Nashvillian 101: our guide to becoming a Nashville, TN citizen

Becoming a new resident is easy with our Nashvillian 101 guide to all things Nashville, TN.

It's great to call Music City home.

It’s great to call Music City home. | Photo by @mattiaoliveri_

Table of Contents

Picture this: You just moved to Nashville and you need some help with the practicalities of life (we can’t just sit back and listen to live music all day, unfortunately). That’s where we come in. Keep reading for Nashvillian 101, our guide to all things Music City.

The essentials

Voter registration

Make sure you’re eligible and registered to vote, find your polling location, and preview upcoming elections and sample ballots here.

Driver’s licenses and vehicle registration

New residents in need of a Tennessee driver’s license will need to surrender your current out-of-state driver’s license (if you have one) and provide proof of identity, proof of lawful status, a Social Security document, and two documents confirming your residential address.

To register your car in the state of Tennessee, you’ll need to surrender your out-of-state title and bring proof of identity, proof of Davidson County residency, and a certificate of title to the Davidson County County Clerk. If there is a lien on the vehicle, follow these steps.

Initial registrations may be subject to a $98 fee.

You can make an appointment or visit a DMV office to get a Tennessee driver’s license. Registration for your vehicle is conducted on a walk-in basis.

Healthcare

Establishing yourself with a primary care provider is one of those things you’ll be glad you did when you need one. Reach out to the professionals at Vanderbilt Health, Ascension Saint Thomas, TriStar Health, and Nashville General Hospital, to name a few. Pro tip: Websites like DocSpot filter physicians by location, patient reviews, insurance, language, and more.

Educational needs

School registration

Prepare your student for the school year by registering them with Metro Nashville Public Schools. Use this online tool to find your school zone or learn more about choosing a school outside your zone. With your required documents in hand, you’ll then visit one of the eight MNPS Enrollment Centers or register online to complete the registration process.

For information on Nashville private schools, check out the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s list.

NashvillePublicLibrary_Lobby_NASH_Jan2023.jpg

Nashville Public Library’s main branch. | Photo by NASHtoday

Library card registration

If you think libraries are only for renting the occasional book, think again. Register for a library card at your nearest Nashville branch, or apply for a digital access card (valid for 45 days) online, to take advantage of:

  • Genealogy services
  • Programs and events
  • eBooks, music, and movies
  • Online databases
  • Private meeting spaces for groups
  • Career and business services
  • Admission to local museums

To get your card, you’ll need proof of identity and proof of address. Parents and guardians of children under 18 must apply in person for the child’s card.

Home necessities

Utilities

Moving is exciting, but no one wants to unpack by candlelight. Establish your services with Nashville Electric Service by creating an account or updating your address in your existing account. Pro tip: You can complete a free virtual home energy evaluation to learn how you can save money and energy every month.

Internet providers

No connectivity issues here. Check out some of the internet providers in the 615:

  • AT&T | Plans starting at $55 per month for 12 months
  • Xfinity | Plans starting at $50 per month for 12 months
  • Spectrum | Plans starting at $50 per month for 12 months
  • Google Fiber | Plans starting at $70 without a contract

Recycling

Thanks for thinking green. For everything you need to know about recycling in Nashville, from where to place your bin to pickup times and accepted materials, check out our guide.

Every-other-week curbside recycling starts up soon.

Every-other-week recycling starts up soon. | Photo by NASHtoday

The ultimate Nashvillian initiation

Having a Tennessee driver’s license and a 615 area code may qualify you on paper, but you’re not officially a Nashvillians until you’ve taken part in some local fun that is only found in Music City.

Food and drink

Year-round farmers markets, interactive cocktail classes, and award-winning restaurants are just the beginning. From our robust lineup of vegan eateries to the coffee shops serving java on almost every corner, it’s no surprise Nashville is an established foodie destination. Oh, and happy hour, anyone? Raise a glass to 33 local sip-worthy spots in Music City.

Catch a game

From football and soccer to baseball and hockey, there’s a sport for everyone in Nashville. Catch a lively Nashville Sounds game at First Horizon Park or head to GEODIS Park for a Nashville SC match. Downtown is where the action is for the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators. While you’re at it, meet the city’s mascots.

The great outdoors

Outdoor offerings in and around Nashville are in no short supply — in fact, we ranked No. 3 for cities with the most green space. Sprawling across over 1,400 acres south of downtown, Radnor Lake offers trails for hiking, photography, and wildlife observation and was named “State Park of the Year” in Tennessee. Nashville is also home to Warner Parks, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Centennial Park, and the Parthenon.

Is there something you’re still left wondering about to get you properly established in Music City? Ask us your question and we’ll do our best to answer it for you, like a good neighbor.

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