Tennessee Title Transfer: Step-by-Step Guide

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Bought a new or used car? Or, gifting one? If so, you’ll complete a Tennessee title transfer.

A title transfer is required in Tennessee to prove vehicle ownership. The transfer is required if you sold, donated, or gifted your car, too. You will complete the title transfer at a Tennessee Vehicle Services Division (DVS) county clerk’s office.

The title transfer process is easy in the state of Tennessee. You’ll learn how it’s done in the following steps including the information you’ll need to present and the paying fees you’ll pay.

Car Buying and Selling: The TN Title Transfer Process

Are you buying a vehicle from a private party? Selling your vehicle? You will include the title transfer when doing so to pass ownership of the vehicle.

A requirement before you complete this is getting an emissions check – which applies to these counties:

  • Hamilton
  • Davidson
  • Rutherford
  • Sumner
  • Williamson
  • Wilson

Vehicles from 1975 and newer, gas/diesel, and over 10,500lbs will have these inspections. The tests are valid for 90 days so make sure you proceed with the title transfer as soon as you can!

When ready, the TN DMV needs you to take these steps if buying a used car:

  1. Show proof of ID and residency
  2. Provide the vehicle title
    1. Signed by both parties
  3. Show your current registration if transferring old plates
  4. Provide an Odometer Disclosure Statement (RV-F1317001)
  5. Show the emissions certificate
  6. Pay the title transfer fees

Completing this process will award you with the title of the vehicle. You should register the vehicle as soon as you can after the title transfer to begin driving it on state roads.

If you’re the seller:

  • Provide the seller with the title and odometer disclosure
  • Complete the RV-F1301201 form if the title is tax exempt
  • Consider getting it inspected before selling (makes it easier on everyone)

Dealerships, Out-of-state Vehicles, and More

It’s important to alert the TN DMV when a title transfers within 5-10 days of receiving the car. Each transfer method is similar but different. Read below for the specifics.

Buying from Dealerships

Dealerships typically handle the paperwork on your behalf – but if they don’t, you will:

  1. Submit the vehicle’s info:
    1. Manufacturer’s statement of origin
    2. Vehicle’s invoice
  2. Show proof of ID and residency
  3. Submit the current registration if transferring from the older vehicle
  4. Pay the titling fees

Out-of-state Vehicles

You will:

  1. Submit the out-of-state registration and title
  2. Submit the emissions certificate (if applicable)
  3. Show proof of ID and residency
  4. Pay the title transfer fee

Tennessee Title Fees and Taxes

Title transfers and its associated fees and taxes are expected.

Fees can include:

  • Title: $11
  • Transfer: $1
  • Plate: $21.50

Consider getting other items handled when you visit the DMV to maximize your time there. You can complete actions like registering a vehicle or getting a copy of your TN driver records. Plan wisely and you’ll make the trip as hassle-free as possible.