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Frequently Asked Questions

Question 3

I need to renew my license, but I am currently out of the country or out of the state or will be when my renewal time comes. What can I do?

Answer: No problem! You may renew your regular license (Class D, M or ID) up to 12 months ahead of time with no special steps required. Your renewal fees will be the same as if you waited until your regular expiration date. See if you are eligible to renew on-line.

You may also take your driver license to your local driver license center at your convenience. Find a Driver Service Center near you. A new photo and signature will be required for all renewals processed at a Driver Service Center.

You have several options for renewing your driver license from outside the state. The following steps apply to all residents and military dependents temporarily out-of-state who need to renew a regular non-commercial driver license.

If your most recent driver license was issued to you in person, we may be able to process your renewal either through the internet or by regular mail. NOTE: Active Duty military personnel have different options (instructions for military personnel).

NOTE 1: Tennessee's state law requires that anyone issued a Tennessee driver's license between January 1, 2001, and July 1, 2004, be required to provide documentation they are either a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident at the time of their first renewal. In these instances, you may not renew by mail or by the internet; you will be required to visit a Driver Service Center.

NOTE 2: If you currently hold an expiring Certificate For Driving (CFD) or one of the new Temporary Driver Licenses (TDL) or Temporary Identification Licenses (TID) you will be required to appear in person at a Driver Service Center to process this type of renewal. You must provide updated documentation proving your current legal presence and length of authorized stay in the USA at the time of your renewal. Two documents proving your current Tennessee residence address will also be required at renewal. The CFD will NOT be renewed or reissued, but you may obtain the new TDL or TID document with proper qualifying documentation.

  • INTERNET RENEWAL: You may request a renewal via the Internet as long as you have a Tennessee residence and valid mailing address to which the new photo license can be sent.

Renew your driver license online

  • REGULAR MAIL RENEWAL:
    1. The first step to renewing your license by mail is to figure out the appropriate renewal fee you will need to pay. If you have a Class D driver license and it is expiring on a birthday evenly divisible by five (for example, you will be 30, 35, 40......60,65, etc.), you should send $19.50. Otherwise, you should write or call for the exact amount you would owe. In your letter include your full name, date of birth, and driver license number along with a day time phone number where we could contact you if needed.

      Tennessee Department of Safety
      Cashier's Office
      1150 Foster Avenue
      Nashville, TN 37243-1000
      (866) 903-7357

    2. Once you have determined the correct renewal fees, you will need to send a check or money order in that amount along with a letter and any other required documentation to the address above. A license renewed through the mail is a stand alone document requiring more safeguards before it can be issued. Specifically, we will need the following information and/or documentation
      • Your Full Name
      • Your Tennessee Driver License Number
      • Date of Birth
      • Notarized copies of two documents showing proof of your identity (Please note: Do not send original documents--instead, have your signature notarized on the copy of the documents.)
      • The address to which you want the license mailed. Also, you should again provide us with a daytime phone number in case we need to contact you regarding your renewal.
      • A check or money order for the correct renewal fee payable to the Tennessee Department of Safety.
      • Verification that you are unable to apply in person. For Example:
        1. If you are a military dependent, send a copy of your military dependent ID and a letter from your spouse's commanding officer stating that your relative is stationed outside of Tennessee.
        2. If you are a missionary or employed overseas, include a letter from your church or employer explaining the length of assignment.
    3. NOTE: If your current driver license photo is not digitized (issued prior to October 1996: see link above for example), or you have a non-photo license we will NOT be able to issue you a photo license renewal. However, if you have the documentation listed above we can issue you a non-photo renewal only.
      • If you are under 60 years old, when you return to Tennessee, you will need to bring your non-photo license to any driver license station, pay a duplicate fee, and exchange it for a photo license.

For more general driver license information (general info, office locations, online services etc.) visit Driver Services.

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