Licensing & State Laws
Even though your teen is now licensed and driving alone, Tennessee's three-stage licensing process is still at work.
At age 15, teens can apply for a learner’s permit in the state of Tennessee. To do so, both teen and parent must visit their local driver exam office with a state-certified copy of the teen’s birth certificate, Social Security number, proof of Tennessee residency, Minor/Teenage Affidavit and Cancellation form and Proof of School Attendance form. Teens must pass a written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test to receive a learner’s permit. Legal guardians must accompany their teens to the driver license station to sign the application form, or their signatures must be notarized on the form.
- DMV Practice Questions – Take this sample test to determine if you’re ready to take the state driving test.
With a learner’s permit, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. Driver and passengers must wear seat belts. Teens are required to complete 50 hours of practice driving and have a learner’s permit for at least 180 days before they’re allowed an intermediate license.
Intermediate Restricted License
When teens turn 16, have had a learner’s permit for at least 180 days and have completed 50 hours of practice driving, they can apply for this intermediate license. They also must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test, complete a vision test and provide proof of practice driving time. Legal guardians must accompany their teens to the driver license station to sign the application form, or their signature must be notarized on the form.
Teens with an intermediate licenses are allowed to drive alone, but must follow certain restrictions. They may not drive between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. (Some exceptions are granted.) They are also prohibited from driving with more than one passenger, unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. Teen drivers and all passengers are required to wear safety belts.