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Georgia Limited Driving Permits

Posted by Ben Sessions | May 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Limited driving permits in Georgia are issued by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Georgia law does not provide for a limited driving permit for every type of driver's license suspension. So it is important to know 1st whether a permit is available for the offense, and, if a limited driving permit is available, under what conditions can it be used.

Below, I have identified some of the most common suspensions for which limited driving permits are available, and I have tried to identify the actual offense that caused the driver's license suspension. Most limited driving permits in Georgia are issued under Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 375-3-3-.10, which states:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in these regulations or elsewhere in Georgia law, the Department shall not issue a limited driving permit for any driver's license suspension except the following:

(a) Suspensions imposed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-22(a.1)(2) due to excessive school absences, withdrawals from school, or misconduct at school;

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O.C.G.A. § 40-5-22(a.1)(2) provides, in relevant part, that:

The department shall forthwith notify by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, any minor issued an instruction permit or driver's license in accordance with this subsection other than a minor who has terminated his or her secondary education and is enrolled in a postsecondary school or who is pursuing a general educational development (GED) diploma that such minor's instruction permit or driver's license is suspended subject to review as provided for in this subsection if the department receives notice that indicates that such minor:

(A) Has dropped out of school without graduating and has remained out of school for ten consecutive school days;

(B) Has ten or more school days of unexcused absences in the current academic year or ten or more school days of unexcused absences in the previous academic year; or

(C) Has been found in violation by a hearing officer, panel, or tribunal of one of the following offenses, has received a change in placement for committing one of the following offenses, or has waived his or her right to a hearing and pleaded guilty to one of the following offenses:

(i) Threatening, striking, or causing bodily harm to a teacher or other school personnel;

(ii) Possession or sale of drugs or alcohol on school property or at a school sponsored event;

(iii) Possession or use of a firearm in violation of Code Section 16-11-127.1 or possession or use of a dangerous weapon as defined in Code Section 16-11-121 but shall not include any part of an exhibit brought to school in connection with a school project;

(iv) Any sexual offense prohibited under Chapter 6 of Title 16; or

(v) Causing substantial physical or visible bodily harm to or seriously disfiguring another person, including another student.

Notice given by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery with return receipt requested mailed to the person's last known address shall be prima-facie evidence that such person received the required notice. Such notice shall include instructions to the minor to return immediately the instruction permit or driver's license to the department and information summarizing the minor's right to request an exemption from the provisions of this subsection. The minor so notified may request in writing a hearing within ten business days from the date of receipt of notice. Within 30 days after receiving a written request for a hearing, the department shall hold a hearing as provided for in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.” After such hearing, the department shall sustain its order of suspension or rescind such order. The department shall be authorized to grant an exemption from the provisions of this subsection to a minor, upon such minor's petition, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the enforcement of the provisions of this subsection upon such minor would create an undue hardship upon the minor or the minor's family or if there is clear and convincing evidence that the enforcement of the provisions of this subsection would act as a detriment to the health or welfare of the minor. Appeal from such hearing shall be in accordance with said chapter. If no hearing is requested within the ten business days specified above, the right to a hearing shall have been waived and the instruction permit or driver's license of the minor shall remain suspended. The suspension provided for in this paragraph shall be for a period of one year or shall end upon the date of such minor's eighteenth birthday or, if the suspension was imposed pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, upon receipt of satisfactory proof that the minor is pursuing or has received a general educational development (GED) diploma, a high school diploma, a special diploma, a certificate of high school completion, or has terminated his or her secondary education and is enrolled in a postsecondary school, whichever comes first.

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(b) First or second points suspensions imposed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57(d);

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O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57(d) provides, in relevant part, as follows:

Any person who has such points assessed against him as to require the suspension of his license pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall have his license suspended as follows:

(1) Upon a first assessment of the requisite points, the period of suspension shall be one year, provided that at any time after completion of the requirements set forth in Code Section 40-5-84, such person may apply to the department for the return of his license; [and]

(2) For a second assessment of the requisite points within five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the most current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, the period of suspension shall be three years, provided that at any time after completion of the requirements set forth in Code Section 40-5-84, such person may apply to the department for the return of his license[.]

One of the most frequent questions that driver's ask is: how many points will cause a suspension of a Georgia driver's license? The answer is provided below: 

The suspension of a Georgia driver's license is calculated in accordance with the following points schedule:

(c)(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, the points to be assessed for each offense shall be as provided in the following schedule:

Aggressive driving – 6 points

Reckless driving – 4 points

Unlawful passing of a school bus – 6 points

Improper passing on a hill or a curve – 4 points

Exceeding the speed limit by more than 14 miles per hour but less than 19 miles per hour – 2 points

Exceeding the speed limit by 19 miles per hour or more but less than 24 miles per hour – 3 points

Exceeding the speed limit by 24 miles per hour or more but less than 34 miles per hour – 4 points

Exceeding the speed limit by 34 miles per hour or more – 6 points

Disobedience of any traffic-control device or traffic officer – 3 points

Too fast for conditions – 0 points

Possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage while driving – 2 points

