Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?

Where you live will be a determining factor in whether or not you operate your own a vehicle. If you live in the Nashville city center, there are several alternatives available to you. The most flexible would be either mass transit such as the bus system, which can be used to reach most areas. There are also taxis readily available if needed.

Additionally, the Music City Star is a regional train that runs from Lebanon (west of Nashville) to Nashville with stops in Martha, Mt. Juliet, Hermitage and Donelson. These stations offer extensive space for people to "park and ride" to their place of work in the city from other areas. If you decide to reside outside of Nashville city area, you will definitely need access to a car. Remember however, rush hour in Nashville can be very crowded, so patience and extra time will need to be allotted in order for you to have a safe commute.
↑ Top

How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?

Expatriates should get an international driver's license (IDL) before leaving his/her country of origin. With this, an expatriate may drive in the U.S. for up to six (6) months. Afterward, he/she must obtain a Tennessee driver's license (However, it is strongly advised that you obtain your Tennessee drivers licence as soon as possible after your arrival in Nashville).

A Tennessee driver's license can be obtained at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To do so, you must first obtain a social security number. There you will be required to produce it and two other forms of identification (i.e. picture ID, birth certificate, proof of residence) and take a written test. If you are from a country or US state where your license is recognized, you will not have to take a road test. If not, you will need to complete a road test with a DMV instructor.

Be sure to schedule a large block of time for this, because the DMV is known for its long lines and waiting times.
↑ Top

What side of the road do people drive on?

In the U.S., motorists use the right-hand side of the road.
↑ Top

Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.

The extensive bus system is the main form of public transportation in Nashville. Taxis are also readily available and can either be flagged down on the street or booked by phone in advance. Though taxis are more expensive than buses, they offer much more flexibility.

Buses have stops that lead into the suburbs, but the further away you move from central Nashville, the fewer stops are made.
↑ Top

Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.

Yes, expatriates can use the bus systems that have stops leading into the suburbs. Do note however, that these stops are only for a limited distance from the city. Additionally, there are special routes from the city center to certain tourist attractions and sporting events that are available either at specific times or year round.
↑ Top

In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?

The public transportation system throughout Nashville is considered to be very safe. However, do employ common sense: know your route in advance, don't expose cash and keep your eyes on your belongings at all times.
↑ Top

Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?

You can purchase tickets for public transportation at the main bus terminal hubs or by using one of the vending machines. Additionally, tickets can be purchased on the local buses.
↑ Top


Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.