Driving in Chattanooga

Driving in Chattanooga

March 27th, 2011 by Adam Crisp in Chattanooganow2011

People wait for the driver's license testing center on Bonny Oaks Drive to open. Staff File Photo.


* 6502 Bonny Oaks Drive

8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

* 530 Cherokee Blvd.

7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

* Hamilton County Clerk (renewals only)

Room 201, County Courthouse, 625 Georgia Ave.

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday


Tennessee requires seven pieces of documentation to receive a new driver's license, and applicants must take a vision test before being licensed in the Volunteer State.

If your out-of-state license has been expired for six months, be ready to take the driving exam all over again. Tennessee, like many other states, has beefed up its license identification requirements. For drivers, that means you must present more proof that you are who you say you are.

Chattanooga has three locations at which you can renew your license, but the licensing facility in the Hamilton County Courthouse only offers renewals.

For more information, visit www.TennesseeAnytime.org/tndlr, or call 423-209-6500.

What to bring

* Your current license or certified copy of driving record and other acceptable ID.

* Proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent resident status or proof of authorized stay or temporary legal presence in the United States. Birth certificates, valid passports, certificate of citizenship, certificate of naturalization and U.S. citizenship identification n Primary proof of identity. Driver's license, learner's permit, military ID and foreign identifications will work.

* Secondary proof of identity. A work ID, pay stub, bank statement or diploma, among other forms, will satisfy the state.

* Proof of any name changes if different from name on primary ID

* Two proofs of Tennessee residency with your name and resident address; P.O. boxes are not allowed. Bank statements, utility bills, paychecks and motor vehicle registrations, among other documents, will qualify. But documents must be current, dated within last four months.

* A Social Security number or sworn affidavit if no Social Security number has been issued.

* Cost: $17.50 for 5 years.

Cars line up for auto emissions testing at the Riverfront Parkway facility. For many with newer vehicles, emissions data can be collected from the vehicle's onboard computer system. Staff File Photo.


* Eastgate: 720 Eastgate Loop. Open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

* Northgate: 5206 Austin Road. Hours same as Eastgate, above.

* Downtown: 1620 Riverfront Parkway. Open 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

* Bonny Oaks (behind driver license testing center): 7460 Bonnyshire Drive. Hours same as downtown, above.

Emissions test required yearly for most vehicles

Chattanooga has been mandated by the federal government to improve its air quality, so Hamilton County residents must have yearly automobile emissions tests to renew their license plates.

Residents have been subject to the inspections since 1990 and the tests will continue until the region meets federal air quality standards, according to information posted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website.

There are four testing centers around Chattanooga, two open on Saturdays.

Here are several points to keep in mind:

* Price: $10. Testing centers take cash (no bills larger than $20), debit cards and VISA and MasterCard. If a vehicle fails the first test, the second test, administered within 90 days, is free.

* When: Tests results are good for 90 days, so motorists may have their vehicles tested 90 days before their tag expires. In Tennessee, tags expire one year after they are issued.

* Do all vehicles have to be tested? Vehicle models 1975 and newer with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,500 pounds or less must be tested before registering or titling a used car or renewing your annual vehicle registration. If you buy a used vehicle and transfer your existing tag to that vehicle, testing is not required until the renewal date of the transferred tag.

* Exceptions: New vehicles less a year old are not subject to inspection, but a manufacturer's statement of origin must be presented when registering the vehicle. Completely electric vehicles, motorcycles and registered antique vehicles are not subject. Vehicles have differing emission qualifications based on the date of manufacture.

* Information: www.countyclerkanytime.com/emissions_testing.htm or call 877-477-0800.