Chapter 1
Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law — Definitions

55-1-101. Short title for chapters 1-6.

Chapters 1-6 of this title shall be known and may be cited as the “Tennessee Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law.”

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 97 (Williams, § 5538.197); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-101.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

Cross-References. Disabled drivers and passengers, title 55, ch. 21.

Revocation or denial of driver license for child support enforcement, title 36, ch. 5, part 7.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 29-31.1.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Registration Law, 22 Tenn. L. Rev. 294 (1961).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Local Taxes on Vehicles.

There is nothing in this title which prohibits a county from levying and collecting a privilege tax on motor vehicles as authorized by § 5-8-102. Adkins v. Robertson County, 201 Tenn. 596, 301 S.W.2d 337, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1957).

2. Transfer Without Complying With Statute.

A transfer of a motor vehicle is not rendered void because of noncompliance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law respecting transfer and delivery of certificate of title. Hayes v. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co., 57 Tenn. App. 254, 417 S.W.2d 804, 1967 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1967).

3. Actions Under Chapter.

Indictment for unlawful disposition of motor vehicles subject to security interest could be properly drawn under former § 39-3-936 (repealed; see §§ 39-14-104, 39-14-116) and was not required to be brought under this chapter. Ashworth v. State, 477 S.W.2d 224, 1971 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 456 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1971).

In prosecution under former § 39-3-936 (repealed; see §§ 39-14-104, 39-14-116) for disposition of motor vehicles subject to security interest, it was not necessary to establish that such liens had been perfected under this chapter. Ashworth v. State, 477 S.W.2d 224, 1971 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 456 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1971).

4. Mobile Homes.

A mobile home that has had its wheels removed and has been affixed to realty is not subject to this title. In re Miller, 63 B.R. 566, 1986 Bankr. LEXIS 5598 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1986).

55-1-102. Definitions of words and phrases generally.

The following words and phrases, when used in chapters 1-6 of this title, for the purpose of chapters 1-6 of this title, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this chapter.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 1 (Williams, § 5538.101); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-102.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 29, 31.2.

Law Reviews.

Security Transactions — Effect of Recording Chattel Mortgages Under the Motor Vehicle Title Registration Act, 23 Tenn. L. Rev. 238.

55-1-103. “Autocycle,” “motor bicycle,” “motor vehicle,” “motorcycle,” “vehicle” and “freight motor vehicle” defined.

  1. “Autocycle” means a three-wheeled motorcycle that is equipped with safety belts, steering wheel, and nonstraddle seating, and is manufactured to comply with federal safety requirements for motorcycles.
  2. “Motor bicycle” means a motorized bicycle as defined in § 55-8-101.
  3. “Motor vehicle” means every vehicle that is self-propelled, excluding electric scooters, motorized bicycles, personal delivery devices, and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires. “Motor vehicle” means any low speed vehicle or medium speed vehicle as defined in this chapter. “Motor vehicle” means any mobile home or house trailer as defined in § 55-1-105.
  4. “Motorcycle” means every motor vehicle that has a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground, including an autocycle and does not include a tractor or motorized bicycle.
  5. “Vehicle” and “freight motor vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 2 (Williams, § 5538.102); Acts 1963, ch. 143, § 1; 1979, ch. 247, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-103; Acts 1981, ch. 448, § 1; 1985, ch. 283, § 1; 1986, ch. 804, § 1; 2000, ch. 606, § 2; 2002, ch. 747, § 1; 2008, ch. 959, § 1; 2014, ch. 871, § 6; 2016, ch. 1015, §§ 1, 2; 2019, ch. 388, § 1; 2020, ch. 685, § 1.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment inserted “personal delivery devices,” in the definition of “motor vehicle”.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 685, § 6. July 1, 2020.

Cross-References. “Motor vehicle” defined for purposes of motor vehicle operation, § 55-8-101.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 2.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Motor Vehicles.

Specific provisions of § 55-7-204 fixing maximum length for buses and making no provision for trailers to be attached to buses governed over general provisions of § 55-7-201 fixing maximum length for “motor vehicles” and permitting trailers where combined length of motor vehicle and trailer did not exceed specified length, and § 55-7-201 did not authorize towing trailers behind buses. Continental Tennessee Lines, Inc. v. McCanless, 209 Tenn. 324, 354 S.W.2d 57, 1962 Tenn. LEXIS 361 (1962).

The definition of motor vehicle in this section applies to chapters 1-6 of title 55 and not chapter 10 of title 55, in which the driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) statute appears. State v. Vasser, 870 S.W.2d 543, 1993 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 555 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1993).

55-1-104. “Farm tractor,” “motor home,” “truck” and “truck tractor” defined.

  1. “Farm tractor” means every motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm implement, for drawing plows, mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry.
  2. “Motor home” has the same meaning as defined in § 55-28-102.
  3. “Truck” means every motor vehicle designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
  4. “Truck tractor” means every motor vehicle designed and used primarily for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load so drawn.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 3 (Williams, § 5538.103); 1974, ch. 525, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-104; Acts 2016, ch. 781, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2016, ch. 781, § 14, provided that the act, which  amended this section, shall apply to any licenses issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2017.

Cross-References. Mobile homes, title 55, ch. 4, part 4.

Decisions Under Prior Law

1. “Truck” Defined.

The word “truck” as used in Acts 1919, ch. 149, § 15 as amended by Acts 1923, ch. 108 was intended to indicate a strong vehicle for transporting freight, merchandise and other heavy articles. Hemlock 6400 Tire Co. v. McLemore, 151 Tenn. 99, 268 S.W. 116, 1924 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (1925).

A standard Ford roadster from which the rear deck, or tonneau, has been removed and a small wagon body seat suitable for conveniently carrying small packages such as tires and tools, has been substituted therefor, was not a truck. Hemlock 6400 Tire Co. v. McLemore, 151 Tenn. 99, 268 S.W. 116, 1924 Tenn. LEXIS 48 (1925).

55-1-105. “Manufactured home,” “mobile home or house trailer,” “pole trailer,” “semitrailer” and “trailer” defined.

  1. “Manufactured home” means any structure, transportable in one (1) or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight (8) or more body-feet in width or forty (40) or more body-feet in length, or when erected on site, is three hundred twenty (320) or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems contained therein. The term includes any structure that meets all of the requirements of this subsection (a) except the size requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the United States secretary of housing and urban development and complies with the standards established by title 42 of the United States Code. As defined in this subsection (a), “manufactured home” also has the same meaning as “mobile home,” as defined in title 68, chapter 126, and “manufactured home,” as defined in § 47-9-102.
  2. “Mobile home or house trailer” means any vehicle or conveyance, not self-propelled, designed for travel upon the public highways, and designed for use as a residence, office, apartment, storehouse, warehouse, or any other similar purpose. “Mobile home or house trailer” includes any “manufactured home” as defined in subsection (a).
  3. “Pole trailer” means every vehicle without motive power designed to be drawn by another vehicle and attached to the towing vehicle by means of a reach, or pole, or by being boomed or otherwise secured to the towing vehicle, and ordinarily used for transporting long or irregularly shaped loads such as poles, pipes, or structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections.
  4. “Semitrailer” means every vehicle without motive power and not a motor vehicle as defined in this section, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that some part of its weight and that of its load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle.
  5. “Trailer” means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its weight rests upon the towing vehicle.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 4 (Williams, § 5538.104); Acts 1963, ch. 143, § 2; 1970, ch. 433, § 1; 1971, ch. 274, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-105; Acts 2003, ch. 76, §§ 1, 2.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 29, 31.1, 31.2.

Law Reviews.

Recent Developments, Property Law (F. Scott Milligan), 55 Tenn. L. Rev. 543 (1988).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Vehicle.

A mobile home that had its wheels removed and was affixed to realty was not “designed for travel upon the public highways” and hence was not a “mobile home” within the meaning of this section. Associates Capital Corp. v. Cookeville Production Credit Asso., 569 S.W.2d 474, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

Defendants' dwelling is no less a trailer or mobile home merely because the wheels were removed after installation. It is a double-wide mobile home, erected on concrete blocks and capable of movement upon reattachment of the wheels and removal of the concrete blocks, although the defendants' structure was made with wooden studs and roof trusses, an asphalt shingle roof and a plywood subfloor with exterior masonite siding, this is a distinction without a difference. Albert v. Orwige, 731 S.W.2d 63, 1987 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2455 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1987).

A structure consisting of two units hauled to defendant's lot by a tractor-truck to be secured to a concrete foundation, and which could be removed upon the reattachment of wheels, axles, and tongues, was a trailer, not a manufactured home, and was prohibited by a subdivision's restrictive covenant. Beacon Hills Homeowners Ass'n v. Palmer Properties, 911 S.W.2d 736, 1995 Tenn. App. LEXIS 482 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995).

Where a lender's security interest was perfected by notation of its lien on the certificate of title in accordance with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law, the lender was not required to change the manner of perfection after the mobile home was affixed to realty. Roberts v. Green Tree Fin. Corp. (In re Cassady), 197 B.R. 846, 1996 Bankr. LEXIS 772 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1996).

2. Semitrailers.

Lowboy trailer was a semitrailer. In re Johnson, 39 B.R. 478, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 5812 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1984).

55-1-106. “Essential parts,” “reconstructed vehicle” and “specially constructed vehicle” defined.

  1. “Essential parts” means all integral and body parts of a vehicle of a type required to be registered hereunder, the removal, alteration, or substitution of which would tend to conceal the identity of the vehicle or substantially alter its appearance, model, type, or mode of operation.
  2. “Reconstructed vehicle” means every vehicle of a type required to be registered hereunder materially altered from its original construction by the removal, addition, or substitution of essential parts, new or used.
  3. “Specially constructed vehicle” means every vehicle of a type required to be registered hereunder not originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles and not materially altered from its original construction.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 5 (Williams, § 5538.105); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-106.

55-1-107. “Foreign vehicle” defined.

“Foreign vehicle” means every vehicle of a type required to be registered hereunder brought into this state from another state, territory, or country, other than in the ordinary course of business by or through a manufacturer or dealer, and not registered in this state.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 6 (Williams, § 5538.106); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-107.

55-1-108. “Implement of husbandry” defined.

“Implement of husbandry” means every vehicle which is designed for agricultural purposes and exclusively used by the owner thereof in the conduct of the owner's agricultural operations, but does not include any truck, truck-tractor or farm truck whenever such vehicle is driven upon a highway of this state except as provided in § 55-3-101(a)(2).

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 7 (Williams, § 5538.107); Acts 1972, ch. 518, § 1; T.C.A., § 59-108.

55-1-109. “Special mobile equipment” defined.

“Special mobile equipment” means every vehicle not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property and only incidentally operated or moved over a highway or street, including, but not limited to: ditch-digging apparatus and road construction and maintenance machinery, such as asphalt spreaders, bituminous mixers, bucket loaders, tractors other than truck-tractors, ditchers, leveling graders, finishing machines, motor graders, road rollers, scarifiers, scrapers, track mounted power shovels and drag lines. “Special mobile equipment” does not include dump trucks or truck mounted transit mixers, earth movers, cranes, shovels, well-boring apparatus and feed mills, such as may be fixed load vehicles or other vehicles designed for the transportation of persons or property to which machinery has been attached, even though the movement over the streets and highways may be only incidental to the operation of such vehicle.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 8 (Williams, § 5538.108); Acts 1957, ch. 244, § 2; 1972, ch. 518, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-109.

55-1-110. “Metal tire,” “pneumatic tire” and “solid tire” defined.

  1. “Metal tire” means every tire, the surface of which in contact with the highway is wholly or partly of metal or other hard, nonresilient materials.
  2. “Pneumatic tire” means every tire in which compressed air is designed to support the load.
  3. “Solid tire” means every tire of rubber or other resilient material which does not depend upon compressed air for the support of the load.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 9 (Williams, § 5538.109); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-110.

55-1-111. “Commissioner” and “department” defined.

As used in chapters 1-6 of this title, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Commissioner” means the commissioner of revenue; and
  2. “Department” means the department of revenue.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 10 (Williams, § 5538.110); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 2; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-111; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 1.

55-1-112. “Lienor,” “owner” and “person” defined.

  1. “Lienor” means any person who holds any lien, mortgage, conditional sales contract or other encumbrance against a vehicle.
  2. “Owner” means a person who holds the legal title of a vehicle, or in the event a vehicle is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then such conditional vendee or lessee or mortgagor shall be deemed the owner for the purpose of chapters 1-6 of this title.
  3. “Person” means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 11 (Williams, § 5538.111); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-112.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 29, 30.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Evidence of Ownership.

Registration of a vehicle a few months before the alleged commission of a crime is practically conclusive in the absence of fraud or other equitable conditions of the defendant's ownership at that time. Reece v. State, 197 Tenn. 383, 273 S.W.2d 475, 1954 Tenn. LEXIS 498 (1954).

Evidence that insured still had title to automobile and Baker, who was driving it at the time of the collision, had not paid any of the purchase price at such time, that insured could have repossessed the vehicle at any time, and that insured sold the vehicle after the collision without consulting Baker, sustained finding that defendant's insured was the owner of the automobile at the time of the accident in which automobile collided with plaintiff's truck and that Baker at that time was using automobile with the permission of insured and thus was an additional insured, therefore defendant insurer was liable for the injuries sustained in the collision. Benton v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 306 F.2d 179, 1962 U.S. App. LEXIS 4313 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1962).

55-1-113. “Nonresident” defined.

“Nonresident” means every person who is not a resident of this state.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 12 (Williams, § 5538.112); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-113.

55-1-114. “Dealer,” “manufacturer” and “transporter” defined.

  1. “Dealer” means every person licensed by the proper state authorities to engage in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging vehicles of a type required to be registered hereunder and who has an established place of business for such purpose in this state.
  2. “Manufacturer” means every person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling vehicles of a type required to be registered hereunder.
  3. “Transporter” means every person engaged in the business of delivering vehicles of a type required to be registered hereunder.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 13 (Williams, § 5538.113); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-114; Acts 1992, ch. 571, § 1.

55-1-115. “Place of business” defined.

The place actually occupied, either continuously or at regular periods, by a dealer or manufacturer, where such dealer's or manufacturer's books and records are kept and a large share of business is transacted, is deemed to be the established place of business for the purpose of chapters 1-6 of this title.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 14 (Williams, § 5538.114); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-115.

55-1-116. “Highway” or “street” defined.

“Highway” or “street” means the entire width between boundary lines of every way publicly maintained, when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 15 (Williams, § 5538.115); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-116.

55-1-117. “Fixed load vehicle” defined.

“Fixed load vehicle” means any vehicle not designed or used to carry, convey or move any freight, property, article or thing over the highways, except its own weight of any equipment, appliance or apparatus constructed as a part of, or permanently attached to, the body of the vehicle. “Fixed load vehicle” includes well-drilling apparatus, cranes and portable feed mills and such other vehicles as are within the general terms hereof, the primary use of which is not upon the highways and streets of this state, but does not include wreckers or tow cars equipped with cranes, hoists or dollies and used for transporting wrecked motor vehicles or motor vehicles designed to deliver ready mixed concrete.

Acts 1957, ch. 244, § 1; T.C.A., § 59-117.

55-1-118. “Freight” defined.

“Freight” means any kind of property which may be carried by motor vehicle over the streets and highways by either public or private carrier.

