A CDL renewal in Tennessee is required in order for drivers to continue operating commercial vehicles. A CDL allows drivers to operate and transport heavy, large or hazardous materials, as well as other types of commercial vehicles. A current CDL holder must renew his or her personal information with the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to maintain driving privileges. Tennessee’s CDL renewal requirements differ from standard driver’s license renewals, as CDLs permit drivers to operate a bevy of specific vehicle types. Drivers may choose to add endorsements to their credentials to increase their driving privileges. However, adding endorsements requires them to complete additional steps in the renewal process.

To renew commercial drivers license documents, motorists must appear in person, at their local driver license stations. The renewal process helps ensure that all commercial motorists are practicing according to the latest safety regulations and operational rules. Likewise, it helps the DMV track drivers who are not physically fit to operate commercial vehicles. Some motorists may be required to sit for testing and complete medical evaluations to renew their credentials. For more information about the renewal process, read the following topics discussed below.

When to Renew Your CDL License in Tennessee

CDL drivers in Tennessee are given a CDL renewal notice before their licenses expire. You must renew your CDL every eight years in Tennessee. In the event that your CDL has become lost or stolen, you will need to apply for a CDL replacement, instead of renewing one. Tennessee does not have a CDL expiration grace period. Once the credential expires, drivers must renew it to continue operating.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Tennessee

CDL renewal requirements in Tennessee are not the same as standard driver’s license requirements. Furthermore, each state controls the CDL renewal process, and requires drivers to complete varying steps. For example, while some states may require motorists to retake knowledge or skills tests during each renewal, Tennessee CDL holders are not required to retake any exams during renewals.

Only those motorists who plan to add endorsements to their licenses, or those with hazmat endorsements, must sit for the proper exams.

What do you need to renew your CDL in Tennessee?

If you are wondering, “What do you need to renew your CDL license?” it is important to review all the necessary documents before renewing your credentials. There are several types of documents you must provide to the DMV during your renewal appointment. These include the below:

  • Your current TN commercial driver’s license
  • Your Tennessee commercial driver’s License renewal notice
  • An updated valid Tennessee Department of Transportation (DOT) long form physical or medical card
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of residence in the state
  • A form of payment for the CDL renewal fee

In addition to the documents listed above when you renew CDL credentials, all motorists must provide proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residence status with one of the following documents:

  • An original, valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • A certified birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics, or an equivalent agency in the individual’s state of birth, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), issued by the U.S. Department of State. (DS-1350 or FS-545)
  • A Certificate of Naturalization, issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). (N550, N570 or N578)
  • A Certificate of Citizenship, issued by the DHS. (N560 or N561)

Some drivers completing a CDL renewal in Tennessee will be asked to complete a new medical evaluation or certificate during the process. This requirement depends on the type of credential a driver wishes to renew, or whether the driver’s medical card was expired.

CDL Renewal Process in Tennessee

Drivers must renew commercial drivers license documents at an in-person appointment at a Tennessee driver license station. At this time, drivers may not perform mail-in or online renewals for commercial driver licenses.

To avoid letting the CDL expire, motorists should gather all CDL renewal requirements, and begin the process as soon as they receive notice from the DMV. Likewise, it is suggested that all drivers call ahead to schedule a renewal appointment, or learn the hours of operation, to ensure a speedy process.

Tennessee CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

Tennessee does not allow for a CDL permit renewal process, so drivers must either apply for the commercial license or reapply for the permit, once it expires. In Tennessee, commercial learner’s permits (CLPs) are valid for a certain period. All commercial motorists must have a CLP for at least 14 days before applying for a commercial license.

New CDL drivers may ask, “How long is a CDL permit good for?” Tennessee CDL permits are valid for a period of one year. During this time, drivers operate under restricted conditions. For example, they may only drive on public roads, and must drive while accompanied by a CDL holder.

“Can I renew my CDL permit after it expires?” is another common inquiry. Once a driver’s CDL permit expiration date passes, he or she must apply for a CDL, or reapply for a new permit.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Tennessee

The Tennessee CDL license renewal procedure differs for those with hazardous materials endorsements, or those who plan to add one to their CDLs. A hazardous material endorsement allows drivers to operate vehicles carrying various types of hazardous materials.

Renewing a CDL with a hazmat endorsement requires drivers to receive a background check through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). If it is expired, drivers must pay for a renewed background check before they can receive a renewed CDL.

Those with a hazmat endorsement will be initially given a TN CDL renewal with a temporary hazmat endorsement valid for 90 days at the time of renewal. Furthermore, all drivers with a hazmat endorsement must submit to fingerprinting, and retake the hazmat knowledge test during each renewal.

CDL Renewal Fees in Tennessee

The Tennessee CDL renewal price varies, depending on the type of license, class of license and whether the driver is adding any new endorsements. The CDL renewal cost figures are shown below:

  • Class A CDL: $70
  • Class B or C CDL: $62
  • School bus endorsement: $20
  • Passenger endorsement: $2.50
  • Hazardous materials endorsement: $2.50
  • Double/triple trailer endorsement: $2.50
Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.