Tennessee Suspended License: A Reinstatement Guide

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Your Tennessee license may become suspended or revoked by accumulating too many points on your driving record. Or, being involved in or causing traffic violations and/or accidents. This may include excessive speeding, failing to carry auto insurance, or driving under the influence (DUI).

Common reasons you’ll earn points on your record include:

  • Speeding
  • Traffic violations
  • Not paying citations
  • Racing

As an adult, if you earn 12 points within a year your license is suspended. If you’re a teen, the license suspension happens if you earn 6 points within the year.

When your license gets suspended – you have options:

  • Appeal the suspension
  • Waiting out the duration of the suspension

Those appealing will schedule a hearing to which they’ll discuss their driving options. If approved, most drivers will need to enroll in a defensive driving course. Those who fail at their appeal will need to fulfill the suspension period and pay the appropriate fines & fees.

License Suspension Periods in Tennessee

Point-related suspensions carry variable suspension times.


  • 6 to 9 points: 3 to 6-month
  • 10 points or more: 6-month
  • Repeated offenses: 6 to 12-months (or more)


  • 12 points in 12 months: 6 months (minimum)
  • Repeated offenses: Variable lengths

It’s best to check your Tennessee driving records to understand the status of your license. This report shares your driving history and any traffic points & citations.

Reinstating a Suspended or Revoked License

The length of your suspension or revocation depends on your actions behind the wheel. For some, the reinstatement process is relatively simple. For others, this may pose a challenge as they have several legal hurdles they must overcome before regaining their driving privileges.

You will typically receive the suspension terms on a notice delivered by the state’s DOS offices

However, you can use the following to begin the process on your own:

  • Visit a DOS reinstatement office
  • Pay your fees on the TN reinstatement fees page and follow the instructions
  • Send your personal and driver information to [email protected]
  • Call 866-903-7357 or 615-523-2281 during business hours to talk with a rep
  • Write to the DOS and wait to hear their response

Ultimately, reinstating your license comes down to the following:

  • Waiting out the allotted time set by the state
  • Paying all your fines and fees

You may pay these fines & fees out-right or work with the DOS offices to institute a repayment plan.