Acts 1957, ch. 244, § 1; T.C.A., § 59-118.

55-1-119. “Farm truck” defined.

  1. “Farm truck” means any truck motor vehicle used by the owner in connection with the agricultural pursuits usual and normal to the owner's farming operations, such as the transportation of products of the soil, livestock, poultry, seed, or any materials to be used by the owner in the production, cultivation, growing, or harvesting of agricultural commodities; also for uses incidental to farming as the transportation of the farm laborers or bringing to the farm products or materials that may be used for its improvement or promote its operation.
  2. “Farm truck” shall not be so construed as to permit the vehicle's use either part time or incidentally in the conduct of any commercial enterprise, or for the transportation of farm products after such commodities have entered the “channels of commerce,” as for example in the “house to house” delivery of milk.

Acts 1957, ch. 244, § 1; 1959, ch. 33, § 1; T.C.A., § 59-119.

55-1-120. “Gross weight” defined.

“Gross weight” means the weight of a vehicle without load, plus the weight of any load thereon, which, more specifically, includes the total weights of a truck or a truck-tractor and a semitrailer, trailer or pole trailer, or any combination of such vehicles, including the load thereon, towed by one (1) vehicle with motive power.

Acts 1957, ch. 244, § 3; 1972, ch. 518, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-120.

55-1-121. “Odometer” defined.

  1. “Odometer” means an instrument for measuring and recording the actual distance a motor vehicle travels while in operation.
  2. “Odometer” does not include any auxiliary odometer designed to be reset by the operator of the motor vehicle for the purpose of recording mileage on trips.

Acts 1982, ch. 600, § 1.

55-1-122. “Low speed vehicle” defined.

“Low speed vehicle” means any four-wheeled electric or gasoline vehicle, excluding golf carts, whose top speed is greater than twenty miles per hour (20 mph) but not greater than twenty-five miles per hour (25 mph), including neighborhood electric vehicles. Low speed vehicles must comply with the standards in 49 CFR 571.500.

Acts 2002, ch. 747, § 2; 2008, ch. 719, § 1.

55-1-123. “Golf cart” defined.

“Golf cart” means a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and equipped with safety belts installed for use in the left front and right front seats and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of twenty miles per hour (20 mph).

Acts 2002, ch. 747, § 3; 2010, ch. 628, § 1.

55-1-124. “Custom-built car” defined.

“Custom-built car” means a motor vehicle that is built for private use and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer.

Acts 2008, ch. 765, § 1.

55-1-125. “Medium speed vehicle” defined.

“Medium speed vehicle” means any four-wheeled electric or gasoline-powered vehicle, excluding golf carts, whose top speed is greater than thirty miles per hour (30 mph), but whose maximum speed allowed is thirty-five miles per hour (35 mph) only on streets with a forty mile per hour (40 mph) or less posted speed limit pursuant to § 55-8-191(b)(1), including neighborhood electric vehicles and mini-trucks. Medium speed vehicles must meet or exceed the federal safety standards set forth in 49 CFR 571.500, except as otherwise provided in § 55-4-136.

Acts 2008, ch. 959, § 2; 2012, ch. 948, § 1; 2014, ch. 871, § 3; 2016, ch. 982, § 1.

55-1-126. “OEM headquarters company” and “OEM headquarters company vehicle” defined.

  1. “OEM headquarters company” means an original equipment manufacturer that is engaged in the business of manufacturing motor vehicles and qualifies to receive the credit provided in § 67-6-224, or any affiliate thereof. For purposes of this subsection (a), “affiliate” has the same meaning as provided in § 67-4-2004.
  2. “OEM headquarters company vehicle” means any motor vehicle subject to registration in accordance with this title that is owned by an OEM headquarters company, whether used for sales or service training, advertising, quality control, testing, evaluation or such other uses as approved by the commissioner, and, further, including motor vehicles provided by the OEM headquarters company for use by eligible employees and their eligible family members in accordance with policies established by the OEM headquarters company and approved by the commissioner.

Acts 2009, ch. 530, § 116.

Chapter 2
Administration by Department of Revenue

55-2-101. Administration by commissioner of revenue.

Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, chapters 1-6 of this title shall be administered by the commissioner of revenue. The commissioner of revenue shall have the authority to delegate to the county clerks any functions and duties regarding the administration of chapters 1-6 and chapter 21 of this title; provided, however, that such authority shall not extend to the functions and duties regarding the administration of chapter 3, part 2 of this title. Such delegation shall be in a written form acceptable to the commissioner. The county clerk shall have the option of accepting or rejecting any such delegation.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 16 (Williams, § 5538.116); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-201; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 2; 2014, ch. 718, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Local Tax on Vehicles.

There is nothing in the law relating to the division of motor vehicles (now department of revenue) which prohibits a county from levying and collecting a privilege tax on motor vehicles as authorized by § 5-8-102. Adkins v. Robertson County, 201 Tenn. 596, 301 S.W.2d 337, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1957).

55-2-102. Appointment of subordinates by commissioner — Police powers of employees of special investigations section — Salaries.

  1. The commissioner shall appoint deputies, subordinate officers, clerks, investigators, and other employees who may be necessary to carry out chapters 1-6 of this title.
  2. Employees of the special investigations section who have been designated by the commissioner to enforce chapters 2-6 of this title, except as otherwise provided in chapter 5 of this title, are cloaked with all such necessary police powers as will enable them to properly perform their duties under this title, including, but not limited to, the right to make arrests, serve criminal warrants and subpoenas for witnesses, and go armed and carry a pistol while on active duty enforcing chapters 2-6 of this title.
  3. The salaries of appointees shall be fixed by the commissioner, subject to the approval of the commissioner of human resources.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 17 (Williams, § 5538.117); impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1961, ch. 97, § 4; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-202; Acts 2015, ch. 294, § 1.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 30.

55-2-103. Powers and duties of commissioner generally — Rules and regulations.

  1. The commissioner, in addition to all the powers and duties vested by law, is vested with the power and is charged with the duty of observing, administering and enforcing chapters 1-6 of this title.
  2. The commissioner is authorized to adopt and enforce rules and regulations necessary to carry out chapters 1-6 of this title.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 18 (Williams, § 5538.118); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-203.

55-2-104. Forms — Prescribing and providing by commissioner.

The commissioner shall prescribe and provide suitable forms of applications, certificates of title, and all other forms requisite or deemed necessary to carry out chapters 1-6 of this title.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 19 (Williams, § 5538.119); modified; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-204.

55-2-105. Administration of oaths, acknowledgment of signatures and certification of copies of records authorized.

  1. Officers and employees of the department designated by the commissioner are, for the purpose of administering the motor vehicle laws, authorized to administer oaths and acknowledge signatures, and shall do so without fee.
  2. The commissioner and officers of the department the commissioner may designate are authorized to prepare, and deliver, upon request, a certified copy of any record of the department required to be kept by chapters 1-6 of this title and authorized to be released by chapter 25 of this title, charging a fee of fifty cents (50¢) for each document authenticated.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 20 (Williams, § 5538.120); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-205; Acts 1996, ch. 745, § 14; 2007, ch. 484, § 3.

55-2-106. Fee charged for provision of department records.

The commissioner and the county clerk are authorized to charge a reasonable fee for such services, not to exceed one dollar ($1.00) for each person or vehicle on which the information is requested.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 21 (Williams, § 5538.131); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-206; Acts 1984, ch. 806, § 1; 1984, ch. 816, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 319, § 1; 1996, ch. 745, § 15; 2007, ch. 484, § 4.

55-2-107. Applications for certificates of registration or title — Granting or refusing.

The department shall examine and determine the genuineness, regularity, and legality of every application for a certificate of registration or title for a vehicle and of any other application lawfully made to the department, and may in all cases make investigation as may be necessary or require additional information, and shall reject any application if not satisfied of the genuineness, regularity, or legality of the application or the truth of any statement contained in the application, or for any other reason, when authorized by law.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 22 (Williams, § 5538.122); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-207; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 5.

55-2-108. Seizure of documents and plates — Review of commissioner's action.

  1. The department is authorized to take possession of any certificate of title, certificate of registration, permit or license or license plate issued by the department or by any county clerk, if that document or plate is fictitious, has been issued in error or unlawfully, contains erroneous information, or has been ordered revoked, cancelled or suspended by a court of competent jurisdiction.
  2. An action by the commissioner with regard to subsection (a) or an action by the commissioner in issuing or refusing to issue any certificate of registration, permit, license or license plate shall be reviewed in the manner provided for in the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, part 3, and in § 67-1-105; provided, that the party aggrieved by the action makes a written request for a formal hearing under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act within ten (10) days of the action complained of.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 23 (Williams, § 5538.123); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; modified; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-208; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 6.

55-2-109. Synopsis of laws — Distribution.

If the commissioner of safety publishes a synopsis or summary of the laws of this state regulating the operation of vehicles, and provides copies of the published synopsis or summary to the commissioner of revenue, and requests that a copy be delivered with each certificate of title, the commissioner of revenue shall do so without charge.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 24 (Williams, § 5538.124); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-209; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 7.

Compiler's Notes. As to licenses issued on or after July 1, 1989, the distinction between “operator's” and “chauffeur's” licenses will no longer exist, and all driver licenses will be issued in one of the classes specified in § 55-50-102. See also § 55-50-305.

55-2-110. Summoning witnesses and taking testimony authorized — Witness fees.

  1. The commissioner and officers of the department designated by the commissioner have the authority to summon witnesses to give testimony under oath or to give written depositions upon any matter under the jurisdiction of the department. Each summons may require the production of relevant books, papers, or records.
  2. Every summons shall be served at least five (5) days before the return date, either by personal service made by any person over eighteen (18) years of age or by registered mail, but return acknowledgment is required to prove service by registered mail.
  3. Failure to obey the summons served shall constitute a misdemeanor.
  4. The fees for the attendance and travel of witnesses shall be the same as for witnesses before the circuit court.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 25 (Williams, § 5538.125); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-210; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 8.

Code Commission Notes.

Pursuant to § 39-11-111, when the performance or nonperformance of any act is made criminal by statute, and no penalty, punishment or forfeiture for the violation of that statute is imposed, the doing of the act is a misdemeanor. The criminal offense in this section has been designated as a Class A misdemeanor by authority of § 40-35-110, which provides that an offense designated a misdemeanor without specification as to category is a Class A misdemeanor. See also § 39-11-114.

Cross-References. Certified mail in lieu of registered mail, § 1-3-111.

Penalty for misdemeanor, §§ 39-11-114, 40-35-111, 55-5-120.

55-2-111. Notice — Manner of giving — Proof by certificate or affidavit.

Whenever the department is authorized or required to give any notice under chapters 1-6 of this title, unless a different method of giving notice is otherwise expressly prescribed, notice shall be given either by personal delivery to the person to be notified or by registered mail with return receipt. The giving of notice by registered mail shall be complete upon the receipt by the department of the return receipt card. Proof of the giving of notice in either manner may be made by the certificate of any officer or employee of the department or affidavit of any person over eighteen (18) years of age, naming the person to whom notice was given and specifying the time, place and manner of the giving of notice, except that, where the notice has been given by registered mail, the return receipt shall be attached to the certificate or affidavit.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 26 (Williams, § 5538.126); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-211; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 9.

Cross-References. Certified mail in lieu of registered mail, § 1-3-111.

55-2-112. Use of funds — Reduction of odometer tampering and fraud.

Funds received by the department from the increase in the state fee for certificates of title authorized by chapter 276 of the Public Acts of 1989, amending § 55-6-101, shall be used solely for the purpose of strengthening and improving the processing, review and examination of certificates of title so as to reduce odometer tampering and fraud committed against persons titling and registering motor vehicles in this state. Information on applications for titling or registration rejected by the department or found to be fraudulent or questionable shall be supplied to the department of safety for use in odometer fraud investigations. The department of revenue and the department of safety shall coordinate their actions so as to provide the most effective response against odometer fraud.

Acts 1989, ch. 276, § 2; 2007, ch. 484, § 10.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of division of motor vehicles and administration of the Tennessee motor vehicle title and registration law to the department of safety, see Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

55-2-113. Authority for the commissioner to accept credit, debit or other financial transaction cards — Surcharge or convenience fees.

  1. The commissioner is authorized, but not required, to accept credit cards, debit cards or other similar financial transaction cards in payment of any taxes or fees due in connection with the titling or registration of motor vehicles, and the commissioner may adopt reasonable policies governing the manner of acceptance of such cards. The commissioner is authorized to impose a surcharge or convenience fee upon persons making payment by credit card, debit card or other similar financial transaction cards to wholly or partially offset, in the aggregate, any discount fees, administrative fees, transaction fees or other direct fees or costs charged to the department by a third party to facilitate the transaction. The commissioner may enter into appropriate agreements with card issuers or other appropriate parties as needed to facilitate the acceptance of payments authorized by this section. The commissioner also may enter into appropriate agreements with third-party service providers for the acceptance and processing of credit card, debit card or other similar financial transaction card payments on the commissioner's behalf. The agreements may authorize the third-party service provider to impose a surcharge or convenience fee upon persons making the payments. The county clerks, when acting as deputies to the commissioner under the laws governing the titling and registration of motor vehicles, are likewise authorized, but not required, to accept credit cards, debit cards or other similar financial transaction cards consistent with the authority granted to the commissioner under this section.
  2. When a person elects to make a payment by credit card, debit card or other similar financial transaction card and a surcharge or convenience fee is imposed as authorized by this section, the payment of the surcharge or convenience fee shall be deemed voluntary and shall not be refundable. No person making any payment by credit card, debit card or other similar financial transaction card shall be relieved from liability for the underlying obligation, except to the extent that the department realizes final payment of the underlying obligation in cash or the equivalent. If final payment is not made by the card issuer or other guarantor of payment, then the underlying obligation shall survive and the department shall retain all remedies for enforcement that would have applied if the transaction had not occurred.

Acts 2009, ch. 530, § 107.

55-2-114. Commissioner's authority to permit filing, submission or retention of documents in digital format.

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, when chapters 1-6 of this title require that any document be filed, submitted, or retained in paper, microfiche, or any other nondigital format, the commissioner is authorized to permit the filing, submission, or retention of such document in a digital format.

Acts 2012, ch. 657, § 11.

55-2-115. Coordination with original equipment manufacturers to provide notice of recall and availability of repair options — Disclosure of personal information.

  1. The commissioner is authorized to coordinate with original equipment manufacturers that have issued a major recall and have requested assistance from the department, including those manufacturers that have issued a recall related to airbags manufactured and installed in vehicles between the years 2000 and 2018, to contact, via mail or other notice method, registrants who may be affected by a major recall and to provide notice of the recall and the availability of repair options. If the commissioner elects to issue the mailings or notices contemplated in this section, the original equipment manufacturers shall bear the costs associated with such mailings or notices.
  2. The commissioner is further authorized to disclose the personal information of the owner of any vehicle affected by such a recall to original equipment manufacturers for use in contacting the owner regarding the recall, as a matter of public safety pursuant to § 55-25-107(b)(14). An original equipment manufacturer or employee of the original equipment manufacturer who receives personal information under this subsection (b) shall not disclose such information to any person other than the person to whom it relates, except as otherwise may be authorized by law.
  3. In no event shall any action or inaction as authorized by this section be construed to impose liability of any kind on the state of Tennessee, or any agency, or employee thereof for any claims or damages related to or associated with any recall repair or failure to obtain repairs.

