"TN Driver License Emergency Contact"
"It is simple to do and could help emergency personnel easier locate your family or friends in an emergency situation." ~ Commissioner Bill Gibbons, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
Tennessee drivers 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 feature is free.
Q:Is it easy to add one’s emergency contact information?
A:Yes. Just go online to the Online Driver Services website at dl.safety.tn.gov at any time, day or night.
Type in your last name, date of birth, TN driver license/ID number, and the last four digits of 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 e-mail address for the person whom you designate as your emergency contact. It is also easy to change or update information.
NOTE: The Online Driver Services website also allows a driver to change her or his address, take driver license practice tests, set up e-mail reminders, and has other citizen-friendly services.
Q:Will the emergency contact information appear on the face of the driver’s license or identification card?
A:No. The 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?
A:Margaret Davis from Clarksville, Tennessee, who has an adult son with autism, contacted her state representative, Joe Pitts. She explained the need for a way for families of adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities to provide critical information to law enforcement in case of traffic stops or if the family member gets lost.
Rep. Pitts sent her idea to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, and months later, the emergency contact information feature was added. "This is how government is supposed to work," says Rep. Pitts.
James B. (Jim) Hawkins is a general practice and public interest law attorney. 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. To suggest future column topics, call (615) 452-9200.