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Department of Safety COVID-19 Updates

Department of Safety COVID-19 Updates

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak closely. At this time, most State Driver Services Centers are open while taking precautions to protect the health and safety of our employees and customers.

This remains an ongoing situation and any updates or changes to our services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to be posted as they become available.

For current Driver Services Centers and Self-Service Kiosks closed or unavailable, please click here.

During this time, we encourage as many customers as possible to utilize the e-Services portal for available online services rather than coming into a Driver Services Center.

The Department is currently taking the following precautions to protect the health and safety of our customers and employees at Driver Services Centers:

  • Encourage everyone to utilize our e-Services portal for available online services such as renewals, duplicates, paying reinstatement fees, changing your address and completing a new resident application.
  • Added protective screens at examiner counters
  • Limiting capacity inside centers based on recommended guidelines
  • Providing protective gear for employees
  • Following employer guidelines set by the Tennessee Pledge
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitizing for all Driver Services Centers and equipment
  • Requiring customers to wait in their vehicles using the Department’s queuing technology until notified by text or call to enter the Driver Services Center if limited capacity in the center has been reached.
  • Encouraging to use credit/debit cards only to limit handling of cash
  • Requiring customers to:

- Wear a cloth face covering provided by the customer

- Be checked for temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

- Answer COVID-19 health screening questions

- Distance at least six feet from others when possible

- Not be experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms

- Use the queuing system to receive notifications as they wait in their vehicle if center has reached

limited capacity. 

For the safety of our staff and customers, the Department has implemented several procedures for customers visiting a Driver Services Center.

Customers are required to:

  • Wear a cloth face covering provided by the customer
  • Be checked for temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Answer COVID-19 health screening questions
  • Distance at least six feet from others when possible
  • Not be experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Use the queuing system to receive notifications as they wait in their vehicle if center has reachedlimited capacity. 

Customers should:

  • Make an appointment for Driver Services using the online appointment system.
  • Fill out the new resident or new driver application in the e-Services portal using a computer or smartphone before visitng a Driver Services Center if they are a new resident or first-time permit applicant.
  • Utilize the e-Services portal for driver services such as renewal, duplicates and changing address when possible.

Appointments are now available at all Driver Services Centers for REAL ID application, Knowledge Test for driver license permit applicants, Reinstatement (at select stations), and Driver License for all other driver services transactions such as name change or renewal. To make an appointment for these services, click here.

Road Skills Test appointments must be made in the e-Services portal or by calling (866) 849-3548.

Starting March 20, 2020, the Department is waiving its requirement that citizens appear in person and have a new photograph taken through October 1, 2021. This will allow many customers with expiring credentials to renew online and not visit in person.

Non-US citizens with Temporary driver licenses (Class XD and XID) will still need to visit in person to renew those licenses upon expiration of the current license.

All Class D, M, PD, PM and ID licenses set to expire between March 12, 2020, and June 29, 2020, will be delayed to expire November 15, 2020. This does not apply to an individual with a Class X license.

Handgun carry permits set to expire between March 12, 2020, and June 30, 2020, will be delayed to expire November 15, 2020.

To renew online or order a duplicate with the updated expiration date, visit e-Services. If you choose not to renew online or order a duplicate license, download and print the extension letter below from the Department to keep with your expired license until you renew.

 Extension Letter

Rescheduled road skills tests for customers whose appointments were canceled between March 12 and May 15 will begin on May 18 and be completed by June 8. The Driver Services staff will contact these customers to reschedule skills tests.

Customers who did not have a skills test appointment scheduled between March 12 and May 15 can now schedule an appointment in the e-Services portal or by calling (866) 849-3548. First available appointments will be June 15.

Knowledge tests resumed at all full-service centers on May 18. Appointments are now available for knowledge tests at all full-service centers in the appointments system. Testing will also be offered on select Saturdays between June 13 and August 22. 

First-time applicants should complete the Driver License Application in the e-Services portal before arriving at the center. Information on Proof of School Attendance can be found here if schools are closed due to COVID-19.

Knowledge Testing Saturdays

The Driver Services Division will host knowledge testing on select Saturdays throughout the summer for teens seeking a driver permit. Applicants will be required to have an appointment to test on these alternative service days.  

When:    June 13 & 27, July 11 & 25, and August 8 & 22

Where:   All full-service Driver Services Centers

How:       BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Appointment slots will be available for 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. Applicants will have 45 minutes to complete the test allowing the center time to sanitize between testing periods. Appointments for Saturday testing are not available in any of our online appointment systems and are instead available by calling your local full-service Driver Services Center. Before arriving to yor knowledge test appointment, first-time applicants will need to complete the Driver License Application in the e-Services portal. Find the online application here.

Find permit applicant requirements and required documents here. Information on Proof of School Attendance can be found here if schools are closed due to COVID-19.