Acts 2019, ch. 227, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For Preamble to the act concerning airbags and similar restraint system components, see Acts 2019, ch. 227.

Chapter 3
Certificates of Title

Part 1
General Provisions

55-3-101. Motor vehicles subject to registration and certificate of title provisions — Exceptions — Definition of off-highway motor vehicle.

  1. Every motor vehicle or motorized bicycle, as defined in chapter 8 of this title, and every trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer, 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:
    1. Vehicles driven or moved upon a highway in conformance with chapters 1-6 of this title relating to manufacturers, transporters, dealers, lienholders, or nonresidents;
    2. Vehicles that are driven or moved upon a highway only for the purpose of crossing the highway from one (1) property to another;
    3. Any implement of husbandry;
    4. Any special mobile equipment;
    5. No certificate of title need be obtained for any vehicle of a type subject to registration owned by the government of the United States;
    6. No certificate of title need be obtained for a foreign vehicle that is subject to the registration provisions of this state, if the nonresident owner has a valid foreign certificate of title and certificate of registration and if the vehicle is to remain registered in the foreign state as well as in this state;
    7. Subject to the approval of the commissioner, no certificate of title need be obtained for a vehicle that is part of a proportionally registered fleet in this state if the owner has a valid certificate of title in another state and the vehicle is engaged in interstate commerce;
    8. Motorized bicycles, except when voluntarily registered under § 55-4-101; and
    9. No certificate of title need be obtained or maintained where the manufactured home is affixed to real property in accordance with § 55-3-128.
  2. The owner of a vehicle excepted in subsection (a) from the requirement for titling and registering may, subject to the approval of the commissioner, apply for a certificate of title without applying for its registration. The commissioner shall by regulation provide for the manner in which single applications are to be made and the conditions under which they may be allowed; however, this subsection (b) shall not be construed as granting authority to issue certificates of ownership on any basis other than upon documentation or summary of ownership as required in this chapter.
    1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, off-highway motor vehicles purchased after June 1, 1983, shall be subject to the certificate of title and special identification device provisions of this chapter and § 55-6-101, when the off-highway motor vehicles are operated on lands, other than a highway, in this state; except, that this subdivision (c)(1) does not apply to Class I and Class II off-highway vehicles.
    2. For purposes of this chapter and chapter 52 of this title, “off-highway motor vehicle,” “Class I off-highway vehicle,” and “Class II off-highway vehicle” have the same meanings as defined in § 55-8-101.
  3. Class I and Class II off-highway vehicles as defined in § 55-8-101 may be registered with the department of revenue in accordance with chapter 4, part 7 of this title and operated on county roads in accordance with § 55-8-203.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 28 (Williams, § 5538.128); Acts 1963, ch. 143, § 3; 1968, ch. 403, § 1; 1972, ch. 518, § 4; 1972, ch. 535, § 1; 1979, ch. 247, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-301; Acts 1982, ch. 749, § 1; 1983, ch. 22, § 1; 1983, ch. 102, § 1; 1986, ch. 598, § 6; 1986, ch. 791, § 4; 1988, ch. 817, § 1; 2003, ch. 76, § 3; 2008, ch. 1007, § 7; 2016, ch. 790, §§ 1, 10.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 29, 31.1; 18 Tenn. Juris., Liens, § 3.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Registration Law, 22 Tenn. L. Rev. 294 (1961).

Attorney General Opinions. Titling and registration of nonresident's vehicle not authorized, OAG 97-102, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 101 (7/23/97).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Purpose of Statute.

The primary purpose of the enactment of this chapter was to prevent trafficking in stolen cars. Hayes v. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co., 57 Tenn. App. 254, 417 S.W.2d 804, 1967 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1967).

2. Inapplicability to Floor Plan Loans to Auto Dealer.

One claiming a security interest in used or trade-in inventory vehicles of a dealer by reason of floor-plan loans to such dealer was not required to perfect such interest in the manner required in this chapter. In re Vaughn, 283 F. Supp. 730, 1968 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8460 (M.D. Tenn. 1968).

3. Transfer Without Complying With Statute.

A transfer of a motor vehicle is not rendered void because of noncompliance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law respecting transfer and delivery of certificate of title. Hayes v. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co., 57 Tenn. App. 254, 417 S.W.2d 804, 1967 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1967).

4. —Buyer in Ordinary Course of Business.

Purchaser's failure to obtain from the seller a certificate of title did not in and of itself deny the purchaser the status of a buyer in ordinary course of business. Couch v. Cockroft, 490 S.W.2d 713, 1972 Tenn. App. LEXIS 317 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1972).

5. Registration as Evidence of Ownership.

Registration of a vehicle a few months before the alleged commission of a crime is practically conclusive in the absence of fraud or other equitable conditions of the defendant's ownership at that time. Reece v. State, 197 Tenn. 383, 273 S.W.2d 475, 1954 Tenn. LEXIS 498 (1954).

6. UCC Secured Transactions Law Inapplicable.

The filing provisions of title 47, ch. 9, parts 1-5 do not apply to property subject to this chapter. In re Custom Caps, Inc., 1 B.R. 99, 1979 Bankr. LEXIS 844 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1979).

7. Semitrailers.

Security interests in semitrailers are perfected by notation of the lien on the vehicle's certificate of title. In re Sexton, 18 B.R. 730, 1981 Bankr. LEXIS 2357 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1981), aff'd, 18 B.R. 733, 1982 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11525 (E.D. Tenn. 1982), aff'd, Fruehauf Corp. v. Sexton, 18 B.R. 733 (E.D. Tenn. 1982).

A security interest in a semitrailer used by a debtor as equipment need not be noted on a title but may be perfected by filing with the secretary of state. In re Johnson, 39 B.R. 478, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 5812 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1984).

8. Rights of Creditors.

A creditor cannot obtain a superior judicial lien on a motor vehicle once the transferee has satisfied the requirements for recording the lien on the certificate of title as set out in this chapter. In re Murray, 27 B.R. 445, 1983 Bankr. LEXIS 6850 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1983), aff'd, 33 B.R. 112, 1983 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16834 (M.D. Tenn. 1983).

9. Mobile Homes.

Mobile homes purchased by a motel operator for use in the motel business but which were not so used were not inventory under former T.C.A. § 47-9-109(4) and should have been registered under T.C.A. § 55-3-101(a). In re Hughes, 58 B.R. 452, 1986 Bankr. LEXIS 6557 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1986).

55-3-102. Driving or moving unregistered vehicle upon highway a misdemeanor — Exception.

    1. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any person to:
      1. Drive or move or for any owner knowingly to permit to be driven or moved on any highway any vehicle of a type required to be registered under chapters 1-6 of this title that is not registered or for which the appropriate fee has not been paid when and as required under chapters 1-6 of this title; or
      2. Operate or for any owner knowingly to permit to be operated on lands, other than a highway, an off-highway motor vehicle for which certificate of title has not been issued or for which the appropriate fee has not been paid when and as required under chapters 1-6 of this title.
    2. Notwithstanding subdivisions (a)(1)(A) and (B), when application accompanied by proper fee has been made for a certificate of title for a vehicle, the vehicle may be operated temporarily pending issuance of a certificate of title upon displaying a duplicate application for the certificate of title, duly verified by the county clerk of the county in which the vehicle has been registered, which shall be prepared by the county clerk, upon request, without the payment of an additional fee.
    1. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any person to occupy or for any owner knowingly to permit to be occupied any mobile home or house trailer required to be registered under chapters 1-6 of this title, that is not registered, for which certificate of title has not been issued or for which the appropriate fee has not been paid when and as required under chapters 1-6 of this title.
    2. Notwithstanding subdivision (b)(1), when an application accompanied by proper fee has been made for a certificate of title for a mobile home or house trailer, the mobile home or house trailer may be occupied temporarily pending issuance of a certificate of title upon the displaying of a duplicate application for the certificate of title, duly verified by the county clerk of the county in which the house trailer has been registered, which shall be prepared by the county clerk, upon request, without the payment of an additional fee.
  1. The duly authorized agent, employee, or representative of any town, city, incorporated municipality, county, and the department are authorized and empowered to enforce chapters 1-6 of this title, and the agent, employee or representative shall be expressly authorized without the necessity of a search warrant to go upon the premises, land or real property of any person for the purpose of inspection or examination of any mobile home or house trailer, located on the property, for the purpose of carrying out chapters 1-6 of this title.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 27 (Williams, § 5538.127); Acts 1963, ch. 143, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-302; Acts 1983, ch. 102, § 2; 1988, ch. 817, § 2; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1995, ch. 305, § 108.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Effect on Other Statutes.

In action by purchaser to cancel and rescind conditional sales contract for sale of automobile for breach of implied warranty under the former Uniform Sales Law (see now Uniform Commerical Code, §§ 47-2-101 et seq.), in that seller had failed to clear title or to provide purchaser with proper evidence of title, fact that car was taken to another state where it was seized because there was no certificate of title did not bar action to rescind contract where it could not have been lawfully operated in Tennessee. White v. Mid-City Motor Co., 39 Tenn. App. 429, 284 S.W.2d 689, 1955 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1955).

55-3-103. Application for certificate of title — Form and contents — Statement of dealer or bill of sale.

  1. Every owner of a vehicle, subject to registration under this title, for which no certificate of title has ever been issued by the department, shall make application to the county clerk of the county where the vehicle is to be registered, or directly to the registrar of motor vehicles in the case of either proportional or apportional registrations and state owned vehicles. The clerk or registrar of motor vehicles shall receive the application for the issuance of a certificate of title for that vehicle upon the appropriate form or forms furnished by the department without charge to the applicant. Every such application shall bear the signature of the owner written with pen and ink or captured electronically using a method approved by the commissioner; provided, however, that in the case of a licensed motor vehicle dealer only, in lieu of the signature, the application may be accompanied by a valid power of attorney executed by the owner on a form prescribed by the commissioner granting the licensed motor vehicle dealer authority to sign the application on behalf of the owner. The application shall contain:
    1. The full name, bona fide residence, including the residential street address and number or route and box number, or post office box number if the applicant has no residential street address; provided, however, that a post office box shall not be sufficient to establish an individual's bona fide residence;  and the mailing address of the owner or business address of the owner if a firm, association or corporation;
    2. A description of the vehicle, including, insofar as the specified data may exist with respect to a given vehicle, the odometer reading, the make, model, type of body, the serial number of the vehicle, the engine or other number of the vehicle, and whether new or used and, if a new vehicle, the date of sale by the manufacturer or dealer to the person intending to operate the vehicle. In the event a vehicle is designed, constructed, converted, or rebuilt for the transportation of property, the application shall include a statement of its capacity in terms of maximum gross vehicle weight rating as authorized by the manufacturer of the chassis or the complete vehicle;
    3. A statement of the applicant's title and of all liens or encumbrances on the vehicle and the names and addresses of all persons having any interest in the vehicle and the nature of the interest; and
    4. Further information that may reasonably be required by the department to enable it to determine whether the owner is entitled to a certificate of title.
  2. If the department is not satisfied as to the ownership of the vehicle or that there are no undisclosed security interests in it, the department may register the vehicle, and as a condition of issuing a certificate of title, require the applicant to file a bond with the department upon the form prescribed by the department, executed by a corporate surety company duly licensed to transact business in the state, or a personal bond with two (2) solvent personal sureties on the bond. The bond shall be in an amount equal to one and one-half (1 ½) times the value of the vehicle, as determined by the department, and conditioned to indemnify any prior owner and lienholder and any subsequent purchaser of the vehicle or person acquiring any security interest in it, and their respective successors in interest, against any expense, loss or damage, including reasonable attorney's fees, by reason of the issuance of the certificate of title of the vehicle or on account of any defect in or undisclosed security interest upon the right, title and interest of the applicant in and to the vehicle. Any person with an interest has a right of action to recover on the bond for any breach of its conditions, but the aggregate liability of the surety to all persons shall not exceed the amount of the bond. The bond shall be returned at the end of three (3) years or prior to the three (3) years if the vehicle is no longer registered in this state and the currently valid certificate of title is surrendered to the department, unless the department has been notified of the pendency of any action to recover on the bond.
  3. When the application refers to a new vehicle purchased from a dealer, the application shall be accompanied by a statement by the dealer or a bill of sale showing any lien retained by the dealer and, in addition, a manufacturer's certificate of origin on a form to be prescribed by the commissioner.
  4. The county clerk of the county where a vehicle is to be registered shall act as the agent of the department in receiving the application for certificate of title pursuant to this section. By receiving the application, the transfer of title and any liens noted on the title shall be deemed perfected, subject only to the action of the department in declining for good cause shown to issue the title or action of the county clerk in declining for good cause shown to note such lien on the title.
    1. Notwithstanding this chapter to the contrary, a person may apply for a certificate of title to a vehicle lacking proper documentation, if the vehicle has a fair market value of three thousand dollars ($3,000) or less and the person submits a certificate of ownership signed under penalty of perjury on a form prescribed by the department. The certificate of ownership shall be accompanied by the following supporting documentation:
      1. Return receipts from certified letters with a return receipt requested sent to all known parties with a legal interest in the vehicle, requesting an assigned certificate of title or, in the event the previous owner is unknown to the applicant, evidence of notification, in a publication of general circulation in the county in which the application is being made, of the applicant's intent to apply for title on the vehicle. The notification shall contain a description of the vehicle, including make, model, year and vehicle identification number, and a request to any and all parties holding an interest in the vehicle to contact the person in possession of the vehicle by certified mail, return receipt requested, within ten (10) business days of the date of the publication;
      2. Verification of the vehicle identification number (VIN) by a law enforcement officer or licensed dealer;
      3. A notarized bill of sale from the last registered owner or a notarized statement from the seller stating why the vehicle was not titled or registered in the seller's name;
      4. In the absence of documentation pursuant to subdivision (e)(1)(C), a licensed motor vehicle dealer appraisal of the value of the vehicle;
      5. Photographs of the vehicle in its prerepaired state. If prerepair photographs are unavailable, then post-repair photographs shall be submitted, along with a notarized statement from the applicant that no prerepair photographs are available and that the person was unaware that prerepair photographs would be required before the repairs were made. If no repairs were made, the statement should so state; and
      6. In the event a vehicle was purchased new and never titled and the manufacturer's statement of origin has been lost and a duplicate of the original manufacturer's statement of origin cannot be obtained from the manufacturer, a complete copy of the original manufacturer's statement of origin, certified as true and exact, shall be required.
    2. Notwithstanding  this chapter to the contrary, a person may apply for a certificate of title to a vehicle lacking proper documentation, if the vehicle is at least thirty (30) years old and the person submits a certificate of ownership signed under penalty of perjury on a form prescribed by the department.
    3. Upon submission of a complete certificate of ownership form with the required supporting documentation and payment of the appropriate fee, a certificate of title shall be issued and the county clerk shall issue a license plate to the applicant upon acceptance by the county clerk of the submitted documents and payment of the appropriate fees. A certificate of title issued pursuant to this subsection (e) shall not relieve the registrant of civil or criminal liability resulting from possession of the vehicle as otherwise provided by law. Issuance of a title or registration under the certification provisions is solely dependent on the applicant's ability to provide satisfactory evidence of the applicant's legal right of ownership and conformity to all related provisions as prescribed in § 55-2-107.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 29 (Williams, § 5538.129); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 4; 1965, ch. 125, § 1; 1972, ch. 518, § 5; 1973, ch. 234, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-303; Acts 1982, ch. 600, § 2; 1984, ch. 559, § 1; 1986, ch. 771, § 1; 1989, ch. 341, § 1; 2006, ch. 952, § 1; 2007, ch. 289, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, §§ 11–13; 2009, ch. 530, §§ 109, 112; 2019, ch. 462, § 1.

