Regular Driver License

A Regular (Class D) Driver License is required to operate most passenger vehicles in Tennessee including sedans, pick-up trucks, vans, etc. Most applicants for a Tennessee Driver License will need a Regular Driver License.

New Residents

If you have moved to Tennessee and currently hold a current Driver License from another state, please read our Steps to Get a Tennessee Driver License for New or Returning Residents.

New Drivers Who Are 18 Years Old or Older

If you are applying for a Regular Driver License for the first time and are 18 years old or older, please read our information for Adult First-Time Drivers.

Temporary Driver License

If the federal government has authorized, you to be in the United States for a specific purpose and for a specific period of time you may be eligible to get a Temporary Driver License. 


Tennessee Drivers may wish to get a REAL ID instead of a Regular Driver License. Beginning May 7, 2025, everyone must have a REAL ID or passport to enter certain Federal buildings, military bases and nuclear power plants or to board commercial flights within the United States.

New Drivers Under 18 Years Old

If you are applying for a Regular (Class D) Driver License for the first time and are under 18 years old, you will need to apply for a Teen/Graduated Driver License.

Commercial Driver License

Drivers are required to obtain a Commercial Driver License if the vehicle they are operating has a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,001 pounds or is used for any of these purposes:

  • transporting hazardous materials which are required by law to be placarded
  • transporting more than fifteen passengers including the driver
  • transporting children to and from school for compensation

Motorcycle License

To operate a two or three-wheeled motorcycle or motor-driven cycle over 50cc, drivers must also get a Motorcycle License. Anyone with a valid Regular Driver License may operate a motorized bicycle that is 50cc or less.

Who is not eligible for a Regular Driver License?

  • Anyone whose license is currently suspended or revoked in Tennessee or any other state.
  • Anyone the Commissioner has reason to believe would be unable to operate a motor vehicle safely because of mental or physical disabilities.
  • Anyone who has been proven to be a habitual drunkard or who is addicted to the use of narcotics.
  • Anyone required to show proof of financial responsibility and has not yet done so.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 who has dropped out of school before graduating, or who does not make "satisfactory progress" in school.
  • Anyone who is not a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident will not qualify for the issuance of a driver license or identification only license.

Who is not required to have a Regular Driver License?

  • Operators of any road machinery, farm tractor, or implement of husbandry that is temporarily operated or moved on a highway.
  • Non-residents who have in their immediate possession a valid driver license issued by their home state or country, equivalent to the appropriate class or type of Tennessee license.
  • Individuals who are not U.S. citizens and who, in connection with their employment in managerial or technical positions in Tennessee, may operate vehicles with a valid driver license issued by another state, country, or international body for a period of six (6) months.
  • Students pursuing an approved driver training course in a public or private secondary school, or in a licensed commercial driver training school for passenger vehicles, when accompanied by a certified instructor.