Teen/Graduated Driver License

Tennessee’s tiered Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program is designed to help new, young drivers develop their driving skills as they ease into their driving privileges. The program requires parent/legal guardian involvement and emphasizes the importance of a good driving record. By requiring more supervised practice, the State of Tennessee hopes to prevent injuries and save lives. 

The GDL law outlines three phases for Tennesseans aged 15 to 17 seeking to obtain their driver's license:

  • GDL Level I - Learner Permit
  • GDL Level II - Intermediate Restricted License
  • GDL Level III - Intermediate Unrestricted License

The procedures for obtaining a Graduated Driver License for those under the age of 18 are covered in Section A-3 of the Comprehensive Driver Manual.

How to get a Learner Permit or Intermediate License

For the issuance of a GDL Level I - Learner Permit:

  • Must be at least 15 years old
  • Pass a standard vision screening
  • Pass the Regular (Class D) Driver License knowledge test
    • Online practices tests are available in e-Services.
    • Click on Take a Driver Services Practice Test under Schedule a Test.
    • Tennesseans aged 15 to 17 can take the Driver License Knowledge Test Online
    • If you choose to take the knowledge test at a Driver Services Center, save time by scheduling a Knowledge Test Appointment
  • If you are under the age of 18, you will alsoneed:
    • A parent or legal guardian (with proof of guardianship) present to sign a minor/teenage affidavit and financial responsibility form.
    • Show proof of school attendance from a current Tennessee school or a letter from the school in your previous state that confirms your attendance during enrollment in that school. This letter must be signed and dated by the principal or guidance counselor no more than 30 days prior to your Tennessee application.
  • Provide the following documentation:
  • Drivers with a GDL Level I - Learner Permit must have a licensed driver 21 years of age or older in the front seat and may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

For the issuance of a GDL Level II - Intermediate Restricted License:

Are you taking a road skills test?

Any applicant, holding a learner permit, visiting a Driver Services Center to take a skills/road test, must be accompanied by an individual, 21-years-or-older, with a valid driver license.

A learner permit only authorizes a person to operate a motor vehicle whenever the permit holder is accompanied by a person who is at least 21-years-of-age and has a valid driver license. T.C.A. § 55-50-311.

If a permit holder visits the center and is not accompanied by licensed driver, the permit holder will not be allowed to proceed with the test.

Teen drivers are encouraged to schedule a Road Skills Test Appointment. If you do not make an appointment, you may not be able to take your Road Skills Test at the Driver Services Center.

Forms and Documents

Online Services