Law Reviews.

Tennessee Legislature Solves Secured Lender's Dilemma (David M. Smythe), 20 Tenn. B.J. 27 (1984).

Attorney General Opinions. Application of county wheel tax, OAG 99-065, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 65 (3/16/99).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Title Held for Another.

The fact that the person in whose name an automobile was registered was holding title for her son, a minor, who made all payments on the purchase price, did not affect her status as owner of the vehicle and as the insured under an insurance policy on the vehicle. Royal Indem. Co. v. Clingan, 364 F.2d 154, 1966 U.S. App. LEXIS 5239 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1966).

2. Secured Transactions.

A security interest in motor vehicles held as inventory by a dealer may be perfected by filing a financing statement. In re Poteet, 5 B.R. 631, 1980 Bankr. LEXIS 4642 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1980).

Security interests in semitrailers are perfected by notation of the lien on the vehicle's certificate of title. In re Sexton, 18 B.R. 730, 1981 Bankr. LEXIS 2357 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1981), aff'd, 18 B.R. 733, 1982 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11525 (E.D. Tenn. 1982), aff'd, Fruehauf Corp. v. Sexton, 18 B.R. 733 (E.D. Tenn. 1982).

A security interest in a semitrailer used by a debtor as equipment need not be noted on a title but may be perfected by filing with the secretary of state. In re Johnson, 39 B.R. 478, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 5812 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1984).

3. Receipt of Application by Clerk.

This section does not make the county clerk an “agent” for the motor vehicle division, and, therefore, receipt by the county clerk of the title application is not sufficient to perfect defendant's security interest. In re Haynes, 28 B.R. 136, 1983 Bankr. LEXIS 6784 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1983), aff'd, 33 B.R. 118, 1983 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15335 (M.D. Tenn. 1983).

4. Intention of Parties Determines Ownership.

The intention of the parties, not the certificate of title, determines the ownership of an automobile. Smith v. Smith, 650 S.W.2d 54, 1983 Tenn. App. LEXIS 542 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1983).

55-3-104. Application for certificate of title for specially constructed, reconstructed or foreign vehicles.

  1. In the event a vehicle for which an application for a certificate of title is made is a specially constructed, reconstructed or foreign vehicle, this fact shall be stated in the application and with reference to every foreign vehicle that has been registered outside of this state, the owner shall surrender to the county clerk receiving the application all registration plates, registration cards, certificates of title, and other evidence of foreign registration and ownership as may be in the possession or under the control of the owner.
  2. Any foreign certificate of title shall be accepted as evidence of title by the department to the same extent as a certificate of title issued by the department; provided, that when the foreign vehicle is registered in a jurisdiction that does not have a certificate of title law, the department shall accept only a notarized bill of sale, and proper foreign registration as the evidence of title. If foreign registration is dated less than ninety (90) days prior to application for a certificate of title, there shall be, in addition, the next past bill of sale showing ownership to have been transferred to the party seeking to sell the same, or that party's representative, which bill of sale shall likewise be notarized.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 30 (Williams, § 5538.130); Acts 1957, ch. 390, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; modified; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-304; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 14.

Law Reviews.

The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Registration Law, 22 Tenn. L. Rev. 294 (1961).

55-3-105. Sales or use tax receipt to accompany application for certificate of title.

It is unlawful for a county clerk to accept an application for a certificate of title as provided for in chapters 1-6 of this title, unless the applicant presents evidence that a sales or use tax at the rate specified in title 67, chapter 6, part 2 and § 67-6-501 has been paid on the sales price of the vehicle by the applicant, or the applicant has authority from the commissioner to file an application for a certificate of title without the payment of the sales or use tax.

Acts 1953, ch. 103, § 1 (Williams, § 5538.139a); Acts 1955, ch. 300, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-305.

55-3-106. Inapplicable to vehicles exempt from sales or use tax.

Section 55-3-105 does not apply to applications filed for motor vehicles belonging to the United States, the state of Tennessee, or any of its political subdivisions, or to any nonprofit institution exempt from the payment of the sales or use tax under title 67, chapter 6, part 3; provided, that a nonprofit institution shall present its regular certificate of exemption, issued by the commissioner, to the county clerk for inspection as its evidence of exemption from the payment of the sales or use tax and this section, §§ 55-3-10555-3-109.

Acts 1953, ch. 103, § 2 (Williams, § 5538.139b); impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-306.

55-3-107. Certificate issued for use in lieu of sales or use tax receipt.

Except as indicated in § 55-3-106, the commissioner shall issue a certificate to an applicant, which may be used by the applicant to file an application for a certificate of title when it appears that the applicant is not required to pay any sales or use tax on any motor vehicle for which a certificate of title is necessary, as provided for in chapters 1-6 of this title.

Acts 1953, ch. 103, § 3 (Williams, § 5538.139c); impl. am. Acts 1953, ch. 167; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-307.

55-3-108. False indication of payment of sales or use tax prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to alter or to indicate on any bill of sale or any other documents that a sales or use tax has been paid when the tax has in fact not been paid.

Acts 1953, ch. 103, § 4 (Williams, § 5538.139d); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-308.

55-3-109. Penalty for violation of sale or use tax provisions.

A violation of §§ 55-3-10555-3-108 is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1953, ch. 103, § 5 (Williams, § 5538.139e); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-309; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

55-3-110. Determination that vehicle is not stolen.

Prior to the issuance of a certificate of title for a motor vehicle, the department shall determine, by computer or otherwise, if the vehicle has been stolen.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 32 (Williams, § 5538.132); Acts 1978, ch. 842, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-310; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 15.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 29.

55-3-111. Indexes to certificates of title — Manner of keeping.

  1. The department shall keep a record of all outstanding certificates of title issued by it in suitable books as follows:
    1. Numerically, under the certificate of title number assigned, which entry shall show, in addition to title number, all the information required to be set out on the face of the certificate;
    2. Under the serial number, if available, otherwise under any other identifying number of the vehicle, which entry shall show, in addition to the serial number or other identifying number, the number of the certificate of title issued for such number; and
    3. In the discretion of the department, in any other manner it may deem desirable.
  2. The department shall retain in separate files for a period of at least five (5) years all certificates of title that have been transferred or superseded by certificates of title subsequently issued to the transferees or purchasers of the motor vehicle in question, and shall keep a record of these titles in suitable books as follows: numerically, under the certificate of title number, which entry shall show, in addition to the title number, all the information required to be set out on the face of the certificate of title, together with the number of the certificate of title, which shall have been issued to supersede and take the place of the certificate of title in question as the outstanding certificate of title.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 33 (Williams, § 5538.133); Acts 1961, ch. 120, §§ 1-6; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-311; Acts 2001, ch. 233, § 2; 2007, ch. 484, § 16.

55-3-112. Refusal to issue certificate — Grounds.

The department shall refuse to issue a certificate of title upon any of the following grounds:

  1. The application contains any false or fraudulent statement, or the applicant has failed to furnish required information or reasonable additional information requested by the department, or the applicant is not entitled to the issuance of a certificate of title under chapters 1-6 of this title;
  2. The department has reasonable ground to believe that the vehicle is a stolen or embezzled vehicle or that the issuance of a certificate of title would constitute a fraud against the rightful owner or other person having valid lien upon the vehicle; or
  3. The required fee has not been paid.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 31 (Williams, § 5538.131); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-312; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 17.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 29.

55-3-113. Review of departmental action.

An action of the commissioner in issuing or refusing to issue any certificate of title, in discharging or refusing to discharge any lien, and in issuing or refusing to issue any replacement certificate of title applied for shall be reviewed in the manner provided for in the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, part 3, and in § 67-1-105; provided, that the party aggrieved by the action makes a written request for a formal hearing under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act within ten (10) days of the action complained of.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 96 (Williams, § 5539.196); Acts 1972, ch. 540, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-313; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 18.

55-3-114. Issuance of certificate of title — Form and contents — Delivery — Lienors holding certificate.

    1. The commissioner shall, upon receipt of an application for a certificate of title, and after determining by an examination of its records that the applicant is entitled to a certificate of title, issue the same.
    2. Except as provided by subdivision (a)(3), the several county clerks are designated deputies to perform, at their option, duties in connection with services normally performed by the department related to the issuance of titles or issuance of replacement certificates of title.
    3. The several county clerks shall perform duties in connection with services related to the notation of liens and encumbrances and the extension of mortgages on certificates of title.
    4. For each certificate of title issued by a county clerk, the department shall pay the clerk a fee of two dollars ($2.00).
    5. For each certificate of title issued by a county clerk, the department shall pay the clerk an additional fee of thirty-five cents (35¢), which funds shall be earmarked for office supplies and equipment required to perform titling and registration services. Such funds shall be preserved for these purposes and shall not revert to the county general fund at the end of a budget year if unexpended.
    6. For purposes of this subsection (a), the clerk shall be deemed to have issued the certificate of title if the clerk performed the examination of the application for a certificate of title and entered the required data into the state computer system for the purpose of printing or electronically producing the certificate of title.
    1. All certificates of title shall be numbered numerically and shall contain upon the face a description of the vehicle, including the make, model, type of body, serial number of the vehicle and the engine or other number of the vehicle and, in addition, a statement of the owner's title and of all liens and encumbrances upon the vehicle described, whether possession is held by the owner under a contract of conditional sale or other agreement and the number of the last certificate of title issued for the same vehicle, and other information as may be determined to be necessary by the commissioner.
    2. Joint ownership of a motor vehicle by two (2) or more persons shall be indicated on the certificate of title by the use of the word “and.”
    3. The certificate of title shall contain forms for assignment of title and warranty by the owner, with space for notation of liens and encumbrances upon the vehicle at the time of transfer.
    4. All certificates of title shall include an abbreviation designating all states, that the department has knowledge of, including Tennessee, where a vehicle has been previously titled. The abbreviation shall be the standard two-letter abbreviation used in addresses by the United States postal service.
  1. The certificate of title shall be delivered to the owner in the event no lien or encumbrance appears thereon. Otherwise, the certificate of title shall be delivered to the person holding the first lien or encumbrance upon the vehicle as shown in the certificate, and shall be retained by the holder of the first lien or encumbrance until the lien or encumbrance shall be discharged, at which time a notation shall be made on the certificate of title, setting forth the fact that the lien or encumbrance has been discharged, which shall be signed by the lienor. The lienor shall then deliver the certificate of title to the owner within seven (7) business days from the owner's request, unless the certificate of title shall show on its face one (1) or more liens or encumbrances still outstanding, in which event the certificate of title shall be delivered to the next prior lienor, either in person or by registered mail, and the lienor shall within seventy-two (72) hours notify the department of the discharge of this lien by registered mail with return receipt demanded. As used in this subsection (c), “owner” includes any person or entity who lawfully acquires a motor vehicle and pays off the outstanding lien or encumbrance on the vehicle.
  2. In the event any lien or encumbrance which is subordinate to any other outstanding lien or encumbrance is discharged or released, the holder of the sublien or encumbrance shall immediately procure the certificate of title from the lienor in whose possession it is being held for the sole purpose of discharging the lien as provided by subsection (c), and thereupon shall return the certificate of title to the person from whom it was obtained, notifying the department of the discharge of this lien, or, in the alternative, the sublienor may immediately forward to the department a release setting forth the fact that the lien or encumbrance has been discharged, which shall be signed by the lienor, and the department shall note the release of the lien upon the certificate of title when the certificate of title shall next be in the physical possession of the department.
  3. With respect to the delegation of duties and the resultant performance of services, the commissioner is authorized to compensate the county clerk at the rates set forth in applicable statutes, upon receipt from the county clerk of confirmation of services in a form acceptable to the commissioner. The prior requirement of a written contract is eliminated.
    1. The department may, in its sole discretion, contract with any business entity that maintains a fleet of two hundred (200) or more motor vehicles to allow the business entity to provide any specific service, or all services, normally performed by the department or by a county clerk relative to the titling and the registration of otherwise qualified motor vehicles within the business entity's fleet of motor vehicles. The existence of such a contract shall not be interpreted to diminish, restrict, or limit the authority of the department to administer or enforce applicable provisions of any law with which a motor vehicle within the contracting business entity's fleet is not in compliance. The contract shall require that the department group vehicles by county of domicile. The department shall collect and distribute to county governments and county government officials the same taxes and fees as would be applicable if the vehicles were registered in the county.
    2. Contracts with business entities entered into by the department under this subsection (f) shall set forth in detail the duties and responsibilities of each party, shall require compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, shall not contain provisions that are contrary to any federal or state statute, and shall comply with the Federal Drivers' Privacy Protection Act (18 U.S.C. § 2721 et seq.), and the Uniform Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act, compiled in chapter 25 of this title.
    3. A contract entered into under the authority of this subsection (f) shall be at no cost to the department except for the cost of license plates, decals, forms and administrative costs that the department would normally incur in titling and registering motor vehicles within the business entity's fleet were it not for such contract.
    4. A contract entered into under the authority of this subsection (f) shall, in addition to all other requirements included in the contract, require the contracting business entity to:
      1. Keep all records, inventories, copies and other related paperwork that a county clerk would be required to keep if the clerk were titling and registering motor vehicles within the contracting business entity's fleet under chapters 1-6 of this title;
      2. Forward to the department, no later than the tenth day of each month, copies of all applications, certificates of title, certificates of registration, completed forms, or other related documents or paperwork required by the department that have been issued, completed or processed by the contracting business entity during the prior month;
      3. No later than the tenth day of each month, remit to the department all fees and other moneys related to the titling and registering of motor vehicles within the contracting business entity's fleet during the prior month that would have been required to be collected by the department or a county clerk were it not for the contract entered into under this subsection (f); and
      4. Timely make all reports that the department requires, including all applicable reports that a county clerk would be required to make if the clerk were titling and registering motor vehicles within the contracting business entity's fleet under chapters 1-6 of this title.
    5. A delinquency in forwarding to the department any remittance, report, application, document, form or paperwork required of the contracting entity by law or by contract shall result in a penalty of five percent (5%) of the delinquent remittance, or the remittance associated with the delinquent report, application, document, form or paperwork, as the case may be, for each thirty (30) days or fraction of the thirty (30) days that the delinquency continues; provided, however, that the penalty may be waived by the commissioner upon the showing of good and reasonable cause. In no case shall the penalty provided for in this subdivision (f)(5) exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the remittance base.
    6. If the department enters into a contract with a business entity under this subsection (f) and the business entity fails to strictly comply with any requirement or provision of the contract, the contract may be rescinded in its entirety and cancelled at the discretion of the commissioner; provided, however, that the effective date of the cancellation shall be thirty (30) business days after the date the department gives notice by certified mail to the contracting business entity that the contract is being rescinded and cancelled.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 35 (Williams, § 5538.135); Acts 1972, ch. 518, § 6; 1972, ch. 540, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-314; Acts 1982, ch. 740, § 1; 1983, ch. 135, § 1; 1986, ch. 771, §§ 2, 3; 1993, ch. 529, § 7; 1996, ch. 552, § 9; 1996, ch. 578, §§ 1, 2; 2007, ch. 484, § 19; 2008, ch. 1007, § 8; 2014, ch. 718, §§ 2, 3; 2019, ch. 462, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1996, ch. 552, which amended this section, may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft, Title Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 1996.”

