How do I obtain first time vehicle registration in Tennessee? Tennessee

After purchasing a vehicle, you must, before taking it on the road, apply for a vehicle registration and, obviously, obtain license plates. You must apply in person with your County Clerk.

Register Car in TN

When you arrive at your County Clerk's office, be sure to have:

  • A properly assigned car title.
  • An Odometer Disclosure Statement for vehicles 10 years old and newer.
  • Proof of valid car insurance.
  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of Tennessee residency.
  • Your current registration (only if you recently relocated to Tennessee or if you're transferring your license plates to a new vehicle under your name).
  • Proof of emissions testing, if applicable.
  • Payment for the registration fee, which varies with each county. For help in pinpointing an exact rate, call your County Clerk.

Car Registration After Relocating to Tennessee


You must register your car with your County Clerk, not the DOR, within 30 days of establishing residency. Be sure to bring two proofs of your Tennessee address.

Smog and Emissions Testing in TN


Only residents of the following counties must provide proof of a smog check when registering: Davidson, Hamilton, Rutherford, Shelby, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson. For emissions inspection questions, call (866) 329-9632.

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