New law makes driver’s training mandatory for Georgia 17-year-olds to get licenses

Georgia teenagers who will soon be getting behind the wheel will need to know about a new law that goes into effect Thursday.

Starting on July 1, “Joshua’s Law” will require 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to take a safety course before they can get their license.

“Joshua’s Law,” also known as House Bill 466, passed during this year’s legislative session. Currently, 17-year-olds are exempt from 30 hours of program instruction and the six hours of road training.

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The Georgia Department of Driver Services says anyone under the age of 18 will not be issued their initial Class D license without completing the required training.

There are several options for teens to complete the program, including:

  • 30 hours of classroom instruction at a DDS approved school plus six hours of behind the wheel training at DDS approved school plus 40 hours of supervised driving with parent/guardian
  • 30 hours of classroom instruction at a DDS approved school plus completion of the parent teen driving guide that includes 40 hours of supervised driving with parent/guardian
  • DDS approved school online course plus six hours of behind the wheel training at DDS approved school plus 40 hours of supervised driving with parent/guardian
  • DDS approved school online course plus completion of the parent teen driving guide that includes 40 hours of supervised driving with parent/guardian

Teens are not required to present a driving log for the supervised hours but a parent or guardian must be there when they apply for a license.

The DDS says approved courses are offered by high schools and private driving schools that can cost around $250. There are approved online virtual programs offered at a lower cost.

A list of approved schools can be found on the DDS website.

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