Thousands of teens in Georgia who got their driver’s licenses without having to take a road test during the coronavirus pandemic will now be required to take one after all.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order in April that allowed teens who’ve had their learner’s permit for a year and a day with no violations to automatically get a license without taking a road test. The Department of Drivers Services had stopped giving the in-person tests in March as the virus spread.
After receiving criticism from safety advocates, Kemp on Tuesday terminated that arrangement with another order that requires anyone who got a license without the road test to complete one by Sept. 30.
News outlets report that 20,000 teens have been given a license without taking a road test in Georgia during the pandemic.
The order says that the Department of Drivers Services can give road tests by traditional “or by remote means.”
Kemp said Tuesday that he never intended to release new drivers permanently from their obligation to prove their driving skills, although that was how the initial move was widely interpreted.
“Anybody who’s gotten a driver’s license that hasn’t taken the test, even though they met the criteria of so many hours on the road and been to driving school, or had your parents verify that, they’re still going to have to come back and take the driver’s test,” Kemp said.
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