Nearly 20K Georgia Teens Have Gotten Their Driver’s License — Without Taking a Road Test

Nearly 20,000 Georgia teenagers are now able to legally get behind the wheel of a car without ever having had a road test, according to CNN.

Thanks to an executive order from Gov. Brian Kemp, 19,483 teens have had their learner's permits upgraded to a licenses without taking a road test over the last few weeks, CNN reported, citing the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

“I had been nervous about the driving test — with the parallel parking and all that,” 17-year-old Willa Pevey told the outlet. “So I was happy that I didn’t have to do it.”

The upgrades come following an April 23 order issued by Kemp that waived the requirement for most road tests until the public state of emergency due to the coronavirus was over.

The 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.

Motorcycle and CDL drivers, however, still have to schedule appointments for road tests.

A similar waiver will go into place for Wisconsin teenagers starting Monday, according to CNN.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reportedly estimated that 10,000 of the 16,000 road test requests that have been on hold due to the pandemic will now be eligible for the waiver.

Despite excitement from the teens, Georgia’s test waiver has some concerned, like driving instructor Sarah Casto.

Casto, who works at 1st Stop Georgia Driving Academy in Henry County, recently launched an online petition to get Kemp to reverse his decision, which has now been signed by more than 1,300 people, according to WAGA.

“We understand that this is supposed to be temporary, but the ramifications from even a few weeks of unskilled drivers getting their license can be catastrophic,” the petition reads.

Others on Twitter had similar reactions, like the user who wrote, “The girl that went before me when I took my drivers test drove on the wrong side of the road leaving the driving school…Georgia [what are you doing?].”

Added another: “Honesty moment: I failed my first drivers test when I was a teen in Georgia. I needed to fail too cause I couldn’t drive. My mom had to pay for professional lessons for me to pass and good thing she did. They f—ed up with this one.”

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 30,294 cases and 1,317 deaths attributed to coronavirus, according to The New York Times.

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