How to Renew a Tennessee Car Registration
Vehicle owners who need to renew car registrations in Tennessee must do so with the Department of Revenue. The DOR offers three different application methods: online, in person or by mail and applicants are required to submit the following documentation:
- The renewal notice.
- Proof of passed emissions tests (in certain counties).
- Proof of liability insurance (if applicable).
- Payment for the fees.
To find out more about the TN DMV vehicle registration renewal process, explore the topics below.
When to Renew Your Tennessee Car Registration
Renewing car registrations in Tennessee should be completed prior to the credential's expiry if you would like to operate a motor vehicle legally on state roads. To remind drivers of their duty, the TN Department of Revenue will send out a car registration renewal notice some time before the expiry. During this time, vehicle owners should gather the required documents along with payment for the renewal fees. The TN DOR does not offer a grace period to renew expired car registrations, but motorists driving with an outdated credential may be fined if they are stopped by a law enforcement officer.
How to Renew Your Tennessee Car Registration
Renewing car registrations in Tennessee can be completed using three different methods: online, in person or by mail. Certain counties offer the online renewal option, but drivers can also renew car registration online using third-party providers. If you decide to renew a vehicle registration in TN in person, you should prepare the documents and fees required by your county. By-mail auto registration renewals are also handled by County Clerk's offices throughout the state. Find more details about each type of renewal method in the sections below.
Drivers may renew car registration online in TN in certain counties, via an official renewal service or through third-party providers. Vehicle registration renewal applications are handled by the County Clerk's offices rather than the DOR and as a result, renewal fees may differ. In some counties, applicants may be required to pay additional county wheel taxes. To complete an auto registration renewal in Tennessee, you should have the license plate number at hand. The system will use it to find your vehicle information and you can then pay for the fees. During this process, some applicants may receive a message that the vehicle must pass an emission test. Note that you will not be able to renew a car registration in TN online if you are required to pay a heavy vehicle use tax.
In-person applications for DMV vehicle registration renewals in Tennessee are processed by County Clerk's offices. Car owners should provide their renewal notice along with payment for the car registration renewal fees and any additional documents that the county may require. In certain counties, applicants may be required to provide proof of passed emission inspections and or pay additional county wheel taxes. Note that each county has set a different fee and the renewal requirements may vary. For more information about the required documents, taxes and fees for renewing car registrations in TN, contact your County Clerk's office.
Drivers who wish to apply for a Tennessee auto registration renewal by mail should send their renewal notice along with payment for the renewal fees to their County Clerk's office. Mailed applications must not contain cash payments, as the clerk's offices only accept checks or money orders. Applicants may need to pay wheel taxes or complete an emission test before renewing car registrations depending on the county. If you would like to find out which terms and conditions to satisfy before you renew a car registration in TN by mail, contact your County Clerk's office.
Liability Insurance Requirements
According to Tennessee laws, renewing car registrations is only possible if the vehicle has the minimum insurance coverage. All car owners must have liability insurance for all vehicles under their ownership and the minimum required insurance premiums are as follows:
- $25,000 per individual per accident.
- $50,000 per individual for multiple individuals.
- $25,000 per accident for property damages.
Note that you may not be able to renew a car registration in TN if you have not maintained your liability insurance. When applying for a DMV vehicle registration renewal, you must provide proof of valid insurance.
Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees in TN
Tennessee auto registration renewal fees are determined by the counties on the basis of vehicle type, applicable wheel taxes and handling costs. Although the total amount due will be stated on the renewal notice, drivers who wish to renew car registrations online may be subject to additional service and convenience fees for using the online system. The Department of Revenue does not impose late fees for late renewals, but since driving with an expired car registration in TN is against the law, you may be subject to fines and penalties if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer.
Tennessee Vehicle Registration Renewal for Military Members
Members of the military who wish to renew car registrations in Tennessee must submit their renewal notice to the County Clerk's office and pay the required fees. The auto registration renewal can be completed by mail if the military member is out of state, or in person if the applicant is within Tennessee. In addition to the renewal notice, military members are also required to provide their current military orders and a LES as proof of TN residency. In order to renew expired car registrations, applicants are subject to all applicable county wheel taxes and emission tests and may need to supply these documents.
New Tennessee Resident
Renewing car registrations in Tennessee for new state residents may not be possible until they have established residency and have obtained a new car registration. To complete this procedure, applicants must comply with the rules and regulations of their new county of residence, pay the appropriate county taxes and transfer the vehicle title to their new state. Once the new resident receives a Tennessee vehicle registration, he or she will be able to use the auto registration renewal process as regular residents and supply the necessary documents issued by TN institutions.