Tennessee Driving Record

You can obtain a copy of your Tennessee driving record online, in person, or by mail from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Written by Claire Beaney
Edited by R.E. Fulton
, a driving record is usually referred to as a
motor vehicle record (MVR)
and includes 3 to 10 years of information. You can get a copy online, in person, or by mail from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security for $5.
  • You may request a copy of your Tennessee driving record online, by mail, or in person at a Driver Services Center.
  • If you have a bad driving record, your Tennessee
    car insurance rates
    will be higher—but finishing an approved driver improvement program may help you get rid of points and lower your rates. 
  • Your motor vehicle report can also affect your ability to drive, your credit score, and your chances of getting a job.
  • Tennessee is not part of the Driver's License Compact, but offenses in other states can still affect your Tennessee driver's license.

How to get your driving record (MVR) in Tennessee

Request your individual Tennessee driving record online, through mail, or in person at a
Driver Services Center
To request your record online, you will need: 
  • Personal information (name, date of birth, social security number)
  • $5 payment (check, credit card, or debit card—prepaid cards are not accepted)
  • A computer to save your document
To order your record in person, you will need: 
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • TN driver’s license number
  • $5 payment (check, credit card, or debit card—prepaid cards are not accepted)
To order your record at a
Driver Services Center
you will need:
  • $5 payment (cashier's check or money order payable to Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security)
  • Driver name, birth date, and TN driver’s license number
  • Allow two weeks from the mailing date to receive the driver record

Requesting a driving record for someone else

Tennessee allows authorized agencies or individuals to obtain your MVR with a notarized statement authorizing that person to access the record.

Where else can I find my driving record in Tennessee?

Apart from the Department of Safety, you can access your record through a car insurance agent or online third party.
Car insurance companies may request your Tennessee driving record to determine your rates and
eligibility for renewal
. If you ask them for a copy, they’ll likely be happy to hand one over for free. Note that it will not be a certified or official copy of your driving record.
If you don’t need a certified copy of your driving history, you can obtain an unofficial copy through online third-party vendors. While using a third-party vendor will get you a copy of your driving record quickly, it may cost more and may not be as accurate as going through the state department.

How your driving record affects your Tennessee insurance rates

The average cost of
basic liability car insurance in Tennessee
is on par with the national average. But if you have a poor record, insurance providers will consider you a higher risk and you’ll certainly be paying more for your coverage.

How to improve your Tennessee driving record for insurance savings

Saving money on
car insurance
is a real possibility once you work on improving your Tennessee driving record, as auto insurance companies heavily value a clean driving record when
calculating rates
By finishing one of Tennessee's approved driver improvement programs, qualified motorists can have points removed from their driving records. Even if someone has a lot of driver’s license points, they can still take a driver improvement course—which is sometimes called a
defensive driving course
But drivers must meet the following requirements for traffic school to count toward getting points off their records:
  • Must have gotten at least 12 points in the past 12 months.
  • Must not have taken a driver improvement course in the previous five years.
According to these requirements, the Tennessee point reduction program is designed for drivers with extremely poor driving records. If you meet the criteria, enrolling in a driver improvement course might help you get a better rate on your car insurance.
The only other thing to do is to wait. Most car insurance companies in Tennessee don't look at your driving record past the last 3 to 5 years. Your rates will go down over time if you don't get any more tickets and commit to being a
safe driver

Other things affected by your Tennessee driving record

Your driving history impacts multiple aspects of your life beyond just your auto insurance rates.

Your ability to drive

Points are not added if you are convicted of
, but your license is automatically suspended for one year. Drunk driving penalties can also include:
  • A jail sentence of 48 hours to 150 days
  • Fines of $350 to $15,000
  • Court-ordered license revocation of 1 to 5 years
  • Forfeiture of your car
  • Mandatory participation in an alcohol or drug treatment program
  • Use of an ignition interlock device
The severity of the consequences is based on how many DUI offenses you have incurred. 

Your credit rating

While your record itself does not impact your credit score, your
credit-based insurance score
influences your ability to obtain good rates for car insurance. The financial fallout from a DUI, personal injury claims, or unpaid medical bills from an accident can even force you into bankruptcy. 

Your job prospects

Some employers conduct a background check before offering you a job, your driving record could be part of that. If you want to be a firefighter, police officer, or delivery driver, a spotty record may disqualify you from getting a
commercial driver’s license in Tennessee

How Tennessee DMV points work

Tennessee adds demerit points to your MVR after traffic violations, which can lead to fines, suspensions, and higher insurance rates. If you accrue 12 or more points, your
driver’s license will be suspended
for 6 to 12 months. 
Some common offenses where points are assessed by the Tennessee DMV include: 
  • Making an improper turn (3 points)
  • Failure to yield right of way (4 points)
  • Leaving the scene of an accident (5 points)
  • Reckless driving
    (6 points)
  • Contributing to the occurrence of a crash resulting in casualties (8 points)

Tennessee is one of five non-Driver’s License Compact states

The state where you reside holds your driver’s license and driving record. So if you live in Tennessee, the state of Tennessee will hold your driving record.
Tennessee is one of only five states that are not members of the Driver’s License Compact (DLC), an interstate agreement for the exchange of data about moving violations of non-residents. 
Other states that are not part of the DLC are:
That does not mean you are off the hook for offenses committed in another state. 
Under the National Driver Registry—which is valid in all 50 states—any state that suspends a driver’s license must enter it into the Registry’s database. When you go to renew or apply for your license, the Tennessee Driver Service Center will check the registry’s database and deny the license if there is an out-of-state suspension.
“My past tickets were making it hard to find affordable insurance. With
, I went from paying $450/month to $273/month. They took care of everything—such a relief!” — Ellen H. 
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