Tennessee Car Title Transfer and Registration

Vehicle registration must be completed with the Tennessee Department of Revenue (DOR) at your local county clerk’s office in order to legally drive on TN roadways. So what do you need to take with you to complete your transaction the first time? It depends on how you own your automobile (leasing, making payments, or owner with title) and how you want to register (single, joint, business or transfer to family member) your automobile.

If you live in a county that requires emissions testing, you will need to get that taken care of prior to applying for registration and titling. You must visit the local county clerk’s office in the county where you live to register and title your car or truck.

Unlike most other states, insurance from a TN authorized insurance company is not required to register your vehicle for the first time. However, It is illegal to drive without insurance, and you can have your license suspended if you cannot provide proof of insurance if you’re pulled over or in an accident. A STOP can be put on your driving record, which will keep you from registering a car or renewing your registration.

Vehicle Registration & Title Transfer Process

In order to register your vehicle with the Tennessee Department of Revenue (DOR), you will need to visit your local county clerk’s office with the following:

  • Passed emissions test paperwork, if required.
    • Payment for the emissions test will be taken at the county clerk’s office.
  • The current or most recent out-of-state registration.
  • Vehicle Title
    • Have the name and address of the lienholder if you have a loan out on the vehicle.
  • Proof of identification (U.S. driver’s license, birth certificate, military ID, etc.).
  • Proof of residency (rental or mortgage agreement, utility bill, paycheck stub, etc.).
  • Payment for all required fees.

To be sure you have everything you need before getting in line at your local county clerk’s office, visit www.transfermyauto.com, answer 3 to 5 questions to generate a checklist of what is needed. Military personnel often get tax breaks in many states, your checklist will indicate if this is the case.