How to get a Georgia Learners Permit: A guide for teens and parents

How to get a Georgia Learners Permit: A guide for teens and parents

The day is finally here! You are now 15 years old and ready to get your Georgia Learners Permit. You’re excited and maybe even a little bit nervous. Yes, you want to grab the keys and start driving right away. That’s normal and even expected. It feels great, fantastic, awesome and almost surreal to drive for the very first time.  But keep in mind that your newfound independence comes with brand new responsibilities and dangers. My best advice to teen drivers is to watch for bumps along the way, but enjoy every mile of the journey.

Now, nervous parents – you are another story. You fondly remember how you lovingly taught your child how to ride a bike without training wheels. You cringed at every fall, but offered encouragement to keep trying despite minor cuts or bruises.  Without blinking and before you knew it, your baby is now bugging you about getting a Learners Permit to drive a…CAR (insert gulp here). The reality hits you like a ton of bricks. Your baby isn’t a baby anymore.  The process of getting a Learners Permit and then a Drivers License can be overwhelming for concerned parents. That’s because we know the dangers teen drivers will face out on the open road.

Now – back to you – dear teen driver. Your parents have probably had close calls throughout the years. Some of us have even been involved in crashes. We don’t want the same to happen to you! That’s why we want to teach you what we’ve learned through years of bumpy experience. Please listen to our advice. Pay attention in Drivers Ed classes. Be sure to practice driving as much as possible when you have your Learners Permit. Ultimately, your safety is in your own hands.

The cold hard fact is that automobile accidents are still the #1 cause of death for teenagers. That’s because inexperienced drivers are just that. You’re brand spanking new drivers. You don’t have past experiences to reply on when making life or death decisions behind the wheel.  Plus, you tend to think that you are invincible. You’re not – especially on the open road.

This is why it’s critically important for teen drivers and their nervous parents to band together when it comes time to get a Georgia Learners Permit and Drivers License. You have to work as a unified team to get through the complex process. By keeping lines of communication open, as well as your eyes and ears, teaching a teen to drive is not as scary as it initially seems. The first step is to unite and join forces.

OK, now that you’ve agreed to work as a team – what’s the next step? It’s time to get a Georgia Learners Permit. Many teens often feel nervous about passing the written test. This is completely natural, so you are not alone. It’s quite common to feel overwhelmed and nervous before a big change – getting a drivers license is a big deal! However, getting a license is a little easier if you know where to go and what to do.

The first step is to study the official Georgia Driver’s Manual, which can be found at any Georgia DDS office. You can also study and read the manual online by clicking here. Regard this manual as your go-to guide for everything from A-Z that you need to know to pass the Learner’s Permit test. Once you have your Driver’s Manual, read the entire book and study the information like you would for a school test. Highlight important points and then re-read them a second time. The info from the Manual will turn into questions on your test, so you want to be as familiar with it as possible.

In Georgia, teens can take a Drivers Ed class when they’re 14-years-old. The 30-hour class is required for teens that want to get a license at the age of 16 or 17. By taking the class early, you will learn about road rules and more. Taking the class early will actually help you pass the test because the material you need to know will be fresh in your mind. It’s not necessary to take the class before the Permit Test, but it can help ensure success.

Once you’ve taken a Drivers Ed class or read and studied the Georgia Driver’s Manual, it’s time to take a few practice tests online. This will help you prepare and will allow you to see if you fully understand the information in your manual. Currently, three practice tests are available online, so try to take all three. Click here to take a practice test. The general knowledge exams include questions on road signs and a Road Rules Test.

Georgia Permit practice tests
Take the practice permit test below to test your driving knowledge.

Water on the road can cause a vehicle to hydroplane.  Your car may hydroplane at speeds as low as:

  • A. 45 miles per hour
  • B. 35 miles per hour
  • C. 40 miles per hour

If, while driving, a tire suddenly blows out, you should:

  • A. Grip the steering wheel firmly, slow down, and exit from the traffic lanes.
  • B. Pump the brakes rapidly.
  • C. rake hard and steer toward the right edge of the roadway.

What is the proper way to enter an expressway from the entrance ramp?

  • A. Go down the ramp and cross over to the traffic lane as soon as possible.
  • B. Use the acceleration lane to blend into the traffic.
  • C. Go down to the bottom of the ramp and stop until it is safe to enter the expressway.

The maximum speed limit on a rural Interstate highway is:

  • A. 60 miles per hour
  • B. 70 miles per hour
  • C. 55 miles per hour

Georgia’s Move-Over Law was passed because:

  • A. Emergency vehicles are visible so they are easily seen.
  • B. Emergency vehicles are less vulnerable to crashes due to their lights and sirens.
  • C. Emergency vehicles parked beside a highway are vulnerable to crashes, even when their emergency lights are flashing.

If you are involved in an accident, one of the immediate requirements is to:

  • A. Render aid to the injured.
  • B. Notify your insurance agent.
  • C. Notify the Secretary of State’s office.

