In order to renew your Tennessee car registration, you need to complete a number of important steps when applying. In order to simplify the process, you will need to gather the necessary documents, calculate your required fee payment before being able to renew your Tennessee car registration. Online assistance can help you complete all of these steps quickly and easily by providing you with all of the information you need to know about replacing your license. Start simplifying your application process today.
2. By Mail
Rather than get ahead with online assistance and services, some Tennessee residents prefer to handle their DMV transactions via mail. Drivers can complete a few different procedures by mail, but payment methods are restricted, and the transactions have inconvenient and lengthy turnaround times for results.
3. Via a DMV Office
Certain transactions must be completed in person at a Tennessee DMV office. However, before visiting a local branch, be sure to verify that the location offers the service you require. Not all DMV procedures can be completed at every location. Additionally, note that wait times are typically lengthy. So make sure to take advantage of online assistance to prepare for your visit.
Motorists renewing car registration in Tennessee must meet certain requirements before obtaining a renewal. TN vehicle registration renewal is processed at the county level but is managed by the state Department of Revenue (DOR). Vehicles owned by residents of Davidson, Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson Counties must pass a vehicle emission test up to 90 days prior to tag renewal. This auto registration renewal requirement applies to gasoline and diesel vehicles with a model year of 1975 or newer and a gross vehicle weight of 10,500 pounds or less. Although Tennessee drivers are required to maintain adequate car insurance coverage, compliance is not tied to the registration renewal process. For more information about renewing car registration in TN, read the sections below.
When to Renew Car Registrations in Tennessee
The Tennessee Department of Revenue mails car registration renewal notices several months before the expiration date and drivers may renew up to 90 days before the date of expiration. There is no grace period beyond the expiration date for Tennessee vehicle registration renewals, but the state does not assign late fees to drivers who miss the deadline. Drivers should still renew expired car registration documents as soon as they are able. Driving with an expired car registration in TN is illegal, and law enforcement officers can ticket and fine drivers who do so.
How to Renew Car Registrations in Tennessee Online
Online vehicle registration renewal in TN is available to most state residents. To begin the process of renewing car registration online, visit the TN DOR online and select the "Renew Online" option under "Renewals." A list will appear with links to every Tennessee county. Click on your county of residence and follow the prompts. Have the following information nearby:
- Emission inspection compliance certificate, if applicable
- Current tag receipt, car registration renewal notice or tag and title number
- Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit/debit card for payment
Car registration renewal information may vary slightly between counties. If you need assistance with renewing car registration online, contact your county clerk's office for help. The TN Department of Revenue does not maintain online registration applications. In most cases, the county clerk will mail the new vehicle registration renewal documents the following day.
How to Renew Car Registrations in Tennessee in Person
Renew car registration in Tennessee in person by visiting the county clerk's office in your county of residence. If emission testing is required before car registration renewal in your county, bring a copy of the emission inspection compliance certificate. You will also need your vehicle registration renewal form and payment for proper fees. Most county clerk offices accept cash, local checks and credit card payments. Credit card payments will incur a small convenience fee, and checks must include the driver's current TN driver license number and a valid phone number. Make car registration renewal checks payable to the county clerk's office.
How to Renew Vehicle Registrations in Tennessee by Mail
If you wonder how to renew car registration in TN by mail, note that you will send your documents to the county clerk in your county of residence, not to a central DMV address. Vehicle registration renewal applicants can find these addresses on the TN DOR's website. Send the car registration renewal notice and a check or credit card authorization form for payment. If you did not receive an auto registration renewal notice from the state, enclose a copy of your current or previous car registration. You can also send a copy of an expired car registration if that is your most recent registration document. If it is required in your county, include the emissions inspection certificate or a signed inspection exemption form.
How to Renew a Tennessee Car Registration as a Military Member
Non-resident military members renewing car registration in Tennessee can request a military non-resident Wheel Tax exemption in counties that have one. This vehicle registration renewal exemption can help lower car registration costs for military personnel. They must include a current copy of their Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) and current orders showing a Tennessee duty station with their application. Active duty TN resident military members who are stationed out-of-state must attach a current LES reflecting Tennessee as their home of record. Some counties will allow military members to renew car registration online and submit these documents electronically, while others require mail or in-person renewals only.
How to Renew a Tennessee Vehicle Registration on Someone Else's Behalf
Vehicle registration renewal in TN is one of the few government transactions that drivers can obtain for someone else without having a power of attorney. When renewing car registration documents on someone else's behalf and paying by check, the check must be in the name of the car owner and include a valid TN driver's license number.
Tennessee Car Registration Renewal Fees
Tennessee car registration renewal fees can vary between counties. Although most DMV vehicle registration renewal fees are based around a flat rate, some counties have a "Wheel Tax" or other miscellaneous fees in addition to the basic car renewal fee. Applicants with questions about the total amount due on their vehicle registration renewal should contact their county clerk's office to obtain an accurate figure before applying for a renewal online or by mail.