Tennessee Provisional License: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Tennessee, like other states, use a graduated driver licensing (GPL) program helping teens understand and learn driving responsibility. This GPL program begins at age 15 with a learner’s permit, moving through a provisional (teen) license, and eventually culminating with an adult/permanent license.

This next step in getting a Tennessee license may seem stressful but it’s easier than you think. Read this guide to understand what’s needed from you when applying for this intermediate license.

Tennessee Provisional License Requirements

Teens, age 16, can apply for their provisional license after meeting prior requirements:

  • Have their learner’s permit (see our guide)
  • Have practiced 50 total hours of driving with 10 being at night
  • Have less than 6 points on their driving record
  • Have held their learners permit for at least 180 days

Teens can then make an appointment to take a road test and get their intermediate license given they meet or exceed these requirements.

Take the Driving Test, Getting Your TN Intermediate License

You will take a driving test on the day of the license application.

Bring the following:

  • Proofs:
    • Identification
    • Lawful U.S. presence
    • Social Security Number
    • TN auto insurance
    • School enrollment or diploma/GED
  • Certificate of 50 Hours Behind the Wheel Experience (SF-1256) form
    • Note: Signed by parent or guardian
  • Financial responsibility form
    • Note: Also signed by parent or guardian

The teen will then make an appointment to take their road test.

If they pass:

  1. Pay the $24.50 licensing fee
  2. Get the restricted license

If they fail:

  1. Wait and retake the road test
  2. Make the appointment and try again

Passing the road test and application awards a restricted driver’s license carry these rules:

  • No driving between 11 PM and 6 AM unless for classes, work, or 4-6 AM for fishing/hunting
  • Can only drive with 1 passenger unless accompanied by licensed (21+) adult or siblings

Teens under 17 with a restricted drivers license can upgrade to an unrestricted driver’s license. This gives more freedom on the road.

Teens will return to the DMV and:

  1. Show their restricted license
  2. Show proof of identification
  3. Pay the $2 upgrade fee

Teens now have unrestricted driving privileges like having an adult license. This means teens can drive at any hour. The license will have “intermediate” on it until they turn 18 and apply to have it removed.

Does this process not apply to you because you’re older? See our adult TN license guide for those details.

Parting Notes about a Tennessee Provisional License

Remember these as you take to the roads:

  • Always carry the state required TN auto insurance
  • Practice safe driving and respect other drivers/road rules

Follow these basic requirements and you’ll enjoy your time on the Tennessee roads!