There are some driver's education law changes that took effect since July 1, 2021, in the state of Georgia. These new laws have a huge impact on many teen drivers in the area. Basically, House Bill 466 means all 17-year-old drivers who wish to get a driver's license in Georgia must complete Joshua's Law-approved education course – a law that previously only applied to 15- and 16-year-old drivers. This new rule prevents anyone below the age of 18 from getting their Class D license until they have successfully completed the mandated training.
In this post, Athens Driving Prep shares what you need to know about Georgia's new driving regulations that your teen needs to know about:
What is Joshua's Law?
Joshua's Law is the more popular name for House Bill 466, which until recently stated that 17- year-old drivers are exempted from the required 30 hour-program instruction and six-hour road training (the six hours of professional training is not mandatory if the GA DDS Parent/Teen Driving Guide is followed). Now, the Georgia Department of Driver Services will not issue an initial Class D license to anyone below 18 years old who hasn't completed the mandatory training.
This Law is named after Joshua Brown, a teen driver and high school student who perished from a hydroplaning accident in 2003. The Department of Transportation in Georgia states that it was the boy's father who has worked hard for Joshua's Law to be put in place to ensure that young drivers get quality driver education and significantly minimize deaths caused by vehicular accidents.
For a driver to be compliant with Joshua's Law, the mandated driver's education must be completed. This could include either in-person, virtual classroom, or online theoretical training, which should be at least 30 hours. A certified Driver’s Ed program will include an exam at the end and, upon passing the exam, the issuance of a 30-hour certificate, which all minors must present at their road test. Requirements also include behind-the-wheel training and supervised driving.
Options for Completing the Program:
The requirement for the 30 hour driver’s ed can be supplied either 1) in a classroom setting, 2) a virtual classroom, or 3) online program, providing it is a course approved by the GA DDS. The 40 hours of supervised driving, with six of those hours driven at night, must be completed by any person who wants to obtain a GA driver’s license. Minor-age drivers must additionally complete six hours of professional instruction if their 40 hours of supervised practice is not structured by using the GA DDS Parent/ Teen Driving Guide.
The 30 hours of classroom instruction from a school approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services plus six hours of training behind the wheel does not have to be all from the same school. For example, some students will do the classroom training at their high school or at another private driving school and come to Athens Driving Prep for the six-hour training.
It is worth noting that even though the teen driver is not required to submit a driving log for the supervised hours, the teen and the parent OR licensed driving instructor must sign a sworn affidavit in front of the examiner at the time of the road test, attesting to having completed 40 hours of practice with six of those hours being at night.
Whether you are a teen driver or the parent of one, and you want to get your Georgia license, you need to have a complete understanding of Joshua's Law. Remember that laws like these are created to protect drivers, especially young ones who might be more reckless and fearless when behind the wheel.
If you are on the lookout for an Athens Driving school that's approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services, Athens Driving Prep is the right choice for you. We provide driver education tailored to match the student's strengths and weaknesses to ensure that they get a solution that will help the student learn how to drive safely. Get in touch with us at (706) 850-2800 to find out more about our packages!