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Tennessee Driver's License

Have you recently moved to Tennessee? Here's everything you'll need to know to get your driver's license.

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Getting Your Driver's License in Tennessee

  • New Tennessee residents are required to obtain their driver's license within 30 days of moving to the state. 

  • If you are moving from out of state and have a valid driver's license, you will have to surrender your prior driver's license and obtain a new license within 30 days of arriving.

  • If you are moving to Tennessee from outside of the United States, even if you have an international driver's license from your home country, you are required to obtain your Tennessee license within 30 days of arrival. International driver's licenses will not have to be surrendered.

  • If you are moving from another state and have a valid license, you will be required to take a vision test and present several forms of ID. Find all of the requirements here.

  • If you are new to the United States or if your out-of-state license is not valid, you will need to take all three tests (vision, knowledge, and road test) in order to obtain your license.

  • Here's a link to the TN driver's license manual for studying for your knowledge and road tests.

  • ALL new drivers will need to provide multiple forms of ID. See the full list here.

  • All new drivers in Tennessee are required to go into a motor vehicle office in person in order to obtain their license. Certain service requests may be started online, but will have to be completed in person.

  • All unlicensed drivers visiting a service center to take a skills/road test MUST be accompanied by a TN licensed driver over the age of 21.

  • A "regular" driver's license is referred to as a "Class D" license in TN.

  • You cannot rent a car to take your driver's test and driver's services does not provide one. If you don't have a car yet, check with your employer or a friend to see if they can help you get a car to take your test in.

  • Tennessee law does offer one exception to the 30 day law. Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-50-304(5)(B) states, "Certain resident non-citizens employed in technical or managerial positions may legally drive in this state for six months for work related business while in possession of a driver license issued by another state, country, or international body. Additionally, newly arrived Tennessee residents may continue to drive on a license issued by another state or country for the first thirty days after establishing residency." If you feel this may apply to you, please check with your employer or with the Driver's Services Center to verify.

  • What comes next? In order to drive legally in TN, you must provide "Proof of Financial Responsibility." The most common (and inexpensive way) to do this is by obtaining Automobile Insurance. For all of the details about Proof of Financial Responsibility, click here.

*NOTE: If you come across sites that try to charge you money for studying for your test, or offering services that charge you fees for manuals, etc., these are NOT official TN Drivers Services sites.  ONLY sites that have the extension .gov are official TN government agency sites. Stick to the links on this site, and you'll be safe!

Important Links

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