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Getting a driving license in Georgia as foreigner

Georgia has an excellent opportunity for foreigners to get a driving license. The process is straightforward compared to many other countries. You will get a driving license for 15 years. Besides, you can request an international driving permit for 3 years. It follows Vienna’s and Geneva’s conventions.

There are no requirements for getting through driving school in Georgia. If you already know how to drive you can pass the exam and get a license. I still recommend going through the preparation even for experienced drivers.

Driving theory practice website

🖥 Theory test

The first element of the exam is a theory test. It contains 30 questions and you can make 3 mistakes. Here is a website where you can self-prepare for the exam. There are 1000+ different cards separated into 32 categories. Plenty of languages are available, including English. Most of the questions have translations except for a few in the last sections. I used Google Translate to prepare for them.

On the exam, you will use a computer. You have 30 minutes which is more than enough. Besides, I took a few lessons with a theory instructor via Zoom to clarify complicated questions. I can’t say it was helpful but if you have issues you cannot find answers to, I would recommend it.

It took me 2-3 months to prepare for the exam. I was taking it slowly but it could be done in a week. On the last two days before the exam I spend around 3 hours cramming through as many test exams as possible. All the failed cards I wrote down and review later. It helped a lot.

The registration system for the exam is a bit bothersome. You have to sign up beforehand. In many big cities, all the exam slots are occupied within minutes after they are published. I had to move to Batumi just to be able to sign up for the exam and even there I only managed to register one month later. The new dates are added on the website one time in two weeks on Sunday at 9 am.

The cost of the exam is 57 Lari (~ $18). To pay for the exam you have to have a Georgian bank card. At least, I couldn’t pay with my home country's credit card. You also need to have a local phone number to get a text message with your registration number. You can ask your local friend to help with those.

Unfortunately, if you fail the exam you have to go through the whole process again. It could take a lot of time so I would recommend succeeding the first time.

To sign up you have to enter your passport/ID number, pick the time and pay for the exam. Here are the links where you can do this:

On the day of the exam you have to bring the next documents with you:

  • Medical certificate - you can get it in any hospital around Georgia. They check height, weight, and vision. It costs around 20 Lari (~ $6).
  • Your passport/ID. You need a Georgian translation of your ID but they can translate it inside the Police department for 6 Lari ($2). It’s easier to do it there.
  • A text message with your exam number.
  • Your address. It could be anything including Airbnb

At the exam time, you’ll be let into the room with 6 computers with sensor screens. There will be instructions on how to proceed with the exam. During the exam, you can “skip to the end” any question if you feel that they are taking too much time. You also will see if you answered right or wrong right on the screen immediately after the answer. You cannot bring your phone inside the room.

After finishing the test you can leave. You don’t need any confirmation. Your results will be saved on their side.

Field for passing driving exam

🚘 Practice test

Disclaimer: The practice part is only relevant until 25.04.2022. Georgia already approved the changes to the exam. After that date, you'll need to pass the “city driving test”. Before the 25th of April, you are only required to pass the “field driving test”.

The second part of getting your Georgian driving license is the driving test. You will have to pass the “field test” by correctly succeeding in six elements and tasks:

  • parallel parking
  • uphill stop on the handbrake and start a movement from that position
  • reverse parking inside the garage
  • 8 track
  • change of direction (turn around)
  • zigzag driving

You can pass the exam on the automatic or manual transmission. But be aware that if you pass the exam on automatic it will be marked inside your license. With that license, you won’t be able to drive manual transmission cars. For example, if you’re planning to drive in Europe it will be hard to find a car for rent. Most of the cars in Europe have a manual transmission.

I strongly recommend taking classes from local drivers or driving school. Even if you know how to drive the car they will give you some hints on passing the exam exercises. Parallel parking is quite easy if you know the trick. You have to change the wheel direction once you see the third column in your back mirror. Other hints like this will be very helpful.

Local driving instructors are usually cost 25 Lari for the lesson. The driving school costs around 40 Lari for the lesson. I took 4 lessons and it was enough for me to pass the exam. I’ve never driven a car before.

Once you are ready for the exam you should come to the Police department. It's usually the same where you passed the theory test. I advise you to come early, around 8 am. There are two lists near the practice field - one for manual and one for automatic transmission. You can fill it with your name near the closest available place in line. When I arrived at 8 am I managed to sign up to be third one day and thirteen the second day. If you arrive at 9 am or later you will be at 25th or lower place so you have to wait quite a while. The exam starts at 9.30 am.

When your place in line has come you should go inside the car. The police officer will explain to you a few basics about the exam and turn on the record with instructions. After that, the exam starts. The police officer is forbidden to talk to you during the exam. So if you have any questions you should ask them in the beginning.

There are many sensors around the field and inside the car. The program on the computer decides whether you made mistake or not. The human factor is completely excluded. At the start of the exam, you’ll be given 100 points and they will be reduced for the mistakes. To pass the exam you have to stay above 61 points. Once this mark is crossed the exam will be over. In my experience, 1-3 mistakes are enough to fail, depending on how crucial they are. The cars on the test are the “Skoda Fabia” model.

You have one free attempt per week to pass the exam for manual transmission. But for 31 Lari (around $10) you can try every day. For automatic transmission, there are no free attempts. Each one costs 40 Lari (around $13). After you successfully passed the exam you can get the driving license on the same day for 55 Lari (~ $18) or wait for 3 days and get them for free. You can also request an International driving permit for 110 Lari (around $35) on the same day. It could change but I got both AM and B category in my license. AM is required for driving scooters/mopeds.

Driving license

💯 Conclusion

To sum up, you can relatively easily, cheap and fast get a new driving license. The whole process can take as small as a few weeks and costs around $100 including all the fees and paid lessons.

Make sure you understand the rules of exchanging a Georgian driving license in another country in case you’re planning to move somewhere else. In general, most countries allow you to drive for 6 months with foreign driving license. Then you have to exchange it for the local one. But this is a perfect solution for digital nomads without a license.

Also, I tell you to drive carefully and take a few lessons in the city before driving on your own.