Teen drivers have their own series of laws and regulations guiding them in Georgia. In most car accidents, the process of seeking compensatory damages is relatively simple. As the victim, you can file a claim with the help of an Augusta car accident lawyer. The insurer of the at-fault driver processes this claim. If the claim is accepted, you get paid. If it is turned down, you can negotiate and try to reach a settlement, or go to a court.
However, things get more complicated when the at-fault driver is a teenager behind the wheel. This is why it is important to understand what laws and insurance requirements apply to teen drivers in Georgia.
Licensing Requirements for Teen Drivers
Georgia offers a graduated licensing system for teenage drivers. The Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA) defines this system. Under this system, teenage drivers can apply for three main types of licenses – the instructional permit, the intermediate license, and the full Class C driver license.
In addition to TADRA, Georgia has also adopted Joshua’s Law in recent years. This law has made some modifications in the process of applying for an underage license. Here is a look at the license types available for teenage drivers and the requisites to apply for each type.
Types of Licenses
Georgia has a three-stepped licensee program for teen drivers.
The Instructional Permit
The instructional permit is the most basic type of license for a teenage driver. A teen must be 15 years or above and have an original birth certificate or a certified copy to apply. Georgia laws also require the teen to get the written consent of a parent or guardian when applying for a permit.
A teen applying for a permit is further required to produce a Certificate of Attendance from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). Alternatively, the applicant must provide proof of graduation.
Once all the requisites are met, an instructional permit is issued which remains valid for 2 years. For the duration of the permit, the teen driver can drive only when accompanied by an adult with a Class C driver’s license.
Class D Intermediate License
A teen driver must have held an instructional permit for at least 1 year and must be at least 16 years of age to apply for an intermediate license, also known as a Class D driver’s license.
The requirements for a Class D license are as follows:
- The applicant must have completed a driver education program. This course must be approved by the relevant authorities.
- The applicant must have at least 40 hours of supervised driving, 6 of which must have been completed at night.
Even once a teen driver receives a Class D license, certain restrictions apply. A class D license holder can’t drive between 12 at midnight and 6 in the morning. For 6 months after receiving the license, the license holder can’t drive with passengers other than immediate family members. After 6 months have passed, the driver can still carry only one non-family passenger below the age of 21.
Full Class C Driver License
A teen driver can apply for a full Class C driver’s license if they are aged 18 or above. In addition to the age requirements, the applicant must be a holder of the Class D license for at least one year and must not have any major traffic violation on the record.
Insurance Requirements For Teen Drivers
Teen drivers do not need an auto insurance policy as long as they have a valid instructional permit and are accompanied by a supervising adult. However, teens are required to carry auto insurance as soon as they have a Class D intermediate license.
The auto insurance requirements for Class D teen drivers are the same as for adult drivers. They must carry a minimum bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person and minimum property damage coverage of at least $25,000.
An advantage teens have in this area is that they can get coverage through the auto insurance policy of a parent or guardian. This allows them to get better rates. However, if it isn’t possible for a teen to use a parent or guardian’s policy, the teen driver must get an independent insurance policy.
Find a Reliable Augusta Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car crash involving a teen driver, recovering compensatory damages can become complicated. You will need to know whether the teen is liable or if the claim must be filed with the teen’s guardian or instructor. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, our lawyers help you sort out the problem of filing a claim in such cases. We also work with you to make sure you are able to recover the maximum amount of compensation. Call us today to discuss your car accident claim with our lawyers.