Tennessee Military and Veterans Benefits
Division of Motor Vehicles Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities in Tennessee
Tennessee Military Resource Locator
Summary of Tennessee Military and Veterans Benefits: Tennessee offers special benefits for service members, Veterans and their families including Veteran’s employment preference, property tax relief, county motor vehicle tax relief, special vehicle license plates, burial in Tennessee's State Veterans Cemeteries, as well as lifetime hunting and fishing licenses and State Park privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.
Tennessee Department of Veterans Services (TDVS), Veterans Service Offices: The TDVS, Veterans Service Offices has trained staff who assist Veterans, retired service members and their families find and apply for Veterans’ benefits under federal, state, and local laws. All their services are provided free of charge.
TDVS, Veterans Service Office Directory
Tennessee Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
Tennessee Income Taxes:Tennessee does not have a general state income tax. Residents do not have to file an individual state income tax return.
Distributions received from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) are not taxed.
Tennessee Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouse State Property Tax Benefits: Disabled Veterans and their surviving spouse may qualify for a rebate or exemption of taxes on a portion of the value of their property. The Veteran or surviving spouse must own and use the property as their primary residence. The maximum market value on which tax relief is calculated is $175,000.
Who is eligible for Tennessee Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouse State Property Tax Benefits?To be eligible for property tax relief applicants must meet the following requirements:
For Disabled Veteran: To be eligible a disabled Veterans must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and received a discharge other than dishonorable and have a service-connected disability rating from the VA that meets one of the following requirements:
- Disability rating due to:
- Paraplegia, or
- Permanent paralysis of both legs and lower part of the body from traumatic injury or disease to the spinal cord or brain, or
- Loss, or loss of use of, two or more limbs, or
- Legal blindness, or
- Total and permanent disability, or
- 100% total and permanent disability rating due to being a prisoner of war
For Surviving Spouse of a Disabled Veteran: The benefit transfers to the unremarried surviving spouse of a disabled Veteran who was eligible for property tax relief. The surviving spouse must solely or jointly own the property and must use it as their home.
Applications can be made through the local County Trustee or to a city collecting official, for properties inside the city limits. For forms and to apply contact the local city collecting official or County Trustee's Office.
Tennessee City and County Trustee Directory
Tennessee Property Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans Factsheet
Tennessee Property Tax Relief for Surviving Spouses of Veterans Factsheet
Tennessee Tax Free Motor Vehicle Sales to Service Members: Motor vehicles sold to certain U.S. Armed Forces service members and registered in Tennessee are exempt from sales and use tax.
Who is eligible for Tennessee Tax Free Motor Vehicle Sales to Service Members? The following service members are eligible:
- Service member serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and stationed in Tennessee or at a military reservation located partially in Tennessee
- Service member serving in the Tennessee National Guard, or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves, who is in the Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) Program and is stationed in Tennessee, or at a military reservation located partially in Tennessee
- Service member serving in the Tennessee National Guard, or a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves, who has been called to active duty and is stationed in a combat zone; this exemption applies as of the effective date of official military orders assigning them to a combat zone and expires 90 days after their return
The service member must provide a copy of official orders at the time of purchase, documenting their eligibility.
This exemption only applies if the motor vehicle is titled and registered in the name of the eligible service member either alone or jointly with a spouse or lineal relative. Tennessee Code 67-6-303
Tennessee Motor Vehicle Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans: U.S. Armed Forces Veterans who have a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability rating from the VA and former prisoners-of-war who receive a specially adapted vehicle grant from the VA are exempt from the Tennessee motor vehicle sales tax, registration fees, and local motor vehicle privilege taxes. Tennessee Code 5-8-102
Tennessee Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guard Service Members (STRONG) Act Tuition Assistance Program: The Tennessee STRONG Act provides tuition assistance through a tuition reimbursement program for Tennessee National Guard service members working towards:
- First bachelor’s degree
- First master’s degree
- Diploma from a vocational or technical school
Tennessee STRONG Act provides tuition reimbursement equal to 100% of the maximum resident undergraduate or graduate in-state tuition (UT Knoxville tuition rate) after all Federal Tuition Assistance, scholarships, grants and other financial aid has been calculated.
