Who Must Take the Test?
To qualify for a first-time Tennessee class D license, you must be at least 16 years of age, and must pass a vision screening, knowledge test, and road test. If you are under age 18, you must also meet special qualifications set in Graduated Driver License Program (GDL).
If you let five years go by without renewing your Tennessee license, you will also be required to pass all tests again.
New residents holding valid out-of-state licenses are not required to take the knowledge exam. A new resident with an out-of-state license expired for more than six months must, however, take all the applicable tests.
New residents with out-of-country licenses must also take all the applicable tests.
Tennessee Knowledge Test
The Tennessee knowledge test covers all knowledge needed to drive safely. It will consist of multiple choice questions based on information from section B of the driver's manual. Questions will cover four main areas and the number of questions in each area will be approximately 25% of the total number of questions. The areas are: Traffic signs and signals, safe driving principles, rules of the road, and drugs and alcohol. There is a clear focus on drugs and alcohol.
If you fail the test, there is a mandatory 7-day waiting period before you can take the test again.
Tests are administered using computerized testing machines. In some rare situations, you may be offered a written test on paper.
For applicants who have a learning disability or cannot read, oral tests are available by appointment at some of the Driver License Service Centers. Remember to call ahead.
A certified sign language interpreter can be offered to assist with the administration of the exam for hearing-impaired applicants requesting an oral exam.
The computerized testing stations are also able to offer the knowledge test in these additional languages: Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.
Any form of cheating will result in an automatic failure and you must wait at least 30 days before you can re-take the test.
Forms of cheating include, but are not limited to the following:
- Use of any form of written notes (including notes on paper, clothing, body, digital pagers, etc.)
- Talking during the examination (including cell phone use.)
- Attempting to allow another person to take the examination.
Remember, all cell phones, pagers or text messaging devices must be turned off during both written and road test administration.
Read the state Driver's Manual or Handbook. All real permit test questions are based on the material in this manual. Get familiar with all areas and learn the laws and rules presented. Pay special attention to facts that are bolded or highlighted.
Give yourself plenty of time. Start preparing at least two weeks before the real test.
Take several of our driver permit practice tests to make sure you are ready for the real examination.
Our Practice Tests
Our permit and license practice tests contain 25 questions. You must correctly answer 20 questions to pass (80%). This is a common passing score in most states. You should, however, aim for a score of 90% or more on a permit practice test.
Read all questions and answers carefully. You will see many DMV test answers, but do NOT focus on memorizing exact phrases - focus on understanding! The practice permit test questions may be repeated with several different alternatives and different wording. Real DMV permit test questions are created the same way.
All questions are multiple-choice or true/false. Only one alternative is correct and acceptable. If you see All of the above, None of the above, or similar as one alternative, make sure you evaluate all alternatives carefully.