Tennessee State Benefits

All State Benefits

Property Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans

To receive tax relief as a disabled veteran, one of the following categories must be met:

1. A service-connected disability that resulted in:

                           a)  Paraplegia OR
                           b) Permanent paralysis of both legs and lower part of the body resulting from traumatic injury or disease to the spinal cord or brain; OR
                           c) Loss, or loss of use of, two (2) or more limbs; OR
                           d)  Legal blindness

2. A service-connected permanent and total disability or disabilities, as determined by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

3. A 100% total and permanent disability rating from being a prisoner of war.

4. Must own and use property as primary residence.  The maximum market value on which tax relief is calculated is $175,000.

For more information on the changes to the Property Tax Relief Program read Public Chapter No. 1065.

To apply for this benefit please contact the County Trustee’s office in your county. Use the Tennessee Trustee website to find your County Trustee contact information. 

Property Tax Relief for Surviving Spouses

Authorizes property tax relief to surviving spouses of disabled veterans who would have been eligible for relief had the veteran qualified under later amendments to the law. The tax relief is in an amount necessary to pay or reimburse such taxpayers for all or part of the local property taxes paid for a given tax year on that property that the disabled veteran owned and used as the disabled veteran’s residence. The property tax relief is extended to the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who, at the time of the disabled veteran’s death, was eligible for disabled veterans’ property tax relief, as long as the surviving spouse:

(1) Does not remarry;
(2) Solely or jointly owns the property for which tax relief is claimed; and
(3) Uses the property for which tax relief is claimed exclusively as a home.

Public Chapter No. 884 (2006) adds that if a subsequent amendment to the law concerning eligibility as a disabled veteran would have made the deceased veteran eligible for disabled veterans’ property tax relief, then property tax relief will also be extended to the surviving spouse. This applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

Public Chapter No. 481 (2015) changes below.

1. Must own and use property as primary residence.  The maximum market value on which tax relief is calculated is $100,000.

For more information on the changes to the Property Tax Relief Program read Public Chapter No. 1065 (2016).

Free Day

To honor the veterans of this state and encourage the use of natural parks across Tennessee, the Department of Environment and Conservation shall designate one (1) day per year during which access to and use of all state parks, including, but not limited to, campgrounds and golf courses, shall be free of charge for all veterans. Each veteran shall be required to show proof of veteran status, prior to being granted free admission to any state park.


On Veteran’s Day of each year, greens fees for 18 holes of golf will be waived for Tennessee resident veterans. All other golf related fees such as carts, driving range, etc. will still apply.


On Veterans Day of each year, Tennessee resident veterans will be granted one nights camping free of charge.


Proof of both Tennessee residency along with proof of veterans’ status should be secured. When proof of eligibility is verified, notation of the form of documentation, i.e. DD214, VA benefit card, TN drivers’ license, etc, should be entered on the receipt, folio, or registration screen applicable to the operation.

Discounted Rates

Tennessee State Parks

A Tennessee veterans’ discount for camping within our state parks is available during the off-season, (December 1 through February 28/29). The discount is 50% off of our standard nightly base rates depending on the type of site chosen. Premium sites excluded. This camping discount is available to Tennessee residents showing proof of prior military duty.

Veterans Day has been designated as Free State Park Day for Tennessee veterans, including complimentary greens fees and one night of camping. Tennessee State Parks offers this special discount to veterans annually on Veterans Day.

A 50% discount off of camping fees will be extended to all Tennessee resident veterans with a 100% total service-connected disability. Premium campsites are excluded.

All veteran discounts require proof of prior military duty. Acceptable ID’s for proof of eligibility include a VA benefits card, retired military ID, or a DD-214. These are in addition to proof of residency which would simply be a TN driver’s license or vehicle registered in Tennessee.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Authorizes issuance of a sport fishing and hunting license with a one-time $10 fee to residents of Tennessee who are 100% permanent and totally disabled from service-connected cause, or by reason of service in any war are 30% or more disabled.

Veteran ID

Now being issued at Driver Service Centers Across the State

Authorizes honorably discharged veterans to have language or a symbol indicating their military service placed on their driver license; requires the Department of Veterans Services, in consultation with the department of safety, to develop appropriate language or military symbol.

Public Chapter 0337: Veteran Designated Driver License
Click here for the Driver Service Center location near you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 01:25 pm

NASHVILLE — Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder today announced that honorably discharged veterans may now visit any driver services center in the state to obtain a specially designated veteran driver license or photo identification card.

