When a person chooses to plead guilty to a first-time DUI in Georgia or is found guilty, many times, they will qualify for a restricted license. The limited permit allows for driving to work, school, doctor's appointments (for the driver, not others), probation meetings, and anything else mandated by a person's sentence. The permit does not technically allow for the person to drive for work as if driving is the job. It also does not technically allow a person to drive out of state; and, of course, does not apply to out-of-state residents. It is essentially for a Georgia licensee, and the driving is limited as listed above.
Upon conviction or plea, the driver will be given a first conviction referral form. This form is NOT a license; it is the paperwork needed to secure the permit. Some judges will not sign the referral form. In that event, the driver should get a certified copy of their citation and sentence from the clerk of the court in which their case was heard. The first convictions referral form used to be called an affidavit of first conviction. Some courts may still use the old form.
The first conviction referral or certified copies must be taken to the Department of Driver Services (DDS) to pick up the permit. Since a person convicted of DUI has their license immediately suspended, by operation of law, they will need a ride to the Georgia DDS. Driving before securing the permit is a violation of probation and can result in an extended jail sentence.
Before going to the DDS, the driver should have with them their Secure ID documents.
The duration of the permit on a first Georgia DUI is 120 days. However, remember a license does not reinstate itself. After 120 days, the driver must get another ride to the DDS to fully have their license reinstated. It is important to remember to bring your Secure ID documents again, along with your DUI School certificate and $210.00 for your reinstatement fee.
- A license will not reinstate itself. You must go back to the DDS to reinstate.
- If stopped for driving outside the allowed purposes of the permit, you are subject to both arrest for the new offense and punishment for violating probation.
- If you receive a minor traffic ticket while on the restricted permit, DO NOT PAY IT OR ATTEND COURT AND BE SENTENCED FOR IT. If a ticket is paid or adjudicated while on the limited permit, the driver will have his or her license suspended for 12 months, less any time already spent on the permit. Call our office if you receive a minor traffic offense while driving with a restricted license.
- You cannot drive a commercial vehicle on a limited permit. CDL drivers can get a permit to drive an ordinary vehicle.
- The permit does not apply to people who hold a license in another state. Whether a person can get a permit in their home state is controlled by the laws of that state.
- Out-of-state drivers, however, must still reinstate their privilege to drive in Georgia, regardless of the license consequences in their home state. The procedure is similar. DUI School must be completed, and the reinstatement fee can be paid by mail. If the privilege to drive in Georgia is not restored, then that person can never drive again in the state of Georgia and is subject to arrest if caught. Out-of-state DUI School is sometimes allowed. A list of approved in-state and out-of-state programs can be viewed here.
- Georgia will not issue the permit unless a person has physically turned in their license or completed a lost license affidavit. As a result, the driver's license can be permanently suspended until there is proof that the person is no longer carrying a license (even if suspended).
- A person does not qualify for a limited permit for a second DUI in a five-year period until the driver has had at least a 120-day hard suspension. Any permit for a repeat offender will then require that the driver install an ignition interlock device on their car.
- If you work odd hours and are likely to be stopped by the police at night, carry with you proof of employment listing those hours. Many police officers will not believe you unless you can prove you were going to work or home from work, if you work the “night shift.”
- The permit (and this does not make any sense) does not allow for grocery shopping or taking children to and from school or their activities. In the even such driving is needed, discuss those circumstances with your Georgia DUI Lawyer.