Cross-References. Certified mail in lieu of registered mail, § 1-3-111.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 31.2.

Law Reviews.

Creditors' Rights (Paul J. Hartman), 6 Vand. L. Rev. 1049.

Attorney General Opinions. Application of county wheel tax, OAG 99-065, 1999 Tenn. AG LEXIS 65 (3/16/99).

If a certificate of title lists both spouses as owners and their names are joined by the conjunction “or,” the signature of either spouse is sufficient to transfer ownership to a buyer; if the certificate of title lists the name of only one of the spouses, then only the listed spouse's signature is required; in all other cases, the signatures of both spouses are required, OAG 00-155, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 157 (10/13/00).

If spouses intend to own a vehicle jointly, such that the consent of both will be required to transfer title to a third party, they should list their names on the certificate of title joined by the conjunction “and;” if they intend that either spouse may transfer title without the consent of the other, they should list their names on the certificate of title joined by the conjunction “or;” if only one of the spouses' names appears on the certificate of title, only that spouse may transfer title, OAG 00-155, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 157 (10/13/00).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Finance Company Lien.

Where finance company held certificate of title issued by state to mortgagor as provided by this section, the lien set forth on certificate was notice of lien of finance company to operator of garage who repaired car, and finance company was entitled to possession of car held by garage for repair bill. City Finance Co. v. Perry, 195 Tenn. 81, 257 S.W.2d 1, 1953 Tenn. LEXIS 304, 36 A.L.R.2d 224 (1953).

2. Disposition of Title after Cancellation of Lien.

Where dealer, after taking used car in trade paid off lien on such vehicle, it was proper for the lienor to forward the certificate of title to the owner whose name appeared on the certificate, and lienor could not be held liable for failing to send it to the dealer. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

While under T.C.A. § 55-3-114(c), a prior lienor had a duty to release the certificate of title to the refinancing creditor upon request by the creditor, it was ultimately the creditor's responsibility to get the title from the prior lienor or to obtain a duplicate title, as it eventually did, more than two years after the fact; the creditor's security interest, perfected after the debtor filed bankruptcy, was avoidable by the debtor's Chapter 7 trustee under 11 U.S.C. § 544, and T.C.A. § 47-9-301, the creditor was not perfected under T.C.A. § 55-3-126, the creditor's security interest was void as in violation of the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(4), and the trustee was entitled to turnover under 11 U.S.C. § 542 of insurance proceeds paid to the creditor by an insurance company. Farmer v. LaSalle Bank (In re Morgan), 291 B.R. 795, 2003 Bankr. LEXIS 327 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2003).

3. Unlawful Disposition of Vehicle Subject to Lien.

In prosecution under former § 39-3-936 (repealed; see §§ 39-14-104, 39-14-116) for unlawful disposition of motor vehicles subject to security interest, it was not necessary to establish that such liens had been perfected under this chapter. Ashworth v. State, 477 S.W.2d 224, 1971 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 456 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1971).

4. Title Held for Another.

The fact that the person in whose name an automobile was registered was holding title for her son, a minor, who made all payments on the purchase price did not affect her status as owner of the vehicle and as the named insured under an insurance policy on the vehicle. Royal Indem. Co. v. Clingan, 364 F.2d 154, 1966 U.S. App. LEXIS 5239 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1966).

55-3-115. Lost or damaged certificate of title — Replacement.

  1. In the event any certificate of title is lost, mutilated, or becomes illegible, the owner or a legal representative or successor in interest of the owner of the vehicle for which the same was issued, as shown by the records of the department, shall immediately make application for and obtain a replacement upon the payment of the fee provided in § 55-6-101.
  2. Upon issuance of any replacement or duplicate certificate of title, the previous certificate that was issued shall be void; provided, that any such replacement or duplicate certificate of title shall be forwarded by the department to the person as is entitled to possession of the certificate of title under § 55-3-114(d).

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 36 (Williams, § 5538.136); Acts 1972, ch. 540, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-315; Acts 2001, ch. 233, § 4; 2007, ch. 484, § 20.

55-3-116. Assignment of new numbers when serial or motor number obliterated or destroyed.

  1. The department shall assign a new and distinguishing number to a motor vehicle whenever the serial and/or motor number on the motor vehicle is destroyed or obliterated, which distinguishing number shall be stamped on the vehicle in a position to be determined by the commissioner.
  2. The motor vehicle shall be registered under the distinguishing number in lieu of the former number.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 38 (Williams, § 5538.138); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-317.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of auto salvage and auto theft enforcement from the department of revenue to the department of safety, see Executive Order No. 50 (April 14, 1983).

55-3-117. Rules and regulations governing change of motors.

The commissioner is authorized to adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations as may be deemed necessary and compatible with the public interest with respect to the change or substitution of one (1) engine in place of another in any motor vehicle.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 39 (Williams, § 5538.139); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-318.

55-3-118. Transfer of title.

  1. In order to transfer titling to any motor vehicle coming within the title provisions of chapters 1-6 of this title, the owner shall endorse an assignment and warranty of title upon the certificate of title, if in such owner's possession, for such vehicle, with a statement of all liens or encumbrances, and the owner shall deliver the certificate of title to the purchaser or transferee at the time of delivering the vehicle, except as provided in § 55-3-203.
  2. Any owner desiring to transfer title to any motor vehicle coming within the title provisions of chapters 1-6 of this title, whose certificate of title is being held by a lienor, may, in lieu of executing the assignment provided on the reverse side of the certificate of title, execute and deliver to the transferee a separate bill of sale which shall show the name and address of the lienor in whose possession the certificate of title is being held, and all other information as may be required by the reasonable rules and regulations of the commissioner, and which bill of sale shall be signed by the seller, whose signature shall be acknowledged before a notary public.
  3. When ownership of a motor vehicle, jointly owned by two (2) or more persons, is transferred, the signatures of all persons listed as joint owners shall be required to transfer title. Only one (1) party's signature shall be required to transfer a title to a motor vehicle if the title is registered in the name of one (1) spouse, or both where the conjunction between the names on the title is “or.”
  4. This section does not apply to transfers effected by operation of law under § 55-3-121.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 48 (Williams, § 5538.148); Acts 1972, ch. 540, § 4; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-319; Acts 1982, ch. 600, § 3; 1982, ch. 740, § 1; 1986, ch. 771, § 4; 1990, ch. 595, § 1; 2009, ch. 530, § 130.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§  31, 31.1.

Law Reviews.

Personal Property and Sales — 1956 Tennessee Survey (J. Allen Smith), 9 Vand. L. Rev. 1045.

Attorney General Opinions. If a certificate of title lists both spouses as owners and their names are joined by the conjunction “or,” the signature of either spouse is sufficient to transfer ownership to a buyer; if the certificate of title lists the name of only one of the spouses, then only the listed spouse's signature is required; in all other cases, the signatures of both spouses are required, OAG 00-155, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 157 (10/13/00).

If spouses intend to own a vehicle jointly, such that the consent of both will be required to transfer title to a third party, they should list their names on the certificate of title joined by the conjunction “and;” if they intend that either spouse may transfer title without the consent of the other, they should list their names on the certificate of title joined by the conjunction “or;” if only one of the spouses' names appears on the certificate of title, only that spouse may transfer title, OAG 00-155, 2000 Tenn. AG LEXIS 157 (10/13/00).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Transfer Without Complying with Statute.

Rights of party who properly had lien noted on certificate of title were superior to those of others who had loaned money on car but who had not complied with statute and who delayed sending lien notice to department. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

Where dealer took used car in trade and paid off lien and then sold the vehicle giving the purchaser a bill of sale upon execution of a title retention contract which contract was not registered, and the purchaser subsequently obtained the certificate of title from the original owner to whom the lienor had forwarded the certificate of title, dealer had not complied with statute and had no rights as against parties subsequently making loans on car. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

A transfer of a motor vehicle is not rendered void because of noncompliance with the provisions of the motor vehicle title and registration law respecting transfer and delivery of certificate of title. Hayes v. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co., 57 Tenn. App. 254, 417 S.W.2d 804, 1967 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1967).

Where owners of automobiles exchanged control and possession of vehicles, switched license plates, agreed on the value of the vehicles, one owner paid the other a cash difference and owners intended at that time to pass title to the cars, insurance carrier of seller of one of motor vehicles was not liable for damages arising out of accident in which purchaser was involved even though the provisions of the title and registration law had not been complied with at the time of the accident. Stevens v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 59 Tenn. App. 701, 443 S.W.2d 512, 1969 Tenn. App. LEXIS 350 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1969).

Failure to comply with the title and registration laws does not render the sale of a motor vehicle void. Stevens v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 59 Tenn. App. 701, 443 S.W.2d 512, 1969 Tenn. App. LEXIS 350 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1969); Mercado v. Travelers Ins. Co., 59 Tenn. App. 741, 443 S.W.2d 819, 1969 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1969).

Under suitable circumstances a transfer of ownership may occur without compliance with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law. Mercado v. Travelers Ins. Co., 59 Tenn. App. 741, 443 S.W.2d 819, 1969 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1969).

Failure to comply with § 55-3-126 does not prevent title to a motor vehicle from passing to the transferee since title to goods generally passes according to the agreement of the parties. In re Custom Caps, Inc., 1 B.R. 99, 1979 Bankr. LEXIS 844 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1979).

2. Title by Bill of Sale.

A dealer must transfer title on certificate of title only if certificate is in his possession and if not he can transfer title by assignment or bill of sale acknowledged before a notary public. Hunter v. Moore, 38 Tenn. App. 533, 276 S.W.2d 754, 1954 Tenn. App. LEXIS 139 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1954).

3. —Estoppel.

Where a dealer delivers possession of a car along with indicia of perfect title in a notarized bill of sale since he does not have a certificate of title and is not required to get one, he is estopped to assert a claim against a purchaser for value from the original purchaser. Hunter v. Moore, 38 Tenn. App. 533, 276 S.W.2d 754, 1954 Tenn. App. LEXIS 139 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1954).

Vendor of motor vehicle is not estopped from denying title against purchasers from his purchaser in a replevin suit where later purchasers do not rely on original bill of sale since vendor reserved title pending cashing of original purchaser's check which was dishonored. Edwards v. Central Motor Co., 38 Tenn. App. 577, 277 S.W.2d 413, 1954 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1954), aff'd, 198 Tenn. 50, 277 S.W.2d 417, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 343 (1955).

4. Date Transfer Effective.

Purchaser of truck from dealer became owner as of day of transfer despite fact that certificate of title was not assigned until some two months later the provisions of the motor vehicle title and registration law relating to transfer and delivery of certificates of title being directory and not mandatory. Hayes v. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co., 57 Tenn. App. 254, 417 S.W.2d 804, 1967 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1967).

Where dealer sold and delivered automobile on a conditional sales contract, and where purchaser filed for bankruptcy before dealer could apply for new certificate of title with notation as to his lien, title passed notwithstanding failure to comply with this section, the dealer had only an unperfected security interest, and the trustee's rights in the collateral were superior. In re Russell, 300 F. Supp. 6, 1969 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9451 (E.D. Tenn. 1969).

5. Title Held for Another.

Where a mother had title registered in her name, but her minor son made all payments on purchase price and would eventually become the owner, the son did not become the owner prior to the mother's transfer of title as required by this section. Royal Indem. Co. v. Clingan, 364 F.2d 154, 1966 U.S. App. LEXIS 5239 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1966).

Where employer purchased automobile in his name for an employee because of the employee's credit rating but never intended to own it and immediately gave a written bill of sale to employee who took possession and made payments to finance company, evidence supported finding that ownership was transferred to the employee, although vehicle remained registered in employer's name and employer's insurance carrier was not liable for damages arising out of accident involving vehicle while being driven by employee. Mercado v. Travelers Ins. Co., 59 Tenn. App. 741, 443 S.W.2d 819, 1969 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1969).

6. Evidence.

Evidence that insured still had title to automobile and Baker, who was driving it at the time of the collision, had not paid any of the purchase price at such time, that insured could have repossessed the vehicle at any time, and that insured sold the vehicle after the collision without consulting Baker, sustained finding that defendant's insured was the owner of the automobile at the time of the accident in which automobile collided with plaintiff's truck and that Baker at that time was using automobile with the permission of insured and thus was an additional insured, therefore defendant insurer was liable for the injuries sustained in the collision. Benton v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 306 F.2d 179, 1962 U.S. App. LEXIS 4313 (6th Cir. Tenn. 1962).

7. Intention of Parties.

The intention of the parties, not the certificate of title, determines the ownership of an automobile. Smith v. Smith, 650 S.W.2d 54, 1983 Tenn. App. LEXIS 542 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1983).

8. Breach of Warranty of Title.

Failure of automobile dealer to obtain certificate of title or title card from person from whom it purchased used automobile or to clear the title and cause conditional purchaser of such automobile to be provided with title card or proper evidence of title upon sale of such automobile constituted a breach of implied warranty under the former Uniform Sales Act (now Uniform Commercial Code, § 47-1-101 et seq.) entitling the buyer to rescind the contract. White v. Mid-City Motor Co., 39 Tenn. App. 429, 284 S.W.2d 689, 1955 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1955).

55-3-119. Transferee to reregister vehicle and obtain certificate of title.

The transferee, before operating or permitting the operation of a transferred vehicle upon a highway, shall apply for and obtain a registration and apply for a certificate of title for the transferred vehicle in the manner provided in § 55-4-101, except as otherwise permitted in §§ 55-3-120 and 55-3-121.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 49 (Williams, § 5538.149); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-320.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 31.1.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Effect of Failure to Register.

Failure to register a motor vehicle as required by this section does not exclude it from the application of § 55-3-125 so as to establish a lien not shown on the certificate of title. In re Wallace, 251 F. Supp. 581, 1966 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6912 (E.D. Tenn. 1966).

55-3-120. Transfers to or from dealers or insurance companies — Salvage title, flood title, or nonrepairable vehicle certificate.

  1. When the transferee of a vehicle is a dealer who holds the same for resale and lawfully operates the same under dealer's registration plates, the transferee shall not be required to obtain a new registration of the vehicle or be required to obtain a new certificate of title, but the transferee, upon transferring title or interest to another person, shall execute an assignment and warranty of title upon the certificate of title, if in the transferee's possession or if in the possession of a lienor, or the transferee shall execute a bill of sale and deliver the same to the person to whom the transfer is made, together with evidence of ownership.
    1. When the vehicle is held for resale outside of the state, this exclusion from the title and registration requirements may be waived with respect to the title provision, and the dealer shall be permitted to obtain a new certificate of title in the name of the dealership for the vehicle so held.
    2. Any dealer that resells more than five percent (5%) of the vehicles titled for foreign resale to residents of Tennessee during any given period of twelve (12) consecutive months shall, by so doing, forfeit the right to title vehicles without registering them.
  2. An insurance company that obtains title to a motor vehicle as a result of paying a total loss claim resulting from collision, fire, or water damage shall obtain a salvage title, flood title, or nonrepairable vehicle certificate from the department. This subsection (c) shall not apply to vehicles ten (10) years old or older with a value of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) or less.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 50 (Williams, § 5538.150); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-321; Acts 1981, ch. 2, § 1; 1986, ch. 791, § 5; 1987, ch. 443, § 1; 1989, ch. 377, § 1; 2006, ch. 517, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 21.

