How To Transfer a Car Title in Tennessee

How to Transfer Car Title in Tennessee

Are you planning to buy, sell, gift, donate, or inherit a car in Tennessee? If so, you must transfer the car's title from the previous owner to the new owner. We understand that the process of transferring a car title can be confusing and time-consuming, but we're here to help.

Let’s demystify the entire process involved in transferring a car title in Tennessee. We'll provide you with clear and concise information on the necessary paperwork and fees involved in the transfer.

We know that your time is valuable, so we'll ensure you have all the information you need to complete the process quickly and efficiently. We'll also let you know if an emissions test is required in your location so that you can be prepared.

Don't let the confusion of transferring a car title hold you back from making a vehicle transaction in Tennessee. Follow our guide and complete the process with ease. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about transferring a car title in Tennessee.

Documents Needed To Transfer a Car Title in Tennessee Successfully

The following are the required documents to transfer a car title in Tennessee:

  • Validly endorsed title document.
  • Declaration of Mileage Statement (Form RV-F1317001).
  • If you plan to transfer your existing license plates to your new vehicle, provide a duplicate of your current registration.
  • A fully filled-out Affidavit of Non-Dealer Transfers of Motor Vehicles and Boats (Form RV-F1301201)-Restricted to tax-exempted DMV title transfers.
  • If required, provide evidence of a completed emissions test.
  • Acceptable documents verifying your residency and identity.
  • Payment covering the relevant title transfer fees (amount varies depending on the county in Tennessee).

How To Transfer a Car Title in Tennessee If You're a New Resident

After relocating to Tennessee, obtaining the title and registration for your vehicle from the Vehicle Services Division (DVS) is necessary by personally visiting the local county clerk's office in your new area.

However, if you reside in a county that mandates emissions testing, it is essential to complete this requirement before visiting the DVS.

When applying for the transfer of your automobile title and registration, ensure to bring the following:

  • Your existing out-of-state registration document.
  • Your out-of-state title certificate.
  • If you have outstanding payments on your vehicle and there is a lien hold, you must provide the name and address of your lender.
  • A valid emissions test certificate, if applicable.
  • Please refer to our Smog Check page for additional information.
  • Proof verifying your identification and residency.
  • Payment covers the title transfer fee, which varies depending on the county.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Tennessee If You're the Seller

When selling a vehicle in Tennessee, it is obligatory to furnish the buyer with specific documentation. The purchaser must possess the following:

  • The Tennessee vehicle title certificate is duly completed and signed by the seller (you).
  • A fully filled-out Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form RV-F1317001).
  • A completed Affidavit of Non-Dealer Transfers of Motor Vehicles and Boats (Form RV-F1301201). This particular form is exclusively applicable for tax-exempted vehicle title transfers.

Please note that the buyer's responsible for fulfilling the remaining steps of the Tennessee vehicle title transfer process.

If you reside in a Tennessee county where emissions testing is compulsory and the vehicle's registration is due for renewal, it is prudent to have your vehicle inspected. Provide the vehicle inspection documentation to the buyer.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Tennessee If You're Buying From the Dealership

After acquiring a vehicle from a dealership in Tennessee, the submission of various documents is mandatory.

To successfully title and register your newly purchased vehicle in Tennessee, you must provide the following items at your local TN county clerk's office:

  • The Manufacturer's Statement of Origin.
  • The invoice for your new automobile.
  • A duplicate of your current registration (if you intend to transfer license plates from your previous vehicle).
  • A verifiable form of identification.
  • Valid evidence affirming your residency in Tennessee.
  • Payment covers the applicable fees for obtaining the Tennessee vehicle title (the amount varies depending on the county).

How To Transfer a Car Title in Tennessee If You're Buying From a Private Seller

If you purchase a vehicle through a private sale in Tennessee, you must furnish specific documents at your local TN county clerk's office. These required documents include the following:

  • The duly assigned title certificate.
  • The Odometer disclosure statement (Form RV-F1317001).
  • A duplicate of your current vehicle registration (if you intend to transfer your existing license plates to the newly acquired vehicle).
  • A fully completed Affidavit of Non-Dealer Transfers of Motor Vehicles and Boats (Form RV-F1301201).
  • Evidence certifying the successful completion of an emissions test, if applicable (when the vehicle registration is due for renewal, and you reside in a county that mandates emissions testing, you or the vehicle's seller must have the vehicle tested before the ownership transfer).
  • Acceptable verification of your Tennessee residency and personal identity.
  • Payment covering all relevant fees associated with the vehicle title transfer (amount varies based on the county).

