Don’t know which driver’s license you should get?
Because of different license classifications, navigating through the driver’s license world can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with it. And if you don’t know the license you’re supposed to get, then you might get caught driving illegally.
Well, we’re here to clear everything in this article.
I’m going to give you a complete guide on Georgia driver’s license classifications. Plus, I’ll also discuss how to obtain these license types.
So are you ready? Let’s begin!
What are Driver’s License Classifications?
Just like any other state in the country, Georgia has its own driver’s license classifications that are determined by the type and weight of the vehicle that you’ll be driving.
This means that your driver’s license will be based on what you will be operating.
Ever heard of GVWR?
GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is used to determine and classify vehicles based on weight. You’ll be hearing a lot about this as you read through this post, which is why I mentioned it here.
What are the Driver’s License Classifications in Georgia?
There are 14 types of driver’s license classes in Georgia.
Yes, that’s a lot. But just know that these classes are divided into commercial, non-commercial, and permits.
Today, we’ll only be discussing the 7 most common ones. These are:
- Class A (Commercial)
- Class B (Commercial)
- Class C (Commercial and Non-commercial)
- Class CP (Permit)
- Class D Standard Operator’s License
- Class M “Motorcycle” License
- Class MP (Motorcycle Permit)
Let’s get into the details of each class.
Class A (Commercial)
Class A licenses are needed for the use of any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of at least 26,001lbs. The vehicle/cargo being towed has to have a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds.
For example, you’ll need a Class A license if you’re going to operate a large semi-truck, large towing truck, etc…
This is the highest Commerical Driver’s License (CDL), which means you can use it to operate vehicles under Class B and C as well.
Class B (Commercial)
This is for single vehicles (can be a towing vehicle, too) that weigh a GVWR of at least 26,001lbs.
Single vehicles can include cement mixers, semi-trucks without any trailer, school buses, etc...
The Class B license can be used to operate vehicles under the Class C category.
Class C (Non-commercial and Commercial)
For the commercial Class C license, you can operate any single or towing vehicle that weighs less than 26,000lbs GVWR.
This is designed for vehicles that carry 16 or more people (including the driver) and/or hazardous materials for commercial purposes.
As for the non-commercial Class C license, it is also for single or towing vehicles that weigh less than 26,000lbs GVWR and carry 16 or more people.
The only difference is that, since it is non-commercial, the vehicle operated should only be for personal use.
Class CP (Permit)
Class CP is categorized under Class C, except that the former is more of a permit than a license.
This Class CP is only given to people aged 15-17 after they pass a vision test and a knowledge exam. The student should also follow school enrollment requirements.
The permit given to Class CP is also called an instructional permit.
With this permit, the driver can drive a Class C non-commercial vehicle only when he/she is accompanied by someone at the age of 21 or older (should have a valid driver’s license).
Class D Standard Operator’s License
A Class D provisional license is given to a driver who has turned 16 years old and has held a Class CP permit for at least a year and 1 day.
However, these 16-year-olds should not have any major traffic violations and have maintained the school enrollment requirements.
To add to that, Class D is given if the student has completed the required Driver’s Ed course which consists of classroom/online driver education and behind-the-wheel training.
Don’t want to get the driver’s ed course? That’s okay!
But to do that, you have to wait until you turn 17 for you to apply for a Class D license.
Class M Motorcycle License
A Class M license allows you to drive motorcycles and motor-driven cycles.
The great news is that you can get a Class M license on its own. You don’t need to get, say, a Class C license first, which is required in some states.
To get this license, though, you have to be at least 17 years old.
Class MP (Motorcycle Permit)
Class MP is a lot like Class CP, where the former is an instructional permit for driving motorcycles or motor-driven cycles.
This license is only given to those that are at least 16 years old and have completed their Driver Education Training.
If you are over 16 years old, you are no longer required to take the Driver Education Training.
Take note that the Class MP license doesn’t allow you to have a passenger on your motorcycle. You’re also only allowed to drive during the day.
How to Obtain a Class CP License for Ages 15-16 in Georgia
Want to obtain a Class CP license at the age of 15?
What are the requirements?
First, you should apply to the Georgia DDS Customer Service Center regarding a learner’s permit or an instructional permit (Class CP). This permit is the only “license” you can get for teens aged 15-16.
Second, pass the needed requirements like valid IDs, driver’s ed certificate, Georgia DDS Certificate of Enrollment, and the Responsible Adult application signed by a guardian or adult.
The next step is for you to schedule vision and knowledge exams. On the date of your exams, you have to go to the DDS Customer Service Center and meet the required points for each exam.
If you meet all requirements and scores, then you’ll be given a Class CP permit.
This is a renowned online driving school that can be taken completely online. Their courses are perfect for teens as the material is very modern and interactive. Plus, they have a mobile app that allows the student to study on the go!
How to Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License in Georgia
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Georgia can be obtained if you already have a commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
Note: the CLP is different from a CP permit mentioned in the above section.
To get a CLP, you have to pass certain documents to your local Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Center. These requirements include a Class C driver’s license, application form, permit fee, and medical certification.
When you have complete requirements, you will be scheduled for a written and a vision exam. While it’s not required to take a course for the CLP permit, it’s a good option to help you prepare for the written exam.
Once you pass those exams, you’ll be given a CLP.
After 14 days of receiving your CLP, you will be allowed to schedule a driver’s test in the same Driver Services Center. When you pass the driver’s test, you can get your CDL.
How to Obtain a Motorcycle License in Georgia
To get a motorcycle license in the state, you can choose one of two options:
- Take a Motorcycle Safety Program Course
- Apply at the DDS Customer Service Center
If you plan on taking the Motorcycle Safety Program Course, all you have to do is to take the course in an accredited school. When you pass the course, you’ll receive a 90-Day Motorcycle License Test Waiver.
This waiver will allow you to skip the knowledge and vision tests at the DDS Customer Service Center.
On the other hand, if you apply at the DDS, you have to take both exams. You will also undergo an on-cycle skills test.
Passing these tests will give you a motorcycle license in Georgia.
Georgia Driver’s License Classifications Frequently Asked Questions
Got some questions about driver’s license classes and applications?
Let’s answer some FAQs to help you.
When can I apply for a Class D permit in Georgia?
You can apply for Class D permits if you’re at least 16 years old and you have held a Class CP permit for at least a year and 1 day.
Before applying, you should have completed a DDS-approved driver’s education course and behind-the-wheel training hours.
You can also apply for a Class D permit at 17 years old which doesn’t require you to get a driver’s ed.
What are the restrictions of a Class D permit in Georgia?
Class D license holders aren’t allowed to:
- Operate a motor vehicle from 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM,
- Transport non-members of the driver’s immediate family (only during the first 6 months)
- Transport more than one passenger who is below 21 years old and is not a member of the driver’s immediate family (second 6-month period)
- Transport more than 3 passengers below 21 years old and are not members of the driver’s immediate family (for the remainder of the Class D period)
Do I need any driver’s license for a Class M permit in Georgia?
No, you don’t need a driver’s license to get a Class M permit in Georgia. However, you have to be at least 17 years old.
Now that you know all the different Georgia driver’s license classifications, as well as the requirements for obtaining each one, it won’t be confusing anymore.
So what license class do you need?
Whatever it is, make sure it fits with the vehicle you’re driving, the purpose of the license, and all that.
We hope that this article has been a great help!