Commercial drivers must request a CDL replacement in Tennessee from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security if they lose or damage the license they normally have in their possession. To replace a CDL license, TN drivers are required to submit a duplicate application request with all of the necessary supporting material and processing fees. The Department of Safety accepts duplicate applications from commercial drivers in person at Department of Safety locations across the state. Some drivers may also be eligible to request a duplicate through the state’s online system.

When a driver needs to replace a destroyed or lost CDL drivers license, he or she will be asked to provide proof of identification and residency along with their application. All applications must also be accompanied by the necessary application fee to be correctly processed. Driving without the proper licensure is illegal in Tennessee and can result in legal consequences for the driver if caught operating any motor vehicle without the necessary documentation. Keep reading to learn more about getting a replacement commercial license in Tennessee.

When do you need to get a duplicate CDL license in Tennessee?

Drivers should pay the necessary Tennessee CDL replacement fees and submit the appropriate application and paperwork to receive a new license immediately upon the loss of their original license. Operating a commercial vehicle without a DMV CDL replacement is illegal in Tennessee.

The Department of Safety can require drivers to pay a fine or face legal penalties for breaking this law. In most cases, drivers can receive a temporary driving license after submitting the duplicate request while they are waiting for their new permanent license.

If necessary, drivers can also request a duplicate CDL replacement permit if they have lost or destroyed their current CDL permit. Permits can be replaced by visiting a Department of Safety office in person. Non-U.S. citizen holders of a CDL may be asked to show evidence of lawful presence in the U.S., if not already provided.

Documents Required to Replace a CDL in Tennessee

No matter which method a driver chooses to request a TN duplicate CDL license, he or she must provide the same primary supporting application material to the Department of Safety. How to replace a CDL license in Tennessee begins with gathering the required documentation. All TN commercial drivers should prepare the following documents in original format (when applicable) with the duplicate CDL license application:

  • The driver’s current and valid Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Card or other acceptable proof of meeting federal health requirements as specified for a CDL replacement, renewal or initial request
  • One proof of identity from the following documents:
    • S. photo driver license or photo ID card
    • Valid driver’s license from a foreign country
    • Original or certified copy of the driver’s birth certificate
    • Military identification
    • Valid and unexpired United States or foreign-issue passport
    • United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) documentation
    • Marriage License or Certificate
    • Federal Census Record
    • Birth Certificate of the applicant’s child
    • Adoptive Decree
    • Legal proof of name change
  • Two proofs of Tennessee residency – either two documents from Group A or one document from Group A and one from Group B:
    • Group A
      • Current utility bill, including receipts from payments for a landline telephone (wireless cell phone bills not accepted), electricity, water, gas, cable, etc.
      • Current bank statement, issued or certified by the driver’s bank
      • Current rental or mortgage contract, receipt or deed
      • Verification of driver’s address by their current employer on company letterhead with original signature or signed by a notary if not printed on official letterhead
      • Current paycheck, check stub, work identification or badge if the driver’s address is stated
      • Current automobile, life or health insurance policy contract
      • Current Tennessee driver license or ID of a parent, legal guardian or spouse of the driver
      • Current TN motor vehicle registration or vehicle title
      • Current Tennessee voter registration
      • Valid W-2 form, issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) within last 12 months
      • Receipt for state taxes paid within the last year
      • A photo student ID along with verification of enrollment from the Dean of the driver’s school
    • Group B:
      • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), issued by the IRS
      • Form I-94, issued to the applicant by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)
      • Employment Authorization card (I-766), issued to the applicant by USCIS
      • I-551, issued to the applicant by USCIS
    • Required documentation of changes (if applicable), of a driver’s name, date of birth or gender

How to Replace a Tennessee CDL in Person

All licensed commercial drivers are eligible to apply for a duplicate CDL in Tennessee by visiting a Department of Safety office in person. TN commercial drivers who would like to replace a CDL license in person can take the following steps:

  1. Prepare an identification document and two proofs of residency. Locate your DOT medical card and package all of this supplemental material together.
  2. Drivers submitting information to change their data in the Department of Safety system should also remember to include the necessary documentation.
  3. Bring the completed application and supplemental material to your nearest Tennessee Department of Safety branch office.
  4. Submit your complete application packet. Inquire about receiving a temporary license while you wait to receive your permanent replacement commercial license in the mail.

Commercial drivers seeking a CDL replacement of a license that is set to expire within the next six months must follow a different process. Drivers in this situation must submit a renewal application to the Department of Safety instead of submitting a replacement application.

How to Replace a Tennessee CDL Online

Some commercial drivers may be able to replace a destroyed or lost CDL drivers license in Tennessee by submitting a duplicate request online. The TN Department of Safety allows drivers to replace a CDL license and complete a number of other driver services through their web portal. Drivers whose license is expired, cancelled, suspended or revoked are not eligible for online replacement.

  1. Check your eligibility for online CDL replacement through the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security web portal. If qualified, make an account.
  2. Scan the required supporting material that must be included with your application, such as two proofs of residency and your DOT card. Prepare to upload these files with the rest of your e-application.
  3. Prepare the necessary application and processing fees by credit or debit card.
  4. Follow the application instructions of the state’s web portal to complete the application and submit the request to the state.
  5. Print the confirmation page after submitting the request. This receipt can be used as a valid extension of your license until you receive your replacement commercial license in the mail within 20 business days.

CDL Replacement Fees in Tennessee

All drivers must pay the necessary Tennessee CDL replacement fees at the same time that they intend on submitting the rest of the application packet. The cost of replacing a CDL license depends on how many duplicate licenses the driver has asked for in the recent past. The first duplicate will cost TN drivers a $12 fee. All subsequent replacement requests for CDLs cost a driver $16 each. Drivers can pay these fees in a variety of formats at Department of Safety branch offices.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.