Gifted or Inherited Cars in Tennessee

No sales taxes are imposed when a car is gifted, but both the giver and the recipient must adhere to the process.

It should be noted that title transfers to family members must meet specific criteria. Only parents, siblings, spouses, children, grandchildren, et cetera qualify.

For inherited vehicles, the procedure varies depending on how the estate is distributed. In all scenarios, the original title must be signed by either a court-appointed administrator or the estate executor.

The inheritor must provide the original title and either a copy of the will or the letters of testamentary.

If no will exists, the inheritor must complete an Affidavit of Inheritance and present a copy of the death certificate and the Odometer Disclosure Statement.

How To Get Duplicate Titles in Tennessee

In the event of misplacing your Tennessee certificate of title, you have the option to request a duplicate title by presenting or mailing the following documents to your nearby county clerk's office:

  • A completed Duplicate Title application (Form RV-F131520).
  • Verification of lien release (if relevant).
  • If your title has an existing lien, your lender must initiate the application for a duplicate title.
  • Acceptable form of identification (if applying in person).
  • Payment amounting to $14 for the duplicate title fee.

How To Transfer Car Title in Tennessee If You Have an Out-of-State Title

Several prerequisites exist when initiating the transfer of an out-of-state vehicle title in Tennessee.

The subsequent out-of-state vehicle title transfer documentation is essential for accurately transferring the title from the original state to Tennessee:

  • The authentic out-of-state vehicle title
  • Filled application for a certificate of ownership
  • A fully filled-out Tennessee vehicle registration application
  • Verification of a valid Tennessee vehicle insurance policy
  • Proof of identification

If a lien holder possesses your vehicle title, completing an application to release the title is imperative, which will be forwarded to the DMV. Additional information may be requested as part of the process.

How To Complete Tennessee Title Transfer Form

To ensure completion of the Tennessee vehicle title and title transfer forms, you must obtain the necessary signatures from the vehicle's seller and buyer, which must be placed in the designated areas on the vehicle title.

Remember to generate a detailed bill of sale with relevant information about the vehicle, such as its make and vehicle identification number (VIN).

If you have sold a vehicle without gifting it, including the applicable sales tax in its overall price is essential.

In the "transfer of title by seller" section of the vehicle title, provide an accurate odometer reading and ensure that the vehicle recipient signs the appropriate spaces on the title. It is acceptable to provide an estimated odometer reading.

Please be aware that you may provide supplementary documentation and make additional payments. These might include a valid Tennessee vehicle insurance policy that meets or surpasses the state's minimum coverage requirements.

Cost of Title Transfer in Tennessee

In Tennessee, the supplementary fees associated with vehicle title transfers differ based on the specific county of residence.

The customary fees for vehicle titling in TN are outlined as follows:

  • Title fee: $11.
  • Title transfer fee: $1.
  • License plate fee: $26.50 (for a standard license plate).

It is prudent to anticipate the payment of a local tax ranging from 1.50% to 2.75%, as well as a 7% state sales or use tax, during titling and registering your vehicle.

How To Register a Vehicle in Tennessee

After completing the title transfer, you will proceed with the vehicle registration process.

Registration is an annual requirement that indicates your lawful authority to operate the vehicle on public roads.

The annual registration cost for a vehicle in Tennessee is $23.75. However, it is essential to note that supplementary fees may be applicable, contingent upon factors such as the vehicle type, license plate category, county of residence, and your driving history.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I transfer the car title to Tennessee?

To transfer the car title in Tennessee, the seller must sign the title over to the buyer, and both parties need to complete the necessary sections on the title certificate.

The buyer should then visit the local county clerk's office to apply for a new title in their name.

What documents do I need to transfer a car title to Tennessee?

You will need the original car title adequately completed and signed by the seller and buyer.

A bill of sale, proof of identification, odometer disclosure statement, and payment for applicable fees and taxes may be required.

Can I transfer a car title without a bill of sale in Tennessee?

While a bill of sale is not mandatory in Tennessee, it is highly recommended to provide one as it serves as additional documentation and helps establish the details of the transaction.