There are two agencies in Tennessee that handle driver licensing and motor vehicle services:
The DDS handles all driver-related services for both new residents and existing TN drivers, including driver’s license, ID card, and learner’s permit applications, road testing, driving records, and commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
The DOR handles vehicle registration and titling services for Tennessee residents, including license plate applications, motor vehicle reports, and custom license plates. The Wildlife Resources Agency is responsible for boat registration and boater education.
As a new resident to Tennessee, you must exchange your driver’s license and apply for a vehicle registration within 30 days of establishing residency in the state. Prior to registration, you must take your vehicle for an emissions test if you live in a participating county.
The DDS and DOR also have specific licensing and registration information geared toward its military residents and non-residents, in order to accommodate the unique circumstances that military service brings. Non-residents stationed in Tennessee are not required to get a TN license or registration while serving in the state.
Online and Third-Party Services
The Tennessee DDS and DOR offer online services through their respective websites.
The DDS’ online services include:
- Appointment scheduling
- Live wait times
- Driver license/ID card renewal
- Duplicate licenses and IDs
- CDL Medical Certificate renewal
- Address changes
- Fee payments
- Driving records
- Motor vehicle records
The DOR’s online services include:
- Vehicle registration renewal
- License plate purchases
- Personalized license plates
You can access many driver licensing forms and motor vehicle forms online. You can also access the Tennessee Driver’s Manual online, in addition to the Motorcycle and Commercial driver handbooks. Looking to study for your license exam? The DDS offers an online practice test to give you the extra prep you need.
Tennessee Department of Safety
Driver Services Division
P.O. Box 945
Nashville, TN 37202
Phone: (615) 253-5221
Department of Revenue
500 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37242
- Statewide: (888) 871-3171
- Out-of-state and Nashville area: (615) 741-3101