Cross-References. Rebuilt or reconstructed motor vehicles, certificates of title, permits, inspections, §§ 55-3-202, 55-3-20555-3-207.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 24, 31, 31.1, 31.2.

Law Reviews.

Personal Property and Sales — 1955 Tennessee Survey (Clyde L. Ball), 8 Vand. L. Rev. 1067.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Provisions Directory.

This section being in derogation of the common law, the provisions relating to transfer of the dealer's muniments of title will be regarded as directory rather than mandatory to perfect title. Hunter v. Moore, 38 Tenn. App. 533, 276 S.W.2d 754, 1954 Tenn. App. LEXIS 139 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1954).

Failure of the seller to comply with this section did not prevent ownership of the vehicle from passing to the buyer, the certificate of title being merely evidence of ownership. Garrett v. American Mut. Liability Ins. Co., 261 F. Supp. 161, 1966 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9598 (E.D. Tenn. 1966).

A transfer of a motor vehicle is not rendered void because of noncompliance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law respecting transfer and delivery of certificate of title. Hayes v. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co., 57 Tenn. App. 254, 417 S.W.2d 804, 1967 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1967).

2. Date Transfer Effective.

Purchaser of truck from dealer became owner as of day of transfer despite fact that certificate of title was not assigned until some two months later the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law relating to transfer and delivery of certificates of title being directory and not mandatory. Hayes v. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co., 57 Tenn. App. 254, 417 S.W.2d 804, 1967 Tenn. App. LEXIS 231 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1967).

3. Purchaser in Good Faith.

Purchaser at auction was good faith purchaser for value without notice and not negligent where he got a bill of sale from his vendor who also gave him a bill of sale from vendor's vendor obtained by dishonored check where original vendor obtained car from resident of nontitle certificate state, although final purchaser got no title certificate until later, directly from the state on showing the bills of sale. Hunter v. Moore, 38 Tenn. App. 533, 276 S.W.2d 754, 1954 Tenn. App. LEXIS 139 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1954).

4. Duties of Dealers.

This section relieves the dealer of the duty of obtaining in his own name a new certificate of title but not of placing evidence of ownership in the hands of the transferee. White v. Mid-City Motor Co., 39 Tenn. App. 429, 284 S.W.2d 689, 1955 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1955).

Where motor vehicle dealer failed to deliver to purchaser of automobile a properly executed bill of sale as required by law the dealer was guilty of a breach of warranty under former § 47-1213 (now covered by Uniform Commercial Code) and purchaser had option to rescind the contract and recover the purchase price under former § 47-1269 (now covered by Uniform Commercial Code). Schaeffer v. Richard, 43 Tenn. App. 205, 306 S.W.2d 340, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 149 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

A seller in Tennessee does not have a higher duty in the course of business to a nonresident purchaser than to a resident purchaser, and there is no duty on the part of a seller to know the law of the state of residence of the purchaser of a product or to inform the purchaser of the law. Devorak v. Patterson, 907 S.W.2d 815, 1995 Tenn. App. LEXIS 307 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995).

5. Evidence of Ownership by Dealer.

Where automobile dealer did not have certificate of title to automobile, not only purchaser of automobile but also finance company who purchased retained title contract should have been put on notice that title was not in order. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Bank of Knoxville, 204 Tenn. 605, 324 S.W.2d 417, 1959 Tenn. LEXIS 316 (1959).

6. Dealer Inventory — Security Interest.

This section excludes dealer inventory from the provisions of §§ 55-3-125 and 55-3-126 and one claiming a security interest in used or trade-in inventory vehicles of a dealer was not required to perfect such interest in the manner required in § 55-3-126. In re Vaughn, 283 F. Supp. 730, 1968 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8460 (M.D. Tenn. 1968).

7. Liens.

8. —Notice.

The filing and notation of the lien or encumbrance constitutes constructive notice to all persons of the existence of all liens or encumbrances from the time of receipt and filing of the request for notation except as to liens dependent upon possession. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Bank of Knoxville, 204 Tenn. 605, 324 S.W.2d 417, 1959 Tenn. LEXIS 316 (1959).

Where automobile dealer executed chattel mortgage to bank to secure note given to finance purchase of automobile, and bank forwarded notice of mortgage and note to department of motor vehicle title division where title certificate was issued with notation of lien and where dealer subsequently sold automobile and furnished notarized bill of sale with warranty against encumbrance, and purchaser executed retained title contract which was purchased by finance company, bank was entitled to possession of automobile as against claim of finance company made after purchaser elected to rescind contract because of failure of dealer to furnish title. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Bank of Knoxville, 204 Tenn. 605, 324 S.W.2d 417, 1959 Tenn. LEXIS 316 (1959).

9. —Priority.

Rights of party who properly had lien noted on certificate of title were superior to those of others who had loaned money on car but who had not complied with statute and who delayed sending lien notice to department. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

Where dealer took used car in trade and paid off lien and then sold the vehicle giving the purchaser a bill of sale upon execution of a title retention contract which contract was not registered, and the purchaser subsequently obtained the certificate of title from the original owner to whom the lienor had forwarded the certificate of title, dealer had not complied with statute and had no rights as against parties subsequently making loans on car. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

Notice of federal tax lien filed under §§ 66-21-20166-21-205 against all property of taxpayer in county where property was situated had priority over chattel mortgage subsequently filed under Tennessee Motor Vehicle and Title Registration Law by finance company which took chattel mortgage on vehicle as security. Atlas Finance Co. v. Wilkerson, 214 Tenn. 619, 382 S.W.2d 529, 1964 Tenn. LEXIS 514 (1964).

A “mobile home” that has had its wheels removed and has been affixed to realty is not subject to the certificate of title provisions for motor vehicles under chapters 1 and 3 of this title and therefore plaintiff's security interest, which was noted on a certificate of title to the home and was perfected in accordance with those provisions could not take priority over defendant's real estate mortgage, which was created by a deed of trust properly recorded in accordance with state mortgage law and with former § 47-9-401 (see now § 47-9-312). Associates Capital Corp. v. Cookeville Production Credit Asso., 569 S.W.2d 474, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

An application for notation of lien on the title to an automobile which was properly filed but subsequently lost due to error by the filing officials of the state did not perfect a security interest superior to a trustee in bankruptcy. Because Tennessee law required both filing and notation of the lien on an automobile title for perfection of a security interest, the trustee could defeat the putative lienor and sell the automobile free of the lien. In re York, 43 B.R. 36, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 5018 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1984).

55-3-121. Transfer by operation of law — Special plates — Fee.

  1. Whenever the title or interest of an owner in or to a registered vehicle passes to another otherwise than by voluntary transfer, the vehicle registration shall expire and the vehicle shall not be operated upon the highways unless and until the person entitled to possession of the vehicle shall apply for and obtain the registration, with the following exceptions:
    1. The vehicle may be operated by the person entitled to its possession or the person's legal representative upon the highways from the point the motor vehicle comes into the person's possession to the person's place of business or to some garage or warehouse, upon displaying upon the vehicle the registration plate or plates issued to the former owner; or
    2. In the event title has become vested in the person holding a lien or encumbrance upon the vehicle, the person may apply to the department for and obtain special plates or temporary plates as may be issued under § 55-4-226(c)(4), and may operate any such repossessed vehicle under the special plates or temporary plates only for purposes of transporting the vehicle to a garage or warehouse or for purposes of demonstrating or selling the vehicle.
  2. Any person applying for and eligible to receive a plate pursuant to subsection (a) who desires to make a lawful use of the vehicle for a period of time in excess of seven (7) days, but not more than thirty (30) days, may be issued a plate upon payment of a fee of ten dollars ($10.00).

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 51 (Williams, § 5538.151); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 9; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-322; Acts 1985, ch. 102, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 22; 2018, ch. 1023, § 52.

55-3-122. New certificate of title issued by department upon satisfaction of certain requirements.

  1. The department, upon receipt of a properly endorsed certificate of title, accompanied by the required fee, and when satisfied as to the genuineness and regularity of the transfer and of the right of the transferee to a certificate of title, shall issue a new certificate of title in the name of the new owner as upon an original application.
  2. Where the certificate of title is held by a lienor and title has been transferred by bill of sale in lieu of an assignment and warranty as provided on the reverse side of the certificate of title, the department, upon receipt of a properly executed bill of sale and the required fee and when satisfied as to the genuineness and regularity of the bill of sale and the right of the transferee to a certificate of title, shall procure the certificate of title from the lienor in whose possession it is being held for the sole purpose of transferring ownership, and the department shall then return a certificate of title to the lienor from whom it was obtained.
  3. The department, upon proper receipt of all the necessary applications, papers and information required showing title to a motor vehicle to have been transferred as provided by § 55-4-119, and upon the payment of the required fee, and when satisfied as to the genuineness and regularity of the transfer and the right of the transferee to a certificate of title, shall issue a new certificate of title in the name of the new owner as upon an original application and shall further make demand on the holder or holders of the old certificate of title to surrender the same to the department forthwith, if the certificate of title does not accompany the application.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 52 (Williams, § 5538.152); Acts 1972, ch. 540, § 5; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-323; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 23.

Decisions Under Prior Law

1. Application.

The former provisions of subsection (b) requiring bill of sale in lieu of assignment and warranty on certificate of title to be accompanied by title card made no exception in this regard to sales under bills of sale by dealers. White v. Mid-City Motor Co., 39 Tenn. App. 429, 284 S.W.2d 689, 1955 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1955).

2. Breach of Warranty.

Failure of automobile dealer to obtain certificate of title or title card from person from whom it purchased used automobile or to clear the title and cause conditional purchaser of such automobile to be provided with title card or proper evidence of title upon sale of such automobile constituted a breach of implied warranty under the former Uniform Sales Act (now Uniform Commercial Code, § 47-1-101 et seq.) entitling the buyer to rescind the contract. White v. Mid-City Motor Co., 39 Tenn. App. 429, 284 S.W.2d 689, 1955 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1955).

55-3-123. Liens to be noted on certificates of title — County clerk entering lien.

  1. When any new lien, other than a lien dependent solely upon possession, or a lien of the state for taxes established pursuant to title 67, chapter 1, part 14, is placed on any motor vehicle coming within the title provisions of chapters 1-6 of this title in a transaction not involving any change of ownership, the owner shall deliver the certificate of title, if in the owner's possession, on to the lienor, who shall forward the certificate of title, together with the required fee for noting the lien on the certificate of title, with proof of the lien required by the reasonable rules and regulations of the commissioner directly to the county clerk. The county clerk, when satisfied of the lienor's right to have the lien noted on the certificate of title, shall note the lien on the certificate of title and return the certificate of title to the lienor.
  2. In the event the certificate of title is in the possession of some prior lienor, the new or subordinate lienor shall forward to the county clerk the required fee for noting the lien, together with proof of the lien required by the reasonable rules and regulations of the commissioner, and the county clerk, when satisfied of the right of the lienor to have the lien noted on the certificate of title, shall forward the application and proof of lien to the department. The department shall procure the certificate of title from the lienor in whose possession it is being held, for the sole purpose of noting the new lien on the certificate of title, and shall return the certificate of title to the lienor from whom it was obtained and shall further notify the new lienor of the fact that the lien has been noted on the certificate of title.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 53 (Williams, § 5538.153); Acts 1978, ch. 686, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-324; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 24; 2019, ch. 462, §§ 3-5.

Cross-References. Garagekeeper's lien, § 66-19-103.

Lien for repairs or improvements, §§ 66-19-101, 66-19-102.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 31.1, 31.2; 6 Tenn. Juris., Commercial Law, § 102.

Law Reviews.

Principal Security Devices in Tennessee, 22 Tenn. L. Rev. 392.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Failure to Comply With Law — Effect.

Party lending on automobile upon presentation of copy of application for transfer, did not comply with statute, and where it did not forward notice of lien to department until three weeks thereafter, it had no rights as against party properly obtaining lien during such period. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

2. —Failure to Register Lien.

Conditional sale vendor of tires to conditional sale buyer of automobile had right to recover for value of tires even though conditional sale of tires was not registered against assignee of conditional sale vendor of auto who repossessed auto without notice of tire contract on buyer's default and sold car under former § 47-1301 et seq. (now covered by Uniform Commercial Code), since tires are not component parts and can be separated without injury to the car. Free Service Tire Co. v. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp., 38 Tenn. App. 647, 277 S.W.2d 897, 1954 Tenn. App. LEXIS 151 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1954).

3. Dealer Inventory — Security Interest.

By reason of § 55-3-120, one claiming a security interest in used or trade-in inventory vehicles of a dealer by reason of floor-plan loans to such dealer was not required to perfect such interest in the manner required in this section. In re Vaughn, 283 F. Supp. 730, 1968 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8460 (M.D. Tenn. 1968).

4. Mobile Homes.

A “mobile home” that has had its wheels removed and has been affixed to realty is not subject to the certificate of title provisions for motor vehicles under this chapter and chapter 1 of this title and therefore plaintiff's security interest, which was noted on a certificate of title to the home and was perfected in accordance with those provisions could not take priority over defendant's real estate mortgage, which was created by a deed of trust properly recorded in accordance with state mortgage law and with former § 47-9-401 (see now § 47-9-312). Associates Capital Corp. v. Cookeville Production Credit Asso., 569 S.W.2d 474, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

Where a lender's security interest was perfected by notation of its lien on the certificate of title in accordance with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law, the lender was not required to change the manner of perfection after the mobile home was affixed to realty. Roberts v. Green Tree Fin. Corp. (In re Cassady), 197 B.R. 846, 1996 Bankr. LEXIS 772 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1996).

5. Filing with Secretary of State.

A security interest in a semitrailer used by a debtor as equipment need not be noted on a title but may be perfected by filing with the secretary of state. In re Johnson, 39 B.R. 478, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 5812 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1984).

55-3-124. Assignment by person holding lien — Notation of lien — Fee.

