How to get a Georgia driver’s license in 4 easy steps

How to get a Georgia driver’s license in 4 easy steps

Passing the test to get a Georgia driver’s license can be a breeze if you follow these four easy steps from the experts at Drive Smart Georgia.

Once you have your learner’s permit, it’s time to practice the road test skills that you need to successfully demonstrate to get a Georgia driver’s license. So, get out and drive regularly with mom or dad.

How to get a Georgia driver’s license
Step #1 – Practice specific road skills

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All road skills tests are administered at the Georgia Dept. of Driver Services or an authorized third-party center, like Drive Smart Georgia. Regardless where the test is taken, you must demonstrate the following skills during the road test to get a Georgia driver’s license.

Parallel parking

It’s the one skill that may be the most difficult to learn and conquer. During the test, you will be required to park midway between two cones so that your automobile is not more than 18” from the curb.

Drive Smart Georgia in Johns Creek has the largest practice area in the city. Our students are always welcome to use our cones to practice their newly learned road skills. Be sure to check out this YouTube video to learn how to parallel park.

The turnabout

The test examiner will ask you to turn your car around in a narrow space using two-, three- or five-point turns. Make sure you practice the turnabout in order to pass the test to get your Georgia driver’s license.

Reverse backing

During the test, you will be required to back your vehicle for a distance of about 50 feet at a slow rate of speed and as straight as possible. Be sure to look towards the back of the car while driving in reverse. If you forget to turn your head, the examiner will deduct points.

Stop completely at red lights and all stop signs

You will drive on side streets during the test to get your Georgia driver’s license. You will be judged on if you use the proper lane when you approach intersections, and stop at all stop signs and red lights.

Remember this – a yellow light does NOT mean to speed through the intersection. According to Driversedguru.com

Every driver has to stop at a yellow light unless he or she is too close to the intersection to stop safely. When in doubt, stop at a yellow light unless you’ve passed the point of no return.

Yield right-of-way

Always yield right-of-way to pedestrians, motor vehicles, bicyclists or anyone else who moves into the intersection before you.

Proper passing

Always look ahead and behind to make sure you can safely pass without interfering with other traffic.

Don’t follow too closely

Do not drive too closely behind other cars on the road. Watch the car ahead of you. When it passes some reference point, such as a telephone pole, count “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two.” If you pass the same spot before you are through counting, you are following too closely.

Driving posture

The examiner will grade you on your posture. Keep both hands on the steering wheel and don’t rest your elbow on the window. Also, don’t attempt to carry on a conversation with the examiner because he or she will be busy giving instructions and recording your score.

If you can perfect all of the above driving skills, then you’re well on your way to getting that coveted Georgia driver’s license.

How to get a Georgia driver’s license
Step #2 – Drive, drive and drive some more!

how to get Georgia driver's license

You simply can’t rush things when it comes to learning how to drive. The cold hard fact is that car crashes is still the #1 cause of death among teenagers from the age 16-20, so it’s critically important to take your time before you get a Georgia driver’s license.

According to AAA’s Keys to Drive website, the single most important step you can take to protect your life is to have your parents be actively involved in your learning-to-drive experience. They should introduce low-risk conditions and then gradually introduce new roads and traffic conditions as you sharpen your driving skills.

Are you 100% ready to race through and pass your driving test with flying colors? Getting a Georgia driver’s license is a real rite of passage, but many teens are simply not ready to take the test.

Drive Smart Georgia recommends that you use this red/yellow/green light system to determine if you’re ready to take the road skills test to get a Georgia driver’s license.

traffic lights drive smart georgia

Red light – Not ready!

You have taken Driver’s Ed and have practiced driving on side roads. Plus, you’ve worked on parallel parking, reverse backing and the quick stop. However, despite all this, you may still not ready to take the test.

If you’re not 100% confident behind the wheel, why rush to take the driving test? It’s more important to establish lifelong good driving skills early in the game. Bad habits are very difficult to reverse. If you still need more practice before taking the test, do it. Red light.

