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Title Only

Tenn. Code Ann. Section 55-3-101 (a) indicates every motor vehicle or motorized bicycle, as defined in chapter 8 of this title, and every trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailer as defined by Section 55-1-105, when driven or moved upon a highway, and every mobile home or house trailer when occupied shall be subject to the registration and certificate of title provisions of chapters 1-6 of this title, except as indicated in Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 55-3-101 (1) through 55-3-101 (4).

There are certain instances when a "Title Only" is applicable, including but not limited to the following:

  • Out-of-state Repossession
  • Insurance company settlement
  • Dealerships selling a vehicle to an out-of-state registrant must, in addition to the title application, provide the name and address of the out-of-state resident and a letter from the out-of-state department of motor vehicles advising they will not accept Tennessee vehicle ownership documentation
  • The owner of a mobile home
  • Non-profit organization, examples: American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, Churches, etc. (when a vehicle has been donated to the agency and there is a perspective purchaser)
  • Confiscated vehicles by government agencies when selling the vehicle through online auctions
  • Vehicles that comply with Interstate Common Carrier and registration is provided in other jurisdictions/states

NOTE:  Eligibility determination for"title only" is made on a case-by-case basis. If a request does not apply to any of the circumstances above, the county clerk or the customer may submit copies of the ownership documents, a letter requesting permission for and the reason why they need "title only" to the Vehicle Services Divison for authorization.

The fee for "title only" is $11. Additional county fees may apply.

Requests for title only due to unrecovered theft may be sent, along with applicable fees, to:

Tennessee Department of Revenue
Vehicle Services Division, Research Unit
44 Vantage Way, Suite 160
Nashville , TN 37243-8050

NOTE:  Applications for title only sent to the state, which are not due to unrecovered theft of a vehicle will be returned to the applicant with instructions to file through the office of the local county clerk.