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Replacing a Lost Driver’s License in Tennessee
If you’ve lost your Tennessee driver’s license, permit, or identification (ID) card, replace it as soon as possible. Without those documents, you can’t legally drive and you’ve lost a major source of photo identification.
Fortunately, the Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) makes replacing a TN license or ID easy, whether you’re in or out of state.
Your Tennessee driver’s license or ID is accepted nationwide as proof of identity, so if the wrong person gets their hands on it, your identity could be jeopardized.
Reporting your lost or stolen license is a big step toward protecting your identity. Consider filing a report with the law enforcement agency in the area where the loss or theft occurred, as well as with your own local agency (if different).
Learn more tips to protect yourself at our section on preventing identity theft.
You can apply for a replacement TN driver’s license or ID in person or online.
You must apply for a replacement learner’s permit, temporary license, or commercial driver’s license (CDL) in person.
NOTE: If you’re within 12 months of expiration, you can renew your license instead of replacing it; if you’re within 6 months of expiration, you must renew instead of replace. Learn more at our Renewing Your License in Tennessee section.
To apply in person:
- Visit your local DOS office.
- Provide a primary and secondary proof of identification. The TN DOS provides a complete list of acceptable documents, but examples include:
- Primary: Original or certified birth certificate*, U.S. passport, or military ID.
- Secondary: Social Security card, computerized paycheck stub, health insurance card, school records, or state tax forms.
- Changes: You must provide proof of name, date of birth, or gender changes. Examples include:
- Marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and other court documents noting dates of birth and gender changes are best for these purposes.
- Have your photo taken. This will appear on both your temporary permit and your permanent replacement license.
- Pay the applicable fee. (Acceptable payment methods can vary by office, so call ahead*):
- 1st replacement: $8.
- 2nd and subsequent replacements: $12.
* Birth certificates from Puerto Rico issued prior to Jul 1, 2010 cannot be used as primary or secondary form of identification. Detailed information on obtaining a new birth certificate is available from the government of Puerto Rico.
If your birth certificate is not in English, it must be translated and you must show a Certificate of Accurate Translation.
NOTE: Fees might vary for temporary driver licenses and ID cards. Call your local DOS office before heading out.
Once you meet all of the requirements, you’ll receive a temporary license immediately; your permanent duplicate license will arrive in the mail.
As mentioned above, only drivers with regular driver licenses and ID cards can apply for duplicates online, but you must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Your license or ID cannot be suspended, revoked, or canceled.
- Your last license or ID must have had a digitalized photo and signature.
To apply online, visit Tennessee’s Order a Duplicate License Online page and provide the following:
- Your TN driver’s license or ID card number.
- Call your local DOS office if you don’t know this number.
- Your TN address.
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
- A VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express credit or check card.
The system will walk you through the ordering process. Once you’re finished, you’ll print the confirmation page to use as a temporary license. This temporary license will remain valid for 20 days from the date of the transaction.
Expect to receive your permanent duplicate within 20 business days.
If you need a replacement temporary license or ID, you might need to provide the same kinds of proofs you provided when you applied:
- 2 proofs of identity. Choose documents from the state’s identity list. Examples include:
- Certificate of Naturalization, a Certificate of Citizenship, or an Employment Authorization Card.
- You must provide proof of legal name change IF your current name doesn’t match the name on your identity documents.
- 2 proofs of residency. Choose documents from the state’s residency list, such as a:
- Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck stub, or rental/lease agreement.
- Proof of Social Security number OR a sworn affidavit if you don’t have an SSN issued.
If you’re out of state for work, travel, or military assignment, you can apply for a replacement license either online or by mail.
You can apply for a duplicate online. You will follow the same instructions provided above.
Note that you must enter your current out-of-state address when asked where to send your duplicate.
Military drivers and their dependents can also apply for duplicate licenses by mail. To do so, write a letter of request to the DOS and include:
- Your full name and date of birth.
- Your TN driver license number.
- If you don’t know it, contact the DOS.
- A copy of your military ID card.
- This must be notarized.
- A copy of your military orders OR a letter from your commanding officer to prove you are out of state.
- Your out-of-state address.
- The $8 fee.
- The DOS accepts checks or money orders, made payable to the Tennessee Department of Safety.
Mail everything to:
Tennessee Department of Safety
1150 Foster Ave.
Nashville, TN 37243-1000
Please call (615) 251-5338 if you have any questions about military replacements.
Commercial drivers must apply in person for duplicate commercial driver licenses (CDLs).
In addition to the same identity proofs as listed above, you must also show:
- Proof of residency.
- Your DOT medical card.
Duplicate CDLs cost:
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- 1st replacement: $12.
- 2nd and subsequent replacements: $16.