The requirement that new Tennessee residents obtain a Tennessee driver license within 30 days of becoming a resident has been extended to June 30, 2020 for those who establish residency in Tennessee between March 12, 2020, and May 31, 2020.

Before visiting a Driver Services Center, new or returning residents should complete the new resident application online in the e-Services portal.

The issuance of REAL ID credentials in Tennessee resumes July 6, 2020. To make a REAL ID appointment, click here.

The federal government has extended the REAL ID implemenation date to October 1, 2021. For more information on REAL ID and required documents, visit tnrealid.gov.

CDL holders with a medical card expiring between March 12, 2020 and June 29, 2020 have until June 30, 2020 to submit their new Med-Cert to the Department. The extension is available to CDL holders with a medical card that is currently valid for more than 90 days.

The expiration of Class A, B, C, PA, PB, and PC will be extended until June 30, 2020 if set to expire between March 12, 2020 and June 29, 2020. This does not apply to an individual with a Class X license.

Due dates between March 12, 2020 and June 30, 2020 for driver license reinstatement installment payments for those on payment plans extended until August 29, 2020.

For those not paying in installments, reinstatement fees can be paid online in our e-Services portal. Reissuance after reinstatment may also be completed in the e-Services portal.

As part of our continuing efforts to confront and limit the spread of COVID-19, the Tennessee Ignition Interlock Program is implementing the following protocols effective immediately:

  • All required monthly services are suspended until further notice; services will then resume on the originally scheduled day of the month. Your interlock provider will let you know if you need service before this goes into effect;
  • If service is required, you must provide all necessary breath samples;
  • You may still be required to have a final download service in order for a compliance check to be completed prior to program completion and device removal;
  • If you are unable to have the ignition interlock device removed upon compliance during this period, there shall be no monthly lease charge for the extended period.        

The Ignition Interlock Program advises the following:

  • We understand the importance of using hand sanitizer during this time. To reduce the chance of incurring a high BAC violation, use sanitizer outside of your vehicle and allow your hands to dry before giving a test;
  • Always provide a passing retest within 10 minutes for any fails;
  • Services will be provided at the discretion of the manufacturer and the service center during this period.

FAQs

REAL ID issuance in Tennessee has been temporarily suspended until July 6, 2020. The REAL ID effective date has been extended to October 1, 2021 by the federal government. Many licenses expiring between March 12 and June 29 will have an expiration extension if you would like come in to renew and apply for a REAL ID at a later date.

See updates above for which licenses expiration extensions apply to. Expiration length varies by license type.

Rescheduled road skills tests for customers whose appointments were canceled between March 12 and May 15 will begin on May 18 and be completed by June 8. The Driver Services staff will contact these customers to reschedule skills tests.

Customers who did not have a skills test appointment scheduled between March 12 and May 15 can now schedule an appointment in the e-Services portal or by calling (866) 849-3548. First available appointments will be June 15.

Appointments for knowledge tests are now available at all full-service centers in the appointment system. Testing will also be offered on select Saturdays between June 13 and August 22. More information will be posted to tn.gov/safety.

Information on Proof of School Attendance can be found here if schools are closed due to COVID-19.

To reduce traffic into Driver Services Centers during this time, new residents who establish residency in Tennessee
between March 12, 2020 and May 31, 2020 now have until June 30, 2020 to obtain a Tennessee license.

If your current license expires before that time, begin the new resident application online in our e-Services portal before visiting a Driver Services Center.

A Med-Cert extension has been granted for CDL holders with a medical card expiring between March 12, 2020 and June 29, 2020. CDL holders have until June 30, 2020 to submit their new Med-Cert to the department.  The extension is available to CDL holders with a medical card that is currently valid for more than 90 days.

Yes. Initial application for a handgun carry permit is still being processed in Driver Services Centers.

License renewals are being processed online through our e-services portal. In-person photo requirements have been waived through October 1, 2021.

The Department is currently taking the following precautions to protect the health and safety of our customers and employees at Driver Services Centers:

  • Encourage everyone to utilize our e-Services portal for available online services such as renewals, duplicates, paying reinstatement fees, changing your address and completing a new resident application.
  • Adding protective screens at examiner counters
  • Limiting capacity inside centers based on recommended guidelines
  • Providing protective gear for employees
  • Following employer guidelines set by the Tennessee Pledge
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitizing for all Driver Services Centers and equipment
  • Requiring customers to wait in their vehicles using the Department’s queuing technology until notified by text or call to enter the Driver Services Center if limited capacity in the center has been reached.
  • Provide protective gear for examiners who interact with customers following TSA procedures
  • Encouraging to use credit/debit cards only to limit handling of cash
  • Requiring customers to:

- Wear a cloth face covering provided by the customer

- Be checked for temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

- Answer COVID-19 health screening questions

- Distance at least six feet from others when possible

- Not be experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms

- Use the queuing system to receive notifications as they wait in their vehicle if center has reached

limited capacity.