Driving Test in GA

Lindley McEvoy

Getting your license is a major right of passage in most people’s lives. From an early age, kids look forward to being able to get behind the wheel and gain a sense of independence. However, there’s typically an extremely tedious process that one has to complete before getting it. In Massachusetts, on your sixteenth birthday you can go to the DMV and take your permit test. You then have six months until you’re eligible for your license. In those six months, you have to complete a Drivers Ed course, twelve hours of behind the wheel driving with a certified instructor, six hours observing another person drive with a certified driving instructor, and forty hours of driving with your parents. Once you’ve completed all of these tasks you can schedule a road test, but sometimes there isn’t an available road test for several weeks. The road test (although not that challenging) is very nerve-wracking and driving instructors are usually not shy about failing kids. 

Amid the statewide shutdowns due to the Coronavirus, Georgia’s governor recently suspended the road test requirement for Georgia drivers. Now, in order to get their licenses, Georgia teenagers just need their parents to certify that their child is a safe driver. This order is only temporary and will end when Georgia’s state of emergency expires. The governor suspended this requirement in the hopes of relieving pressure on the DMVs when they reopen. Although this could be potentially dangerous, suspending the road test will put an emphasis on personal responsibility and honesty because parents should not pass their kids unless they genuinely believe they are ready. 

In Massachusetts, the DMV is closed for all non-essential business which include permit and road tests. This is causing a huge back-up on road tests, and kids who recently turned sixteen aren’t able to get their permits. In addition, people aren’t able to complete driving hours to become eligible for their road test. If this proves successful in Georgia, it could inspire other states to follow in their footsteps and in the long term could potentially get rid of the road test forever.