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Frequently Asked Questions

Question 16

How do I apply for a Tennessee Driver License?

Anwer: The first step in applying for a Tennessee Driver License is deciding what type of license you need. View the selections below and click the link associated with the type of license you wish to apply for in order to view instructions and requirements for that license.

What type of license do I need?

What documents will I need to bring?

PLEASE NOTE: All documents are subject to verification with the issuing agency or source. Documents subject to verification may delay the issuance of your permit, driver license or identification only license.

No photocopies will be accepted!

For a Regular Class D Driver License you will need:

If you are under eighteen (18) years of age you will need the above documents plus:

Additional Requirements

To obtain a Tennessee Driver License for the first time when an applicant is under the age of 18, proof of prior driving experience is required. The applicant must either:

1) Obtain a learner permit for at least six (6) months (180 days)

-OR-

2) Have been licensed to drive in another state for at least 90 days.

Applicants not yet eighteen years old must have an adult sign a Minor/Teen-age Affidavit and Cancellation form.

Who is not eligible?

  • Anyone whose license is currently suspended or revoked in Tennessee or any other state.
  • Anyone the Commissioner has reason to believe would be unable to operate a motor vehicle safely because of mental or physical disabilities.
  • Anyone who has been proven to be a habitual drunkard or who is addicted to the use of narcotics.
  • Anyone required to show proof of financial responsibility and has not yet done so.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 who has dropped out of school before graduating, or who does not make "satisfactory progress" in school.
  • Anyone who is not a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident will not qualify for the issuance of a driver license or identification only license.

Who is not required to have a driver license?

  • Operators of any road machinery, farm tractor, or implement of husbandry that is temporarily operated or moved on a highway.
  • Non-residents who have in their immediate possession a valid driver license issued by their home state or country, equivalent to the appropriate class or type of Tennessee license.
  • Individuals who are not U.S. citizens and who, in connection with their employment in managerial or technical positions in Tennessee, may operate vehicles with a valid driver license issued by another state, country, or international body for a period of six (6) months.
  • Students pursuing an approved driver training course in a public or private secondary school, or in a licensed commercial driver training school for passenger vehicles, when accompanied by a certified instructor.

Where do you go to get your license?

Download the Driver License Manual

The Comprehensive Driver License Manual is designed for all current and potential drivers in Tennessee and will help new and old drivers alike get ready for initial, renewal, and other license applications by explaining:

  • the different types of licenses available
  • the documentation and other requirements for license applications
  • details on Intermediate Driver Licenses and how this graduated driver license works for driver license applicants under age 18
  • basic descriptions of the tests required for a Driver License

It also includes information needed to pass the knowledge tests for a Class D Tennessee driver license.

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