Georgia Drops Road Test Requirement for Teens Getting Driver's Licenses

Sticking an instructor in the vehicle with a young driver would violate social distancing policies, per officials.

AP Images/Bob Child

Limiting the spread of coronavirus requires that people keep their distance from one another, so forcing young drivers to sit in a car with a total stranger for an extended period to take their driving test sort of goes against everything we know about social distancing. That's why Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp has handed down an executive order temporarily waiving the driving test as a requirement for getting a license, opening the door for potentially irresponsible teen drivers act wildly on the road.

All other requirements for young drivers remain in place, including a written test and 40 hours of supervised driving. As driving time is self-reported, however, kids who pass the former requirement and have parents willing to vouch for the latter will be able to leap straight from permits to full licenses, and do so without even visiting a Department of Driver Services office either. With DDS offices scaling back to appointment-only operations, upgrading from a permit to a license can now be done online.

"During these unprecedented times, the Department of Driver Services is trying to make it as easy as a process for people to get their license and to lessen the burden on people right now," commented Stormi Kenney, owner of Kennesaw Driving School, to Fox 5 Atlanta. "I'm hoping most parents won't just sign off on those 40 hours, I'm hoping most will take the time and drive with their kids before they let them obtain their driver's license."

"I think it would be beneficial to have an unbiased set of eyes on my driver. I think I might be quick to let her get her license not knowing if she knows all the laws," added a local parent.

Meanwhile, others are perfectly fine with their kids not taking physical driving tests.

"I'm good with them dropping the road test piece so [my daughter] can get out there and drive," said another paren.

Governor Kemp's executive order will reportedly expire mid-May, so the window for teens to acquire licenses without testing may be limited to just these next couple weeks. Should kids hope to get a motorcycle or commercial license, however, they will reportedly still need a test, so dreams of racing Atlanta's streets on the latest Ducati may, for now, remain just dreams.

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h/t: Complex