This program will fund no more than 120 undergraduate semester hours or 40 graduate semester hours of study.
Who is eligible for the Tennessee STRONG Act Tuition Assistance Program? Tennessee National Guard service members must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- Currently serving in the Tennessee National Guard in good standing (not flagged) through the end of the academic term
- Does not have a previous degree at the level they are studying for
- Attends a Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT), regionally accredited community college, four year public university, or private school whose primary campus is in Tennessee
- Maintains satisfactory academic progress with 2.0 GPA minimum for the academic term for undergraduate degrees/certificates, 3.0 GPA for graduate degrees
- Funded course(s) must meet degree completion requirements
Tennessee National Guard service members can apply for this program but must have not missed a ship date to successfully complete basic military training prior to course start date.
Application packets must be completed within 90 days of course completion.
Tennessee STRONG Act Usage Guidelines
Tennessee STRONG Act, Instructions and Application Packet
Tennessee STRONG Act, Graduate Studies Information
Tennessee STRONG Act, Approved Schools List
Tennessee STRONG Act, Approved TCAT List
Tennessee Veterans Can Register Early for Classes: Tennessee resident Veterans who are students at a Tennessee public institution of higher education are eligible to register for classes prior to the general student population. Early registration for Veterans uses the same procedures used by student athletes, disabled students, and honor students.
Tennessee Helping Heroes Education Grant for Veterans: The Helping Heroes Grant offers a $1,000 grant per semester to eligible Veterans who enroll in 12 or more semester hours, and a $500 grant per semester for 6 to 11 semester hours. Veterans enrolled in less than six semester hours are not eligible for a grant. All grants are paid at the end of a semester.
Veterans are eligible to receive a grant for eight full semesters (6-11 semester hours is considered a half semester) or until they earn a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. Helping Heroes Grants are awarded on a first-come first-served basis. Veterans must receive a passing final grade in all classes at the end of the semester to be eligible for a grant.
Who is eligible for the Tennessee Helping Heroes Education Grant for Veterans? To be eligible for a Helping Heroes Grant Veterans must meet the following requirements:
- Current service member or honorably discharged Veteran who is serving or served on active duty as a member of an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Tennessee resident for one year prior to application
- Was awarded one of the following, on or after September 11, 2001:
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
- Enrolled at a participating two or four-year postsecondary institution
- Has not earned a bachelor’s degree
- Not in default on a federal or state educational loan
- Not owe a refund on a federal or state student financial aid program
- In compliance with federal drug-free rules for receiving financial assistance
- Not incarcerated
- Students are not required to meet any academic standard at the time of enrollment
To remain eligible for grants, Veterans must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements of the institution they are attending.
Helping Heroes Grants must be applied for each academic year using the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Online Application. The application deadlines are:
- September 1 (or the following business day) for fall enrollment
- February 1 (or the following business day) for spring
- May 1 (or the following business day) for summer enrollment
Veterans must mail or fax their DD214 to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation when they apply.
Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
312 Rosa Parks Boulevard, 9 th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
Tennessee Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3): The purpose of this compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the prompt enrollment of children of military families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements
- Facilitating the student placement process through which children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities
- Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military families
- Providing for the enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact
- Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military families under this compact
- Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children
- Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student
Points of Contact
Phone: 931-645-0315 / 419-230-8898
Tennessee Purple Star School Award for Military-Friendly Schools: The Purple Star School Award recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces.
For a school to qualify for the Purple Star School Award they must appoint a school liaison who is specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military families. This liaison will ensure that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military families can benefit from. Each school will also have a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military families.
