Georgia governor waives road tests for driver's licenses in face of coronavirus

Zac Palmer

Georgia just made it legal for new drivers to receive their driver’s license without a road test. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic and in the interest of social distancing, the state’s governor included the new rules in his latest executive order this week, according to local news reports.

WSB-TV Atlanta reports that approximately 5,000 teenagers per week take the road test to attain their licenses. It also approximates that there’s a backlog of about 30,000 people who haven’t taken the test yet that will now be given permission to skip it.

Georgia’s Department of Driver Services website explains the new process that folks will need to pass through in order to attain a license. If you’re 16-18 years old and have held your learner’s permit for 1 year and 1 day with zero violations, you are eligible to receive your full-fledged driver’s license. The website states that if you have any violations on your record, the license will not be granted. Also, if you’re over 18 and are in possession of your learner’s permit, you’re automatically eligible to receive a license. Basically, if you don’t have a Georgia learner’s permit already, you’re not eligible for this bypassing of the system.

This change is in effect until the end of Georgia’s Public State of Emergency, which is currently scheduled to expire on May 13. And yes, our heads are spinning, too. Georgia is implementing this system to make the process comply with social distancing guidelines, even as it opens the state to businesses like gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, hair and nail salons, estheticians and massage therapists. It has designs on opening theaters and restaurants soon, too. 

Ultimately, this will put thousands of fresh, new drivers on the road who haven’t passed a driver’s test. In fact, they’ll never have to pass a driver’s test, because the state will be mailing them their official driver’s license. Go ahead and let us know how poor of an idea you think this is in the comments below.

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