Knowledgebase-Firefighters Driving on a License from Another State


Information Product

Title:Firefighters Driving on a License from Another State
Summary:MTAS was asked whether, in Tennessee, firefighters are required to have a valid Tennessee driver’s license to operate vehicles and work in the full capacity of a fire fighter.
Original Author:Jones, Bonnie
Co-Author:Wolf, Dennis
Product Create Date:04/03/2014
Last Reviewed on::05/23/2017
Subject:Fire--Personnel; Fire--Equipment--Trucks; Emergency vehicles; Licenses and permits--Motor vehicles; Motor vehicles--Laws and regulations; Traffic--Laws and regulations
Type:General
Original Document: Firefighters_driver_license.pdfFirefighters_driver_license.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: Firefighters Driving on a License from Another State
Bonnie Jones and Dennis Wolf


Q: In Tennessee, are firefighters required to have a valid Tennessee driver’s license to operate vehicles and work in the full capacity of a fire fighter?

A: No. In Tennessee, as long as they have a regular driver’s license that is valid, it does not have to be issued from Tennessee and no special designation is required.

There is no rule of the state firefighting commission or anything in state law that requires a driver of a fire apparatus to have a Tennessee driver license. The department of safety requires that the driver of a fire truck have a valid operator’s license.
      Firefighters are not required to have commercial driver’s license, even if operating a fire truck
      State rule 1340-1-13-07(2)(b) (Dept. of Safety) provides exemption for emergency vehicle drivers
      Applies to paid and unpaid personnel
      Only required to have regular driver’s license with no special designation

If the city does not have a requirement that employees have a Tennessee driver license, then the person can drive on a license from another state.

It is advisable for the city to ask their insurance carrier if they see any additional risk in this situation.

Bonnie C. Jones, M.A.Ed. | Human Resources Consultant | The University of Tennessee- Institute for Public Service | p: 865.974.0083 | f: 865.974.0423 | bonnie.jones@tennessee.edu| www.mtas.tennessee.edu

Dennis Wolf
Fire Management Consultant
UT -Municipal Technical Advisory Service
7777 Walnut Grove Road, Suite A-1, Box 14
Memphis, TN 38120-2130
(c) 901-579-9247
(f) 865-974-0423
dennis.wolf@tennessee.edu