The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security announced that drivers licenses will now be good for eight years, instead of five, before requiring renewal. The new law will go into effect on January 4, 2016, affecting all classes of licenses.
By extending the expiration date, lawmakers hope this will reduce congestion and wait times at driver service centers and save money for the state.
The bill was brought to the Tennessee legislature earlier this year and passed on April 20, with a vote of 30-2 in the Senate and 90-3 in the House. Senator Frank Nicely from Knoxville and Representative Tilman Goins from Morristown introduced the legislation, projecting it will save Tennessee $6.4 million annually.
The bill affects all Tennessee drivers licenses, including commercial and motorcycle licenses, as well as non-driver identification licenses. The renewal fee will also be adjusted to reflect the change. Class D licenses will now cost $28 to renew as opposed to $19.50.
Unlicensed Drivers are Source of Danger
A 2011 study conducted by the AAA found that unlicensed drivers were twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident, compared to licensed drivers. Non-licensed drivers are also more likely to leave the scene of an accident.
People who drive without a license also almost always lack insurance. Tennessee requires all car insurance policies to have uninsured motorist coverage to provide compensation in instances you are hit by a driver without insurance. But this does not get the uninsured driver off the hook.
If you have been injured by an unlicensed driver, the Knoxville car accident attorneys at Greg Coleman Law can help you pursue justice. We believe unlicensed and uninsured drivers should be held accountable for the damage they cause. Call our injury lawyers today for a free consultation.