Say you need a copy of your Tennessee driving record…
But where or how do you get one?
Let’s answer that by giving you a complete guide on how to get a Tennessee driving record.
More than that, we’ll also cover the types of driving records you can obtain, how to improve a less-than-ideal record, and how to determine the TN point system.
With all this, you’ll know everything you need to know.
So let’s begin!
Types of Driving Records in Tennessee
Don’t get confused — if you hear anyone refer to a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) in Tennessee, they’re talking about a driving record.
In a nutshell, it’s your driving history.
When you secure a copy, it’ll show the following information:
- Any revocations and suspensions you’ve had
- Accidents, traffic violations, and citations
- Points on your driver’s license
- Driver’s license details (such as class and endorsements)
Now, you can request two types of records:
- 3-year MVR
- 10-year MVR
Both include the information above, but their names indicate how far back they go — one only shows 3 years of information, while the other goes all the way back 10 years.
Whether it’s a government agency, a court, or an insurance company that’s asking for a copy of your driving record, you can present either (but always check which one they prefer).
How to Get My Driving Record in Tennessee
You can request your Tennessee driving record in three ways:
- By mail
We’ve covered the steps for all three methods, so you have all the details for whichever you choose.
How to Obtain Your Tennessee Driving Record Online
Looking for the most convenient way to get your Tennessee driving record?
Look no further than the online method.
It’s the most convenient method because you can complete the entire process from anywhere — all you need is a mobile device and an internet connection.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Access the TN DSD’s e-services page.
- Under ‘Driver Services’ select ‘Order a Motor Vehicle Report’.
- Verify your identity by providing the following information:
- Your last name
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
- Social Security Number
- Follow the prompts on the screen.
- Pay the $5 fee using a credit or check card.
|NOTE: You can only use Visa, Discover, Mastercard, or American Express.
- View a pdf version of your driving record. You can download and print it if necessary.
How to Obtain Your Tennessee Driving Record By Mail
Maybe you aren’t comfortable doing online transactions…
Or maybe you don’t have any of the credit card payments.
If that’s the case, then requesting your driving record by mail gets you the same result without going to a Driver Service Center.
Just note, however, that this will take much longer (so you better request it early if you need to present the record within a certain date).
Here’s what you have to do:
- Make a written request for a copy of your driving record.
|NOTE: Although there is no standard request form, ensure you include the following information:
Your complete name
Your birth date
Your driver’s license number
- Write a $5 check or money order payable to the Tennessee Department of Safety.
- Put everything in one envelope and mail it to the address below:
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
PO BOX 945
Nashville, TN 37202
- Expect your driving record to arrive at your indicated address within two weeks of sending your request.
How to Obtain Your Tennessee Driving Record In-Person
Is 2 weeks too long?
Do you prefer face-to-face interaction?
Then you can get your Tennessee driving record at a local Driver Service Center.
Let’s look at the specific steps:
- Access Tennessee’s online ticketing system and get an e-ticket.
|NOTE: An e-ticket allows you to fall in line virtually at your preferred Driver Service Center. Remember, once you have one, you only have two hours to arrive and check in at your chosen location.
- Provide the following at the Driver Service Center:
- Your complete name (as how it appears on your driver’s license)
- Your birth date
- Your driver’s license number
- Pay the $5 fee with cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card.
- Get your Tennessee driving record.
|NOTE: You can follow the same process if requesting someone else’s history. However, the record owner must provide you with a notarized authorization letter.
How to Improve Your Tennessee Driving Record
When you check your driving record, it might not always be good news.
Remember, your driving record shows the number of points on your license — which affects how much you pay for car insurance or your driving job application.
So the million-dollar question is, “Can you reduce the number of points on your license?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Once the DMV assesses points on your license, they stay there.
However, a defensive driving class may save you from a license suspension.
This is because it allows you to avoid points being added to your license (just make sure you check with the court if this is allowed for you).
Another great way to improve your Tennessee driving record is this simple advice —- avoid incurring additional points.
Here are some strategies you can try:
- Pay your fines early. You’ll still get points, but settling these before their due dates allow you to get less (2 points for a 3-point violation and 1 for a 2-point one).
- Review your knowledge of Tennessee’s road signs. Disobeying these and traffic signals result in violations. In turn, that results in points.
- Learn how to navigate different road conditions in Tennessee. Adjusting your driving behavior according to your environment helps you avoid accidents. Remember, the consequences of causing an accident may earn you between 3 to 8 points.
- Increase your knowledge of Tennessee’s point system. Different traffic violations contribute to a different amount of points to your license. Knowing the specifics can make you hyperaware of your actions.
Understanding the Tennessee Point System
Like most states, Tennessee uses a point system to monitor drivers’ behaviors.
Those 18 and older lose their driving privileges if they accumulate 12 or more points within 12 months.
The suspension can last anywhere between 6 to 12 months.
However, if you’re under 18, the DMV suspends your license when you hit 6 points within 12 consecutive months.
So, which violations contribute the most points?
|Exceeding the Speed Limit by…
|Points (if in a Construction Zone)
|1 to 5 mph
|6 to 15 mph
|16 to 25 mph
|26 to 35 mph
|36 to 45 mph
|Above 46 mph
If You Caused an Accident:
- Resulting in property damage: 3 points
- Resulting in bodily injury: 4 points
- Resulting in another person’s death: 8 points
Other Moving Violations:
|Speed is less than the posted minimum
Driving too fast for the conditions, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident
Operating at erratic or suddenly changing speed
Following emergency vehicle unlawfully
Making improper turn
Failure to signal direction or to reduce speed suddenly
Stopping, standing, obstructing, or blocking traffic
Coasting; operating gears disengaged
Improper starting, burning rubber, spinning tires, peeling out
Driver view or mechanism obstructed
Driving mountain highway-controlled/audible warningInability to maintain control
Improper operation of or riding on a motorcycle
Improper lane or location, driving on roadways laned for traffic
Inattentive driving, due care, failure to drive in a careful manner, unsafe lookout, improper driving
Miscellaneous traffic violations; any offense involving the unsafe operation of a non-commercial motor vehicle not herein specified
Texting while driving
Using a handheld device
|Careless or negligent driving
Failing to obey traffic instructions
Wrong way, side, or direction
Failing to yield the right-of-way
Use of controlled access roadway
Cross private property to avoid stop signs or signal
Failure to report a crash
|Leaving the scene of a crash (if no revocation or suspension action)
|Failure to yield to emergency vehicles; Failure to change lanes/slow down for authorized vehicles on the roadside
Violation of driver’s license or certificate restrictions
Operating a vehicle while using a cell phone (under 18)
|Passing a stopped school bus, church, or youth bus taking on or discharging passengers
Reckless endangerment by vehicle (misdemeanor)
Failure to stop at a railroad crossing
The Wrap Up
And there you have it!
Now you know how to get a Tennesee driving record.
But it’s more than that.
Whether you need to secure a driving record, find ways to improve it, or want to know more about Tennessee’s point system, this article provides all the answers.
Remember, driving privileges come with responsibilities.
Being a safe driver is the best way to ensure you don’t lose yours.