Legislation authorizing the state to publically recognize veterans’ military service was passed in 2011. The veteran designation could not be offered, however, until the latest redesign of driver licenses and photo ID cards. A newly designed card and a new process called “central issuance,” in which driver licenses and photo ID cards are mailed to citizens from a central location, are now being used in all driver services centers.

“We know that veterans have waited a long time for this special recognition. It is the least we can do to honor their service to our state and country,” Gibbons said.  “We are pleased to now be able to offer this designation to any honorably discharged veteran who presents the proper discharge form,” he added.

“To be recognized by the state through this new veteran designated driver license or ID is incredibly important to those who served our country,” Grinder said.  “This new ID will also be a source of convenience for veterans who do not typically carry their discharge papers with them everywhere they go to prove their veteran status.”

Veterans must visit a driver services center and present a certified or original copy of their Department of Defense form 214 (DD-214), which is also known as discharge papers, to receive the special designation on a driver license or photo ID card. If the license or card is a renewal or duplicate of a non-commercial driver license, veterans may also visit one of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s County clerk partners.

The standard state issuance or renewal fees apply for the transaction. If it is not time to renew a driver license or photo ID, veterans may get a duplicate to replace a current non-commercial license or ID for $8 for the first duplicate and $12 for a second duplicate.

County Motor Vehicle Privilege Tax

Any disabled veteran who has a 100 percent permanent, total disability from a service-connected cause, or any former prisoner-of-war, as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, shall be exempt from the motor vehicle privilege tax upon submission of evidence of such disability to the officer in the county charged with the responsibility for collecting such tax. 

Free Disabled Decal

Free Disabled Decal for Disabled Veteran Drivers

Veteran motorists previously defined as disabled drivers according to TCA Section 55-21-102, may apply and receive a free disabled driver decal which may be added to the existing specialty plate. To apply for a decal please visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue for details.

Highways for Heroes Program

Commercial Driver License program for Service Members and Veterans

Under legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2013, the road skills test may be waived for qualified military personnel applying for a Tennessee Commercial Driver License (CDL).  Applicants, however, are required to pass the applicable CDL knowledge test.  Qualified active-duty military personnel who held a military operator’s permit for the past two years are eligible for the basic road skills test waiver.  This applied to current National Guard and military Reserve Personnel as well as Veterans who have been discharged within the last year.

Veteran Specialty Plates

There are more than 20 Veteran related specialty plates offered in the State of Tennessee. We have provided links to find out more about each specialty plate, but to find out more about all specialty plates and how to obtain them, please visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue website.

Specialty License Plate for Distinguished Flying Cross Recipients
Specialty Plate for Air Medal Recipients
Specialty Plate for Bronze Star Recipients
Specialty Plate for Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients
Specialty Plate for Purple Heart Recipients
Specialty Plate for Former Prisoners of War
Specialty Plate for Handicapped Veterans
Specialty Plate for Sons of Confederate Veterans
Specialty Plate for Pearl Harbor Survivors
pecialty Plate for World War II Veterans
Specialty Plate for Korean War Veterans
Specialty Plate for Vietnam War Veterans
Specialty Plate for Desert Storm Veterans
Specialty Plate for Bosnia Veterans
Specialty Plate for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn
Specialty Plate for Women Veterans
Specialty Plate for Blue Star Families
Specialty Plate for Gold Star Families
Specialty Plate for Veterans Honorably Discharged
Registration Plates, Medal Recipients

Parking Privileges

Provides procedures for handicapped persons, including veterans, to apply for and receive a special handicapped parking permit.  

TCA 55-8-160 

2010 Tennessee Code
Title 55 – Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 8 – Operation of Vehicles Rules of the Road
55-8-160 – Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specific places Penalty Exceptions for disabled veterans and handicapped persons.

55-8-160. Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specific places Penalty Exceptions for disabled veterans and handicapped persons.

(a)  No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle outside of the limits of an incorporated municipality, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or traffic-control device, in any of the following places:

     (1)  On a sidewalk; provided, that a bicycle may be parked on a sidewalk if it does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic, or such parking is not prohibited by ordinance;

     (2)  In front of a public or private driveway;

     (3)  Within an intersection.