  1. Any person holding a lien or encumbrance upon a vehicle, other than a lien dependent solely upon possession, may assign title or interest in and to the motor vehicle to a person other than the owner, without the consent and without affecting the interest of the owner, of the registration of the vehicle, but, in this event, shall give to the owner a written notice of the assignment, and deliver to the assignee an assignment of the lien, which assignment shall be signed by the assignor and, if the original certificate of title be in the assignor's possession, it shall likewise be delivered to the assignee, who shall forward the assignment, together with the certificate of title and proper fee for the notation of a lien to the county clerk, which shall note the new lien on the certificate of title in the place and stead of the lien shown in favor of the assignor and return the same to the assignee; provided, that if the original certificate of title is not in the possession of the assignor, the assignee shall forward the assignment, together with the fee for noting a lien on the certificate of title, to the county clerk, which shall procure the certificate of title from the person in whose possession it is being held for the sole purpose of noting the new lien in the place and stead of the lien in favor of the assignor, and the county clerk shall then return the certificate of title to the person from whom it was obtained and shall further notify the assignee of this lien that the lien has been noted on the certificate of title.
  2. The assignee of any lien shall be entitled to the same priority among the outstanding lienors and have all the other property rights as had formerly been held by the assignor.
      1. Notwithstanding this section to the contrary, the assignor in a multiple vehicle lien assignment may assign the security interest or lien on the related motor vehicles to a person other than the owner, without the consent and without affecting the interest of the owner.
      2. Subsection (a) shall not apply to a multiple vehicle lien assignment.
      3. The assignee in a multiple vehicle lien assignment may, but need not in order to perfect the assignment or continue the perfected status of the assigned security interest or lien against creditors of and transferees from the owner, have the certificate of title endorsed or issued with the assignee named as holder of a security interest or lien upon delivering to the county clerk the certificate and assignment by the holder of a security interest or lien named in the certificate in the form the county clerk prescribes.
      4. If the assignment refers to a security interest or lien that is reflected on the certificate of title and the certificate of title is in the possession of the first security interest holder or lienholder as provided by this chapter, the assignee may, but need not in order to perfect the assignment or continue the perfected status of the assigned security interest or lien against creditors of and transferees from the owner, have the certificate of title endorsed by complying with § 55-3-123. However, any person without notice of the assignment shall be protected in dealing with the assignor, and the assignor shall remain liable for any obligations as holder of the security interest or lien until the assignee is named as the holder of the security interest or lien on the certificate of title.
    1. For purposes of subdivision (c)(1), unless the context otherwise requires, “multiple vehicle lien assignment” means any transaction, or series of related transactions, in which security interests or liens are assigned on more than fifty (50) motor vehicles, whether or not any or all of the motor vehicles are owned by or registered to residents of the state or covered by certificates of title issued by the state.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 54 (Williams, § 5538.154); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-325; Acts 1986, ch. 771, § 5; 2007, ch. 484, § 25; 2019, ch. 462, § 6.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Title.

Assignee of a retail installment contract for the purchase of a car had no duty under T.C.A. § 55-3-124(a) to a buyer to remove the name of a seller and have title to the car re-issued listing it as the lien holder; thus, the buyer's claims for negligence, slander of title, wrongful possession, and conspiracy failed as a matter of law. Parks v. Mid-Atlantic Fin. Co., 343 S.W.3d 792, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 32 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2011), appeal denied, — S.W.3d —, 2011 Tenn. LEXIS 509 (Tenn. May 25, 2011).

55-3-125. Liens and encumbrances — Filing.

No conditional sales contract, chattel mortgage, or other lien or encumbrance or title retention instrument upon a registered vehicle, other than a lien dependent upon possession entered into after March 1, 1951, or a lien of the state for taxes established pursuant to title 67, chapter 1, part 14, shall be valid against the creditors of an owner or subsequent purchasers or encumbrancers, until the requirements of this section and § 55-3-126 have been complied with, unless such creditor, purchaser, or encumbrancer has actual notice of the prior lien.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 68 (Williams, § 5538.168); Acts 1978, ch. 686, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-326.

Cross-References. Garagekeeper's lien, § 66-19-103.

Perfection of lien or security interest, § 55-3-126.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 24, 29, 31.

Law Reviews.

Principal Security Devices in Tennessee, 22 Tenn. L. Rev. 392.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Tax Lien Statute Not Repealed.

Provisions of Tennessee Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law relating to filing of liens and encumbrances upon motor vehicles did not repeal provisions of §§ 66-21-20166-21-205 relative to filing of notice of federal tax liens and were not repugnant thereto. Atlas Finance Co. v. Wilkerson, 214 Tenn. 619, 382 S.W.2d 529, 1964 Tenn. LEXIS 514 (1964).

2. Application of Section — Unregistered Vehicle.

A motor vehicle is not excluded from the application of this section, so as to permit the establishment of a lien not shown on the certificate of title, by failure to register the vehicle. In re Wallace, 251 F. Supp. 581, 1966 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6912 (E.D. Tenn. 1966).

3. Effect of Noncompliance — Creditors of Buyer.

The fact that the notarized bill of sale furnished by the seller showed on its face a lien of holder of conditional sale contract was not sufficient to give notice to creditors of bankrupt buyer of automobile. In re Crosson, 226 F. Supp. 944, 1963 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6982 (E.D. Tenn. 1963).

Under Tennessee law, no conditional sales contract or other lien or encumbrance upon a registered vehicle, other than a lien dependent upon possession, shall be valid against creditors of the owner unless the lien is noted on the certificate of title. In re Crosson, 226 F. Supp. 944, 1963 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6982 (E.D. Tenn. 1963); In re Custom Caps, Inc., 1 B.R. 99, 1979 Bankr. LEXIS 844 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1979).

4. —Security Interest in Dealer Inventory.

This section is not applicable to the used or trade-in inventory vehicles of a dealer and one claiming a security interest in such vehicles for floor-plan loans made to such dealer was not required to perfect such interest in the manner required in § 55-3-126. In re Vaughn, 283 F. Supp. 730, 1968 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8460 (M.D. Tenn. 1968).

5. —Replevin Suit.

Assignee of vendor of truck sold to Georgia resident was not barred from instituting replevin suit for recovery of truck on the ground that vendee in registering truck in Tennessee failed to state that truck was subject to lien for unpaid purchase price where vendee removed truck to Tennessee without knowledge of vendor or its assignee. Lillard v. Yellow Mfg. Acceptance Corp., 195 Tenn. 686, 263 S.W.2d 520, 1953 Tenn. LEXIS 415 (1953).

6. Priority of Liens.

Rights of party who properly had lien noted on certificate of title were superior to those of others who had loaned money on car but who had not complied with statute and who delayed sending lien notice to department. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

Where dealer took used car in trade and paid off lien and then sold the vehicle giving the purchaser a bill of sale upon execution of a title retention contract which contract was not registered, and the purchaser subsequently obtained the certificate of title from the original owner to whom the lienor had forwarded the certificate of title, dealer had not complied with statute and had no rights as against parties subsequently making loans on car. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

Notice of federal tax lien filed under §§ 66-21-20166-21-205 against all property of taxpayer in county where property was situated had priority over chattel mortgage subsequently filed under Tennessee Motor Vehicle and Title Registration Law by finance company which took chattel mortgage on vehicle as security. Atlas Finance Co. v. Wilkerson, 214 Tenn. 619, 382 S.W.2d 529, 1964 Tenn. LEXIS 514 (1964).

A “mobile home” that has had its wheels removed and has been affixed to realty is not subject to the certificate of title provisions for motor vehicles under chapters 1 and 3 of this title and therefore plaintiff's security interest, which was noted on a certificate of title to the home and was perfected in accordance with those provisions could not take priority over defendant's real estate mortgage, which was created by a deed of trust properly recorded in accordance with state mortgage law and with former § 47-9-401. Associates Capital Corp. v. Cookeville Production Credit Asso., 569 S.W.2d 474, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

An application for notation of lien on the title to an automobile which was properly filed but subsequently lost due to error by the filing officials of the state of Tennessee did not perfect a security interest superior to a trustee in bankruptcy. Because Tennessee law required both filing and notation of the lien on an automobile title for perfection of a security interest, the trustee could defeat the putative lienor and sell the automobile free of the lien. In re York, 43 B.R. 36, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 5018 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1984).

7. Execution Liens.

As long as the statutory requirements governing execution liens and writs of execution are observed, persons claiming an execution lien need not comply with the filing requirements of Article Nine of the Commercial Code, T.C.A. § 47-9-101 et seq., because execution liens are not consensual security interests created by contract, and compliance with motor vehicle title and registration statutes is not required since execution liens depend on possession. Keep Fresh Filters v. Reguli, 888 S.W.2d 437, 1994 Tenn. App. LEXIS 503 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1994).

8. Possessory Ownership Interest.

This section bore no relevance to the transfer of a possessory ownership interest in a vehicle. In re Crabtree, 39 B.R. 713, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 6065 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1984).

9. Vehicles Not Held as Inventory.

With respect to a motor vehicle in Tennessee not held as inventory, perfection of a security interest is accomplished by notation of a lien on the vehicle's certificate of title. In re Armstrong, 56 B.R. 781, 1986 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30616 (W.D. Tenn. 1986).

10. Mobile Homes.

Security interests in mobile homes which complied with T.C.A. § 47-9-302 rather than T.C.A. § 55-3-125 and 55-3-126 were unperfected even though the mobile homes had been purchased for use in a motel business and had not been so occupied. In re Hughes, 58 B.R. 452, 1986 Bankr. LEXIS 6557 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1986).

Where a lender's security interest was perfected by notation of its lien on the certificate of title in accordance with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law, the lender was not required to change the manner of perfection after the mobile home was affixed to realty. Roberts v. Green Tree Fin. Corp. (In re Cassady), 197 B.R. 846, 1996 Bankr. LEXIS 772 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1996).

11. “Dependent-upon-Possession” Exception.

The “dependent-upon-possession” exception means liens depending upon possession for existence and not depending upon possession for perfection and the notation of a lien on the title of a motor vehicle is the exclusive method of perfecting that lien. In re Groves, 75 B.R. 227, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6228 (M.D. Tenn. 1987).

12. Perfection of a Security Interest.

State law requires both filing and notation of a lien on an automobile title for perfection of a security interest, and if the filing does not lead to the notation of the lien on the title, perfection does not occur. In re Clark, 112 B.R. 226, 1990 Bankr. LEXIS 652 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1990).

A trustee in bankruptcy could not avoid, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 544, a creditor's security interest in a mobile home, where the lien had been created and perfected under T.C.A. § 47-9-101 et seq. by the time the debtor filed his petition in bankruptcy. Farmer v. Green Tree Serv. LLC (In re Snelson), 330 B.R. 643, 2005 Bankr. LEXIS 1851 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2005).

55-3-126. Constructive notice of lien upon filing request for notation — Method of giving notice — Perfection of security interest.

  1. Except as provided for manufactured homes complying with the requirements of § 55-3-128, a lien or security interest in a vehicle of the type for which a certificate is required shall be perfected and shall be valid against subsequent creditors of the owner, subsequent transferees, and the holders of security interest and liens on the vehicle by compliance with this chapter.
    1. A security interest or lien is perfected by delivery to the department or the county clerk of the existing certificate of title, if any, title extension form, or manufacturer's statement of origin and an application for a certificate of title containing the name and address of the holder of a security interest or lien with vehicle description and the required fee.
    2. The security interest is perfected as of the date of delivery to the county clerk or the department.
      1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a second or other junior security interest or lien in a vehicle of the type for which a certificate of title is required shall not be considered perfected unless and until the lien or security interest is physically noted on the certificate of title for the vehicle. In the case of a second or other junior lien or security interest, there shall be no constructive notice of the second or other junior lien or security interest unless that lien is physically noted on the certificate of title.
      2. Nothing in subdivision (b)(3)(A) shall have any effect on perfection and constructive notice concerning first liens.
  2. When the security interest is perfected as provided for in this section, it shall constitute notice of all liens and encumbrances against the vehicle described in the security interest to creditors of the owner, to subsequent purchasers and encumbrances, except liens as may be authorized by law dependent upon possession. Constructive notice shall date from the time of first delivery of the request for the notation of the lien or encumbrance upon the certificate of title by the county clerk, as shown by its endorsements of the date of delivery on the document.
  3. The method provided in this section and § 55-3-125 of obtaining a lien or encumbrance upon a motor vehicle, mobile home, house trailer or other mobile structure, whether or not taxed as real property, subject to chapters 1-6 of this title relative to the issuance of certificates of title, shall be exclusive except as to liens depending upon possession and the lien of the state for taxes established pursuant to title 67, chapter 1, part 14; provided, that §§ 66-24-101, 66-26-101, 66-26-105 and 66-26-110, or any other sections, shall not be construed to require the deposit, filing or other record whatsoever of a chattel mortgage, deed of trust conveyance intended to operate as a mortgage, trust receipt, or other similar instrument. It is the intent of this section that any mortgage, trust receipt or other similar instrument of indebtedness required by chapters 1-6 of this title shall be perfected by delivery and then noted upon the certificate of title only, and shall not be required to be made a public record elsewhere, except as expressly provided otherwise in § 47-9-311(d).
  4. With respect to implements of husbandry and special mobile equipment, the perfection of a security interest under chapters 1-6 of this title is not effective until the lienholder has complied with applicable law that otherwise relates to the perfection of security interest in personal property, and any person who receives transfer of an interest in this equipment without knowledge of the certificate is not prejudiced by reason of its existence.
    1. When a manufacturer's statement of origin or an existing certificate of title on a motor vehicle is unavailable, a first lienholder or the first lienholder's designee may file an application for motor vehicle temporary lien with the secretary of state. The filing fee for each application for motor vehicle temporary lien is ten dollars ($10.00). The filing of an application for motor vehicle temporary lien shall constitute constructive notice of the lien against the motor vehicle as described to creditors of the owner, subsequent purchasers and encumbrancers, except liens as are by law dependent upon possession.
    2. The constructive notice shall be effective from the time of the filing of the application for motor vehicle temporary lien as authorized in this subsection (f); provided, that the filing of a lien under this section by the lienholder and the payment of the fee shall in no way relieve any person of the obligation of paying the fee now required by law for filing a lien to be evidenced on a certificate of title of a motor vehicle.
    3. A lien filed under this subsection (f) shall automatically terminate after one hundred eighty (180) days or upon being perfected under other provisions of this section, whichever occurs first.
    4. Whenever a lienholder or the lienholder's designee files a lien under this subsection (f) and later under other provisions of this subsection (f), the lien shall be presumed to be perfected at the time of the earliest filing.
    5. The application for motor vehicle temporary lien shall be accompanied by the required filing fee, shall be on a form designed by the secretary of state, and shall contain the following information:
      1. Name and address of each debtor;
      2. Name and address of the first lienholder;
      3. Vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle;
      4. The date the instrument creating the lien was executed;
      5. The name, address and telephone number of the submitter;
      6. The name and address to whom acknowledgement of filing should be sent if other than the submitter; and
      7. Any other information that the secretary of state deems necessary for the administration of this part.
    6. Upon request of any person, the secretary of state may issue a certificate showing whether there is on file, on the date stated therein, any presently effective liens naming a particular debtor, giving the date and hour of filing of each effective lien, and the vehicle identification number and the name of the lienholder. The fee for this certificate shall be ten dollars ($10.00). Upon request, the secretary of state shall furnish a copy of any filed lien for a uniform fee of one dollar ($1.00) per page.
    7. The secretary of state has the power reasonably necessary to perform the duties required of the secretary of state by this subsection (f), including, without limitation, the power to promulgate necessary and appropriate rules and regulations consistent with this subsection (f), and the power to destroy any documents filed under this subsection (f) two hundred seventy (270) days after the filing of the documents.
    8. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the fees collected by the secretary of state under this subsection (f) shall be retained by the secretary of state to offset costs associated with the administration and continued improvement of the secretary of state's recordkeeping functions.
    9. The lienholder listed on an application for motor vehicle temporary lien may correct the application filed with the secretary of state if the application contains an incorrect statement by filing articles of correction. The application shall be corrected in a manner established by the secretary of state and on a form designed by the secretary of state. The articles of correction shall provide the registration number of the application to be corrected. The filing fee to file articles of correction shall be ten dollars ($10.00). The articles of correction are effective on the effective time and date of the application they correct except as to persons relying on the uncorrected application and adversely affected by the correction. As to those persons, the effective date is the date the articles of correction are filed.
    10. In addition to the fees authorized in this subsection (f), the secretary of state is authorized to charge an online transaction fee to cover costs associated with processing payments for an application for motor vehicle temporary lien, articles of correction, and certificate requests submitted online.
    11. An application for motor vehicle temporary lien and articles of correction shall be rejected if they contain information that the secretary of state is unable to read or decipher.
  5. The comptroller of the treasury shall, as part of the review and/or audit of the office of the secretary of state, include the implementation and impact of subsection (f) and shall report its findings and recommendations regarding subsection (f) in such review and/or audit of the office of secretary of state.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 69 (Williams, § 5538.169); Acts 1968, ch. 403, § 1; 1971, ch. 382, § 1; 1978, ch. 686, § 4; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-327; Acts 1984, ch. 559, § 2; T.C.A., § 55-3-137; Acts 1996, ch. 687, § 1; 1997, ch. 279, § 1; 1997, ch. 523, § 1; 1998, ch. 1016, §§ 1-3; 2000, ch. 846, § 36; 2003, ch. 76, § 4; 2007, ch. 484, § 26; 2011, ch. 186, § 1; 2014, ch. 649, §§ 1-4; 2019, ch. 462, § 7.

