Tennessee Learners Permit Restrictions - TN Driving Permit Rules
If you are applying for a drivers license in Tennessee, you are not issued with a full license right away, you are granted a learners permit first. The learners permit comes with a number of restrictions that were designed to keep newly licensed drivers out of trouble. Tennessee permit restrictions are very similar to permit restrictions in many other states - they prohibit driving alone without a more experienced driver being present in the vehicle. Teenage drivers also face additional Tennessee learners permit restrictions that are forced upon them by the graduated drivers license program. Failure to observe driver permit restrictions may result in your permit being suspended or revoked.
Why Do We Need Learners Permit Restrictions
In fact, many people ask why do we need to apply for a Tennessee drivers permit at all, why not just go for a full license right away if you are able to pass both knowledge and driving tests? The thing is - most of the applicants won't be able to pass the driving test if they are given the opportunity to do so because they simply don't have any driving skills yet.
The reason why you have to apply for a learners permit first is because the permit allows you to get that essential driving experience. Applying for a learners permit involves taking a Tennessee drivers permit test that assesses your knowledge of the state driving laws, road signs, safe driving techniques and the effects of alcohol and drugs on the ability to drive. Until the Tennessee Department of Safety is sure that you know the rules, you are not allowed to get behind the wheel. If you want to see what kind of questions to expect on your permit test, you can take a practice permit test for Tennessee that features similar wording and covers the same topics as the real exam.
Teenagers face even more risks when it comes to driving. According to statistics, one in every five teenage drivers have a traffic accident during their first year of driving and traffic accidents is a number one cause of death for people between 15 and 20 years of age. This is why teenage drivers usually have to face additional permit restrictions and go through more intermediate steps before they achieve their full license, as mandates by the Tennessee graduated drivers license law. Although the law does not require teenage drivers to take a compulsory drivers education class, you may still wish to do so for your own safety.
Permit Restrictions - Over 18
If you are over 18 years of age, there is only one limitation to your learners permit - you cannot drive alone. Whenever you go out for a drive, you must make sure that you have another driver seated in the front seat next to you. The supervising driver must have a valid Tennessee drivers license and be at least 21 years old.
Although there are no official laws that tell you to do so, you may want to observe the general driving safety points at this stage, such as no talking on the cell phone while driving. It is also a good idea to limit the number of passengers present in the vehicle while you are practicing driving. Keep the music down or off so you can hear your supervisor and other vehicles around you. Try to locate an eliminate every possible distraction at this point so you can direct your full attention to driving. It's crucial that you develop safe driving habits from the start so you don't have to waste time on correcting them later on.
Learners Permit Restrictions - Under 18
If you are under 18 years of age, the restrictions that you have to observe are regulated by the graduated drivers license laws and you can get detailed information about the GDL requirements in the official Tennessee drivers handbook. While driving with your instruction permit, you are to observe the following Tennessee drivers permit restrictions:
- No driving alone. You must have a parent, legal guardian or any other licensed driver who is at least 21 years old seated next to you at all times while you are driving. Under to circumstances you are to drive alone.
- Curfew. You cannot drive between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Passengers. All passengers between 4-17 years of age must wear seat belts.
These permit restrictions will be lifted once you pass your Tennessee drivers test and obtain your intermediate restricted license.
Intermediate Restricted License Restrictions
Your intermediate restricted drivers license allows you to drive unsupervised, provided you observe the following rules:
- Curfew. No driving alone between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Seat belts. All passengers between 4-17 years of age must wear seat belts.
If you hold your restricted license for 12 months and don't have any traffic violations during this period, you are granted an intermediate unrestricted drivers license.