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Access online assistance services for help on how to get your new ID as soon as possible. In many states, getting a driver’s license or ID for the first time involves several steps. Therefore, knowing what you will need to do and which documents you will need to present to the DMV is important. Online assistance provides step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a new license or ID card. Take advantage of this service to simplify the process today.

2.     By Mail

Some drivers prefer to complete their DMV transactions by mail. Unfortunately, this process is generally much slower than simply dealing with the DMV online. When completing DMV transactions by mail, make sure to set aside enough time for your documents to reach the DMV. If you are on a tight schedule, be mindful that the DMV will need to receive your documents, process your request and mail a response back to you. Double-check all forms, payment methods and applications before mailing them, as any error on your part may delay the process.

3.     In Person at a DMV Office

There are DMV transactions that you can only complete in person at a DMV office. These are sometimes lengthy processes, and since DMV lines are often long and slow, preparing beforehand can help ensure your visit is as quick as possible. Knowing which documents you will need and filling out necessary forms before your visit can keep you from wasting your trip. In these cases, online assistance services can help by providing you with all the information you need to make your visit a success.


Individuals who have obtained a Tennessee DMV ID card will be able to use this credential for identification purposes only. Contrary to the use of a valid driving license, an ID cannot be utilized for the operation of a motor vehicle. State residents who apply for ID card credentials will need to submit the applicable documentation and pay the fees as set by the state Department of Safety (DOS).

Applicants have the option to request one of the two types of TN DMV non driver ID cards that are currently available: an expiring identification license or a permanent identification license. Non-U.S. citizens can also obtain a valid ID, also referred to as a temporary identification license, so as to prove their age and identity. Learn more about how and where to submit an ID card application in Tennessee by reading the below sections.

Requirements for an ID Card in Tennessee

The documents and additional requirements will slightly differ depending on the type of credential individuals are applying for. In general, state ID applicants must provide proofs of identity, residency and lawful presence in the United States. Individuals requesting an “Expiring Identification License” must not hold a valid license to drive. When getting a state ID, they will be required to present the following documentation:

  • One primary document proving their identity such as a valid U.S. passport, original or certified birth certificate or a photo driver’s license
  • A secondary proof of identification including a work ID, bank statement, health insurance card or a Social Security document
  • Two current documents for ID card verifying in-state residency, such as a utility bill, rental/mortgage contract or receipt or a TN voter registration card
  • One proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent status, such as a U.S. birth certificate, valid passport or a permanent resident alien card
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) or sworn affidavit provided the applicant does not have an SSN

State residents will be eligible for a permanent identification card in Tennessee provided they are physically or mentally disabled. In addition to proving their identity, applicants must also provide DOS with a certified statement issued by a licensed doctor confirming their inability to operate a vehicle. A temporary non drivers license may be issued to non-U.S. citizens with an authorized stay for a specific period of time, once they submit the following paperwork:

  • Proof of lawful presence and authorized stay in the U.S.
  • Two proofs of identity
  • Two documents proving Tennessee residency
  • Proof of Social Security Number or sworn affidavit
  • Proof of name change, if applicable

Note: Individuals younger than 18 years of age obtaining state ID cards will need to provide the DOS with a special form in addition to the aforementioned documents. The submitted documentation is subject to verification and photocopies will not be accepted.

The Tennessee ID Card Application Process

The issuance of an ID is available at local DOS driver services centers. Before going to a nearby branch to submit your application, make sure you have the proper paperwork on hand. Once in the office, you will need to present the required paperwork based on the type of license you request, as well as provide payment for the applicable fees. New ID card documents do not require any testing procedures.

The period of validity of an identification card in TN will also vary depending on the type of ID you are requesting. While identification licenses issued to applicants younger than 65 have a date of expiry, ID cards do not expire for individuals 65 years of age or older and for those who qualify for a permanent license.

Note: Initiating an ID card renewal procedure will be necessary provided your card has an expiration date. You may also require a copy of your ID card if you have lost it or it has been stolen.

Remember that an ID card will not allow you to drive in the state of Tennessee. If you wish to operate a motor vehicle, you will need to apply for a driver’s license, which involves taking several exams. Fortunately, practice tests are available to help you prepare, as are drivers education courses.

Tennessee Identification Card Fees

Your DMV ID fee will also depend on several factors, including the type of ID card, your age at the time of application and how long the credential is valid for. If you are younger than 18 years of age when requesting a new ID, you will need to pay a fee for a two-year document.

State residents 18 years of age and older can purchase an eight-year card at a higher price. No ID card cost in TN will apply to individuals requesting a permanent identification license. Non-citizens applying for a temporary credential will need to arrange payment for a fee, regardless of their age. Prices are subject to change without notice. DOS accepts cash, checks, money orders and credit cards as methods of payment.

Last updated on Friday, September 21 2018.

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