Getting a Learner’s Permit in Georgia

Your GA Learner’s Permit Guide

A Georgia permit/instructional permit is a required step in satisfying the Georgia GDL program The graduated driver licensing (GDL) program that puts teens through increasing stages of driving responsibility that helps them achieve their driver’s license. Coupled with Joshua’s Law, which says that teens must complete driver training, the GDL makes sure that teenage drivers are equipped with the skills to drive as safe as possible.

Permits and licenses in Georgia are given out by the Georgia DDS.

Just moved to Georgia?

For someone who has just made the move to Georgia, you will have 30 days to switch over your permit/driver’s license.

For transferring permits, one has to be 15 or older regardless of the rules in the state you moved from.

Credit will given for the months that you’ve had the other state’s permit. This credit will go towards the 12 month minimum that is needed for you to keep an instructional permit prior to getting your provisional license.

For transferring an out-of-state permit, you’ll need:

  • The permit you have right now.
  • OR
  • An authenticated copy of your driver record that has been done in the last thirty days. (If the permit has been lost or stolen)

The application instructions outlined below.

Find a School Near Your Area

GA Instructional Permit Requirements

Applying for a GA permit means you must be 15 or older and meet the following requirements to apply at your local Georgia DDS:

  • Fill out application documents.
    • The application requires the signature of your driving instructor or parent/legal guardian.
  • Turn in a finished Certificate or Attendance (Form DS-1) from the past thirty days. A high school diploma or GED are also allowed.
  • Bring one document  to prove your identity.
    • U.S. passport
    • U.S. birth certificate
  • One document to prove your SSN
    • Social Security card
    • Your W-2 that shows you name and SSN.
  • Two documents to show you’re a Georgia resident:
    • A school report card or Form DS-1.
    • A bank statement.
  • Complete two written exams.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Bring payment of $10 fee.
    • Payment options:
      • Credit/debit card (Mastercard, VISA, American Express, Discover)
      • Check
      • Cash
      • Money Order

The GA Written Permit Test

Prior to getting an instructional permit, you must pass two written exams on road laws and traffic signals in Georgia.

Passing requires that you answer 15 of the 20 questions correctly on both of the tests.

The road laws exam will cover the following:

For transferring an out-of-state permit, you’ll need:

  • How to become a responsible and defensive driver.
  • The traffic laws in Georgia.

The traffic signs portion will have the following:

  • Highway traffic signs.
  • Road markers.
  • Traffic signals.

NOTE: The road laws exam may be given in several different languages, however, the road signs test may only be taken in English since that is how all traffic signs will appear while driving.

Written Exam Retakes

If you do not pass your written exams, you are required to wait 1 day before you can take it again.

If you happen to fail again, you must then wait 7 days before you can give it another attempt.

Each retake will require that you pay the $10 fee for the instructional permit. This fee is non-refundable for those who do not pass.:

Written Exam Retakes

With a GA permit, you may only drive under the supervision of a licensed driver who meets the following:

  • Has a license for class C vehicles.
  • Is 21 or older.
  • Can take control of the wheel if needed.
  • Must be sitting in the passenger seat of the car.

Written Exam Retakes

If you do not pass your written exams, you are required to wait 1 day before you can take it again.

If you happen to fail again, you must then wait 7 days before you can give it another attempt.

Each retake will require that you pay the $10 fee for the instructional permit. This fee is non-refundable for those who do not pass.:

School Attendance and Behavior

For those under the age of 18, you are only allowed to get your instructional permit if you meet certain requirements for attendance and behavior at school.

If you do any of the following, your GA permit may be revoked:

  • Stop going to school.
  • Rack up ten unexcused absences.
  • Get infractions for bad behavior.

Behind-the-Wheel Practice Requirements

GA incorporates Joshua’s Law, which states that teens must undergo in-car driving practice with the required supervision to get their license.

With an instruction permit, behind-the-wheel practice must be completed prior to moving on to the next step in the GDL. Behind-the-wheel training can be acquired from:

  • Supervised driving practice.
  • Driver’s education programs.
    • Driver’s Ed is a requirement for those looking to get an intermediate driver’s license before the age of 17.

Supervised Driving Practice

While holding onto your instructional permit, you have to finish a required 40 hours of driving under supervision, and 6 of those hours must be at night.

Your parent or legal guardian must sign a form that confirms you have finished these hours.

To learn more, please check out the page on Georgia Driver Training.

Driver’s Education

Driver’s education is one of the best ways to get behind-the-wheel training.

When taking one of these courses, you get valuable experience, AND you are allowed to start applying for your intermediate license at an earlier age, instead of waiting until you turn 17. Finishing driver’s education will put you in a place to get your intermediate license once you turn 16.

Please check out the page on GA Driver’s Ed to learn more.

Moving On: Intermediate Driver’s License

Before applying for an intermediate driver’s license, it is required that you:

  • Hold a GA instructional permit for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Are 16 years or older. (This changes to 17 years or older if you have not completed a driver’s education program)
  • Finish all of the supervised driving hours outlined in the behind-the-wheel driving requirements talked about above.
  • Pass a road exam.

To learn more about getting an intermediate license, please check out our page on Applying for a New Teen License in Georgia.

Find a School Near Your Area