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Defensive driving courses teach students how to safely operate vehicles around other aggressive or unsafe drivers or in dangerous conditions. In Georgia, all instructors for defensive driving courses must gain a professional license. The Georgia Department of Driver Services oversees the licensing process, enforcing the requirements established in section 375-5-1-.16 of the Georgia Annotated Code.
All applicants for defensive driving instructor licensing in Georgia must hold a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. To verify that they received either credential, candidates must submit an official copy of their secondary school transcript or GED test scores to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Those who hold an associate or bachelor's degree should also have an official transcript from each postsecondary school they attended sent to the department for verification. Candidates for licensing must also attend a state-approved driving instructor training course and send the department proof of course completion. At the conclusion of the course, candidates take an examination and must score at least 70 out of 100 to gain licensing.
All candidates for a defensive driving instructor license in Georgia must have a valid Georgia driver's license. Anyone whose driver's license was suspended or revoked for one year prior to their date of application for a defensive driving instructor license is ineligible for credentialing. Those whose licenses were revoked or suspended two times within five years prior to their date of application are also disqualified. The Georgia Department of Driver Services verifies the driving records of applicants. Candidates who held an out-of-state license for anytime during the five years prior to their application must send the department copies of their out-of-state driving records for verification.
Candidates for a defensive driving instructor license in Georgia must undergo a criminal background check. To begin the check, candidates must visit a local law enforcement agency or other state-approved location to have professional fingerprinting done. Anyone found to have a history of felony convictions and some misdemeanor convictions is ineligible for certification as an instructor. Applicants must also undergo a physical examination and pass a routine drug screening.
Application and Renewal
All candidates must complete an application form available from the Georgia Department of Driver Services' website. Along with the form, candidates must submit a photograph taken within the last 30 days and an application fee. As of April 2011, the cost of the fee was $100. Once issued, the defensive driving instructor license remains valid for four years. To renew their credentials, instructors must submit a renewal application and pay a fee, which is equal to the initial licensing fee. They must also provide a recent photograph.