Military Child Education Coalition Purple Star School Program
Honorary Tennessee High School Diplomas for War Time Veterans: Honorary high school diplomas may be issued to Veterans who left a Tennessee high school before graduating to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I, World War II, Korea, or Vietnam and received an Honorable Discharge. Veterans are not required to be a current resident of Tennessee at the time of the request. A surviving spouse or other immediate family member may request a diploma for deceased Veterans.
Applicants must provide the following information:
- Honorable Discharge papers
- Name of Veteran
- Name of high school
- Name of city of high school
- Name of county of high school
- Year Veteran would have graduated
- Address of Veteran
To request a diploma applicants may contact their county school district or the Tennessee Department of Education.
Tennessee School Directory
Tennessee Department of Education
9th Floor Andrew Johnson Tower
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
Military Related Leave for Tennessee State Employees: Tennessee state employees have several military related leave benefits; a short description of each is listed below.
Leave for Military Duty: State employees who are members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces, are authorized 20 days of paid leave for military duty per calendar year.
Leave for State Active Duty: Tennessee National Guard service members called to state active duty may receive leave with pay for the duration of their active duty.
Leave for Disabled Veterans to Attend Appointments: A state employee who is a Veteran and has a 30% or more service-connected disability is authorized 36 hours of leave each year to attend appointments related to their disability.
Military Exigency Leave: State employees who are the spouse, child, or parent of a service member is authorized leave when the service member is serving on active duty or called to active duty to deploy to a foreign county. Qualifying circumstances for Military Exigency Leave are very broad, see section 6.08 at the “Learn more…” link below for all qualifying circumstances.
Military Caregiver Leave: State employees who are the spouse, child, parent or next of kin of a service member who is seriously injured or has a serious illness are authorized up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected Military Caregiver Leave in a 12 month period. Employees must use accrued annual leave, sick or compensatory leave before entering an unpaid status.
Military Funeral Leave: A state employee who is a Veteran is authorizedan excused absence up to four hours per day to participate in a military funeral service as a pallbearer, member of a firing squad or honor guard.
Partial Pay for State Employees Called to Active Duty: State employees called to active duty in support of a military operation are eligible for special leave with partial pay for up to one year. The military operation must be in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and for all orders issued for operations Enduring Freedom, Joint Endeavor, Noble Eagle, New Dawn, and any subsequent operations ordered by the President or Governor. Partial pay is the difference between the employee’s regular state salary and their full time military base pay.
Tennessee State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference: Tennessee offers Veterans Hiring preferences for state employment and promotions by guaranteeing a first-round interview to eligible Veterans and surviving spouses. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the position they are applying for. After the first-round interview if an applicant eligible for Veterans preference is added to a list of eligible candidates, they are given preference in hiring over other candidates with equal qualifications who are not eligible for preference.
Who is eligible for Tennessee State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference? The Following Veterans and spouses are eligible for Veterans preference:
- Veterans who served on federal active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge
- Spouse of a Veteran who has a 100% service-connected disability or is permanently and totally disabled
- Unremarried surviving spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty
- Spouse or surviving spouse must have been a registered voter in Tennessee for two years prior to application
If an applicant eligible for Veterans preference is not hired the hiring authority must provide the reason the applicant was not selected within 30 days. Applicants must provide proof of eligibility at the time of application.
Tennessee Code 8-30-307
In addition, employees eligible for Veterans preference will have 60 months of service credit added to their total months of state service when determining seniority during a layoff or reduction in force. Tennessee Code 8-30-314
Tennessee TEAM Act
Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.
5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
- During a war, or
- During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or
- During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or
- In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia and Haiti, qualifies for preference
10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30% .
10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.
10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:
- A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or
- A Veteran who received a Purple Heart
10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of spouses, surviving spouses, or mothers of Veterans. Both a mother and a spouse (including surviving spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and:
- Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or
- Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin, or
- Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability
Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.
