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What Every Parent Needs to Know

We often get asked: "What are the steps my son/daughter needs to follow to obtain a driver’s license in Georgia." Georgia has a number of requirements that can often be confusing. The information below explains each of the steps and procedures. If you have any questions regarding any of these, please contact the staff at Nathan’s Driving School (770-454-9100 or


Step 1: Obtaining a Learner’s Permit

Upon reaching age 15, or anytime thereafter, a teenager is eligible to apply for a Class C Instructional Permit, commonly called a learner’s permit. NOTE: A teen must hold a learner’s permit for 1 year and 1 day before he/she is eligible to be issued a Class D license. (Thus, any delay in obtaining a learner’s permit after turning 15 will delay the ability to obtain a driver’s license after turning 16.) A learner’s permit is also required for the behind-the-wheel training.


Nathan's offers private tutoring to assist teens in passing the permit test. You can sign up for tutoring here.

The learner’s permit must be obtained at the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services (the “DDS”). Instructions and appointments can be located on the DDS website ( or by using the DDS Mobile App.


The following information will help you prepare for your visit to the DDS for a learner’s permit:


· You will be required to present documents verifying the applicant’s identity, U.S. citizenship or lawful presence, and Georgia residency.


· You must know the applicant's Social Security Number or provide proof of ineligibility to obtain a Social Security Number.


· The applicant will be required to present proof of school enrollment. Any of the following documents are currently accepted by the DDS (all documents must contain the first and last name of the student):


o A notarized Georgia DDS Certificate of School Enrollment. (A copy can be obtained from


o A school transcript provided by the student's most recent school of attendance. The transcript does not have to be certified and can be printed online in most school districts.


o Most recent progress or grade report.


o A current school identification card, issued by the school or school system.


o Other forms of school identification.


o If you are home-schooled, you must provide either a Certificate of Enrollment from the Georgia Department of Education or a "Declaration of

Intent To Utilize a Home Study Program" filed with the Georgia Department of Education.


· If the applicant is under age 18, a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult will have to sign the application, thereby giving consent to obtain a permit.


· The applicant will be required to pass a vision test. Eye sight will be tested by means of a mechanical device at the DDS.


· The applicant will be required to pass a knowledge exam related to Road Signs and Road Rules. Nathan's offers private tutoring to help students pass the permit test. Additionally, applicant can take the mandatory 30 Hour driver's education course prior to taking the permit test in order to prepare. A practice test is also available at


o Road Signs Test: A set of questions on the meaning of standard highway signs will be given. This test is given in English only. The applicant will be asked to identify certain signs, signals and markers, and must correctly answer 15 out of 20 questions to pass.


o Road Rules Test: The road rules test consists of a set of questions about driver responsibility, knowledge of laws, and safe driving practices. The applicant must correctly answer 15 out of 20 questions to pass.


· There is a test fee of $10.00 that must be paid prior to testing.


NOTE: Restrictions Applying to a Learner's Permit

Once your teen has obtained a learner's permit, the teen may only operate a Class C vehicle when accompanied by a person at least 21 years of age who is licensed to drive a Class C vehicle, who is fit and capable of exercising control over the vehicle, and who is occupying a seat beside the driver.


Step 2: Mandatory Driver's Education

In 2007, Georgia passed Joshua's Law—a state statute that requires teenagers complete the following driver's education requirements in order to obtain a driver's license:


· The teen must complete 30 hours of an approved driver education course with a certified driver training school (like Nathan's). Nathan's offers the 30 hour class both "in person" and virtual/remotely. Nathan's is one of the oldest driving schools in Atlanta and has been teaching driver's education since 1986!!


· The teen must complete 6 hours of behind the wheel training at a certified school. Nathan's has a roster of experienced and certified trainers and fleet of driver's education vehicles to provide these lessons. In order to take driver's lessons, the student must have his/her learner's permit with them.


· The teen must complete 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian (6 hours of the 40 hours must be at night). The teen's parent or guardian is required to submit an affidavit certifying that the 40 hours has been completed in order for the teen to obtain a license.


