This Step: Get a Drivers License

Driver's LicenseChecklist

Badges Earned:

Get a Drivers License in Tennessee

A) Make Sure You're Eligible for a Driver's License

Tennessee Intermediate Restricted License

TN Get a Drivers License

You're eligible to apply if:

  • You're at least 16 years old
  • You've held your permit for at least 180 days
  • You've completed the driving requirement of 50 hours(at least 10 hours must be at night)
  • You have no more than 6 points of traffic violations on your driving record

Tennessee Intermediate Unrestricted License

You're eligible to apply if:

  • You're at least 17 years old
  • You've held your intermediate restricted driver's license for at least 12 months
  • You have no more than 6 points of traffic violations on your driving record
  • You have less than 2 violations for failure to use seat belts
  • You were not the cause of a traffic accident

Tennessee Regular Driver's License While Following the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program

You're eligible to apply if you're at least 18 years old, or you've graduated from high school or own a GED (whichever comes first).

Tennessee Regular Driver's License Without Following the GDL Program

This applies only to teens 18 years old or older who have never held a permit or license. To apply you must visit your local Driver Service Center with required documents and fees (see below in Step C). You must pass the written and vision exams before taking the road skills test

B) Make a Road Test Appointment

Road tests are by appointment only. Arrange a test date with your local Driver Service Center. You can do this online or by calling the Driver Service Center in your county.

Find Your Local DOS Office

C) Gather Required Documents and Tennessee License Fees

Make sure you bring to the road test:

NOTE: Photocopied documents will not be accepted.

D) Take the Road Test

Arrive at the road test at least fifteen minutes early to allow for time to process your documents. You must be accompanied by a licensed adult in a safely functioning vehicle that's legally registered and insured.

During the road test you will be graded on:

  • Driving preparation
  • Driving in traffic
  • Obeying traffic signals and signs
  • Stopping
  • Backing up
  • Vehicle control
  • Judging speeds
  • Yielding to pedestrians

Retake Road Test

Your test score determines when you can test again. The lower the score, the longer the wait. See the driver manual for a scoring table.

E) Get Your Tennessee Driver's License

Intermediate Restricted License

You'll receive an intermediate restricted license upon passing the road test. You need to carry this license for at least 1 year.

You must obey the following driving restrictions:

  • No driving with more than 1 passenger unless:
    ―the passenger is 21 years old or older and has an unrestricted license
    ―The passengers are your siblings and you carry permission, in writing, from a parent or guardian
  • No driving between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless:
    ―You're accompanied by a parent or guardian
    ―You're accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older who has been designated by your parent or guardian; you must carry written proof confirming the designation
    ―You're driving to or from a school function and you carry, in writing, parental or guardian permission
    ―You're driving to or from work and you carry, in writing, parental or guardian permission
    ―You're driving to or from hunting or fishing between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. and have a hunting or fishing license in your possession

Intermediate Unrestricted License

You must hold this license until you either turn 18 years old or graduate from high school or obtain a GED (whichever comes first). There are no restrictions.

Regular Driver's License

This license applies to drivers 18 years old or older. There are no driving restrictions.

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