Planning a trip to Tennessee? Maybe you are even considering a move to the state or have only just relocated?

There are many things to look forward to when you are in the Volunteer State, amazing food, live events, beautiful rich forests, and glorious national parks.

If you have just moved to Tennessee, are planning your next trip there, or simply driving through the state, there is a lot to think about, but one of the things you absolutely need to have an understanding of is the Tennessee speed limit and the various maximum speeds you can travel on different roads in Tennessee.

If you are a driver, planning on becoming a driver, or, are preparing to drive whilst visiting the state, knowledge of the different speed limits in Tennessee is especially important, whether you are driving through cities, on highways, or in any of the rural communities. This is because speeding in Tennesee, like most places in the US, can result in some hefty penalties and fines, and you do not want to receive a speeding ticket in Tennessee as it can result in your license being suspended due to an accumulation of points!

Tennessee Speed Limit

Knowing the correct Tennessee speed limit is not only about avoiding punishment. It is also about driving safely on the roads to prevent accidents. Driving within the maximum speed limit helps reduce the possibility of crashes and saves lives.

In Tennessee, legislation is put in place to govern the safe use of the roads. Speed limits on highways, for example, are established by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The different limits highlight the fastest speeds you are legally allowed to drive when the conditions are good and the visibility is also good.




Obviously, a specific Tennessee speed limit does not necessarily mean you have to drive at that exact pace all the time. You still need to assess the road conditions and surrounding environment to determine the best speed at which to drive (that is also within the stipulated limit).

Different speed limits are implemented based on several factors, including population density and type of road. For each community and highway, the speed limits are often posted on prominent signs along the roadway.

What are the different speed limits in Tennessee?

Speed limits in Tennessee range from a low of 30 mph to a maximum of 70 mph, depending on the type of area and zone you are in, or the vehicle you are driving. Here is a breakdown:

  • 15 mph is the maximum speed limit in Tennessee school zones.
  • Residential areas follow a maximum speed limit of 30 mph.
  • Undivided rural highway (a road with one, two, or more lanes arranged within a single carriageway) speed limits vary between 35 mph and 55 mph.
  • Divided rural highway speed limits vary between 55 mph and 65 mph.
  • Urban freeways have a maximum speed limit range of 55 mph to 70 mph. You must bear in mind that these speed limits can vary depending on roadworks and other factors.
  • The maximum speed limit on rural freeways ranges between 65 mph and 70 mph.

With these different speed limits implemented in Tennessee, it is important to pay attention to road signs. The last thing you want is to be slapped with a huge fine as a result of exceeding the speed limits in Tennessee through a lapse in concentration.

Just in case you were wondering, a Tennessee speeding ticket will tend to range anywhere between $40 – $150, with the potential addition of points being added to your license if you get a ticket.

If you are driving 10 mph over the limit in Tennessee you will likely face punishment for speeding. However, for speeding violations under 10 mph over the maximum lawful speed limit, you may only receive a warning, although it is not worth the risk.

Moreover, being fined for exceeding the Tennessee speed limit is just one way you may be punished. You can get up to 8 points on your license per speeding incident, in addition to an increase in your insurance premium.

Points on your license are not good, and the number of points on Tennessee drivers’ records is monitored by the Driver Improvement Section of the Tennessee Department of Safety. When you accumulate points, you risk suspension of your driver’s license. If you accumulate a total of 6 points within 12 months, the department will send you a point accumulation advisory. If you accumulate 12 or more points in 12 months, your driving privilege may be suspended, so be careful!

The table below highlights the number of points you will receive on your license depending on the type of speeding violation you commit in Tennessee.

Tennessee Speeding Ticket PointsTotal Points
Speeding 1 through 5 mph in excess of speed zone1
Speeding 6 through 15 mph in excess of speed zone3
Speeding 16 through 25 mph in excess of speed zone4
Speeding 26 through 35 mph in excess of speed zone5
Speeding 36 through 45 mph in excess of speed zone6
Speeding 46 mph and above in excess of speed zone8
Speed is less than posted minimum3
Driving too fast for conditions, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident3
Operating at erratic or sudden changing speed3
Reckless Driving6

When visiting or relocating to Tennessee, it is normal to think of all the fun things you can do. Knowledge of the speed limits in Tennessee – and adhering to them – will ensure your time is well spent and minimize the chance of you being fined.