Georgia allowing teens to get driver's license amid pandemic without doing road test

Georgia allowing teens to get driver's license amid pandemic without doing road test
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Many teens in Georgia will temporarily be able to receive a driver’s license without completing the required road test during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services (GDDS) said in a notice that the requirement for most automobile road tests has been waived until Georgia's public health state of emergency, which Gov. Brian Kemp (R) declared last month to address the coronavirus outbreak, has ended. 

The temporary waiver period, the department said, was made possible through an executive order signed off by Kemp last week.

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During this period, the office is advising teens to create an account with their online portal to apply to have their licenses upgraded or renewed.

“If you are 16-18 and have a Learners Permit (Class CP) and you've held your CP for 1 year and 1 day with no violations, the system will display your license as a Class D,” the office said. “Select a Renewal in the top right-hand corner to process your new Class D License.” 

The application also asks teens to affirm that they have completed a certain amount of hours driving, including during the nighttime, supervised by a licensed driver. Those under 18 are also required to have permission from a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult to complete the application.

Teens who have had driving violations will not be able to upgrade their licenses during this period.

The office said the system will also display a Class D License for those with Learner’s Permits that are over the age of 18, if they are eligible.

Spencer Moore, who serves as commissioner of the GDDS, told CNN affiliate WSB-TV that the waiver will allow thousands of teens who have been delayed from upgrading their permits to “move to that next phase without having to take the road test.”

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According to the local station, once their application is approved, teens will able to print a provisional license. Their actual licenses will reportedly come in the mail in the weeks ahead.

However, the temporary waiver has been met with concerns from some parents.

Jen Hancock told the station that she thinks "eliminating a driving test puts people at greater risk."

“If we have a stay-at-home order, where do these 16-year-olds need to drive?” she added.