Types of Driver Licenses

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Quick Summary

Regular Driver License (Class D)
A Class D License is a regular driver license and is required to operate a passenger vehicle.

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NOTE: For teens having completed the requirements for the Intermediate Unrestricted License, congratulations! You're 18 and you may now obtain a Regular Class D Driver License. You can even have the word "Intermediate" removed from your license, although the "Under 21" indicators will remain. Seatbelts are mandatory!
Teen/Graduated Driver License (GDL ) - Learner Permit
Tennessee’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program is a multi-tiered program designed to ease young novice drivers into full driving privileges as they become more mature and develop their driving skills.

Level I
  • You must be 15 years old and pass the standard written and visual exams
  • You must hold a Learner Permit for 180 days

    Restrictions:
    • You must have a licensed driver age 21 or older in the front seat.
    • You may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    • Passengers 4-17 years of age must wear a seatbelt.
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Teen/Graduated Driver License (GDL ) - Intermediate Restricted License
Tennessee’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program is a multi-tiered program designed to ease young novice drivers into full driving privileges as they become more mature and develop their driving skills.

Level II
  • You must be 16 years old and pass the driving test.
  • You must have held a Learner Permit for 180 days
  • You cannot have more than six points on your record during the immediate 180 days preceding your application.
  • You must have verification from a parent, legal guardian or driving instructor stating that you have 50 hours (10 hours at night) of driving experience.

    Restrictions:
    • you may only have one passenger in the car with you.
    • You may not drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    • Passengers 4-17 years of age must wear a seatbelt.
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Teen/Graduated Driver License (GDL ) - Intermediate Unrestricted License
Tennessee’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program is a multi-tiered program designed to ease young novice drivers into full driving privileges as they become more mature and develop their driving skills.

Level III
  • You must be 17 years old. No additional tests are required.
  • You must have held an Intermediate Restricted License for one year.
  • You cannot have accumulated more than six points on your driving record.
  • You cannot have two seatbelt violations.

    Restrictions:
    • Passengers 4-17 years of age must wear a seatbelt.
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Hardship Driver License (Class H or XH)
A hardship license (Class H) may be issued to a minor who is 14 years old to operate either a Class D passenger vehicle or Class M motorcycle or both. This license is only issued in cases of family hardship and are limited to specific needs.

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Temporary Driver License (Class XD, XM or Permit)
The Temporary Driver License is issued to persons whose presence in the United States has been authorized by the federal government for a specific purpose and for a specific period of time. Qualifying applicants will be issued a photo license document valid for both driving and identification purposes.

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Commercial Driver License (CDL)
A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a driver's license issued to an individual by a state or other jurisdiction of domicile, in accordance to federal regulations and standards. A CDL is required for operators of larger or more complex vehicles. These licenses include class A, B or C depending upon the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR), and/or what is being transported.  ​

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Motorcycle License (Class M)
A Class M motorcycle license allows the holder 16 years of age or older the privilege of operating a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle over 50cc.

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