Securing a driver’s license in Georgia just got a whole lot easier for many permit holders.
Road tests have been temporarily waived for many Georgia drivers looking to upgrade their learner’s permit to a license thanks to an executive order signed last week amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Permit holders as young as 16 that have completed at least 40 hours of supervised training over one year are allowed to upgrade their permit online and print out a temporary license, according to the governor’s signed order.
This new exception, which aims to prevent potential disease transmission during road tests, does not include those wanting to obtain a motorcycle or commercial driver’s license. Applicants must also have no violations on their record.
“What the executive order does, it allows the teen driver to go to that next phase without having to take that road test because of social distancing problems, obviously, in trying to provide the test,” Spencer Moore, the commissioner at the Department of Driver Services, told Atlanta station WSB-TV.
This new fast-track option requires a parent to sign off on the completed 40-hour driving requirement, which has raised some concerns about honesty.
“I’m hoping most parents won’t just sign off on those 40 hours,” Stormi Kenney, who owns the Kennesaw Driving School north of Atlanta, told Fox 5 Atlanta. “I’m hoping most will take the time and drive with their kids before they let them obtain their driver’s license.”
Georgia, which has already taken some heat over its decision to open large parts of its economy ahead of other states, appears to be the first state to relax such rules for obtaining a license. Other states have simply suspended driving tests amid the pandemic with no exceptions offered for permit holders.
This relaxed driving requirement is expected to stay in effect until Georgia’s public health state of emergency is lifted.
Moore said that the majority of those who have completed the 40-hour driving requirement are ready to hit the road.
“We see a very high pass rate,” he told WSB-TV, adding that more than 80% pass on their first try.
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