How to register a vehicle in

Tennessee

as a non-US resident

Tennessee

at a glance

Major cities
Nashville
Major ports of arrival
Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Registration challenges
In-state address required
Proof of residency required
Average sales tax rate
9.55%

State Overview and Advice

In order to register a vehicle in Tennessee, you need a Tennessee address, and proof that you reside there.

If you do not want to obtain residency in the United States, we recommend starting your visit in another state, or using visitor.us' services to register a vehicle that you buy in Tennessee.

The Registration Process

Tennessee's vehicle registrations are handled by its counties.

If you buy your vehicle from a Tennessee dealer, it will issue you a 30-day temporary registration.

Whether you're buying a vehicle from a private party or a dealer, and are planning to register it in Tennessee, bring the required items (below) to the county clerk's office of the address where you'll register your vehicle.

For vehicles being registered in Tennessee, Tennessee sales taxes are payable to the dealer upon sale, or the county clerk upon registration (if purchased from a private party).

Taxes and Fees

Sales Tax

State sales tax

7.00%

Average local sales tax

2.55%

Average combined sales tax

9.55%

Registration fees

Light Vehicle

Fee: $116.50

RV

Fee: $21.50

Motorcycle

Fee: $116.50

$15,000 car

$1,549

$50,000 RV

$4,797

$5,000 motorcycle

$594

Total taxes and fees

Registration Requirements

Prior owner's title

The vehicle's title must be signed by the owner(s) printed on the title, its odometer reading recorded (if less than 10 years in age), and be free of all liens in order for the prior owner's interest to be released.

Identification

A current, government-issued photo ID is required to register a vehicle in Tennessee.

Bill of sale

A bill of sale is not required to register a vehicle in Tennessee, although signing one with the vehicle's seller is recommended.

Application

Tennessee does not have a registration application form.

Inspection

Emissions (smog)

An annual emissions inspection is required for vehicles from 1975 or later in the following counties: Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson.

Safety

Safety inspections are not required in Tennessee.

VIN

VIN inspections are not required in Tennessee.

Insurance

Tennessee's minimum liability insurance limits are 25/50/15.

Residency

People wishing to register a vehicle in Tennessee must provide proof that they reside at the registration address.

Local Address

Vehicles registered in Tennessee must be registered to a Tennessee address.

The Alternative

When you sign up with visitor.us, this is what you get:

Company Formation

visitor.us forms a Limited Liability Company for you in Montana, the best state for international visitors to register vehicles.

Vehicle Purchase

Complete paperwork and funds transfer with the seller.
The seller will list your LLC and its address as the buyer on the vehicle's title, and visitor.us will arrange for it to be couriered to us for processing.

Insurance

Insurance from a top-rated insurance company that covers you, your vehicle, and your LLC.

Vehicle Registration

You buy a vehicle, we register it in MT. Why?
- MT sales tax: 0%
- Inspections not required in MT

Annual Actions

visitor.us will keep your registration current, and courier your annual decal and registration document to you ('hold at courier location for pick-up' available, if you're on the move).
Ready to get started?
Click Get Started now to connect with the visitor.us team.

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