Title transfers for cars in Tennessee must be completed on each occasion the ownership of a vehicle is passed from the owner on record to another. Motorists can complete the car title transfer transaction through their local county clerk’s office, since it serves as an agent of the state Department of Revenue (DOR).

Note that, in addition to meeting the TN title transfer requirements, you will also be required to apply for a vehicle registration during the same transaction. Get more information on the vehicle title transfer process and the costs for the transfer of car title in TN by reading the sections below.

What is a car title transfer in Tennessee?

To ensure a successful Tennessee auto title transfer, vehicle owners are encouraged to learn more about the title transfer for cars and what is a certificate of title. Transferring a car title in TN is a standard procedure initiated when the original owner of a motor vehicle passes ownership of the vehicle to another legal entity.

The state-issued title certificate is the main document used to record the vehicle sale and link the old and the new owner, since it contains separate sections for the seller’s and the buyer’s information and their signatures.

Failure to complete the TN car title transfer will impede the buyer from registering and operating his or her newly purchased vehicle. If you are now wondering, “How do you transfer a title on a car?” the sections below will assist you in completing this task.

When is a vehicle title transfer required in Tennessee?

Initiating the corresponding Tennessee title transfers for cars is a mandatory step in situations where the vehicle ownership is passed to a new owner. The standard transfer of vehicle title is completed after buying or selling a motor vehicle by obtaining the signatures of both the purchaser and the seller.

However, you will also have to perform a title transfer under certain unique circumstances. For instance, you will be required to transfer a vehicle title in TN if you inherit a motor vehicle or you receive one as a donation or a gift. Learn more about the time limits to transfer an auto title and the situations where you are required to transfer it by contacting your county clerk or the state DOR.

Information and Documents Necessary to Transfer a Title in Tennessee

When transferring an auto title in Tennessee, vehicle owners will be required to meet several requirements such as paying the applicable fees and furnishing certain information and paperwork. Note that the car title transfer requirements may differ based on the nature of the transfer of ownership.

Therefore, if you need to know how to fill out transfer of title documents, the following list outlines the requirements to transfer a vehicle title in TN after a private sale:

  • A properly reassigned certificate of title bearing the seller’s and the buyer’s names and signatures and details about the vehicle sale
  • The odometer disclosure statement, if the title does not contain a separate section for this purpose and the vehicle is less than 10 model years old
  • A notarized power of attorney, if applicable
  • A bill of sale, if required
  • Proof of a passed emissions test, if required
  • A copy of the registration card, if transferring the license plate
  • Proof of identification, such as a driving license or an ID card

Note: In the event of a lost title, the seller must apply for a replacement title certificate in order to properly assign the vehicle ownership to the buyer.

Vehicle owners who are applying for a car title transfer in TN under certain unique circumstances will be required to submit additional paperwork. For instance, if you have received the vehicle as a gift, you will require the DOR Affidavit of Non-Dealer Transfers of Motor Vehicles (Form RV-F1301201).

If you are transferring a vehicle title of an inherited vehicle, on the other hand, you will need a probated will or an Affidavit of Inheritance (Form RV-F1310501), depending on your circumstances.

Steps for Performing a Transfer of Title in Tennessee

To apply for a transfer of car title in Tennessee, vehicle owners will be required to visit their county clerk’s location and submit the necessary documentation and cost payments in person. The option to complete a title transfer online is not currently available.

Your county clerk will process your request for a transfer of auto title in TN as soon as it verifies the submitted paperwork and fee payments for both the titling and the registration procedures. You will receive your new title certificate by mail when it is manufactured at a centralized location.

Getting a New Car Title Versus Title Transfers in Tennessee

Vehicle owners who want to order a new car title in Tennessee must first learn that there is a difference between the process of getting a new car title and the title transfer procedure. The Tennessee Department of Revenue (TN DOR) issues a DMV new title to motorists who have recently purchased new or used motor vehicles.

New residents of Tennessee who want to obtain a new title for car after moving to the state need to apply for a title certificate after conducting an emissions test on their vehicles.

Besides getting a new car title in Tennessee, vehicle owners may also need to perform a title transfer procedure when changing the ownership of a motor vehicle between themselves and other drivers.

A title transfer is a procedure that two different parties need to perform when transferring the ownership rights of a motor vehicle as a result of purchasing or selling a car. Furthermore, motorists may transfer a title not only when buying or selling a motor vehicle, but also when they obtain the vehicle as gift, donation or inheritance.

Car Title Transfer Fees in Tennessee

One of the more important Tennessee title transfer requirements is arranging payment for the applicable titling and registration fees. Note that the total cost of the auto title transfer transaction will include several smaller fees since you will be required to title and register your vehicle at the same time.

Therefore, in addition to paying a fee to transfer a car title and the license plates from another vehicle, you will also be required to pay the applicable sales tax and varying registration fees. These fees will vary depending on the price of the vehicle.

If you are noting a lien on your title, you will have to pay an additional fee. Contact your county clerk’s office for more information regarding the costs to transfer a car title in Tennessee.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.