A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Tennessee Veterans Employment Assistance: Tennessee American Job Centers provide employment assistance for Veterans and service members leaving the military. Additionally, priority of service is given to those eligible for all programs funded completely or in part by the U.S. Department of Labor. Priority of service means that Veterans are entitled to preference over others for a service either earlier in time or, if the resource is limited, they receive access instead of those not eligible. Code of Federal Regulations 20, 1010.200
Veterans employment assistance includes:
- Job search assistance
- Job training
- Resume assistance
- Internet access
- Telephone access
- Unemployment information
- Job referrals and follow up
- One on one career counseling
- Developing an individual employment plan
- On-the-Job training
Additional services are available to Veterans who meet one of the following requirements:
- Recently-separated service member (within three years), and was unemployed for 27 or more consecutive weeks in the previous 12 months
- Criminal background, released from incarceration within the last 12 months
- Does not have a high school diploma or equivalent certificate
- Low income
- Between age 18-24
Who is eligible for Tennessee Veterans Employment Assistance? All Veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible. Veterans must provide proof of military service (DD214, discharge papers, etc.) when applying for assistance.
Tennessee American Job Centers Directory
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service if the basic eligibility criteria are met.
Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.
Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.
Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA Benefits? Veterans, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.
The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) helps all who have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
Tennessee Unemployment Insurance (UI): The Tennessee UI Program provides temporary financial assistance for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. UI is a partial, short-term replacement of lost wages while workers are seeking other work and is not intended to be a permanent source of income. Benefits are not based on financial need.
Who is eligible for Tennessee UI? To be eligible for UI applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Unemployed through no fault of their own
- Must have qualifying base period wages
- Must be able and available to work
Applicants must provide the following information:
- Social Security number
- Driver's license number
- Telephone number
- Valid email address
- Bank routing number and account number if requesting direct deposit
- DD214 (member copy 4) for service in the U.S. Armed Forces in the past 18 months
- Last 18 months of employment
- Last day worked
- Reason for separation (e.g., quit, fired, lack of work, laid off or job eliminated, etc.)
Former Employer Information:
- Employer's name
- Employer's address
- Employer's telephone number
- Employer's fax number (if known)
Applicants for UI can file a claim at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, UI online application page . For more information, please consult the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, UI Frequent Asked Question page.
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Apply for Unemployment Benefits Fact Sheet
Veteran Designation on Tennessee ID Cards and Driver Licenses: Honorably discharged Veterans are eligible for a Veteran designation on their Tennessee driver license or ID card.
Standard state issuance or renewal fees will apply. Veterans may request a duplicate license or ID with the designation, first duplicate is $8, second duplicate is $12.
Tennessee Driver License Extension for Service Members: The Tennessee driver license of a service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces remains valid if they are on active duty stationed outside Tennessee.
While on active duty the service members may have a "Code 30" placed on their license, which indicates the license does not expire. Licenses with a “Code 30” remain valid unless surrendered, canceled, revoked, suspended, the service member is discharged, or has been reassigned to a duty station in Tennessee. Service members have 60 days to renew their license after discharge or they are reassigned to Tennessee.
To add “Code 30”, service members must bring a copy of military orders verifying active duty status and that they are stationed outside Tennessee, or a letter on military letterhead from their commanding officer and a copy of their Leave and Earnings Statement to a Tennessee Driver Service Center location and pay the appropriate fees (listed on checklist) or submit by mail to:
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
Driver Services Division – Special Handling
Attn: Military Coordinator
Browning Building - Room 253
1150 Foster Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243 (use zip code 37210 for overnight shipping)
Tennessee Highways for Heroes, Waiver for Commercial Driver License (CDL) Skills Test: The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security offers a CDL skills test waiver for service members and former service members based on their military training and experience.
Eligible applicants are required to pass only the written CDL knowledge exam and are not required to take the road skills test.
Who is eligible for the Tennessee Highways for Heroes, Waiver for CDL Skills Test? The skills test waiver is available to service members serving in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or a former service member who received a discharge other than dishonorable. Service members must have had military commercial vehicle driving training and experience and worked in a position in the last year that required the operation of a military commercial vehicle. Applicants must have been licensed for at least two years on a military vehicle similar to the commercial vehicle class they are applying for.
