Welcome to the area! Whether you moved from within the state to the Nashville area, or you are new to Tennessee altogether, you probably already know this is a great place to live! However, to make it truly great, we need to make sure you are in compliance with all of our Tennessee laws, specifically when it comes to your driver’s license and car registration.
If You Are New to Tennessee: 30 days
According to the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security, “New residents or those returning to Tennessee and holding a driver license from another state must obtain a Tennessee driver license no later than thirty (30) days after establishing residency.” The general necessities for doing this include a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicle Services (DMV), armed with your current driver’s license, social security card, and two items to prove your new residency. Usually, a water bill, electric bill, or lease agreement will do.
Scheduling a trip to the DMV is in and of itself cumbersome, let alone doing it during your first thirty days in Tennessee! However, you only need to actually make the trip to the DMV if you are moving to Tennessee from another state. You have a bit more flexibility if you are moving within the state…
If You Are Only Moving Within Tennessee: 10 days
According to the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security “You are required to notify the Department of Safety and Homeland Security of any address change within 10 days of that change. This includes when you move as well as address changes made by the United States Postal Service or your local 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District when you have not physically relocated.”
If you are moving within Tennessee, you can change your address in the government database by using the online service website. You will not receive a new physical license unless you request it and pay the fee, but the address will be updated in the database and you will be in compliance with the law. If a trip the DMV is exactly how you want to spend a Tuesday afternoon, you can also update your address and receive a new license using one of the many kiosks at a DMV location.
What is my punishment if I don’t update my address?
If you don’t update this vital information with the Department of Homeland Security, it could result in a ticket by an officer during a traffic stop. Moreover, you might miss important mail regarding jury duty, taxes, expiration of driver’s license, and a potential court date.
It is definitely best to err on the side of caution and have your address changed immediately any time you move.