You are driving behind a motorcycle and want to pass. You must:

  • A. Stay in the right lane as much as possible, because the motorcycle is small and doesn’t use the entire lane.
  • B. Blow the horn to make the motorcycle move onto the shoulder so that you can pass.
  • C. Have your vehicle entirely in the left lane before and during the pass.

A conviction for unlawful passing of a school bus will result in a total of  ____ points on your Georgia driving record.

  • A. 6
  • B. 4
  • C. 2

Streets and highways are most slippery:

  • A. When it has been raining hard for several hours.
  • B. When they are clean and dry.
  • C. Just after it starts to rain.

When driving behind another vehicle at night, you should:

  • A. Keep your headlights on low beam.
  • B. Use your high beam headlights until you are within 10 feet of the vehicle ahead.
  • C. Use your high beam headlights.

Below are the correct answers to the above questions.

  1. B (35 miles per hour)
  2. A (Grip the steering wheel firmly, slow down, and exit from the traffic lanes)
  3. B (Use the acceleration lane to blend into the traffic)
  4. B (70 miles per hour)
  5. C (Emergency vehicles parked beside a highway are vulnerable to crashes, even when their emergency lights are flashing)
  6. A (Render aid to the injured)
  7. C (Have your vehicle entirely in the left lane before and during the pass)
  8. A (6 points)
  9. C (Just after it starts to rain)
  10. A (Keep your headlights on low beam)

In addition to reading the Georgia Drivers Manual, offers great online flashcards to help study for the Georgia Permit Test.

Heading to the DDS
After successfully passing a few practice tests, it’s time to head to the DDS, right? Well, not exactly. You and your parents must first gather six important documents to take with you. These documents include 1 proof of identity (passport, birth certificate), 1 proof of social security number (W-2, social security card), 2 proofs of residence (utility bill, financial statement, etc.), 1 proof of US citizenship, and a Georgia Certificate of Attendance form notarized by your high school. You must request this form from your school office and they often request 3-5 days to get it for you. The Certificate of Attendance is valid for 30 days or from May-August in the summer. Head to the Georgia DDS website for more information about required documents.

Alrighty then. You have prepared for the exam, taken the practice tests and gathered your required documents. So, what’s next? Yep, it’s now time to head to a DDS office to take your Learner’s Permit Test. The DDS offices administer written tests Tuesday through Saturday. Wednesday and Thursday are typically less busy than Tuesday, Friday or Saturday. Click here to find a location close to your home.

That’s it. 1) Get the Georgia Driver’s Manual, 2) Study the book or the online version, 3) Gather your documents ahead of time, 4) Take your written test at a DDS office. Once you pass the exam (and an eye exam), your picture will be taken and you will pay the $10 fee. You’ll be given a paper copy of your Learner’s Permit. The hard copy arrives in the mail usually within 2-4 weeks.

Passed the Permit Test? What’s the next step?

Woo hoo! You have your Georgia Learner’s Permit, so you’re ready to hit the road, right? Nope, not so fast, speedy. With a Learner’s Permit, you have permission to drive ONLY with a passenger who is at least 21 years old and has an unexpired Class C driver’s license. In order to get your actual driver’s license at 16 or 17 years of age, Georgia Law requires that you take an approved Driver’s Ed course, like the one offered at Drive Smart Georgia, a AAA-certified driving school. You also must have 40 hours of driving experience (6 at night), plus pass the road test, which can be taken no sooner than one year and one day after getting your Learner’s permit.

This might all sound very daunting, but Joshua’s Law was passed in Georgia to help keep new drivers safe. Auto accidents remains the #1 cause of death among teens, so it’s critical to follow the requirements to the tee, not just because it’s the law, but because they could quite possibly save your life.

Alan Brown, the Georgia dad responsible for getting Joshua’s Law passed, wants to help concerned parents – just like you. More importantly – he wants to help save young lives. Joshua Brown, his 17-year-old son, died in 2003 after hydroplaning and crashing into a tree. Mr. Brown turned his guilt, grief and emptiness into a personal crusade by pushing Joshua’s Law. Teen driver fatalities have decreased by 60% since the law went into effect in 2007. That’s 181 young lives saved every year. To read more about this important Georgia law for teen drivers, check out this article.

Parental involvement is key!

So – your baby now has a Learners Permit and can begin to drive. That’s quite a milestone! Pat yourselves on the back, but remember that teen drivers face dangerous situations each and every day, especially in the first year. When asked what one piece of advice he would offer to parents of new teen drivers, Mr. Brown stated, “Remember who’s in charge. You’re the parent. If you don’t think your child is ready, pull the keys.” If your newly permitted driver is ready to get behind the wheel, parents should take a deep breath and stay involved every mile of the learning journey. It’s much more important to teach lifelong good driving skills than just those needed just to pass the test.

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