Getting a license for the first time
If you are a hopeful driver who never has been licensed in another state and want to obtain your Georgia driver’s license, you will need to complete several steps to do so. An adult driver over age 18 can complete a state-approved driving school.
A hopeful teen driver must obtain a learners permit for drivers who are 15 years old and will need a certificate of school enrollment to do so. Teens who are not enrolled in school and are under age 18 must provide evidence of a high school diploma or completion, GED or enrollment in a GED program to obtain a learners permit. A learners permit allows holders to drive a vehicle while accompanied by a licensed driver who is over age 21.
Georgia issues Class C driver’s licenses to qualified motorists who are at least 18 years of age and successfully pass vision, knowledge and road skills tests. After successfully completing the tests, the DDS will take the driver’s photo and issue a new license upon payment of the required fees.
If you already have a valid license in another state, you can obtain a Georgia driver’s license by surrendering your current state license and obtaining a Georgia issued license. You will need to provide proof of residency, such as a lease, mortgage agreement or check stub from an employer showing your current Georgia address.
Renewing your license
You can renew your Georgia driver’s license online, via a mobile app, by mail or at a county DDS services center. The Georgia DDS renews driver’s licenses up to 150 days prior to their expiration. Renewed licenses are valid for up to eight years.
Do you need a Real ID?
All Georgia driver’s licenses that the state DDS has issued since 2012 are Real ID-compliant. If you are unsure whether or not your Georgia license is Real ID-compliant, just look in the upper right hand corner for either a black star or a gold star. Either one signifies your Georgia driver’s license is sufficient for Real ID checkpoints, such as at airports and federal courthouses. If you do not have a black or a gold star and your license is current, you can request a replacement ID with the affirming star affixed in the upper right corner.
Upgrade your probationary license
You can upgrade a provisional Georgia license, such as a learners permit, but completing the vision, knowledge and driving test at a DDS office and paying the required fees. You must be at least 18 years of age and have completed probationary licensing requirements for new drivers.