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Frequently Asked Questions

Question 4

I am in the military and need to renew my driver license. How can I do this from where I am stationed?

Answer: By law (TCA 55-50-338), a driver license issued to someone who is on active military duty and stationed outside of Tennessee does not expire "so long as such person's service continues and such person is stationed outside this state" (assuming, of course, that the driving privileges are not canceled, suspended or revoked). Therefore, the procedures for military personnel are somewhat different.

When you renew your license, if you are in the military yourself (not a military dependent), you can get a "Code 30" added to your license which will give it a non-expiring status. To do so, you need to send us a copy of your current military orders or a letter from your commanding officer showing that you are assigned elsewhere.

NOTE: Whether or not you personally would benefit from getting a "Code 30" depends on your own situation. If you do not expect to be in the military longer than four or five years(the normal length of time a driver license is valid), you may not benefit from having the "Code 30" added.

Secondly, since your license technically does not expire while you are on active military duty, you need only send an $8 duplicate fee to have the department change your information and re-issue your license. A renewal fee would not be required.

Once we have updated your record, you will not need to take any further action until you are discharged or re-assigned back to the state of Tennessee. Then you will have 60 days to exchange your non-expiring license for a regular driver's license. After the 60 days, late fees will be assessed ($5 if you exchange your license after 60 days but within six months, and then $10 after that). Be sure to carry your discharge or separation papers with your license during this transfer period.

Now, for the exact steps you need to follow: Fees and letters should be sent to the following address:

Tennessee Department of Safety
Cashier's Office
1150 Foster Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243-1000

Include in your letter:

  • Your full name, Tennessee driver license number and date of birth
  • A copy of your military orders or a letter from your commanding officer showing that you are stationed outside of Tennessee
  • A notarized copy of your military ID
  • The address to which you want your license mailed
  • A check or money order for $8 payable to the Tennessee Department of Safety

If you have lost your license or already have a renewal sticker, we will send you a non-photo license. Otherwise if our records show that you have a current digitized photo license, we will send you a new photo license using the photo that is on file.

NOTE: Currently, due to the special handling required for military renewals, we are unable at this time to process those requests via the Internet.

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

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