State Rep. Capley proposes bill for English-only driver's license exams


State Rep. Kip Capley

State Rep. Kip Capley, a Republican from Summertown whose district includes a portion of Hardin County, today introduced legislation that would require written driver’s license exams to be administered in English.

Capley’s proposal, House Bill 1730, applies to applicants for driver’s licenses and intermediate driver’s licenses. The proposed legislation prohibits the use of translation dictionaries, electronic devices, and interpreters for assistance with the exam’s administration.

“All Tennesseans want to feel safe on the road,” said Capley, “The ability to understand signs and warnings is important for the protection of other drivers. Not being able to do so can pose a real danger to public safety. If you have to take a written driver exam in a language other than English in order to pass, it’s my view that you shouldn’t receive a Tennessee driver’s license until you’re able to pass in the official and legal language of our state. The test will still be available for disabled Tennessee citizens who need modifications.”

Currently, applicants can take the written driver examinations online or in person in English, Spanish, Korean, German and Japanese, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

The second session of the 113th Tennessee General Assembly convened Monday.

Capley represents House District 71, which includes Wayne County and part of Hardin, Lawrence, and Maury counties.