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Proof of Residency and Physical Presence

To title and register a motor vehicle in Tennessee, the owner must provide proof of residency in Tennessee. In the case of a commercial vehicle, physical presence must be established. While a bona fide resident or commercial business owner may use a mail service provider (post office box address) to receive incoming mail, they may not use this address as the sole basis for establishing a bona fide residence or physical presence.

In the case of an individual, Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 55-3-103(a) and 55-4-101(c) require a person seeking to register a vehicle in Tennesseeto have a bona fide residence in Tennessee. The use of the term "bona fide residence" simply means that a person is living at a physical location in the state of Tennessee.

In the case of vehicles owned by business owners, Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 55-3-103(a), 55-4-101(c), and 55-4-105(e)(1) allow the owner of a vehicle the option to register the vehicle in any county where a physical presence can be established. The use of the term "physical presence" is defined as an owner's principal place of business or any county where the owner maintains an office or place of business.

When titling and registering vehicles in Tennessee, applicants must provide two documents that prove residency or physical presence. These documents must be taken to either the county clerk's or Revenue's Vehicle Services office located at 44 Vantage Way, Suite 160, Nashville, TN 37243.

For examples of required documentation and more information on this subject, click here.