Georgia Gov. Now Says 20K Teens Who Got Licenses Without Road Tests Will Have to Take One

The governor of Georgia has changed his tune regarding a controversial move that gave nearly 20,000 teenagers their drivers licenses without having to take a road test.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order Tuesday saying that anyone who’d received a license under the road test waiver will now have to take the test within the next few months in order to keep it.

Kemp said that the Department of Driver Services must “provide a process” for drivers to complete the road test no later than Sept. 30, and that the tests could be completed either with examiners riding in the car with applicants, or by remote means.

The update came after a controversial executive order on April 23 that waived the requirement until the public state of emergency due to the coronavirus was over.

The initial order said that those who already had learner’s permits for at least one year and one day with no violations and at least 40 hours of supervised driving were eligible to upgrade to a Class D license.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services said last week that 19,483 teens had taken the offer and received their licenses.

Kemp said this week that his latest order was issued in order to clarify the situation, as there was never any mention of drivers having to come back to take the test in the April 23 order.

“That was always the case, we just wanted to clarify that,” he said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “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.”

Georgia has been among the first states to slowly begin lifting its shelter-in-place restrictions, and in late April allowed hair and nail salons, barbershops, massage businesses and gyms to reopen, despite urging from President Donald Trump not to do so.

The state has seen at least 33,311 cases and 1,470 deaths attributed to coronavirus as of Wednesday morning, according to The New York Times.

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