YOUR Education: Graduated Driver License Program

Oct 11, 2022 at 12:50 pm by RMGadmin

Tennessee’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program began on July 1st, 2001. It is a multi-tiered program designed to ease young novice drivers into full driving privileges as they become more mature and develop their driving skills. The state of Tennessee hopes to save lives and prevent tragic injuries by offering this program and requiring more supervised practice. Therefore, it places certain restrictions on teens under the age of eighteen who have learner permits and driver licenses.  In addition, the program requires a parent or legal guardian’s involvement and emphasizes the importance of a good driving record.
The Graduated Driver License law provides for three phases of licensing for teens under eighteen years of age:
Learner Permit
Intermediate Restricted License
Intermediate Unrestricted License
The procedures for obtaining a driver’s license for those under eighteen years old are covered in Section A-3 of the Comprehensive Driver Manual on the State Department of Safety website. 
How do I get a Learner Permit or Intermediate License?
For the issuance of a Tennessee Learner Permit:
Must be at least fifteen years of age
Pass a standard vision screening
Pass the Class D knowledge exam 
For those who are interested, you can access practice tests at
If you are under the age of eighteen, you will also need:
A parent or legal guardian (with proof of guardianship) present to sign a minor or teenage affidavit and financial responsibility form.
Show proof of school attendance and progress from a current Tennessee school or a letter from the school in your previous state that confirms your attendance and satisfactory progress during enrollment in that school. This letter must be signed and dated by the principal or guidance counselor no more than thirty days prior to your Tennessee application.
Must provide all required documentation.
For the issuance of a Tennessee Intermediate Driver License:
Must be at least sixteen years of age
Must have held a valid learner permit for a minimum of 180 days.
Must have fifty hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience (including ten hours of night driving).
A 50-Hour Certification form must be signed by your parent, guardian or driving instructor confirming this experience.
Pass a road skills test.
Must provide all required documentation.
A vision screening will be required only if you are exchanging a learner permit or license from another state.
For helpful links and to learn more about the program, visit