How to Obtain a Georgia Driver's License
Where to go and What to Bring:
The Department of Driver Services (DDS) is located at:
371 Gil Harbin Industrial Boulevard
Phone: 333-5385 After business hours: 333-5217
The DDS will issue you a license based on the results of two tests: a computerized test on theory and then a driving test. More information on these tests is listed below. To take the tests, you have to call and make an appointment. Call (678) 413-8400 or toll-free (866) 754-3687 (select Option 4) between 7.00 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Monday-Friday to set up an appointment. The exam stations are open Tuesday-Friday from 8.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 12 noon.
As an international student, you need to bring the following items with you:
2 proofs of residence (utility bill, bank statement, dorm contract, a letter from the CIP, etc.)
Most recent I-20
I-94 card or print-out
$20 fee for license issuance
- A social security card or the form SSA-L676 - both are obtainable from the Social Security Administration Office.
The Testing Process
Part 1 - The Vision Test
Your eyes will be tested by means of a mechanical device. The minimum acceptable vision is 20/60 in one eye, with or without corrective lenses, and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees for a Regular Class license and 20/40 in each eye with or without corrective lenses with a field of vision at least 140 degrees for a Commercial Class license. Upon failure of the field vision screening the applicant will be required to have a DS-274 (Vision Report Form) completed by a licensed optometrist.
Part 2 - The Road Sign Test
You will need to study the Driver's Manual for Parts 2,3 4 of the test.
A set of questions on the meaning of standard highway signs will be given. You will be asked to identify certain signs, signals and markers. 15 out of 20 correct answers are necessary to pass.
Part 3 - The Road Rules Test
The road rules test consists of a set of questions about driver responsibility, knowledge of laws and safe driving practices, applicable to the class of license applied for. To pass the test, the applicants must answer at least 15 out of 20 questions correctly. The road rules tests are available in some non-English languages, but all drivers must show ability to read and understand simple English such as is used in highway traffic and directional signs. Road signs and actual driving test must be taken in English.
Part 4 - The Driving Test (Class C or D)
All road test vehicles must be covered by liability insurance, pass a safety inspection, and if the vehicle is not equipped with turn signals, you must know your hand signals. On the driving test you will be expected to do all or part of the following:
Parallel Parking: Park midway between two standards so that your car is not more than 18 inches from the curb.
Quick Stops: Drive at a speed of 20 miles per hour and make a quick, safe stop when the examiner instructs you.
Backing: Back your car for a distance of about 50 feet, at a slow rate of speed, and as straight and as smoothly as possible. Turn your head and look back at all times while backing.
Stopping for Signs or Traffic Signals: Give the proper hand or brake signal; approach in the proper lane; stop before reaching a pedestrian crosswalk; and remain stopped until you may move safely through.
Turning Around: Turn your car in a narrow space.
Use of Clutch: If your car has a standard transmission, you must shift smoothly and correctly.
Approaching Corners: You must be in proper lane and look in both directions.
Yielding Right-of-Way: Always yield right-of-way to pedestrians, motor vehicles, bicyclists or anyone else who moves into the intersection before you.
Turning: Get into the proper lane and give signal an adequate distance before reaching the turn.
Passing: Always look ahead and behind to make sure you can safely pass without interfering with other traffic.
Following: Do not drive too closely behind other cars. Watch the car ahead of you; when it passes some reference point, such as a telephone pole, then count “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two.” If you pass the same spot before you are through counting, you are following too closely.
Posture: Keep both hands on the steering wheel. Do not rest your elbow on the window and do not attempt to carry on a conversation with the Examiner because they will be busy giving instructions and recording your score. At the end of the test, the license examiner will gladly show you your score sheet and will provide you ample opportunity to discuss the test if you so desire. The applicant must achieve a minimum score of 75% to pass. All road tests are done by appointment only.
Note: Under Georgia law, no one is allowed to have more than one license at a time, regardless of where the license was issued. This means that if you tell the DMV that you have a license in your own country, or an International Driver’s License, they will have to ask you to turn it in before they can issue you a Georgia drivers’ license.
Note: If you are planning to buy a car in the U.S., you must have insurance on it. It is illegal to drive an uninsured car. You may purchase liability insurance, which is cheaper but covers less, or full coverage, which costs more. See an insurance agent to set up a plan. Be aware that the testing officer will need to see proof of insurance on the car you drive for the exam.