What is Joshua’s Law and What Does it Mean for You?

Have you heard the term “Joshua’s Law” floating around? If you’re a Georgia teen (or parent of a teen) who’s ready to start driver training, you’ve probably come across this term as it pertains to Georgia driver’s ed. But what is Joshua’s Law?

Let's take a quick look at Joshua’s Law. We’ll explain:

  • What it is

  • How it came about

  • What it means for Georgia teens

  • What comes after meeting Joshua’s Law requirements

What is Joshua’s Law?

Joshua’s Law is the common name for Senate Bill 226, which requires formal driver’s ed training for all Georgia drivers under 18 years old. This required training includes both a driver’s ed knowledge course (which can be taken in a classroom or online) and behind-the-wheel driver training (which can be taken as a parent-taught course or through a state-approved Georgia driving school).

This law has been in effect for teens under 17 since January 1, 2007. And, as of July 1, 2021, all 17-year-olds are also required to meet Joshua’s Law mandates. 

How Did Joshua’s Law Start?

Sadly, in 2003, a teen driver named Joshua Brown died after skidding on some standing water on the road and hydroplaning into a tree. Joshua’s parents felt that adequate driver’s ed training would have better prepared him to handle this type of driving danger and could have saved his life. The Browns began working with the Georgia state government to require comprehensive driver’s ed for all underage drivers. 

In 2005, Joshua’s Law was officially passed by the Georgia State Assembly as Senate Bill 226.

How Does Joshua’s Law Affect Georgia Teen Drivers?

Joshua’s Law requires all Georgia teen drivers under 18 years old to meet specific driver’s ed requirements through one of the four state-approved methods. Each method comes with more than one requirement, and whichever method you choose, you must meet all the requirements for that method.

Method 1

  • 30 hours of classroom driver’s ed instruction

  • Six hours of behind-the-wheel training

  • 40 hours of driving practice with a parent or guardian (six of which must be after dark)

Method 2

Method 3

  • 30 hours of online driver’s ed instruction

  • Six hours of behind-the-wheel training

  • 40 hours of driving practice with a parent or guardian (six of which must be after dark)

Method 4

It’s important to note that your Georgia driver’s ed courses must be taken through a DDS-approved driving school. 

What Comes After Meeting Joshua’s Law Requirements?

You might think you can complete your driver’s ed coursework and your behind-the-wheel training and immediately get your Georgia driver’s license. But, not so fast…

Underage drivers in Georgia are required to hold a driving permit for a minimum of one year and one day before they can apply for a full driver’s license. This is intended to give you plenty of time to get in all your required driving practice. There is an exemption for military service members. Seventeen-year-olds enrolled in the U.S. military get their driver’s licenses upon completing Joshua’s Law requirements without observing this waiting period.

Once your waiting period is up (or waived due to military service), you’re free to take your driving test and get your Georgia driver’s license!

Where to Take the Courses to Meet Your Joshua’s Law Requirement

Are you ready to take your Joshua’s Law required driving courses and get on the road? With Aceable, you can take your 30-hour knowledge course online and even enroll in your behind-the-wheel training! Aceable proudly provides convenient driving courses at affordable rates. We want to help you get on the road quickly and safely. Enroll today!

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