22Jun 2015

Tennessee Driver’s Permits

The Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) is responsible for issuing of driver’s permits. The DOS has implemented a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program whose main aim is to guide teenager to become more responsible drivers. Under the graduated driver licensing program, all teenagers must fulfill all necessary milestones before graduating to an unrestricted driver’s license. There are three stages:

  • Learner’s permit.
  • Intermediate restricted license.
  • Intermediate unrestricted license.


TN Learner’s Permit

You must be at least 15 years old to be eligible to apply for your learner’s permit. To apply, you will need to visit your local Tennessee DOS office and submit the following documents:

  • A completed Minor/Teenage Affidavit and Cancellation (Form SF-0259). The form must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.
  • Proof of school attendance(Form SF-1010)
  • Proof of TN residency
  • Proof of U.S citizenship
  • Primary and secondary proof of identity
  • Your social security number
  • Pay the $10.50 learner’s permit fee

In addition to the above requirements, you will have to pass a vision test and a written knowledge test.  In case you fail the knowledge test, you can only retake it after 7 days.

While holding your learner’s permit, you must be supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. In addition, you are not allowed to drive between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Intermediate Restricted TN Driver’s License

To be eligible for your intermediate restricted driver’s license in Tennessee, you must meet the following requirements: you must be at least 16 years old, you must have held your learner’s permit for more than six months, you must have completed 50 hours (with 10 hours being at night) of supervised driving practice and driving record should not have more than six points.

To apply, you will first need to make a road test appointment then submit the following documents:

  • A completed Certification of 50 Hours behind the Wheel Experience form (SF-1256), the form must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.
  • Proof of enrollment in school
  • Proof of primary and secondary identity
  • Proof of U.S citizenship
  • Proof of Tennessee residents (two documents)
  • Your social security number
  • Proof of auto insurance and car registration for your road test vehicle

You will have to pass the road test and finally pay a $24.50 licensing fee.