It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with permit requirements before applying for a TN driver’s permit with the Driver Services Division (within the Department of Safety & Homeland Security). Be sure to obtain the necessary documents and meet permit requirements.
If you are under 18 years of age and want to get a TN driver’s permit, then you will have to adhere to requirements stated in the GDL (Graduated Driver License) program.
Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program: What’s that?
Maybe you’ve heard of the GDL (Graduated Driver License) program and want to learn more about it. This is one of the multi-tiered programs that make it easier for novice drivers and teens to earn driving privileges while developing driving skills at the same time. The goal is to prevent traffic accidents and save lives through supervised practice for new drivers.
The Graduated Driver License Program took effect from July 2001 in the state of Tennessee. It includes some restrictions on teens having a driver’s license and learner permits. In fact, the GDL program stresses the significance of a clean driving record. It requires a parent or legal guardian involvement, too.
There are 3 phases people under age 18 must go through to get licensed, such as:
- Learner’s Permit
- Intermediate Unrestricted License
- Intermediate Restricted License
We recommend poring over the Comprehensive Driver Manual. Take a closer look at Section A-3. In that section of the manual, you will find a lot of useful info about the GDL program and learn how to obtain a driver’s license as a person under age 18.
Those applying for a TN learner permit (Class PD) must pass a vision test as well as a knowledge driving test. They also need to be 15 or older. To get a regular driver license, applicants must complete 4 steps, each of which involves a certain fee, as follows:
- A learner’s permit (the fee for 1 year is $10.50)
- A TN intermediate restricted license — Applicants are required to have a valid learner permit for a minimum of 180 days and to be 16 or older (the fee for 5 years is $24.50)
- A TN intermediate unrestricted license — Applicants are required to be 17 or older (the fee for 1 year is $2)
- A TN regular driver (Class D) license — Applicants are required to be at least 18 years of age (the total fee is $10)
Permit ID & Documentation in Tennessee
The following are documents you need to provide when applying for a TN driver’s permit:
- Social Security number (SSN)
- 2 proofs of TN residency
- Primary as well as secondary proof of identity
- Proof of lawful permanent residency or proof of US citizenship
NOTE: The above-listed requirements can be met with a high school transcript as well as a valid Social Security card and birth certificate.
Additionally, people under 18 years of age must provide a parent/legal guardian affidavit along with a report card issued by a Tennessee’s school and proof of school attendance.
What is the Tennessee Written Knowledge Test?
It’s a test consisting of 30 multiple-choice questions, each of which has 3 possible answers. To pass this test, it’s necessary to give at least 24 correct answers. The written knowledge test contains everything from rules and laws of the road, to traffic signals and signs, to driving safety procedures.
Once the applicants have passed the test, they will get a Learner’s Permit. It lets them drive between 6 am and 10 pm providing that an adult supervises them at all times.
How to Qualify for a TN Intermediate Driver License
You need to have at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice, including a minimum of ten hours of night driving, to get an Intermediate Driver License. A licensed driver (he/she must be over age 21) has to accompany the applicant during this process.
Once the applicant turns 16, he or she will become eligible for a TN intermediate driver’s license. Moreover, the applicants are required to have a learner permit to start taking road tests.
How to Get a Tennessee Full License
Teens can get full unrestricted licenses when they receive a GED, turn 18, or graduate from a Tennessee’s high school. However, these licenses have the age indicator “Under 21.”
The use of cell phones isn’t allowed during the process of the Graduated Driver’s License. If you make a traffic violation or crash at this period, you will be sent back to a Learner Permit.
It’s recommended to make a teen/parent driving agreement at this stage. It is geared towards helping parents and their children (teens) establish the state- and rule-related expectations.
Licensing Authority in Tennessee
Through the Driver Services Programs, the TN Department of Safety & Homeland Security is obligated to produce a driver’s license for every driver in Tennessee. Furthermore, they are in charge of:
- Providing study materials that help with driving exams.
- Conducting the road tests and written exams for both intermediate and learner licenses.
- Monitoring the license status at all times.