Driving is a pretty important aspect of our lives as young adults and “adult” adults. Some people in bustling city areas can just get by with a bicycle, but the majority of us require access to a vehicle for work, school, errands as well as for visiting friends and family. So, how does one go about this in Georgia?

If you’re under the age of 18, you’ll need to…

First, apply for your instructional permit (learner’s permit). To do that, you’ll have to:
1. Fill out an application form either in person at the Customer Service Center, or online before you go to the DDS. Either way, your parent or guardian must be present with you at the time of your application submission.
2. Bring your Social Security Number, proof of U.S. citizenship (or your legal presence in the U.S. if you’re not an official citizen), as well as proof of residency.
3. Verify that you go or have gone to school. This is only because there are specific programs for teenagers in school. Bring a document signed by a school official, proof of enrollment, or a diploma or GED.
4. Pass a vision test. If you test below 20/60 and have less than 140 degrees field of vision, you’ll be asked to see an eye doctor before you can come back.
5. Pay a $10 fee. You will have to repay the money should you fail the knowledge test.
6. Pass the knowledge test. There are plenty of practice tests online for you to prepare with.
7. Have your picture taken and printed onto an instructional permit, which will be mailed to you within 30 days of you doing all of this.

Once you have your instructional permit, you will have two years to learn your way around the road and a car before you either have to re-apply for a permit, or get your license.

If you are under 17, and already have had your permit for at least a year, you will need to do the following in order for you to get something called a Provisional Driver’s Permit, which is a valid driver’s license, with some restrictions:

1. Complete a Driver’s Education course.
2. Practice driving. You will need at least 40 documented hours of driving.
3. Complete an Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP) class at your high school. This class can be completed online ONLY if you missed the in-class one.
4. Complete the application form, and bring all requested forms of identification with you when you head to the Customer Service Center.
5. You will, again, be asked to complete a vision test and pay the $10 fee.
6. Pass a driving test
7. Surrender your learner’s permit and replace it with a driver’s license!

These Provisional licenses are good for about five years, but they suggest replacing it once you turn 18. If you are 18 and over, you can skip all of the educational courses and just do steps 4-7, so long as you have proof that you’ve practiced driving! To learn more, visit the Georgia Department of Driver Services website.