What Is the Renewal Process for a Driver License in Tennessee?


Quick Answer

Most Tennessee drivers can renew an expired license by using the Tennessee Department of Safety's online license renewal form or by sending in a paper renewal request. Drivers with special license types must appear in person during license renewal. Drivers with special circumstances affecting the renewal process follow a unique renewal procedure.

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Full Answer

Drivers holding Class A, B or C commercial driver's licenses cannot renew online or by mail. In these cases, the Tennessee Department of Safety mails a renewal notice to the driver, informing her of the nearest location where she can receive a new photograph and license. In addition to appearing in person, these drivers must present a valid U.S. Department of Transportation medical card.

Drivers with temporary driver's licenses or temporary identification licenses must renew their licenses in person. They must also present documentation authorizing their legal presence in the United States. This same process applies if the person only wants to change her existing license photo.

Tennessee drivers who are active-duty service members in the U.S. Armed Forces are not required to renew their licenses, provided they are outside of Tennessee during the normal renewal period. Tennessee recognizes these licenses as valid even if they are technically expired, provided the service member provides a front and back copy of her military identification card and a copy of her orders showing she cannot be in Tennessee at the normal renewal time.

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