Yellow light – Need more practice

A “yellow light” driver has taken all the steps to become a newly licensed driver. While you may make turns properly, check traffic flow before merging, and use turn signals, you’re still not ready to hit the road alone. It happens. At Drive Smart Georgia, we see it all the time.

Most new drivers can drive on back roads and side streets, but get sweaty palms and rattled nerves when it’s time to drive on a highway or busy interstate. If you are a hesitant driver when the speed limit increases, it’s time for more highway driving.

Hit the road, remain calm, and get in more highway practice hours before taking the test. Yellow light.

Green light – All set for the test!

You follow instructions, practice regularly on neighborhood streets and highways, and are a safe, confident driver. It’s time to take the driving test, right? Yes! You will know when the time is right to get your Georgia driver’s license. When that moment comes – green light!

How to get a Georgia driver’s license
Step #3 – Gather necessary documents

hot to get georgia driver's license

Before heading to the DDS or a certified 3rd party examiner, you’ll need to do a bit of homework beforehand to make sure you have all the required documents to get your Georgia driver’s license. If not, you’ll be turned away and will have to make another trip. A little preparation can eliminate and hassles, headaches and valuable time.

The requirements to get a Georgia driver’s license differ for 16-, 17-, and 18-year-old drivers. See below for age-specific required documents to take with you to the DDS.

Georgia driver’s license:
16-Year-Olds

Joshua’s Law requires that all 16-year-olds must complete a 30-hour Driver’s Ed course, plus a minimum of 40 hours of supervised driving experience with at least six hours of night driving.

Required documents for 16-year-olds:

  • Valid learner’s permit for one year and one day
  • Georgia DDS Certificate of Enrollment notarized by the school
  • ADAP Certificate (provided by high school upon request)
  • Certificate of Completion of a 30-hour Driver’s Ed course at a state-certified driving school
  • A Driving Experience Affidavit must be completed at the DDS affirming the applicant has a minimum of 40 hours of driving, 6 of which must be at night. Parents will sign the form at the DDS, so you don’t have to bring it with you.
  • Must present valid registration and insurance for vehicle used on road test (not required to be in applicant’s name)

Georgia driver’s license:
17-Year-Olds

Joshua’s Law requires that all 17-year-olds must have a minimum of 40 hours of supervised driving experience with at least six hours of night driving.

Required documents for 17-year-olds:

  • Valid learner’s permit for one year and one day
  • Georgia DDS Certificate of Enrollment notarized by the school
  • ADAP Certificate (provided by high school upon request)
  • A Driving Experience Affidavit must be completed at the DDS affirming the applicant has a minimum of 40 hours of driving, 6 of which must be at night. Parents will sign the form at the DDS, so you don’t have to bring it with you.
  • Must present valid registration and insurance for vehicle used on road test (not required to be in applicant’s name)

Georgia driver’s license:
18-Year-Olds

Obtaining a Class C license for the first time is different than updating your Class D to Class C license. All 18-year-old applicants must pass the road skills test with a minimum score of 75%. Fee is $32 for a Class C license. To update a Class D license to Class C, simply go to the DDS and have them replace your old Class D license with a new Class C license.

Required documents for 18-year-olds:

  • Valid learner’s permit (one year and one day rule does not apply. Applicant may obtain learner’s permit and Class D license on the same day)
  • Must present valid registration and insurance for vehicle used on road test (not required to be in applicant’s name)

How to get a Georgia driver’s license
Step #4 – Pass the road test

https://dds.georgia.gov/adap-faqs

The final and fourth step to get your Georgia driver’s license it to take the road test and pass. If you’re 16 or 17, your parent or guardian must be present. The fee for a Georgia Class D license is $32.

After your road skills test, the examiner will go over your score sheet. In order to pass, you must achieve a score of 75% or higher.

During the test for your Georgia driver’s license, stay calm and show confidence in your driving skills. If you’ve done your homework and have honed your skills, that milestone of getting a license is right around the corner.

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