The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) states that a teen must go through a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program to gain the experience needed for safe driving.
The stages in this program are outlined below, which will help you understand exactly what it will take to progress from your instructional permit to your very own driver’s license.
Just moved to Georgia?
After you’ve moved to Georgia, you will need to switch over your out-of-state license in 30 days or less of your move-in date.
Your previous state’s licensing rules will no longer apply to Georgia as you must meet the state rules of the Georgia DDS GDL program, and you will need to turn in your old license or permit.
Your GA instructional permit must be held in good standing for a minimum of 12 months prior to moving onto your full driver’s license. Don’t worry, the months that you held your permit in your previous state will count towards your months in Georgia.
The GA GDL is also known as the Teenage & Adult Driver’s Responsibility Act (TADRA), which must be followed by drivers between the ages of 15-18. TADRA outlines all of the requirements needed to progress to the next level of licensing along with the needed driving experience.
The goal of TADRA is to limit violations and crashes by way of giving you behind-the-wheel training and classroom instruction. This program has been statistically shown to reduce teen accidents.
The following are the 3 stages of the GDL:
- Instructional permit.
- Intermediate license.
- Unrestricted driver’s license.
Each level of the GDL has its own age requirements that must be met:
- To get an instructional permit, you must be 15 years or older.
- To get an intermediate license, you must be 16 years or older IF you’ve gone through a driver’s education program.
- If you have not gone through a driver’s education program, you must be 17 or older.
- To get your full driver’s license, you must be 18 years or older.
For those who are 15 or older, applying for an instructional permit (learner’s permit) is the beginning of the GDL program that will allow you to get your license.
Applying for an instructional permit can be done in person at your local GA DDS. You must bring:
- Your parent or legal guardian or your driving instructor for their signature on the DDS paperwork.
- Turn in a finished Certificate or Attendance (Form DS-1) from the last 30 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)
- Money Order
- You must also pass:
- A vision test.
- A written DMV exam.
You can find a free practice test provided by the DDS for study purposes.