Does GA Accept Foreign Driver’s Licenses?

Posted on : November 1, 2016

idp1-700x357Can you legally drive in GA with only a driver’s license from another country? Every year thousands of people from other countries come to GA to attend schools, work, or visit. Many of them are here on visas and do not intend to become residents of GA. Fortunately, GA recognizes driver’s licenses from other countries (with certain limitations).For foreign drivers to be able to legally drive in GA, the license from their home country must be unexpired. If the foreign license is in a language other than English, the foreign driver must have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) on their person while driving along with their foreign country driver’s license. A foreign driver can drive with a foreign driver’s license plus an IDP if necessary for up to one year in GA, unless the foreigner intends to become a GA resident. If the foreigner will be staying in GA longer than one year, then they should apply for a GA driver’s license at the Department of Driver Services (DDS).Sometimes foreigners who are in GA for less than one year will apply for a GA driver’s license even if they don’t need to. I have seen many instances of DDS mistakenly issuing a Class CP license (or learner’s permit) to a foreign driver instead of a Class C license. Learner’s permits have been mistakenly given to foreign drivers even after they passed their written and road tests. This may be due to a language barrier or human error. The foreign driver is at risk of receiving a ticket for driving with a learner’s permit (O.C.G.A. §40-5-24) if this were to happen. The penalties of driving on a learner’s permit can be harsh and can include steep fines and license suspension.If you received a ticket for “driving without a license” or for “driving on a learner’s permit”, please give The Kimbrel Law Firm, LLC a call today. We may be able to help you beat the charges.If you are a GA resident and need to obtain an IDPt to drive in another country, you can obtain one through AAA. If you are from another country and need to obtain an IDP, please contact the motor vehicle department of the country that issued your driver’s license.