     (4)  Within seven- and one-half feet (7 ½¢) to fifteen feet (15¢) of a fire hydrant. An incorporated municipality shall determine and shall appropriately identify the distance from a fire hydrant to stop, stand or park a vehicle; provided, that this distance conforms to this subdivision (a)(4);

     (5)  On a crosswalk;

     (6)  Within twenty feet (20¢) of a crosswalk at an intersection;

     (7)  Within thirty feet (30¢) upon the approach to any flashing beacon, stop sign or traffic-control signal located at the side of a roadway;

     (8)  Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within thirty feet (30¢) of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless the department of transportation or local traffic authority indicates a different length by signs or markings;

     (9)  Within fifty feet (50¢) of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing;

     (10)  Within twenty feet (20¢) of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within seventy-five feet (75¢) of that entrance when properly signposted;

     (11)  Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing or parking would obstruct traffic;

     (12)  On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;

     (13)  Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel;

     (14)  At any place where official signs prohibit stopping; and

     (15)  In a parking space clearly identified by an official sign as being reserved for the physically handicapped, unless, however, the person driving the vehicle is physically handicapped or parking the vehicle for the benefit of a physically handicapped person. A vehicle parking in such a space shall display a certificate or placard as set forth in chapter 21 of this title, or a disabled veteran’s license plate issued under § 55-4-237.

(b)  The provisions of subsection (a) do not apply to a certified police cyclist engaged in the lawful performance of duty using a police bicycle as a barrier or traffic control device at the scene of an emergency or in response to other calls for police service.

(c)  No person shall move a vehicle not lawfully under that person’s control into any such prohibited area or away from a curb such distance as is unlawful.

(d)  (1)  This section shall not apply to the driver of any vehicle that is disabled while on the paved or improved or main traveled portion of a road, street or highway in a manner and to an extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the vehicle in such position.

     (2)  This section shall not apply to the driver of any vehicle operating as a carrier of passengers for hire who is authorized to operate such vehicle upon the roads, streets or highways in Tennessee, while taking passengers on the vehicle, or discharging passengers from that vehicle; provided, that the vehicle is stopped so that a clear view of the vehicle shall be obtained from a distance of two hundred feet (200¢) in each direction, upon the roads, streets or highways.

     (3)  This section do not apply to a solid waste vehicle while on the paved or improved main traveled portion of a road, street or highway in a manner and to an extent as is necessary for the sole purpose of collecting municipal solid waste, as defined by § 68-211-802; provided, that the vehicle shall maintain flashing hazard lights at all times while it is stopping or standing; provided further, that the vehicle is stopped so that a clear view of the stopped vehicle shall be available from a distance of two hundred feet (200¢) in either direction upon the highway. This subdivision (d)(3) does not preclude any claimant from pursuing a common law claim for recovery pursuant to common law negligence.

(e)  A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Disabled Veteran Permit

Applicants must be a resident of South Dakota and meet at least one of the following conditions

*A copy of a letter from the VA indicating they have received the K Award, or they receive a veteran’s allotment for a 40% or greater disability which is deemed a service-connected injury and will meet eligibility as established in state law SDCL 41-6-10.2, OR,

*A copy of a benefit verification letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that they are receiving Social Security disability and verification that they have served on active duty in the armed forces or as a member of the armed forces reserve or national guard. The social security letter can be obtained online by creating an account at http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ OR,

*A copy of the discharge papers verifying the Prisoner of War status.

If the veteran does not have the verification papers in his or her possession, contact the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance (https://vetaffairs.sd.gov) or the Veterans Benefits Administration in Sioux Falls and have them mailed. If the veteran has received a prior reduced fee license and papers as described above have been submitted, there is no need to submit them again unless there has been a status change.

Application and verification papers, along with the $10.00 fee, must be submitted to: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, ATTN: Disability License, 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Ft. Pierre, SD 57532. To complete the application visit https://gfp.sd.gov/vet-pow-hunting// . Upon completion of this form and verification of eligibility, South Dakota residents will receive a Reduced Fee Hunting & Fishing License. This license (card) will be a replacement for the resident small game license and resident fishing license. The license is valid for a four-year period.

Motor Vehicle Sales

Motor Vehicle Sales to Members of the Armed Forces

As provided in Public Chapter 842, Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-6-303(a)(1) exempts from sales tax the sale of motor vehicles in this state to members of the Tennessee National Guard or reserve members of a uniformed service of the United States who are called into active military service and who are stationed outside the United States during hostilities in which such person is actually engaged in combat.

Veteran Burial Benefits


Columbarium services are now offered at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier Highway, Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery and the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads.  Please call your cemetery of interest for more information.

Outer Containers

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services does not require outer containers for burials. 


