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Georgia Drivers Can Now Get Licensed Without Taking A Road Test

Prospective drivers in Georgia don't have to stress about the road test and the examiner with the clipboard deciding whether to approve a license.

Earlier this week, Gov. Brian Kemp's office issued an executive order allowing for many prospective license holders to upgrade their learner's permits into licenses without taking an in-person road test. The order was filed because the state had suspended road tests in March amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Those under 18 who have learner's permits have to have held their permits for at least a year and a day without a violation. Those over 18 are eligible to upgrade their permits to licenses immediately.

However, new drivers are still supposed to undergo at least 40 hours of supervised driving with a licensed adult. This leaves the ultimate decision of whether a new driver is ready to hit the road on their own up to a parent or guardian.

Georgia has allowed many companies to reopen, including high-touch businesses like tattoo parlors and nail salons. The decision drew criticism from President Trump.

In response to Kemp's executive order, one Twitter user wrote, "Georgia's all good with nail salons and tattoo parlors reopening, but you can't take a road test to get your driver's license?"

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Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.

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