The roughly 20,000 new drivers in Georgia who got drivers’ licenses without passing road tests won’t get behind the wheel as easily as it initially seemed. A new executive order from Governor Brian Kemp makes his first order merely an extension, and now those new drivers have until September 30, 2020 to take the road test or risk losing their licenses.
Last month, Kemp issued a temporary executive order which suspended the need for new drivers to pass a road test in order to be issued a license. Here’s the original order:
That, effective immediately, the provision of Code Section 40-5-27(a) requiring the Department of Driver Services to examine every applicant for a driver’s license with a comprehensive on-the-road driving test is hereby suspended and applicants for a driver’s license shall not be required to complete a comprehensive on-the-road driving test, provided all other requirements outlined in Code Section 4-=5-27 are met.
And now, the one issued:
The Department of Drivers’ Services shall correct public guidance documents, including, but not limited to, “DDS COVID-19 Information” to reflect that the on-the-road test was only temporarily suspended by Executive Order 04.23.2020.02, and that all drivers who received licenses pursuant to that Order are still required to and shall complete an on-the-road test to maintain their drivers’ license.
Kemp is dead-set on opening up the state again, despite 35,245 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,493 deaths, though some businesses like bars and nightclubs will remain closed until the end of the month, according to WSB Atlanta. Business that are allowed to open, like restaurants and child care centers, must adhere to new social distancing guidelines.
The governor is issuing what basically amounts to a legislative mulligan after backlash from residents worried about drivers hitting the road unchecked. But doing away with those driving tests wasn’t really a big deal. As our own Erik Shilling pointed out, the actual Georgia road test is about performing the basics of operating a vehicle under a tester’s watchful eye. As anyone who has passed a road test knows, what this has to do with actually being a teen on the road is pretty much zilch.