Reinstating Your Tennessee Driver’s License

If the Tennessee Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security has suspended or revoked your driver’s license, you are not allowed to drive again until you have obtained a valid driver’s license. This means that you cannot reuse your old driver’s license, even if it has not yet expired. It is important to keep in mind that a driving a motor vehicle license is considered under the law to be a privilege, not a right.

Generally speaking, in order to reinstate your driver’s license, whether it was for a DUI conviction or some other violation, you must meet the requirements of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. To reinstate your license, you must:

  1. Be eligible (the period of suspension must have expired and you must meet all other requirements to obtain a driver’s license);
  2. Possess all of your compliance documents (see more information below);
  3. Show proof of financial responsibility (see more information below); and
  4. Pay the required fees. 

For more information, you may wish to review the website of the Tennessee Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security found online at: You may also obtain information by telephone at (866) 903–7357. The General Sessions Court Clerk’s office in some counties may also be able to assist you. For instance, in Knox County, you can reach a driver’s license specialist at (865) 215–4185.

Our West Knoxville clients may wish to appear in person at 209 Gore Rd., Knoxville, TN 37919 or by calling (865) 690–6393. Our East Knoxville clients may appear in person at 7320 Region Ln., Knoxville, TN 37914 or by calling (865) 594–6399.

Compliance Documents: The documents you will need vary depending on the reason that your license was originally revoked or suspended. The possibilities include documentation of: proof of insurance, vehicle registration, restitution to any harmed person or entity, payment of court costs, and the court judgment(s), etc.  If you are from out of state, and trying to obtain a Tennessee license, you may also need, among other documents, your birth certificate, and proof of current residence in the State of Tennessee.

The official list of compliance documents may be found online at: Fortunately, documents may be submitted online, at a reinstatement center, by fax, or by U.S. Mail. More details and addresses may be found at:

Financial Responsibility: This is more commonly referred to as “proof of insurance.” Usually, your insurance company will provide you with the official form, an SR–22. Sometimes, needing to obtain this form means that it is likely your cost of automobile insurance will increase. More information may be obtained from your particular insurance company.

Payment of State-Imposed Fees: the State of Tennessee makes it easy for you to pay your fees. This may be done online, at a reinstatement center, at a self–service kiosk, or by U.S. Mail. Payment plans may also be possible. More details and addresses may be found at:

Once all reinstatement fees and documents have been received, certain drivers are eligible to have their license re-issued online, or at a Self-Service Kiosk. All drivers may use the Driver Services Center, or a Reinstatement Center.

Locations of Driver Services Centers, Reinstatement Centers, Self-Service Kiosks may be found online at:

This is just a summary of things you may need to have your driver’s license reinstated after it has been suspended or revoked. For more information, you make contact one of our lawyers at (865) 249–7200.  With experience, we have learned to avoid a lot of problems in navigating what is a sometimes frustrating experience for the uninitiated.