Georgia Code Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic § 40-5-20

<See Executive Order No. 03.25.20.01 ( 2019 GA EO 465 ), related to the COVID-19 Public Health State of Emergency, suspending the provision of this section requiring residents of Georgia who have recently moved from other states to obtain Georgia driver's licenses.>

(a) No person, except those expressly exempted in this chapter or in Chapter 6 of this title, shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver's license under this chapter for the type or class of vehicle being driven.  Any person who is a resident of this state for 30 days shall obtain a Georgia driver's license before operating a motor vehicle in this state.  Any court having jurisdiction over traffic offenses in this state shall report to the department the name and other identifying information of any individual convicted of driving without a license.  This Code section shall not apply to a person driving with a suspended license or license that has been revoked.  Any person convicted of violating this Code section shall be punished as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-121 ;  provided, however, that if:

(1) Such person is driving with a driver's license issued by this state that has been expired for less than 31 days at the time of the offense and he or she produces in court a driver's license that would have been valid at the time of the offense, he or she shall not be guilty of such offense;  and

(2) Such person is driving without a valid driver's license or receipt issued by the department reflecting issuance, renewal, replacement, or reinstatement in his or her possession but he or she has a valid driver's license, Code Section 40-5-29 shall apply to such offense.

(b) No person, except those expressly exempted in this chapter, shall steer or, while within the passenger compartment of such vehicle, exercise any degree of physical control of a vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver's license under this chapter for the type or class of vehicle being towed.

(c)(1)(A) Any person who applies for a driver's license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit shall indicate on such application whether he or she is in possession of any other valid driver's license or permit issued pursuant to this title or from any other jurisdiction.

(B) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, no person shall receive a driver's license unless and until such person surrenders to the department all valid licenses or permits in such person's possession issued to him or her pursuant to this title or by any other jurisdiction.  The department shall physically mark any surrendered license or permit in a manner which makes it apparent that such license or permit is no longer valid and return the license or permit to such person.

(C) The department shall issue a receipt to a person eligible to be issued a driver's license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit pursuant to the requirements of this title.  Such receipt shall satisfy the requirements of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-5-29 regarding proof of eligibility to operate a motor vehicle until the person has received his or her permanent driver's license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit.

(D) If a surrendered driver's license was issued by another jurisdiction, the department shall forward the surrendered license information to the previous jurisdiction.

(E) Except as provided for in paragraph (2) of this subsection, no person shall be permitted to have more than one valid driver's license at any time.

(2) Any noncitizen who is eligible for issuance of a driver's license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit pursuant to the requirements of this title and is in possession of a valid driver's license or permit issued by a foreign jurisdiction may be issued a driver's license, instruction permit, or limited driving permit without surrendering the foreign driver's license or permit.  This exemption shall not apply to a person who is required to terminate any previously issued driver's license pursuant to federal law.  The department shall make a notation on the driving record of any person who retains a foreign driver's license, and this information shall be made available to law enforcement officers and agencies on such person's driving record through the Georgia Crime Information Center.

(d) Any person licensed as a driver under this chapter may exercise the privilege thereby granted upon all streets and highways in this state and shall not be required to obtain any other license to exercise such privilege by any county, municipality, or local board or body having authority to adopt local police regulations.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard