Last month, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp sparked outrage when he signed an executive order stating that teens were no longer required to pass the formal driving test to obtain their driver licenses. Instead, teens would be cleared if they completed the 40+ hours of supervised driving time and had been cleared by their parents.
However, Kemp has now reneged on this ruling following statewide outcry. On Tuesday, during a press conference, Kemp announced that teens who had received their licenses in the past few weeks by applying for them online will now be required to take the road test between now and September 30th in order to keep their licenses. If they do not do so, those licenses will be deemed invalid.
“Anybody that has gotten a driver’s license that hasn’t taken the test – even though they met the criteria of so many hours on the road, and been to driving school, or had your parents verify that – they’re still going to have to come back and take the driver’s test,” Kemp said.
Tuesday’s order will allow the state’s Department of Driver Services to orchestrate their tests “by remote means,” as well as the normal way when they feel safe to do so. The order also ordered the department to “correct public guidance documents” so that they reflect that “testing was only temporarily suspended,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Kemp justified his initial decision, claiming that it would be impossible to maintain social distancing with a driving instructor in the vehicle. Nearly 20,000 teen drivers have obtained their licenses under the temporary ruling.
The Governor further attempted to clean it up by stating that it was always his plan to require the teens to take the driving test at some point, claiming that he was only trying to clear up the backlog of road tests that had been postponed due to the coronavirus.