Published on April 30th, 2020 📆 | 3575 Views ⚑0
Georgia ditches road testing new drivers amid pandemic
In just a few short weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects across the country. Its contagious nature and the current lack of a vaccine or effective treatment has curtailed all but the most essential activities, particularly those that happen indoors or in enclosed spaces. Airline travel has dried to a trickle. Bars and restaurants are mostly take-out only. And we can now add the humble driving test to the list of things the coronavirus has cancelled, at least in the state of Georgia.
On April 23, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order packed with directives. Many of these are aimed at business that want to reopen, for Kemp has been ahead of the curve—even compared to President Trump—when it comes to relaxing rules meant to prevent the spread of the virus. But among the new instructions for businesses like cinemas and tattoo parlors that want to reopen, one of them announces that the state’s Department of Driver Services is temporarily dropping driving tests for new drivers.
“[A]pplicants for a driver’s license shall not be required to complete a comprehensive on-the-road driving test, preceded all other requirements outlined in Code Section 40-5-27 are met,” says the executive order.
As long as a driver has a valid instruction permit and has completed 40 hours of supervised driving, they can convert their permit to a driver’s license online, at least until this executive order expires in mid-May. And those 40 hours of supervised driving are actually on the honor system, since the state doesn’t appear to have a way to check that the new driver has actually completed that requirement.