§ 40-5-27. Examination of applicants.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 40. MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC

Chapter 5. DRIVERS' LICENSES

Article 2. ISSUANCE, EXPIRATION, AND RENEWAL OF LICENSES

Current through 2019-2020 Chapters 1-469, 473, 476-478, 481-485, 487-489, 493, 494, 500, 502, 509, 515, 519, 521, 523-526, 533, 536-541

§ 40-5-27. Examination of applicants

(a)
(1) The department shall examine every applicant for a driver's license, except as otherwise provided in this Code section. Such examination shall include a test of the applicant's eyesight, his or her ability to understand official traffic-control devices, and his or her knowledge of safe driving practices and the traffic laws of this state and shall also include a comprehensive on-the-road driving test during which the applicant shall be required to fully demonstrate his or her ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle of the type or general class of vehicles he or she desires a license to drive.
(2) The on-the-road driving test requirement shall not apply to any applicant for a Class C driver's license who holds a Class D driver's license issued on or after January 1, 2002.
(3) Neither the on-the-road driving test nor the knowledge test shall apply to:
(A) An applicant 18 years of age and older with a valid and current license, or a license that has been expired for less than two years, issued by another state of the United States or the District of Columbia; or
(B) An applicant who is a citizen of a foreign country or political subdivision of a foreign country with which the commissioner has entered into a reciprocal agreement pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 40-5-5.
(4) The examination may also include such further physical and mental examination as the department finds necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely upon the highways. The commissioner may establish by rules and regulations the type of tests or demonstrations to be made by applicants for any class of license.
(b) The department shall make provision for giving an examination either in the county where the applicant resides or at another place reasonably convenient to the applicant. The examination, with the exception of those required for a commercial driver's license, commercial driver's license permit, or noncommercial Class A, B, or M license, shall be given at least once each month in each county of the state.
(c)
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, no noncommercial driver's license shall be issued to any person who does not have a visual acuity of 20/60, corrected or uncorrected, in at least one eye or better and a horizontal field of vision with both eyes open of at least 140 degrees or, in the event that one eye only has usable vision, horizontal field of vision must be at least 70 degrees temporally and 50 degrees nasally.
(2) A person whose visual acuity is less than 20/60 but better than 20/200 using spectacles, contact lenses, or the carrier portion of bioptic spectacles shall be considered eligible for a driver's license if the person is not otherwise disqualified from having a driver's license under the provisions of this article and if:
(A) The person can attain a visual acuity of at least 20/60 through utilizing bioptic telescopes;
(B) The telescopes are prescribed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist;
(C) The person presents documentation of having satisfactorily completed training in the use of the bioptic telescope as certified by the prescribing doctor;
(D) The person presents documentation of an on-the-road evaluation and having satisfactorily completed any recommended training in driving while using bioptic telescopes from a certified driver's license examiner;
(E) The person completes a standard driver's education course while using the bioptic telescopes subsequent to completing evaluation or training with a driver's license examiner; and
(F) The person presents said documentation to a department operated test site and passes a driver's test examination administered by the department.
(3) A person who is licensed to drive using bioptic telescopes shall be subject to possible restrictions placed on his or her license as determined and recommended by the prescribing optometrist or ophthalmologist or the driver's license examiner. Any recommended restrictions shall be reported to the department in writing at the time the person presents himself or herself for a driver's test examination. Restrictions may include daylight driving only, outside rearview mirrors, certain area and time restrictions, no interstate driving, yearly reevaluations by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, and other such restrictions. Any restrictions shall be eligible for review and reconsideration after one year by completing all of the steps described in subparagraphs (A) through (F) of paragraph (2) of this subsection, including completing any additional possible testing under special conditions, as determined by the optometrist or ophthalmologist.
(4) The user of a bioptic telescope shall require renewal of his or her license every four years. However, the person must be reevaluated at least biennially by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. A certification by the optometrist or ophthalmologist that the user's visual acuity, visual field, and eye health remain stable shall be presented to the department at the time of the biennial eye examination. In the event that changes in vision are determined, the person's license shall expire and the person must successfully repeat all of the steps described in subparagraphs (A) through (F) of paragraph (2) of this subsection in order to have his or her license reinstated. If no significant changes occur in the user's vision at the second biennial examination in a license renewal cycle, the user's license shall be renewed without the necessity of a road test examination or any further eyesight examination.
(d)
(1) The department shall authorize licensed driver training schools to conduct knowledge tests, on-the-road driving skills tests, and other tests required for issuance of a driver's license as provided in this subsection. The department shall, prior to approving a licensed driver training school to conduct tests as provided in this subsection, make a determination that the school has been licensed for a minimum of two years and has conducted driver education courses on a full-time basis for such two-year period and that such school meets all other standards which the department may establish as a condition for approval to conduct such tests. The department shall authorize a driver training school licensed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 43 and approved by the department to administer the on-the-road driving skills testing provided for in this Code section, provided that the applicant has successfully completed:
(A)
(i) A classroom or online driver training course licensed by the department and which includes a minimum of 30 class hours of instruction ; and
(ii) Six hours of private in-car instruction provided by a licensed instructor employed by the licensed driver training school administering such on-the-road driving skills test.
(B) For any applicant 18 years of age or older, a minimum of six hours of private in-car instruction provided by a licensed instructor employed by the licensed driver training school administering such on-the-road driving skills test.
(2) The department may establish by rules and regulations the type of tests or demonstrations to be made by applicants for any Class P instruction permit, Class C driver's license, or Class D driver's license under this Code section.
(3) The department may authorize public and private high schools to conduct knowledge tests required for issuance of a Class P instruction permit or Class D driver's license or both.

Cite as OCGA § 40-5-27

History. Amended by 2020 Ga. Laws 468, §2-4, eff. 6/30/2020.

Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 145, §1, eff. 1/1/2020.

Amended by 2017 Ga. Laws 275, §40, eff. 5/9/2017.

Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 21, §4-11, eff. 7/1/2015.

Amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 624, §1-7, eff. 7/1/2014.

Amended by 2013 Ga. Laws 124, §2, eff. 7/1/2013.

Amended by 2011 Ga. Laws 245, §40, eff. 5/13/2011.

Amended by 2005 Ga. Laws 94, §1, eff. 7/1/2005.

Amended by 2005 Ga. Laws 68, §17-7, eff. 7/1/2005.

Amended by 2004 Ga. Laws 582, §4, eff. 7/1/2004.

Amended by 2001 Ga. Laws 30, §4-1.