georgia Law for Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
A CDL license is available starting at age 18. But if between the ages of 18 and 21, can only drive in the state of Georgia. Once the driver turns 21 years old, he/she can have the restriction lifted by going to the examination station.
Certain types of vehicles require a CDL license, which includes the following:
- vehicles with a hazardous material placard;
- single vehicle that can transport (including driver), more than 15 people;
- single vehicle with gross vehicle weight of 26,001 lbs. or more; and
- combination of vehicles that weigh 26,001 lbs. or more.
Georgia Law for Motorcycle License
Applicants must be at least 16 years old to obtain a motorcycle instructional permit and at least 17 years old to obtain a Class M motorcycle license. Anyone under the age of 18 must have an adult signature.
These licenses apply to any type of motorcycle with an engine size of 51 CC or greater, this may include:
- minibikes; and
Those seeking a license may also consider taking a motorcycle rider safety course.
Georgia Law for Out-of-State Drivers Seeking a License
Within 30 days of becoming a resident in the state of Georgia, the individual must apply for a driver license. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to exchange an out-of-state license for a Georgia license.
The applicant can exchange or surrender an expired (less than two years) or valid out-of-state license for a Georgia driver license. This exempts the individual from both the written and road test. Exceptions may apply, depending on location.
If the out-of-state license has expired or it's lost, the individual will need to get documentation from the issuing state. This may include a certified driving record or original letter of clearance (dated within 30 days). Licenses expired less than two years will require a vision test.
But if the license has been expired for more than two years, the driver must pass all three tests:
- written; and
How Licensing Laws Could Impact an Accident Case
Georgia's driver license laws require all drivers have a valid license if operating a car, truck or motorcycle. A violation could lead to a citation and if in an accident, the other party may bring it up during an accident claim. But what's most important when injured in an accident is who caused it, whether the driver is licensed or not. An attorney can help determine fault and legal options available. Call Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation about your case.