It's important to renew your Tennessee driver's license when it expires, or you may face fees and penalties. Driving with an expired or invalid license is a serious offense. Renewal is easy, and most people over the age of 21 only have to renew their license every eight years.
Getting a Renewal Notice
The Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sends drivers a renewal notice six to eight weeks before their license expires. Make sure your mailing address is current with the DMV so that you receive your renewal notice and instructions in time. You can update your address within 30 days of moving through the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Driver Services Division online portal.
How to Renew Tennessee Drivers License
If you are applying for your first Tennessee license, you must go in-person to a Driver Service Center (DSC) and provide proof of US citizenship or lawful permanent residence status. The DMV may also require you to pass written and practical driving tests for your first license.
If you are renewing an existing Tennessee license, you may be eligible to renew online or by mail. Generally, every other time you renew your license, you must go in-person to a DSC location. They will also require an updated photograph during these renewals. In the interim renewal years, you may be able to renew online or by mail. Look closely at your renewal notice for your options.
If you don't receive your renewal notice, go in-person to a DSC location with your old license. They will not require your renewal notice in order to renew your license. Note that the first time you renew your license in Tennessee, you must do so in person. You must also provide documentation showing your US citizenship or lawful permanent resident status.
Commercial license holders must renew their license in-person each time, and provide a current Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate at each renewal.
Renewing Temporary Licenses
If you are not a US citizen and you have a Tennessee-issued Temporary Identification License (TID) or Temporary Driver's License (TDL), you must renew your license in person at a DMV office. You will be asked to present documentation showing your legal presence and authorized length of stay in the US, as well as two documents proving your Tennessee address.