A Tennessee certificate of title is a legal record that verifies the ownership of an automobile. Anyone who purchases a vehicle must obtain a car title in order to drive that vehicle legally. It is imperative to obtain new car title certification as soon as possible after purchasing any vehicle.

When you get car title verification, it can feel like a complicated process. However, you can complete the DMV car title process with little stress when you have the right documents. Read through the following sections to learn how to get car title certification simply.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in Tennessee

Car title applicants who are residents of Tennessee can obtain a vehicle title at their local county clerk’s office.

New Tennessee residents will also apply for new car titles at their local county clerk’s office, but only after emissions testing has been completed in the counties that require it. All applications for car titles, regardless of county residency, must be requested in person.

The Tennessee Auto Title Application

When applying for an auto title, also referred to as a pink slip, you most likely already have the supporting documents readily available. When getting car title documents issued, you must show your Tennessee driver license or another type of government-issued photo ID to verify your identity and address information. Additionally, a TN pink slip application requires detailed information about the car including the VIN number, make, model, year of manufacture and current odometer reading.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in Tennessee

The additional documents needed to obtain a DMV car title in TN are slightly different for new car purchases and used car purchases. For both new car title and used car title services, you must provide proof of identification and residency.

A valid driver’s license will suffice, but there are several other options if you do not have a driver license. The TN DMV will accept a passport, military ID or birth certificate for identification, and a utility bill, current paycheck or voter registration card to verify residency.

When getting a title for car ownership, you must provide the following items in addition to proof of identification and residency:

  • Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO).
  • New Vehicle Invoice.
  • Copy of current registration, if transferring your license plate.

For used car titles, you will need the following items in addition to identification and residency documents:

  • Valid certificate of title.
  • Odometer disclosure statement (if applicable).
  • Copy of current registration if transferring your license plate.
  • Affidavit of Non-Dealer Transfers (For gifts, low-selling transactions, or vehicle title transfers among lineal relatives).

If you are new to Tennessee, you will need the following items to get car title documentation in addition to your proof of residency and identification:

  • Emissions certificate verifying your car passed (if applicable).
  • Most recent out-of-state car registration.
  • Either the name and address of the lienholder you are making payments to OR your out-of-state vehicle title if no lien exists.

For car titles and registration purposes, an Odometer Disclosure Statement verifies the odometer reading on the car and must match perfectly. Make sure this document is filled out properly to ensure quick approval when submitting documents.

Certificate of title applications will be delayed if there is any falsification of information provided. There could also be fines or jail time associated with misrepresentation of information, so make sure your car title documents accurately represent the required information.

What is a Tennessee car registration?

TN car registration is taken seriously by the state, so you must obtain DMV car registration if you own a vehicle and wish to legally operate it. Like auto titles, auto registration is processed through your local county clerk. You will get car registration in a similar manner as your car title, though it is important to note that the two are not the same.

A new vehicle registration will require a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin, New Vehicle Invoice, and copy of your current motor vehicle registration if you plan on transferring your plates. For used car registration, you will need a valid certificate of title that is appropriately signed, as well as an Odometer Disclosure Statement (if applicable), and a copy of current auto registration if you wish to transfer your plates.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in Tennessee?

While Tennessee requires almost identical documents for car title and new car registration application processes, the two services are not the same thing. You must have both vehicle registration and a title in order to legally operate on public roads. Auto registration must be renewed annually, but you will only need to title your car once as long as you own it.

Renewing Tennessee car registration is easy, as it can be done online instead of physically making the trip to your local county clerk’s office.

Car Title Costs in Tennessee

The biggest expense when titling a car is paying the sales tax or use tax. This charge will vary depending on the total purchase price of the vehicle in question.

Last updated on Friday, March 8 2019.

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