Applying for a Tennessee learners permit with the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) is the first step toward obtaining an unrestricted driving credential. The drivers permit is a credential specifically designed within the framework of the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program, which is offered to first-time motorists.

Since the purpose of the GDL program is to gradually prepare new drivers for an unrestricted credential, this permit license will include certain restrictions that must be respected.

To obtain a DMV learners permit in TN, you will be required to meet certain requirements, which will vary to a certain degree depending on your age. For example, applicants who are younger than 18 years of age will need their parent’s permission in order to get a driving credential. Learn more about the state learning permit and its application process in the sections below.

Tennessee Learners Permit Eligibility Guidelines

Before applying for a Tennessee learning license, first-time drivers must ensure that they meet the requirements for this restricted credential. The standard list of drivers permit requirements is outlined below.

  • You are at least 15 years of age.
  • You are physically and mentally able to operate a motor vehicle.
  • You are a state resident with a legal U.S. status.
  • You have parental permission and you are making good progress in school, if younger than 18 years of age.
  • You have the theoretical knowledge needed to drive a car on public roads.
  • You have collected the paperwork needed for a driving permit.

When applying for a TN learners permit you will have to submit several types of paperwork, including documents that prove your legal U.S. presence, identity, Social Security Number (SSN) and state residency.

In order to prove your legal status in the U.S. when applying for a drivers permit in Tennessee, you can submit documents such as a passport or a birth certificate. You can also use these types of documents as primary forms of identification. Finally, proofs of state residency include documents that contain your residential address, such as utility bills or paychecks.

How to Apply for a Learners Permit in Tennessee

If you are wondering where to get a learners permit in Tennessee, note that you will be required to submit your request in person through a nearby driver services center. The standard steps to apply for a learner permit include the following:

  1. Fill out the corresponding application form.
  2. Present the full set of supporting paperwork, as outlined in the previous section. If you are younger than 18 years of age, you will also need a Minor/Teenage Affidavit signed by your parent and proof of school attendance.
  3. Pass the written knowledge exam and the vision test.
  4. Have your photograph taken.
  5. Pay for the licensing fee.

You will receive a learners permit in TN as soon as the state DSHS processes your request and manufactures your photo credential. To avoid any delays or a rejected application, ensure to collect all items that apply under your circumstances before making your office visit.

The Tennessee Drivers Permit Test

You will be required to pass a DMV permit test in Tennessee in order to prove that you have the necessary knowledge to safely operate a motor vehicle on public roads. In general, the learners permit test will be administered at a DSHS office through a computerized testing system. The exam will include multiple-choice questions covering various topics, such as traffic signals, road regulations, safe driving practices and drugs and alcohol abuse.

In order to successfully pass the TN drivers permit test, you will have to carefully study the state driver’s manual, which contains detailed information on all important topics. In certain cases, you may be allowed to take the test orally and/or in another language. If you fail the test, you will have to wait seven days before retaking it.

Note: You can increase the chances of passing the official DMV exam by taking a TN practice permit test and learning from your results.

Tennessee Driving Permit Rules and Restrictions

After getting a Tennessee learning license, novice drivers will be able to improve their driving skills by operating cars within restricted situations. For instance, one of the driving permit rules is that you cannot operate your vehicle alone.

Instead, you must be accompanied by an experienced driver who is at least 21 years of age. Furthermore, it is important to note that you are prohibited from operating a vehicle between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Tennessee Learner Permit Fees

If you would like to know how much it costs to get your permit in Tennessee, note that the applicable fee will vary depending on factors such as your age and residency status. The current learner permit fee for U.S. citizens is set at $5.50 per year for applicants who are 18 years of age or older.

Conversely, the fee is $10.50 per year for drivers who are younger than 18 years of age. If you are applying for a temporary permit, on the other hand, you will have to pay $28 or $33, depending on whether you are applying as an adult or as a minor.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.