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How to get a Tennessee Driver's License

Tennessee Drivers License
  • Tennessee Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

TN Driver's License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

Try Sample Test!

All applicants need to be familiar with the Tennessee Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

Get your TN Driver's Permit

You must be at least 16 years of age to apply for an Intermediate Restricted Tennessee Driver's License.

If this is your first driver's license, you will need to apply for a Tennessee learners permit which requires you to pass a vision test and a written exam covering traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

Once you receive a valid learners permit, you will then need to pass a road skills test to receive a TN drivers license.

Applicants under 18 must have held a learners permit for 180 days and complete 50 hours (10 at night) of supervised driving time before taking the road skills test.

At age 17, if you have held an intermediate restricted license for one year without any traffic violations, you can graduate to a Second Level - Intermediate Unrestricted License. You may obtain a Class D regular driver license when you are 18 years of age.

Prepare for the Written Knowledge Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the Tennessee practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

New Tennessee Residents

New residents holding a valid out-of-state driver license must obtain a Tennessee driver license no later than thirty (30) days after establishing residency. All out-of-state driver licenses must be surrendered. Tennessee law does not allow a resident of this state to hold more than one valid driver license.

If a new resident brings a valid, out-of-state driver license (or a certified driving record from that state showing the license has not expired), only the vision test is required. However, if the license has expired over six months, all tests are required.

International Drivers

New residents from other countries are required to take full tests: vision, knowledge, and road tests. They will be allowed to keep the license issued by that country.

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the Tennessee DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:


On the Road

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted License (16 to 17 years of age) valid for 5 years.
  • Full driver's license (18 and older) valid for 5 years.

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

Tennessee Driver's License Resources

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