All veterans are entitled to a white, upright marble headstone at government expense when buried in a Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.  A temporary grave marker is used to identify grave site until the permanent headstone is delivered in approximately three to four months.

Floral Policy


a. To provide for the aesthetic beauty of the Tennessee State Veterans Cemeteries the following policy is provided.


To help preserve the dignity and solemnity of a final resting place for our Veterans, the following floral policy is established:
Fresh-cut flowers are welcomed and encouraged throughout the year.  Floral arrangements will be removed when they become unsightly.  Artificial flowers are permitted November 1 through April 1 and must be placed in a plastic or metal cone shaped container to the side of the headstone.

Potted plants are only permitted one week prior and one week after the following holidays:
Easter – Memorial Day – Mother’s Day – Father’s Day

Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves beginning December 1 and will be removed no later than January 10.  United States flags are furnished by TDVS and will be placed on the graves during Memorial Day and Veterans Day. 

Future State Veterans Cemeteries

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services is committed to establish a State Veterans Cemetery within 75 miles of the Tennessee Veteran population. The department has proposed a new State Veterans Cemetery in the upper Cumberland region. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs will fund the design and construction of the new cemetery. However, funding for land acquisition must be raised through donations as well as city, county and state funding.

Upper Cumberland Cemetery Project

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services (TDVS) established the Upper Cumberland State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee on May 1, 2013. Two community members from 12 counties volunteered to participate. The Upper Cumberland State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee will review available properties in the region and narrow the list to three recommendations which will be submitted to the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services for consideration. Committee members represent Cumberland, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren and White Counties.

Tennessee Fallen Hero Medal

The Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal may be awarded on behalf of the people of the state of Tennessee to an individual serving on active duty who has been killed in action, while:

(1) Engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
(2) Engaged in military support operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force;
(3) Serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party; or
(4) Serving in a combat zone as designated by presidential order.

The recipient’s name will be entered on the case of the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal. Individuals eligible to receive the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal include all active duty military who are legal residents of the state of Tennessee. The Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal will be awarded solely by the governor or the governor’s designee to the immediate survivor of the recipient. This law went into effect July 1, 2011 and is not retroactive.

Property Tax Refund for Aged and Disabled Person

SDCL 10-18A-1 to 10-18A-7 states that certain low-income property owners are eligible for a property tax refund and should check with their county treasurer for details and assistance in making application.
To qualify the following conditions must be met:

The head of the household must be sixty-five years of age, or older, or shall be disabled prior to January first of the year in which taxes are levied.

The applicant must have owned the property for at least three years or, have been a resident of this state at least five years if not qualified under the three-year ownership criteria.

Honor and Remember Flag

The Honor and Remember Flag has been designated as the official state symbol of remembrance to honor fallen military service members.

Eligibility for Interment

Federal Government Employment
When applying for federal employment, honorably separated men and women of the Armed Forces, and veterans’ widows (or widowers), spouses and mothers are entitled to certain benefits. Preference points (either 5 or 10) are added to passing grades earned in examinations for entrance into federal employment. Thus, veterans and other eligible persons receive preference, but are not guaranteed employment. A Standard Form (SF) 15 must be completed and submitted with supporting documentation. If you have questions, complaints, or concerns regarding preference in federal employment, contact the South Dakota State Director of Veterans’ Employment and Training (DVET) at 605.626.2325.

State and Local Government Employment
South Dakota defines an eligible veteran as:

Honorably discharged.
A citizen of the United States.
Having served under qualifying conditions (see South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 33A-2).

Eligible veterans receive preference for appointment, employment, and promotion at all levels of government, including state, counties, municipalities, and school districts. If the applicant possesses at least the minimum qualifications necessary to fill the position, the veteran shall be granted an interview.

They may not be disqualified by their age, by loss of a limb or by any other physical impairment which is not incapacitating. However, they must possess the qualifications necessary to do the job in question. A veteran disabled due to a service-connected cause is given preference over a non-disabled veteran.

Unmarried Spouse of Deceased Veteran

The unmarried spouse of an eligible veteran who died while in service, or died later from a service-connected cause, is entitled to the same preference as an eligible veteran, provided the spouse possess the qualifications necessary to do the job in question.

Spouse of Disabled Veteran

If a disabled eligible veteran is unable to exercise his or her right to a veteran employment preference due to the disability, the veteran’s spouse is entitled to the same preference, provided the spouse has the qualifications to do the job in question.