My oldest child is sixteen, homeschooled, and just got her drivers license from the Department of Drivers Services (DDS) in Locust Grove, GA. I thought it might be helpful if I were to share exactly how she did it as the requirements can seem overwhelming at first. Complete, updated information is available online at http://www.dds.ga.govOn her fifteenth birthday, she got her learner’s permit. She first needed to take a written test on the rules of the road. We both found this odd as she’d never done more than drive around her dad’s work. In order to pass the test, she read the booklet/manual available for free from the DDS. She also had to show proof that she lived in Georgia with current mail (addressed to me, the parent), and bring her birth certificate and social security card in. I also had to show my drivers license.
During the next twelve months, she was allowed to drive our vehicles as long as either my husband or myself was sitting next to her. As she drove, we explained laws, warned her of possible scenarios and encouraged her to be a defensive driver.
Before getting her license, she was required to drive for at least 40 hours, with six of those being at night. The daytime hours were easy for her to get, but we don’t go out much at night so six hours took awhile to reach.
She was also required to take a DDS-approved drivers education program. We chose an online course called I Drive Safely. It cost $59 and she was able to do it all from home, as she had time. The course was fine, and she learned a lot, but she was frustrated by the fact that you have to spend exactly the amount of time per unit/section that they say it should take (so, if a page “should” take seven minutes, you can’t move on if you’re done reading in just three minutes); they do this because it’s supposed to take as long as classroom instruction would.
Additionally, she had to complete the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (ADAP) offered online for free at eADAP. She was able to do this in one evening. (Note: You cannot take the online course if you are enrolled in school; it is provided by the DDS for homeschooled students and those going for their GED. Schools provide an ADAP for their students.)Once she had everything done (hours of driving, drivers ed course, and ADAP), she was able to schedule her road test. At the location we went to, she was required to parallel park and back into a space in the parking lot, and then drive on the road, going into a neighborhood and coming back to the DDS. She needed a score of at least 75 to pass. They start at 100 and deduct points as you made mistakes. Parallel parking and backing up are each worth ten, most other things are worth two points per offense, such as not stopping behind the white line and staying at or under the speed limit.
On the day of the road test, we had to bring certain things with us:
- her permit
- my license (a parent has to be present)
- our vehicle’s insurance card
- declaration of intent (proof of enrollment in school)
- certificate of completion of eADAP
- certificate of completion of drivers education course (which fulfills Joshua’s Law)
I had to sign an affidavit that stated she had completed the required driving in the last year and we both had to sign the application for getting a drivers license.
Then she had her photo taken and she was done! She now has a Class D license, which has a number of restrictions to it, for the safety of inexperienced drivers under the age of eighteen. When she turns 18, she can go in and apply for a Class C license which is what I have.
I hope this helps parents out there trying to figure out how to get their homeschooled child in GA a license – it’s quite involved, but it’s doable!