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Jim Hawkins: Add emergency contacts to driver’s license

Jim Hawkins • Oct 4, 2018 at 7:51 PM

Tennessee driver’s and identification card holders may now go online and enter emergency contact information for use by law enforcement and first responders in crisis situations. 

This is a great use of technology, and it is free.

Q. Is it easy to add one’s emergency contact information?

 Yes. Just go online to dl.safety.tn.gov at any time, day or night.

Type in your last name, date of birth, Tennessee driver’s license or identification number and your Social Security number.

You will certify that the information submitted is yours, or that you are representing the person or helping her or him with permission.

You can then add the name, phone number and email address for up to five people whom you designate as your emergency contacts. 

NOTE: The online driver services website has other citizen-friendly services, including allowing a driver to change her or his address or renew a driver’s license. 

Q. Will the emergency contact information appear on the face of the driver’s license or identification card?

No.  The emergency contacts will be added to the state of Tennessee driver’s license database.

The emergency contacts information will be accessible by a member of law enforcement or a first responder, such as a firefighter or an emergency medical services technician.

Q. How did this feature get added?

Margaret Davis from Clarksville, who has an adult son with autism, contacted her state representative, Joe Pitts. She explained that families of adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities need a way to provide critical information to law enforcement in case of traffic stops, or if the family member gets lost.

Pitts sent her idea to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, and months later, the emergency contacts information feature was added. 

“This is how government is supposed to work,” said Rep. Joe Pitts.

Jim Hawkins is a general practice and public interest law attorney in Gallatin. This column represents legal information and is not intended to take the place of legal advice. All cases are different and need individual attention. Consult with a private attorney of your choice to review the facts and law specific to your case. Call 615-452-9200 to suggest future column topics.


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