What is Joshua’s Law?

In Georgia, Joshua’s Law requires all 16 and 17 year olds applying for their provisional driver’s license to complete a state-approved driver education course and 40 hours of supervised driving.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
According to
Georgia's driver license requirements
, teen drivers who are 16 or 17 years old can apply for a provisional license once they meet the requirements of Joshua’s Law. These requirements include taking a state-approved driver education course and completing 40 hours of supervised driving.
Before you can get your driver’s license in any state, there are certain requirements you need to meet. In Georgia, young drivers can apply for their class D driver’s license once they’ve held a learner’s permit for one year and one day—but first they need to fulfill the requirements of Joshua’s Law, a 2005 bill that was passed in order to increase driving safety for Georgia teens.
Whether you’re a new driver in Georgia or the parent of one, having a good understanding of Joshua’s Law can help streamline the process of converting a learner’s permit to a provisional driver’s license. Here with everything you need to know about Joshua's Law and its requirements is
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What is Joshua’s Law?

Joshua’s Law is named for Joshua Brown, a high school student who was killed in a tragic car accident in 2003. Joshua’s parents believed that their son’s accident was the result of inadequate driver training, so they worked with the state of Georgia to change the requirements for obtaining a driver’s license
Senate Bill 226, or Joshua’s Law, was passed in 2005

Who does Joshua’s Law apply to?

Joshua’s Law requirements must be met by all 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds in Georgia who have held a learner’s permit for at least one year and one day and want to get their provisional driver’s license. The provisional—or class D—driver’s license allows teens to drive alone under certain circumstances. New drivers who are 18 years old or older do not need to meet the Joshua's law requirements, since they can apply for an unrestricted class C license.
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What are Joshua’s Law requirements?

Before you can get a provisional license in Georgia, you must prove to the Department of Driver Services (DDS) that you’ve met all the requirements of Joshua’s Law. These requirements include:
  • Completing a drivers education course with a state-approved public or private driver training school.
  • 40 hours of supervised driving experience with at least six of those hours being at night.
You can complete the driving education requirement of Joshua’s law by attending in-person lessons or enrolling in an online course—but make sure you choose one that’s included on the DDS-approved
list of certified driver training schools
. Once you’ve completed your course, you must present your certificate of completion to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. 
The 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training must be done under the supervision of your parent or legal guardian, following the guidelines provided in the Georgia
Parent/Teen Driving Guide
on the DDS website. 
After meeting the Joshua's law requirements, young drivers who are 16 or 17 years of age can apply for their provisional driver’s license and schedule a road test as long as they haven’t earned any traffic violations. Teen drivers who choose not to complete the Joshua’s Law requirements must wait until they are 18 years old, when they can apply for a class C unrestricted license.
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Does Joshua’s Law apply outside Georgia?

While Joshua’s Law itself only applies to teen drivers in Georgia, 32 states have similar laws  requiring teen drivers to take and pass a driving education course before applying for a provisional or full driver’s license.

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FAQs

Georgia DDS-approved driving lessons are usually offered through public high schools or private companies. The exact amount you’ll need to pay depends on which school or company you choose, but they usually start at around $250.
Any teen driver who wants to get their Georgia provisional (class D) driver’s license is required to comply with Joshua’s law. Teen drivers who don’t meet the Joshua’s Law requirements are not eligible for the provisional driver’s license, and must wait until they are 18 years old to apply for an unrestricted (class C) driver’s license.
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