How to Renew a Driver's License in Tennessee
- You cannot renew your Tennessee driver license online or by mail if it was issued after January 1, 2001.
WHEN TO RENEW YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE
- Your Tennessee driver's license is usually valid for five years and will expire on your birthday. The expiration year depends on your age. Tennessee has adjusted it so that it is a number divisible by 5 like 25, 30, 35, and so on, which makes it easy for you to remember.
- You can renew your Tennessee license anytime in the year leading up to its expiration.
- The Tennessee Department of Safety notifies you 4 to 6 weeks in advance of the expiration date. But even if you do not get the notice, you have to renew on time as Tennessee does not give you any grace period. Once your license expires, you cannot legally drive on Tennessee roads.
TO RENEW IN PERSON
- Bring your expiring license or two Proofs of Identity if the expiring license is not available.
- In case you hold a Temporary Driver License or Certificate For Driving, you need to bring documentation proving your right to stay in the US and two proofs for your current address.
- Have a new photo taken. (License holders who are 60 years or older may opt for a non-photo license).
- If your name has changed, legal documentation of the name change is required.
- Appropriate renewal fee ($19.50 for the usual 5-year renewal; for other cycles, contact the Department of Safety at (866) 849-3548 for exact fees), payable is cash, check or credit card (Visa, Master card, Discover, American Express).
TO RENEW VIA THE INTERNET
You can renew your Tennessee license online if your license was issued before January 1, 2001, or if you are over 60 and are requesting a non-photo license.
You would need:
- A credit or debit card (Visa, Master card, American Express or Discover Card) to make the payment online.
- Your Driver's license number and your Social Security number.
You cannot renew online if:
- You renewed online or by mail the last time around. (That is, if there is a renewal sticker affixed to the back of your license).
- You have a Commercial driver license.
- Your license expired more than five years ago.
- There has been a change in your name.
TO RENEW BY MAIL
Renewal by mail is available only to legal permanent residents or legal citizens of the USA who renewed their current license in person and are out-of-state, and to military personnel and their dependents. License renewal for the first time has to be done in person.
When you renew by mail, you should prepare and/or complete:
- A letter containing your full name, address to which the license should be mailed, date of birth, Tennessee driver's license number along with a reachable contact number.
- A check or money order for the appropriate renewal fee, which can be confirmed by calling the Department of Safety at (866) 849-3548.
- Clear photocopies of two proofs of identity (must be notarized).
- Proof verifying inability to apply in person (like military ID for people in the armed forces, or letter from church for missionaries).
- Renewal requirements for the people on active duty in the armed forces can be found here.
Mail all the documents to:
Tennessee Department of Safety
P.O. Box 560
Nashville, TN 37249-1000.
The renewed driver's license will arrive by mail within 20 days.