Skip to Content

New Residents

New residents or those returning to Tennessee and holding a driver license from another state must obtain a Tennessee driver license no later than thirty (30) days after establishing residency. New residents will need to go to any of our full-service driver service centers that are located throughout the state.  New residents holding a valid learner's permit from another state must meet separate requirements to obtain a Tennessee learner permit or driver license.

Requirements

  • All new or returning residents must surrender their out-of-state license at time of application for Tennessee license. Tennessee law does not allow a resident of this state to hold more than one valid driver license or ID. Only foreign country licenses/IDs may be retained.
  • All new or returning residents must take a Tennessee vision screening at the full-service driver service center. There are additional requirements for commercial driver license holders.
  • New or returning residents whose out of state license has been expired for more than six months must take the Tennessee knowledge exam, road skills test, and vision screening.
  • New residents from other countries are required to take full tests: vision screening, knowledge exam, and road skills test. They will be allowed to keep the license issued by that country.

What documents will you need to bring?

PLEASE NOTE: All documents are subject to further 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!

At time of application, new residents must present:

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.

For More Information

There is a quick guide to documents needed to obtain a Tennessee Driver License available in PDF or HTML format in both English and Spanish - ¿Trajo Los Documentos Necesarios?.

For more general driver license information (general info, office locations, online services etc.) visit Driver Services