Identification License

What is an Identification (ID Only) License?

There are two types of identification licenses which may be obtained for identification purposes only. No testing is required. However, all applicants must meet the same standards for proof of identity, legal presence and residency as required for any driver license. IDs are not valid for the operation of a vehicle. If an applicant is under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian must complete a portion of the Minor/Teen-age Affidavit and Cancellation form (available at any driver services center or online) at the time of application.

  1. The first type of ID Only license is an "Expiring Identification License" that may be issued to any person not currently holding a valid driver license who presents positive proof of identification and all other requirements needed to obtain a driver license.
    • Please Note: At age 65 or older, the ID does not expire.
    • Any applicant who does not have a Social Security Number (SSN) shall complete an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, affirming that the applicant has never been issued a SSN, and must provide one of the following:
      • (a) An original or certified Birth Certificate issued by Tennessee or another state, possession, territory or commonwealth of the USA.
      • (b) Original documentation issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service acceptable to the Department of Safety.
  2. The second type is a "permanent identification license" that any person who is intellectually or physically disabled may obtain. In addition to presenting a positive proof of identity, they must submit a certified statement from a licensed doctor stating they are unable to operate a vehicle. Those who qualify for this ID may receive it free of charge. ID licenses issued in this manner do not expire.

NOTE: Temporary IDs (XID) will expire at the end of the individual’s authorized stay.

As a service to Tennessee residents, families with children, including infants, may obtain these identification-only licenses for their children. Children must meet all documentation requirements.

What documents will you need to bring?

If you are under eighteen (18) years of age you will need the above documents plus:

Where do you go to get your license?

Driver Services Centers

Download the Driver License Manual

The Comprehensive Driver License Manual is designed for all current and potential drivers in Tennessee and will help new and old drivers alike get ready for initial, renewal, and other license applications by explaining:

  • the different types of licenses available
  • the documentation and other requirements for license applications
  • details on Intermediate Driver Licenses and how this graduated driver license works for driver license applicants under age 18
  • basic descriptions of the tests required for a Driver License

It also includes information needed to pass the knowledge tests for a Class D Tennessee driver license.