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Environmental Permits Handbook

Well Driller or Installer License

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Who Needs One?

Anyone who manages or supervises the digging, drilling, or redrilling of a well or anyone who installs, or repairs well pumps or filters and treatment devices must obtain a license from the Tennessee Division of Water Supply.

What Information Must I Provide?

Applicants must submit the following items with the proper fees before starting any activity:

  • A completed "Application for Well Driller or Installer License" form which requires the applicant’s name, birth date, education information; firm name, address, and telephone number; type of applicant; type of license applied for; number of employees; list of other professional licenses; counties where business will be conducted; types of rigs operated to obtain experience; list of employees to be supervised; and employment history
  • Have a minimum of two years experience working in the occupation for the license applied for
  • A list of ten (10) water wells applicant has constructed in the last five years
  • Copies of occupational licenses or certificates from the previous two (2) years
  • A completed "Application for Licensing Examination" form

Other Permit Forms

Form Description Form # Application Form Form Instructions
Application for a Well Driller or Installer License CN-1168 pdfsmall.gif (153 bytes) Included with form

How Will My Application Be Processed?

The application, required additional information, and proper fees should be submitted to the Division of Water Supply. A detailed review of the application is conducted and applicants are notified in writing if applications are incomplete. Applicants are notified in writing of the date, time, and location of required written examinations. Applicants must score fifty (50) percent correct or above on the general exam and seventy (70) percent on the specialty portion of the exam. Applicants who successfully pass the examinations will be scheduled for an interview with the Board of Groundwater Management.

Licenses expire on July 31 each year and must be renewed. Licenses are not transferable.

What Fees Are Required?

Water Well Driller License $100.00
Monitor Well Driller License $100.00
Geothermal Well Driller License


Pump Installer License $50.00
Water Treatment Installer License $50.00

What Are My Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The applicant has the right to proceed with activities approved in the license. They must notify the Department of any changes to application information. The applicant is responsible for following all applicable state statutes and regulations. Licensed drillers/installers must submit Well Drillers Reports (Form CN-0825) to report new wells, reworked wells, deepened wells, and backfilled and abandoned wells within 30 days.

Applicants have the right to appeal a license that has been denied, suspended or revoked.

What Are the Division’s Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The Division has the right to revoke, suspend, or deny the issuance of a license to any applicant who violates the state statutes or departmental regulations. Any person who violates or fails to comply with the state statutes, rules, or regulations may be subject to civil penalties.

Whom Do I Contact For Applications, Assistance and Other Information?

Applicants may obtain applications and information from the Division of Water Supply. New applicants who need more than one permit can contact their regional Environmental Coordinator for further assistance. 

Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information:

What Environmental Permits Do I Need?

Prudent Site Checks

Permit Application Forms

Standard Operating Procedures

Division of Water Supply

TDEC Rule 1200-4-9:exittdec3.gif (1060 bytes) Water Well Licensing Regulations and Well Construction Standards>

TCA Section 69-11-101..110:exittdec3.gif (1060 bytes) Water Wells

Licensed Tennessee Well Drillers and Installers List