The Georgia Department of Driver Services implemented several legislative mandates on Jan. 1 that may affect your driving privileges.
Fees will now be charged for any retest of a general knowledge exam (automobile, motorcycle and CDL) and for missing a commercial driving road test. Non-citizens living in Georgia will be able to keep their foreign issued driver’s license along with a newly-issued Georgia license.
House Bill 1111
House Bill 1111 allows DDS to charge a fee for failed attempts at written tests. Prospective drivers will be charged $10 each time a retest is attempted, providing a good reason to study before hand. The up-front fee would apply for all knowledge tests that DDS administers including commercial and motorcycle licenses. If the customer passes the test the fee will replace the permit fee for the service requested.
Prospective commercial drivers must pay a $50 fee prior to making a reservation for a CDL road test. If the customer does not show up for their appointment they will have to pay a new $50 fee to schedule a new appointment.
The $50 fee is good for two tests if the customer arrives at the reserved time. Even though CDL road tests require mandatory appointments, many fail to appear for the exam wasting valuable examination time.
In addition, commercial drivers must provide a full legal name for the application and may not utilize a social security number as a CDL license number.
Federal mandates now require DDS to obtain out of state records for all CDL applicants and impose mandatory disqualifications in Georgia which were not imposed in previous jurisdictions. Civil penalties for commercial driver violations and commercial driver employer violations have been enhanced.
Senate Bill 488
Senate Bill 488 allows non-citizens to keep their foreign issued driver’s license or identification card when obtaining a non-commercial Georgia license or ID card. Customers applying for a commercial drivers license must surrender their out-of-country license.
A non-citizen who is not a Georgia resident but is visiting or attending school may drive using a valid license from another country plus an international driver permit. The international driver permit is issued in the home country and translates a foreign issued license to make it understandable to U.S. officials.
For complete driver testing and licensing information, please visit the DDS Web site www.dds.ga.gov. Many transactions such as implementing a change of address or replacing a lost or stolen license may be initiated online.