Georgia teenagers who are about to get behind the wheel need to know about a new law coming into effect Thursday.

From July 1st, 16- and 17-year-olds must complete a “Joshua’s Law” safety course before they can get their driver’s license.

Joshua’s Law, also known as House Bill 466, was passed during this year’s legislature. 17-year-olds are currently exempt from 30 hours of program tuition and six hours of street training.

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The Georgia Department of Driver Services says anyone under the age of 18 will not be issued their original Class D license without completing the required training.

There are several ways for teenagers to complete the program, including:

  • 30 hours of tuition at a DDS-approved school plus six hours of driver training at a DDS-approved school plus 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent / legal guardian
  • 30 hours of lessons in a DDS-approved school plus completion of the driving guide for young people, which includes 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent / legal guardian
  • DDS-approved online training course plus six hours of driver training in a DDS-approved school plus 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent / legal guardian
  • DDS-approved online school course plus completion of the driving guide for parents for young people, which includes 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent / legal guardian

Young people do not need to present a driver’s log for the supervised hours, but a parent or legal guardian must be present when applying for a driver’s license.

According to the DDS, approved courses are offered by high schools and private driving schools that can cost around $ 250. There are approved online virtual programs available at a lower cost.

A list of approved schools can be found on the DDS website.

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