As residents of and business owners in Tennessee, we demand better language access that actually reflects the people in our state.
Join the Our State, Our Languages coalition to say that we must have greater access to drivers’ licenses in order to drive Tennessee forward.
The drivers’ test in Tennessee is only available in English, Spanish, German, Korean, and Japanese. These languages do not reflect the people of Tennessee. Instead, these languages were added with the building of each corresponding car plant (i.e. German was added with the Volkswagon plant), ignoring the needs of people and even of other businesses.
The most basic daily tasks are often impossible to do without access to driving, like getting to work or getting groceries. The people of Tennessee have been asking for this for years. Our communities have asked for access many times, including earlier in 2022, 2019, and before.
This problem is severe: there are more than 170,000 Tennesseans whose languages are not represented on the drivers’ test (according to 2019 data of the Migration Policy Institute).
The lack of licenses is a major burden on businesses, workers, children, and public safety. This negatively impacts small businesses and our economy, especially as we are in the midst of a worker shortage. This contributes to driving up prices for Tennesseans across the state. We suffer when families can’t get their kids to the doctor. Our safety is endangered when people are forced to drive without the proper licensing in order to survive. We miss out on economic opportunities when people who want to step in to fill the great need for truck drivers, delivery drivers, and taxi drivers are prevented from doing so due to our state’s backwards policies.
Tennessee is falling behind. Drivers in Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Arizona, and Alabama all have far greater language access on drivers’ tests than Tennessee. We, the people and business owners of Tennessee, insist on #DrivingTNForward to lift the burden on working people in our state and bring a brighter, safer, more accessible future for all.
We call on our state administrators and legislators to make this critical change for our state. The individuals and businesses signed join the Our State, Our Languages coalition in calling for change. The Our State, Our Languages coalition includes: