COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL) – Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp issued a new order Tuesday, requiring teen drivers to take road tests in order to get their driver’s license. This comes after the he faced criticism following an earlier order that dropped the road test requirement.
The parking lot of the Department of Driver Services in Columbus parking lot has been empty since it closed due to COVID-19 on March 30. But with Governor Kemp’s new order, its now seeing an influx of teenagers ready to schedule a road test.
Since April 23, at least 20,000 teens received their driver’s licenses with just their parent’s permission.. this after Kemp announced he was waiving the road test in order to limit contact.
16-year-old Jacob Sikking was one of them. “Since I had already completed all of the other requirements, I just went online and filled out all the steps and got my license,” he said.
Kemp’s new order authorizes the Department to administer the test while riding with the applicant or “by remote means.” Workers stood outside of the car while they allowed two drivers to complete part of their road tests.
Sikking says he’s more comfortable with it this way. “I feel like the road test is very necessary and I feel like if it’s done in a safe environment then I believe it can be done for everybody,” he said.
On Tuesday the governor said he signed the new order to make clear that students who received their licenses without tests must now pass one to keep their privileges.
“That was always the case, we just wanted to clarify that,” he said. “Anybody who has gotten the driver’s license but hasn’t taken the test — even if they’ve met the criteria of so many hours on the road and went to driver’s school — they’re still going to have to come back and take the driver’s test.”
According to Kemp’s new order, teens who have already received their license under his first order will need to schedule a road test by September 30 to maintain it.