Applicants must also meet the following requirements:
- Tennessee resident and has, or is eligible for a Tennessee driver license
- Not had more than one license (except for a military license) in the past two years
- Not had any license suspended, revoked, or cancelled in the past two years
- Not had any convictions in the past two years for the major offenses (listed on the application)
- Not had more than one conviction in the past two years for serious traffic violations (listed on the application)
Applicants are required to request certification from their commanding officer that they are eligible.
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, CDL Skills Test Waiver Application
Tennessee CDL Information Page
Tennessee Military and Memorial License Plates: Tennessee offers 56 distinctive license plates to honor the service and sacrifice of eligible service members, Veterans, retired service members, and certain family members. Specific eligibility and documentation requirements will apply. Applicants can apply for Tennessee specialty license plates at their local county clerk’s office. A short description of some these license plates is listed below.
Tennessee County Clerks Directory
Free Disabled Decal: Veterans who qualify for a disability license plate or placard can request a free decal that can be placed on any existing specialty license plate. This decal authorizes use of handicap accessible parking spaces. Veterans must have a disability that meets one of the following criteria to be eligible:
- Confined to a wheelchair
- Walk with difficulty or uncertainty
- Has 20/200 vision or worse with corrective lenses
Tennessee Medal of Honor License Plate: The Tennessee Medal of Honor license plate is available for recipients of the Medal of Honor. Applicants must provide their DD214 or a letter of confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services verifying they received the Medal of Honor. This plate may be used on passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
- Initial plate is free and there is no annual fee
- Second plate is $26.50 (initial fee of $28.15)
- Subsequent plates are $26.50 (initial fee of $29.80)
Tennessee Disabled Veteran License Plate: The Tennessee Disabled Veteran license plate is available for Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and have a service-connected permanent and total disability rating from the VA. Veterans must provide a letter from the VA verifying their disability rating with an effective date. This plate may be used on passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
- Initial plate is free and there is no annual fee
- Second plate is $26.50 (initial fee of $28.15)
- Subsequent plates are $26.50 (initial fee of $29.80)
Tennessee Honorably Discharged License Plate: The Tennessee Honorably Discharged license plate is available for Veterans who received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces. Applicants must provide proof of service and that they received an honorable discharge. This plate may be used on passenger vehicles and motorcycles. This license plate has an initial fee of $29.80 and an annual fee of $26.50.
Tennessee Purple Heart License Plate: The Tennessee Purple Heart license plate is available for recipients of the Purple Heart. Applicants must provide their DD214 or a letter of confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services verifying they received the Purple Heart. This plate may be used on passenger vehicles and motorcycles
- Initial plate is free and there is no annual fee
- Second plate is $26.50 (initial fee of $28.15)
- Subsequent plates are $26.50 (initial fee of $29.80)
Tennessee Gold Star Family Plate: The Tennessee Gold Star Family license plate is available for the spouse, parent, sibling, or child of a service member who died in the line of duty while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or as a result of injuries they received while serving. Applicants must provide a DD1300 Report of Casualty. This plate may be used on passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
- Initial plate is free and there is no annual fee
- Additional plates are $26.50 (initial fee of $29.80)
Tennessee National Guard Compensation for Injury, Illness and Death that Occurs in the Line of Duty: TennesseeNational Guard service members who are injured, become ill, disabled or die while serving on state active duty, or during authorized training are eligible for medical coverage and compensation under Tennessee Workers Compensation Laws.
Who is eligible for Compensation for Injury, Illness and Death Benefits that Occurs in the Line of Duty? TennesseeNational Guard service members who are injured, become ill, disabled, or die while serving on state active duty or during training are eligible for medical coverage and compensation.
TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (U.S. Armed Forces Reserve and National Guard service members) and their families who meet the following qualifications:
- Not on active duty orders
- Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
- Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a family member
This plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when a service member is not on active duty and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component service members and their families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
- Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI)
- Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
Tennessee National Guard State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI): The SSLI program is offered through the National Guard Association of Tennessee to Tennessee National Guard service members. This program is made up of several voluntary group life policies and is designed to help meet the needs of service members and their families. Every member of the Tennessee National Guard is covered with $1,000 SSLI at no cost to the service member.
Key Benefits of SSLI:
- $10,000 coverage free for first 12 months (newly serving Tennessee National Guard service members only)
- $10,000 - $50,000 service member coverage
- Spouse and dependent coverage available
- Rates start as low as $4.40 per month
- Enhanced coverage available up to $270,000 for current service members
- SSLI policies can be converted to whole life, providing coverage until age 121
Surviving spouses and dependents of deceased service members may have the option of continuing their current coverage at the same rates. SSLI Continuation Coverage
Who is eligible for Tennessee National Guard SSLI? Tennessee National Guard service members and their dependents are eligible for coverage.
Tennessee Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans: Tennessee offers lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for eligible disabled Veterans for a one-time fee of $10.
Who is eligible for the Tennessee Lifetime Hunting and Fishing license for Disabled Veterans? Resident Veteran who has a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability rating, or who has a 30% or more disability rating from the VA from war time service.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Miscellaneous Licenses Application
Tennessee Hunting and Fishing License Exemption for Military Personnel on Leave: Service members on leave from the U.S. Armed Forces are not required to purchase a hunting or fishing license when on leave. Service members must carry their leave papers with them when they are hunting or fishing.
Tennessee Fishing License Information
Nonresident Service Members May Purchase Tennessee Hunting and Fishing Licenses at Resident Rates: NonresidentU.S. Armed Forces service members serving on active duty, stationed in Tennessee and their dependents (under age 16 who live with them), may purchase hunting and fishing licenses at resident rates.
Tennessee State Park Benefits for Veterans: Tennessee State Parks offer a Veterans’ discount for camping during the off-season (December 1 through February 28/29). The discount is 50% off the standard nightly base rates depending on the type of site chosen, premium sites excluded.
Reservations may be made no more than one year in advance of arrival. Reservations for holiday weeks may be made no more than 30 days in advance of arrival.
Veterans Day is a Free State Park Day for Tennessee Veterans, including complimentary greens fees and one night of camping.
A 50% discount off camping and cabin fees is offered to Tennessee resident Veterans with a 100% total service-connected disability. Reservations must be made within 30 days of the intended stay; premium campsites are excluded.
All Veterans must provide proof of Tennessee residency, Veteran status, and percentage of service-connected disability (if applicable).
Visit Tennessee State Parks website for activity and reservation information.
License for Service Members Stationed Overseas to Ship Wine to Tennessee: Service members stationed outside the U.S. while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces may apply for a onetime license to ship wine they purchased overseas. There is a one-time fee of $100 in addition to a $1.21 tax per gallon.
Tennessee Code 57-3-302
Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes (TSVH): Tennessee has five state Veterans’ homes to provide quality long-term care, skilled nursing care, as well as rehabilitation and therapy services. Each home offers modern amenities, individualized care plans, and a full calendar of daily activities, all while encouraging Veteran camaraderie in a home-like setting. The TSVH staff is specially trained to provide the physical, emotional, and mental support Veterans may need.
Veterans’ Homes Locations:
Murfreesboro TSVH - 140 bed facility
345 Compton Road
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Humboldt TSVH – 140 bed facility
2865 E. Main Street
Humboldt, TN 38343
Knoxville TSVH – 140 bed facility
1 Veterans Way
Knoxville, TN 37931
Clarksville TSVH – 108 bed facility
250 Arrowood Drive
Clarksville, TN 37042
Cleveland TSVH– 108 bed facility
1940 Westland Drive SW
Cleveland, TN 37311
TSVH coming soon
Arlington TSVH – 126 bed facility, scheduled opening in 2024
Who is eligible for care at a TSVH? To be eligible for admission to a TSVH, Veterans must have received an honorable discharge from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces, require skilled nursing care, and meets at least one of the following requirements:
- Resident of Tennessee at time of admission
- Born in Tennessee
- Entered the U.S. Armed Forces from Tennessee
- Tennessee address is official Home of Record on Veteran's Military Record
- Immediate family member who serves as the primary caregiver if they are a Tennessee resident
- Spouse or Gold Star Parents of an eligible Veteran may also be eligible for admission on a space available basis
Tennessee State Veterans Cemeteries: Tennessee has five state Veteran’s cemeteries that offer a dignified final resting place for Veterans and their eligible family members.
Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Locations:
Two East Tennessee State Veterans Cemeteries
5901 Lyons View Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919
Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads
693 Wildersville Road
Parkers Crossroads, TN 38388
Parkers Crossroads Online Pre-Registration Form
Each cemetery offers a burial plot, opening and closing of the grave, a government provided grave marker (including installation) and perpetual care. There is no fee for the burial at any Tennessee State Veterans cemetery. All other funeral expenses are the responsibility of the Veteran, family, or their estate.
Columbarium services for cremated remains are offered at all Tennessee State Veterans Cemeteries except the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on Gov. John Sevier Highway.
Who is eligible for Burial at a Tennessee Veterans Cemetery? Eligibility requirements for burial at a Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery are the same as for VA National Cemeteries. Exact eligibility requirements can viewed at the VA, National Cemetery Administration Eligibility webpage. The following are the general eligibility requirements:
- Discharged from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable, or
- Died while serving on active duty, or
- Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and qualified for military retired pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60), or
- Reserve component service members if they were activated for federal service, (active duty for training does not qualify)
- Spouses and dependents (burial of dependent children are limited to unmarried children under 21 years old, or 23 years old if a full-time student at an approved educational institution, or a child who develops a lifelong disability prior to age 21)
All Veterans are encouraged to complete a pre-registration form for the cemetery they choose to be buried in prior to need.
Tennessee State Veterans Cemeteries Eligibility information
Recording of Tennessee Veterans Discharges: Tennessee County Clerks are required to register separation documents, DD214 (discharges), for resident Veterans free of charge.
Tennessee County Clerk Directory
Safekeeping of Abandoned Tennessee Veterans Medals: Abandoned military medals are held by the State Treasurer until the owner, owner's heirs or beneficiaries can be identified for the return of the medal. The Treasurer may appoint a custodian, such as a Veterans' organization, to hold the abandoned medals. Additional information can be found on the Tennessee Department of Treasury Unclaimed Property Division website.
Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal: The Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal may be awarded to service members serving on active duty who were killed in action. The recipient's name will be entered on the case of the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal and will be awarded by the governor or the governor's designee to the immediate survivor of the recipient.
Who is eligible for the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal? Individuals eligible to receive the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal include all active duty service members who are Tennessee residents whose death was under one of the following circumstances:
- Engaged in action against an enemy of the U.S.
- Engaged in military support operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force
- Serving with friendly foreign forces in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force when the U.S. is not a belligerent party, or
- Serving in a combat zone designated by presidential order
For more information or assistance contact the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services.
Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Contact Information
Day of Mourning for a Combat Related Death of a Tennessee Service Member: Tennessee law requires the Governor to proclaim a state-wide day of mourning, when a Tennessee resident service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is killed in action or dies as a direct result of injuries sustained from a serviced-connected, combat related cause.
During the state-wide day of mourning the state flag will be flown at half-staff over the state capitol. The state-wide day of mourning includes Tennessee National Guard or resident U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members whose unit was called to active duty and is stationed outside the U.S. during hostilities.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Tennessee: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Tennessee: The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains five national cemeteries in Tennessee. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.
Tennessee Department of Veterans Services
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243
Military Installations in Tennessee
Please see the Tennessee Military Resource Locator for additional information.
Fort Campbell, Kentucky (a portion of the installation is in Tennessee)
Arnold Air Force Base (AFB)
Tennessee Military Department
U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)
81 st Readiness Division