Georgia teens will have to take road tests to get their licenses after all

Gov. Brian Kemp’s new executive order Tuesday clarified a major requirement for teen drivers to get their licenses in Georgia.

An April 23 order temporarily dropped the road test requirement because it would violate social distancing guidelines. Instead, teens who qualified could apply for a provisional license on the Department of Driver Services website.

But now Georgia teens will have to take a road test in order to get their licenses after all.

There had been some controversy over the initial decision to suspend the tests, but Kemp said it was always the plan for teens to still take them.

“We just wanted to clarify that,” Kemp said during his news conference. “Anybody who has gotten the driver’s license but hasn’t taken the test — even if they’ve met the criteria of so many hours on the road and went to driver’s school — they’re still going to have to come back and take the driver’s test.”

CORONAVIRUS IN GEORGIA

Before the virus, more than 5,000 Georgia teens a week took the official road test to get their license. But social distancing requirements led to a major backup in license applications.

More than 20,000 teen drivers took advantage of the suspension. Teens who skipped the test now have until the end of September to schedule an appointment and pass it.

Tuesday’s executive order says that DDS can have examiners ride in the car during tests or by “remote means.” You can download and read the governor’s executive order on the road tests here.