Tennessee Driver’s License Renewal Guide
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Updated On July 9, 2021
By 2019, Tennessee had nearly 4.5 million licensed drivers. And now the REAL ID federal implementation has been extended. The Music City’s drivers have 19 more month than previously. Instead of October 1, 2021, the deadline is now May 3, 2023. A REAL ID offers more identity security, and can be used for traveling by plane. It the same as an ordinary license.
Tennessee has banned all drivers from holding a cell phone while behind the wheel. Anyone caught driving and using a mobile device can get a $200 fine. You can use headphones or smartwatch to talk. No texting, or scrolling through phone. Dashboard mounts are still allowed! DUIs will also cost you in the Music City; anywhere between $350 and $1500 and must serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail. Scroll down for more Tennessee driving details.
How to Renew a Tennessee Driver’s License
What do I need and how do I renew my Tennessee driver’s license? Good questions.
The driver’s license renewal process in Tennessee has changed its’ system some in recent years. Beginning in 2016, an eight-year license is available for people over the age of 21. For many years photos were not included on Tennessee driver licenses and may continue to be the case if you turned 60 before 2013.
Renewing a Tennessee driver’s license is relatively easy. You may do so in person at a DMV office, or by mail or online in many cases. If your license is expired, you can be given a ticket and charged as if you had never had a license.
Online Driver’s License Renewal
If you do not need to make changes and can use the same photo, you may renew your TN driver’s license online. This is only for regular driver’s licenses or state ID cards with no special conditions required.
Drivers renewing a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or other commercial license must do so in person. People who are not citizens of the United States must renew their license in person.
The state sends out a reminder to renew your license by mail two months before your driver’s license is set to expire. The expiration date is always on the driver’s birthday.
Required License Renewal Documents
Tennessee law now also requires you to show proof of citizenship the first time you renew your license. You will not have to provide this proof again for future renewals.
Accepted documents for verification of citizenship include a valid, current US passport and Social Security card. If you are not a citizen you will have to show you are legally in the country and have proper documentation.
Contact the TN DMV to verify which documents are accepted should you have any questions.
Legal address (proof of residency) and legal presence (US citizenship) in the state must be verified to renew a driver’s license in Tennessee. This can also be done with a current, valid driver’s license if it is not your first time renewing.
If your address has changed, a recent utility bill will suffice as proof of an address. A bank statement or a copy of a rental agreement can also be considered proof of an address.
Military Driver’s License and State ID Card Renewal
Military driver’s license and state ID cards remain valid for active duty military members, regardless of the printed expiration date. This does not apply to National Guard or to military members stationed at bases in the state.
License renewal must be completed within 60 days of the expiration date displayed on the driver’s license, state ID card, or military ID for discharged military members not on active duty.
Driver’s License Renewal Test Requirements
Do I need to retake the driver’s license test to renew my driver’s license in Tennessee?
You may have to take the DMV behind-the-wheel driving test and the written test if your TN driver’s license has been expired for more than one year. All required fees must also be paid in this situation. In some cases, you may have to start over as if you are getting a driver’s license for the first time.
Renewing an Expired Driver’s License
There is a 30 day grace period for renewing a Tennessee driver’s license. After the 30 days, you will have to pay a late fee when you go to renew. The amount of the required renewal fee depends on how long the license has been expired.
Driver’s License Renewal Fees
The required fee to renew a driver’s license is $28 with the new ID being valid for eight years.
There is a late fee for being 30 days past the expiration date, and there are additional small fees for drivers choosing to renew their license or state ID card online.
Reinstating a Suspended Driver’s License
If you have a suspended license, you may renew your license after the suspension ends. There is an additional fee required to reinstate a suspended driver’s license. In this situation, drivers may not utilize the online option and must renew their license in person at the TN DMV.
If your driver’s license is lost or stolen, you may get a replacement driver’s license as long as you are able to verify your TN driver’s license number.
Scheduling a DMV Appointment to Renew Your License
You can schedule an appointment to renew your driver’s license by contacting the TN DMV location nearest to you, though this is not required when choosing to renew your license in person.
Should you have any further questions specific to your situation or regarding how to renew a driver’s license in Tennessee, it is recommended to contact the TN DMV.