· The teen must complete an Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP). ADAP is offered as part of virtually every high school curriculum. Your teen should obtain an ADAP completion certificate after passing the class. If your school does not offer it, your teen may take it for free at


You can enroll in a drivers’ education course and behind-the-wheel lessons by clicking here.


Step 3: The Road Test

After completing the mandatory driver’s education, and after having had a learner’s permit for at least a year and one day, a teen is eligible to take the road test. A road test may be scheduled with the DDS at or you may schedule and take your road test directly at Nathan’s. Nathan’s is fully qualified and certified by the DDS to privately provide the driver’s license road test to its students. That allows Nathan’s students to bypass the often long waits for a DDS test and take the test with a Nathan’s instructor in the same type of car they have been practicing in. You can sign up for a road test by clicking here.

For the road test, teens will have to demonstrate the ability to do all of the following:


· Parallel Parking: Park midway between two standards so that your car is not more than 18 inches from the curb. The standard parallel parking dimensions utilized in the driver's license test are 22 feet in length by 10 feet in depth.


· Straight Line Backing: Back your car for a distance of approximately 50 feet at a slow rate of speed (not more than 10 miles per hour) as straight and as smoothly as possible. You must turn your head and look behind the vehicle while backing. No boundary lines should be encroached.


· Stop for Signs or Traffic Signals: Give the proper hand or brake signal; approach in the proper lane; stop before reaching a pedestrian crosswalk and remain stopped until all pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk on the side of the roadway upon which you are traveling; move through the intersection only when you may do so safely.


· Turn About: Turn your car in a narrow space using a three-point turn.


· Use of Clutch: If your car has a manual transmission, you must shift smoothly and correctly.


· Approaching Intersections and Corners: You must be in the proper lane and look in both directions.


· Yielding Right-of-Way: Always yield right-of-way to pedestrians, vehicle operators, and bicyclists who move into the intersection before you by stopping and remaining stopped until they have cleared the intersection.


· Turning: Move into the proper lane and signal an adequate distance before the turn.


· Passing: Always check in front of and behind your vehicle to make sure you can safely pass without interfering with other traffic.


· Following: Do not follow other cars too closely. Follow at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you in order to maintain control of the vehicle in case of any emergency situation or abrupt stops or turns.


· Maintaining Good Posture: Keep both hands on the steering wheel. Do not rest your elbow on the window and do not attempt to carry on a conversation with the examiner because he/she will be busy giving instructions and recording your score.

The teen must achieve a minimum score of 75% to pass.


Step 4: Obtaining a Driver's License

Once all of the above steps have been completed (and assuming your teen has had no major violations that resulted in the suspension of his/her learner's permit), your teen is eligible to receive a Class D provisional driver’s license from the DDS. You need to bring the following with you to the DDS:


· Documentation showing identity (as explained in the learner's permit section). The learner's permit should suffice (and will have to be surrendered).


· An ADAP completion certificate.


· Proof of school enrollment (as explained in the learner's permit section).


· The Certificate of Completion from a certified driving school for both the 30 hour class and the 6 hours of Behind-the-wheel lessons.


· The Certificate of Passing the road test


· $10 fee for a Class D provision license.

Additionally, at the DDS, the parent signing the application giving permission for the teen to obtain a license must also sign an affidavit (provided by the DDS) certifying that the teen has completed the 40 hours of supervised driving (with at least 6 hours at night).

NOTE: Restrictions Applying to a Provisional Driver's License

Until your teen turns 18, he/she will have a Class D provisional driver's license. The following restrictions apply to a provisional license:


· The teen may not drive between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m.—no exceptions.


· During the first six (6) months following issuance, only immediate family members can ride in the vehicle.


· During the second six (6) months, following issuance, only one (1) passenger under 21 years of age and who is not a member of the driver's immediate family can ride in the vehicle.


· After one year from the date of issuance, only 3 passengers under 21 years of age and who are not members of the driver's immediate family can ride in the vehicle.

At age 18, your teen can upgrade his/her license to a Class C (under 21) Driver's License. An upgrade from Class D to Class C can be done using the DDS website or the DDS 2 Go Mobile App

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