Getting Your Driver's License

Learning to drive is one of the most important skills you can develop. Driving can help you improve decision making skills, promote independence, and increase job opportunities.

However, driving is a privilege and may not be appropriate for everyone.

You will need the support of your foster parents to get your license if you are under age 18. Once you are over age 18, you do not need your foster parents’ permission to get your license, but you will need their permission to drive their car.

Even if you cannot get your license, you may still be able to take a driver’s education course to help you learn to drive. Ensuring your safety and the safety of others on the road is essential.

A Note about the Law and Who Can Help You Get Your License

In 2015, the Tennessee General Assembly passed Public Chapter 330 to create equity for youth in foster care who seek to obtain a driver license in Tennessee. Previous law allowed only parents, stepparents, or guardians to assume financial responsibility without filing future proof of insurance on behalf of the minor. This new law adds foster parents or authorized representative of the Department of Children’s Services to the list of adults who are able to assume financial responsibility without filing future proof of insurance.

Previously, youth in foster care often had to file an SR-22 form or a modified version of this form in order to obtain a license. The SR-22 is no longer needed for youth in custody who have a foster parent willing to assume financial responsibility. The decision for foster parents to assume financial responsibility for children placed in their home will remain voluntary.

Download the Guide

Use this guide, prepared by the Independent Living staff, to learn what is generally required to take a driver’s education course or get a Tennessee driver license. 

How to Get Your Driver's License 

Visit the Department of Safety site for details on getting your license.