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HOV Lanes
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High Occupancy Vehicle Lane

Hov Lane iconSince 1993 Tennessee has used high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes as a tool to promote ridesharing to reduce congestion on urban interstates. The central concept for HOV lanes is to move more people rather than more cars. Each vehicle that travels in an HOV lane must carry the minimum number of people posted on the entrance signs. In Tennessee that means at least two people. Exceptions: Motorcycles and Hybrid vehicles with the Smart Pass sticker.

Public awareness and enforcement are key in maintaining the effectiveness of HOV lanes. We will be restriping the lanes with wider, broken lines so the HOV lanes are more visually obvious to motorists. This provides a mental barrier for a single occupant when deciding to drive into or stay out of the HOV lanes. Tennessee law provides a fine not to exceed $50, plus court costs for violation of HOV lane requirements.

Graphic of new lane markings for Tennessee HOV Lanes

HOV Operational Hours
Monday - Friday 7-9 a.m. inbound
4-6 p.m. outbound

Photo of HOV sign and lane.

HOV Benefits

  • HOV lanes move more people in fewer vehicles, reducing the demand for new highways.
  • HOV lanes increase the efficiency of existing highways.
  • HOV lanes reduce the use of personal resources such as time and fuel.
  • HOV lanes benefit drivers of single-occupant vehicles by taking carpoolers out of general use lanes.

HOV Map (pdf)

Tennessee HOV Lane Locations (mm = milemarker)

Memphis: I-40 E, 15 mm to 22 mm
  I-40 W, 22 mm to 16 mm
  I-55 N, 0.0 mm to 5 mm
  I-55 S, 5 mm to 0.0 mm
Nashville: I-40, eastside of Nashville, both directions, 216 mm to 232 mm
  I-24, eastside of Nashville, both directions, 56 mm to 81 mm
  I-65 north side of Nashville, both directions, 90 mm to 95 mm
  I-65 south side of Nashville, both directions, 79 mm to 65 mm

Tennessee's Smart Pass Link to Smart Pass

Beginning in 2009, the Smart Pass program allows eligible low emission and energy efficient vehicle owners to obtain a special decal, at no cost, which allows them access to the HOV lanes without adhering to the occupancy requirement. Qualified applicants are advised to place the decal on the outside of their vehicle's rear window in the lower right (passenger side) corner.