Skip to Content

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 11

I just moved to Tennessee. What do I need to do to get my Tennessee Driver License? What documentation will I need to bring and what test will I need to take?

Answer: New residents holding a valid out-of-state driver license or  out-of-state learner permit must obtain a Tennessee Learner Permit or Driver License no later than thirty (30) days after establishing residency.

For the issuance of a Tennessee Driver License:

  • You must be at least sixteen (16) years of age.
  • Surrender your valid out-of-state permit and submit all other identity/citizenship/residency requirements for a Class D license to the examiner.
  • Pass a standard vision screening.  If your permit has expired more than 6 months you will also have to pass the Class D knowledge exam.
  • Pass a road skills test.
  • If you are under the age of 18, you will also need the following:
    • A parent or legal guardian (with proof of guardianship) present to sign a minor/teenage affidavit and financial responsibility form.
    • Show proof of school attendance/progress from a current Tennessee school or a letter from the school in your previous state that confirms your attendance and satisfactory progress during enrollment in that school. This letter must be signed and dated by the principal or guidance counselor no more than 30 days prior to your Tennessee application.
    • Must have held a valid learner permit in the other state for a minimum of 180 days. If your permit from the other state has been issued for less than 180 days you cannot receive a Tennessee license.You will be required to get a Tennessee permit and hold it until you have reached the required 180 days. 
    • 50 hours of behind the wheel driving experience (including 10 hours of night driving). A 50-Hour Certification form must be signed by your parent, guardian or driving instructor confirming this experience. 
    • An original, certified Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) (no photocopies) from the former state issued no more than 30 days prior to your Tennessee application date. 
      • If there are accidents or moving violations shown on your MVR from the previous state the Examiner will have to submit the MVR to Nashville for review before issuing a Tennessee license. This review is to determine if the violations in the former state total less than 6 points. If the points limit is exceeded you will have to hold a Tennessee learner permit for 180 days without accumulating 6 points or more on your Tennessee record. 
      • If your MVR from the previous state is clear (no violations or accidents) you will be permitted to take the road test for a Tennessee Intermediate Restricted driver license.  

For the issuance of a Tennessee Learner Permit:

  • Surrender your valid out-of-state permit and submit all other identity/citizenship/residency requirements for a Class D license to the examiner.
  • Pass a standard vision screening.  If your permit has expired more than 6 months you will also have to pass the Class D knowledge exam. 

If you are under the age of 18, you will also need to have:

  • A parent or legal guardian (with proof of guardianship) present to sign a minor/teenage affidavit and financial responsibility form.
  • Show proof of school attendance/progress from a current Tennessee school or a letter from the school in your previous state that confirms your attendance and satisfactory progress during enrollment in that school.  This letter must be signed and dated by the principal or guidance counselor no more than 30 days prior to your Tennessee application.

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 screening is required unless otherwise deemed necessary by the Examiner. However, if the license has expired over six months, all tests are required.

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

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

Back to Driver Services FAQs