Georgia teens can skip driving test during pandemic

Georgia teenagers can skip the driving test to obtain their licenses if they meet certain criteria under an executive order approved by Gov. Brian Kemp. (AJC FILE PHOTO)

Last week's decision by Gov. Brian Kemp to allow bowling alleys, restaurants and other businesses to reopen sparked an outcry that has obscured another provision of his executive order: Teenagers and others will no longer have to take a driving test to get their license.

Kemp's April 23 executive order waives the requirement for most automobile road tests until the public state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic is lifted.

According to the state Department of Driver Services, if you’re 16 to 18 years old and you’ve had a learner’s permit for one year and one day with no violations, you can get your regular license without taking the test. If you’re over 18 and have a learner’s permit, you can also skip the driving test.

Any driver over 17 with no current license or permit must still schedule an appointment to take a knowledge exam. And applicants for motorcycle and commercial driver’s licensees must still take a road test.

It's not the first time Georgia has relaxed driver's license requirements during the pandemic. The Department of Driver Services has given 60-day extensions to hundreds of thousands of people whose licenses expire before June 30. Residents age 60 and over got 120-day extensions.

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