Georgia Driver and Vehicle Services
Georgia residents need information on getting a drivers license, a vehicle registration document and many other crucial driving- and vehicle-related services. The Department of Driver Services (DDS) manages drivers license services in Georgia, including commercial CDL drivers licenses, learners permits and ID card applications. However, car registration and vehicle titling is handled by the Department of Revenue in Georgia. To get an overview of the types of services you may require as a credentialed driver and a vehicle owner in Georgia, review the topics below.
Many Georgians will need services regarding their Georgia drivers license credentials each year, as driver licenses act as government-issued identification and proof of the legal ability to drive. Teenagers in GA will be allowed to apply for a learners permit and then a provisional license before finally getting a full drivers license on their 18th birthdays. However, they must pass the drivers license test that demonstrates their road skills. If you need to renew a drivers license, update information, replace a license or get a new drivers license after moving from out-of-state, the DDS is the state government agency you will need to work with to complete these types of requests. Most drivers licenses issued will need to be addressed in person at a DDS Customer Service Center, but some services can be managed online or by mail. Download our free guide to review more information about drivers licenses in Georgia.
Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs)
There are CDL medical requirements that those interested in getting commercial drivers licenses should know. Since CDLs require a certain level of skill in comparison to typical noncommercial licenses, a specific CDL written exam and skills test will need to be completed. Some commercial drivers may have to pass additional written tests and background checks, depending on what materials they plan to transport. Those older than 21 years old will be able to have full commercial licenses. Those between 18 and 21 will have the “Georgia-only” commercial license. Note that the DDS also manages renewing CDL licenses and handles suspended CDL licenses for the state of Georgia.
The DDS also will issue a motorcycle license to a qualified Georgia resident. A Class M license is available for anyone older than 17 years old. The DDS will administer a road knowledge written exam, as well as a road skills test. Applicants can also take certain motorcycle safety courses to get their licenses to ensure they will have the skills and practice they need to stay safe on the road. However, not everyone interested in a Class M drivers license will need to take the course. Those who own motorcycles will need to go through the motorcycle registration process as well.
A car registration is mandatory in order to legally own a vehicle in Georgia. Those who have just purchased vehicles or have just moved with their vehicles to Georgia will need to register cars with the Department of Revenue in Georgia. The Motor Vehicles Division requires certain documents that prove the car owner’s identity and right to own the car be shown before a new registration is issued. The car title is also a crucial document relevant to registering a car in Georgia.
Traffic tickets are managed by the court system in Georgia. If you need to know how to pay a speeding ticket or any other type of traffic violation, you should learn how to pay the court system. Do not pay the Department of Driver Services. Also, if you wish to fight traffic ticket issuances, you will have to do so through the court system. If you are required to attend traffic school or another form of driver safety and education class, the DDS will guide you on where you can get approved drivers training. This also applies to learner permit holders as they may be required to, in some circumstances, complete a driver’s skills course. The DDS also has a list of approved courses for new drivers.
While getting a drivers license or a car registration cannot be done online, other services are offered via web. There are many online services available to drivers in Georgia. If you need a copy of your driving record (also called driving history) you may use the online system provided by the DDS to have a copy sent to you by mail. If you are moving to Georgia and have lost your license, you will need a driving record to be produced, so you can get a drivers license. This allows Georgia authorities to know if you have had any DUI charges or a suspended drivers license in your previous state of residency.
For those who need VIN number lookups, the Department of Revenue can instruct you on how to conduct a VIN check on the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). A VIN check helps verify the history of a car, including if it has been rebuilt, damaged or stolen. This search takes place online, and can be as general or as detailed as you would like.
It is important that you know what documents and applications are required of you, depending on the driving or vehicle service you need. Most services, such as getting a Georgia ID card or a new driver license, require proof of identity, citizenship or immigration status and residency in Georgia before you start the process. Many services may require much more information, especially if you are an out-of-state or a foreign driver. All documents presented to the relevant Department are required to be in English. Be sure you know which government agency – The Department of Driver Services, The Department of Revenue or the court system – you need to report to or visit online for the particular service you need. Please note that many of these services – in person, online or by mail – are typically associated with fees. To learn more about the requirements for different driving requests, download our guide.