Failure to adequately secure a load, except fresh farm produce, resulting in loss of such load onto the roadway which results in an accident – 2 points

Violation of child safety restraint requirements, first offense – 1 point

Violation of child safety restraint requirements, second or subsequent offense – 2 points

Violation of usage of wireless telecommunications device requirements – 1 point

Operating a vehicle while text messaging – 1 point

All other moving traffic violations which are not speed limit violations – 3 points

(B) The commissioner shall suspend the driver's license of any person who has accumulated a violation point count of 15 or more points in any consecutive 24 month period, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the most current arrest for which a conviction is obtained. A second or subsequent plea of nolo contendere, within the preceding five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of the most current arrest for which a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, to a charge of committing an offense listed in this subsection shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this Code section. At the end of the period of suspension, the violation point count shall be reduced to zero points.

(C) A court may order a person to attend a defensive driving course approved by the commissioner pursuant to Code Section 40-5-83 for any violation for which points are assessed against a driver's license under this subsection or may accept the attendance by a person at a driver improvement clinic approved by the commissioner pursuant to Code Section 40-5-83 after the issuance of a citation for such offense and prior to such person's appearance before the court, in which event the court shall reduce the fine assessed against such person by 20 percent, and no points shall be assessed by the department against such driver. The disposition and court order shall be reported to the department and shall be placed on the motor vehicle record with a zero point count. This plea may be accepted by the court once every five years as measured from date of arrest to date of arrest.

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(c) First mandatory suspension imposed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63(a)(1);

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O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63 states, in relevant part:

The driver's license of any person convicted of an offense listed in Code Section 40-5-54 or of violating Code Section 40-6-391, unless the driver's license has been previously suspended pursuant to Code Sections 40-5-67.1 and 40-5-67.2, shall by operation of law be suspended and such suspension shall be subject to the following terms and conditions; provided, however, that any person convicted of a drug related offense pursuant to Code Section 40-6-391 shall be governed by the suspension requirements of Code Section 40-5-75; and further provided that each charge for which a conviction was obtained shall be treated as a separate transaction for the purpose of imposing a license suspension hereunder, even if said convictions arise from a single incident; and further provided that the department shall treat each conviction received in the order in which said convictions are processed even if it is not the order in which said offenses occurred:

(1) Upon the first conviction of any such offense, with no arrest and conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to such offense within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained, the period of suspension shall be 12 months. At the end of 120 days, the person may apply to the department for early reinstatement of his or her driver's license. Such license shall be reinstated if such person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays a restoration fee of $210.00 or $200.00 when such reinstatement is processed by mail, provided that, if such license was suspended as a result of a conviction of an offense listed in Code Section 40-5-54, such license shall be reinstated if such person submits proof of completion of either a defensive driving course approved by the commissioner pursuant to Code Section 40-5-83 or a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays the prescribed restoration fee. A driver's license suspended as a result of a conviction of a violation of Code Section 40-6-391 shall not become valid and shall remain suspended until such person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and pays the prescribed restoration fee. For purposes of this paragraph, an accepted plea of nolo contendere to an offense listed in Code Section 40-5-54 by a person who is under 18 years of age at the time of arrest shall constitute a conviction. For the purposes of this paragraph only, an accepted plea of nolo contendere by a person 21 years of age or older, with no conviction of and no plea of nolo contendere accepted to a charge of violating Code Section 40-6-391 within the previous five years, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere accepted to the date of the current arrest for which a plea of nolo contendere is accepted, shall be considered a conviction, and the court having jurisdiction shall forward, as provided in Code Section 40-6-391.1, the record of such disposition of the case to the department and the record of such disposition shall be kept on file for the purpose of considering and counting such accepted plea of nolo contendere as a conviction under paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection;

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(d) First administrative license suspension imposed within five (5) years pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.2(a)(1);

(e) Third administrative license suspension imposed within five (5) years pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.2(a)(3);

(f) Third controlled substance suspension imposed within five (5) years pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-75;

(g) Second suspension for driving under the influence imposed within five (5) years pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-63(a)(2);

(h) Suspensions imposed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57.1 following a conviction for a four (4) point speeding ticket; and

(i) Reserved.

When does a Georgia limited permit allow you to drive?

  1. Travel to and from work;
  2. Travel to and from school;
  3. Travel to and from medical care or obtaining prescriptions;
  4. Travel to and from substance abuse treatment;
  5. Travel to and from driver education, driver improvement, DUI Drug or Alcohol Use Risk Reduction, or similar programs when ordered to do so by the Court that entered the conviction that resulted in the driver's license suspension that is the basis of the limited driving permit or probationary license;
  6. Travel to attend court, reporting to a probation office or officer, or performing community service; or
  7. Transporting an immediate family member who does not hold a valid driver's license for work, medical care, or prescriptions or to school.

This post is provided by:

The Sessions Law Firm

1447 Peachtree St NE #530
Atlanta,
GA
30309

Phone: 470-225-7710

About the Author

Ben Sessions

I work to provide exceptional service, attention, and results to each of my clients. Most of clients come to me because they are in a completely overwhelming situation. They need someone that will do more than address their legal problems.

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