Compiler's Notes. Filing provisions of Uniform Commercial Code do not apply to a security interest in property which is subject to a statute of this state which requires lien or security interest to be indicated on a certificate of title. See § 47-9-303.

The introductory language of Acts 1998, ch. 1016 provided that:

“it is imperative for the efficient commerce of the State of Tennessee and the protection of creditors that state law comply with the strict requirements of the bankruptcy code.”

Cross-References. Liens and encumbrances, filing, § 55-3-125.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 24, 31.1, 31.2; 6 Tenn. Juris., Commercial Law, §§ 102, 103; 12 Tenn. Juris., Executions, § 14; 18 Tenn. Juris., Liens, § 3.

Law Reviews.

Tennessee Legislature Solves Secured Lender's Dilemma (David M. Smythe), 20 Tenn. B.J. 27 (1984).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Purpose of Section.

The purpose of the statute is to render invalid as to creditors of the owner any nonpossessory lien or encumbrance not noted on the certificate of title in accordance with this section. In re Crabtree, 39 B.R. 713, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 6065 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1984).

2. Effect of Section.

The practical effect of this section is that the lienholder on a motor vehicle covered by the act has to have his lien recorded and noted on the certificate of title only in order to protect his lien against subsequent encumbrances. Personal Loan & Finance Corp. v. Guardian Discounty Co., 206 Tenn. 221, 332 S.W.2d 504, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 362 (1960).

Under Tennessee law, no conditional sales contract or other lien or encumbrance upon a registered vehicle, other than a lien dependent upon possession, shall be valid against creditors of the owner unless the lien is noted on the certificate of title. In re Crosson, 226 F. Supp. 944, 1963 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6982 (E.D. Tenn. 1963).

A mobile home that had its wheels removed and was affixed to realty was not “designed for travel upon the public highways” and hence was not a “mobile home” within the meaning of former § 55-1-105 and the provisions of this section concerning the recordation of liens did not apply. Associates Capital Corp. v. Cookeville Production Credit Asso., 569 S.W.2d 474, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

A security interest in a motor vehicle (other than inventory) is not enforceable against the trustee in bankruptcy unless the security interest is indicated on the outstanding certificate of title. In re Groves, 64 B.R. 329, 1986 Bankr. LEXIS 5451 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1986), aff'd, 75 B.R. 227, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6228 (M.D. Tenn. 1987).

3. Exclusiveness of Procedure.

Perfection of security interest in motor vehicle may be effectuated only by notation of lien upon vehicle's certificate of title. In re Coors of Cumberland, Inc., 19 B.R. 313, 1982 Bankr. LEXIS 4416 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1982); Keep Fresh Filters v. Reguli, 888 S.W.2d 437, 1994 Tenn. App. LEXIS 503 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1994).

While subsection (b) outlines procedure to be followed in perfecting security interest in motor vehicle, motor vehicles still fall within purview of Uniform Commercial Code as enacted by state of Tennessee. In re Coors of Cumberland, Inc., 19 B.R. 313, 1982 Bankr. LEXIS 4416 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1982); Keep Fresh Filters v. Reguli, 888 S.W.2d 437, 1994 Tenn. App. LEXIS 503 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1994).

Sole purpose of requirement of subsection (b) is to give notice that secured party has interest in motor vehicle. In re Coors of Cumberland, Inc., 19 B.R. 313, 1982 Bankr. LEXIS 4416 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1982).

4. Constructive Notice of Lien.

This section means that filing and notation of lien on certificate of title is “constructive notice of all liens” except common law liens dependent upon possession. City Finance Co. v. Perry, 195 Tenn. 81, 257 S.W.2d 1, 1953 Tenn. LEXIS 304, 36 A.L.R.2d 224 (1953).

The filing and notation of the lien or encumbrance constitutes constructive notice to all persons of the existence of all liens or encumbrances from the time of receipt and filing of the request for notation except as to liens dependent upon possession. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Bank of Knoxville, 204 Tenn. 605, 324 S.W.2d 417, 1959 Tenn. LEXIS 316 (1959).

Where automobile dealer executed chattel mortgage to bank to secure note given to finance purchase of automobile, and bank forwarded notice of mortgage and note to department of motor vehicle title division where title certificate was issued with notation of lien and where dealer subsequently sold automobile and furnished notarized bill of sale with warranty against encumbrance, and purchaser executed retained title contract which was purchased by finance company, bank was entitled to possession of automobile as against claim of finance company made after purchaser elected to rescind contract because of failure of dealer to furnish title. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Bank of Knoxville, 204 Tenn. 605, 324 S.W.2d 417, 1959 Tenn. LEXIS 316 (1959).

The provision of subsection (b) making the methods provided in this section and § 55-3-125 of giving constructive notice of a lien upon a motor vehicle precludes the exclusion of a motor vehicle from the application of § 55-3-125, so as to permit the establishment of a lien not shown on the certificate of title, by failure to register the vehicle. In re Wallace, 251 F. Supp. 581, 1966 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6912 (E.D. Tenn. 1966).

Constructive notice of a perfected lien relates back to the date of the filing of the application for notation of the lien; once a lien has been noted on the title, the date of the commencement of constructive notice is the date of the filing of the application for notation of the lien. In re Ridley, 50 B.R. 51, 1985 Bankr. LEXIS 6495 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1985).

5. Effective Date of Notice.

The effective date of the notice of the lien is the date when first received by the department of finance and taxation (now department of revenue) with the proper fee and not the date when the administrative work of filing within the department is completed. Personal Loan & Finance Corp. v. Guardian Discounty Co., 206 Tenn. 221, 332 S.W.2d 504, 1960 Tenn. LEXIS 362 (1960).

A lien on an automobile, once perfected, relates back to the date of the filing of the application for notation of the lien. In re Ridley, 50 B.R. 51, 1985 Bankr. LEXIS 6495 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1985).

6. Insufficient Notice.

The fact that the notarized bill of sale furnished by the seller showed on its face a lien of holder of conditional sale contract was not sufficient to give notice to creditors of bankrupt buyer of automobile. In re Crosson, 226 F. Supp. 944, 1963 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6982 (E.D. Tenn. 1963); In re Custom Caps, Inc., 1 B.R. 99, 1979 Bankr. LEXIS 844 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1979).

Reliance upon the purchaser of a motor vehicle to apply for title with notation of lien thereupon does not override the strict mandate of subsection (b) with respect to the perfection of security interests in such vehicles. In re Krulik, 6 B.R. 443, 1980 Bankr. LEXIS 4654 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1980).

A security interest in a motor vehicle is perfected when the application is received by the motor vehicle division; mere submission of an application to the county clerk is not sufficient. In re Haynes, 28 B.R. 136, 1983 Bankr. LEXIS 6784 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1983), aff'd, 33 B.R. 118, 1983 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15335 (M.D. Tenn. 1983).

7. Priority Between Liens.

Rights of party who properly had lien noted on certificate of title were superior to those of others who had loaned money on car but who had not complied with statute and who delayed sending lien notice to department. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

Where dealer took used car in trade and paid off lien and then sold the vehicle giving the purchaser a bill of sale upon execution of a title retention contract which contract was not registered, and the purchaser subsequently obtained the certificate of title from the original owner to whom the lienor had forwarded the certificate of title, dealer had not complied with statute and had no rights as against parties subsequently making loans on car. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Vaughn, 43 Tenn. App. 9, 305 S.W.2d 513, 1956 Tenn. App. LEXIS 148 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1956).

Notice of federal tax lien filed under §§ 66-21-20166-21-205 against all property of taxpayer in county where property was situated had priority over chattel mortgage subsequently filed under Tennessee Motor Vehicle and Title Registration Law by finance company which took chattel mortgage on vehicle as security. Atlas Finance Co. v. Wilkerson, 214 Tenn. 619, 382 S.W.2d 529, 1964 Tenn. LEXIS 514 (1964).

Common law possessory lien of artisan who performed repair work on automobile transmission took priority over perfected security interest of finance company wherein finance company had complied with provisions of Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Gibson, 220 Tenn. 654, 422 S.W.2d 435, 1967 Tenn. LEXIS 448 (1967).

Under former § 47-9-310 claims arising for work intended to enhance or preserve the value of the collateral take priority over an earlier security interest even though perfected and even though the artisan's services or materials were furnished without knowledge or approval of the secured party. Manufacturers Acceptance Corp. v. Gibson, 220 Tenn. 654, 422 S.W.2d 435, 1967 Tenn. LEXIS 448 (1967).

A “mobile home” that has had its wheels removed and has been affixed to realty is not subject to the certificate of title provisions for motor vehicles under chapters 1 and 3 of this title and therefore plaintiff's security interest, which was noted on a certificate of title to the home and was perfected in accordance with those provisions could not take priority over defendant's real estate mortgage, which was created by a deed of trust properly recorded in accordance with state mortgage law and with former § 47-9-401. Associates Capital Corp. v. Cookeville Production Credit Asso., 569 S.W.2d 474, 1978 Tenn. App. LEXIS 296 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1978).

An application for notation of lien on the title to an automobile which was properly filed but subsequently lost due to error by the filing officials of the state of Tennessee did not perfect a security interest superior to a trustee in bankruptcy. Because Tennessee law required both filing and notation of the lien on an automobile title for perfection of a security interest, the trustee could defeat the putative lienor and sell the automobile free of the lien. In re York, 43 B.R. 36, 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 5018 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1984).

8. Dealer Inventory — Security Interest.

This section is not applicable to the used or trade-in inventory vehicles of a dealer and one claiming a security interest in such vehicles for floor-plan loans made to such dealer was not required to perfect such interest in the manner required herein. In re Vaughn, 283 F. Supp. 730, 1968 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8460 (M.D. Tenn. 1968).

9. Request for Notation of Lien.

The Tennessee supreme court has treated an application for a certificate with a lien noted the same as a request for notation of a lien. In re Poteet, 5 B.R. 631, 1980 Bankr. LEXIS 4642 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1980).

No certificate can be issued or lien noted when the request is defective. In re Poteet, 5 B.R. 631, 1980 Bankr. LEXIS 4642 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1980).

10. Mobile Homes.

Security interests in mobile homes which complied with former T.C.A. § 47-9-302 rather than T.C.A. § 55-3-125 and this section were unperfected even though the mobile homes had been purchased for use in a motel business and had not been so occupied. In re Hughes, 58 B.R. 452, 1986 Bankr. LEXIS 6557 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1986).

If a title lien on a mobile home has been perfected pursuant to this section, no further filing is required under former T.C.A. § 47-9-306 to perfect the lien. Transouth Financial Corp. v. General Electric Capital Corp., 832 S.W.2d 568, 1992 Tenn. App. LEXIS 79 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992).

Where a lender's security interest was perfected by notation of its lien on the certificate of title in accordance with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law, the lender was not required to change the manner of perfection after the mobile home was affixed to realty. Roberts v. Green Tree Fin. Corp. (In re Cassady), 197 B.R. 846, 1996 Bankr. LEXIS 772 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1996).

A trustee in bankruptcy could not avoid, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 544, a creditor's security interest in a mobile home, where the lien had been created and perfected under T.C.A. § 47-9-101 et seq. by the time the debtor filed his petition in bankruptcy. Farmer v. Green Tree Serv. LLC (In re Snelson), 330 B.R. 643, 2005 Bankr. LEXIS 1851 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2005).

11. “Dependent-upon-Possession” Exception.

The “dependent-upon-possession” exception means liens depending upon possession for existence and not depending upon possession for perfection and the notation of a lien on the title of a motor vehicle is the exclusive method of perfecting that lien. In re Groves, 75 B.R. 227, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6228 (M.D. Tenn. 1987).

12. Perfection of a Security Interest.

State law requires both filing and notation of a lien on an automobile title for perfection of a security interest, and if the filing does not lead to the notation of the lien on the title, perfection does not occur. In re Clark, 112 B.R. 226, 1990 Bankr. LEXIS 652 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1990).

Bank's interest was perfected when the application for a title showing the bank's lien was lodged with the county clerk. General Motors Acceptance Corp. v. Third Nat'l Bank, 812 S.W.2d 593, 1991 Tenn. App. LEXIS 121 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1991).

The enactment of T.C.A. § 55-3-137 (see now T.C.A. § 55-3-126) did not change the Tennessee procedure for perfection of a motor vehicle lien from a “notation” to a “delivery” system. That is, a security interest is not perfected until a notation of the lien is made on the certificate of title and, when such notation is made, the date of perfection dates from the time of delivery to the county clerk; further, if the date of delivery which leads to the notation is within 20 days of the date on which the security interest arose, the date of perfection is deemed the date on which the interest was created. Still v. First State Bank, 900 S.W.2d 282, 1995 Tenn. LEXIS 308 (Tenn. 1995), superseded by statute as stated in, Schulman v. Ford Motor Credit Co. (In re Leach), 206 B.R. 903, 1997 Bankr. LEXIS 321 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1997), superseded by statute as stated in, Fitzpatrick v. Toyota Motor Credit Corp. (In re Hartline), — B.R. —, 2009 Bankr. LEXIS 2907 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. Sept. 9, 2009); Roberts v. Green Tree Fin. Corp. (In re Cassady), 197 B.R. 846, 1996 Bankr. LEXIS 772 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1996).

An automobile financing company failed to perfect a security interest in a vehicle where it unintentionally listed the name of a competitor, rather than its own name, as first lienholder on the certificate of title. Schulman v. Ford Motor Credit Co. (In re Leach), 206 B.R. 903, 1997 Bankr. LEXIS 321 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1997).

While under T.C.A. § 55-3-114(c), a prior lienor had a duty to release the certificate of title to the refinancing creditor upon request by the creditor, it was ultimately the creditor's responsibility to get the title from the prior lienor or to obtain a duplicate title, as it eventually did, more than two years after the fact; the creditor's security interest, perfected after the debtor filed bankruptcy, was avoidable by the debtor's Chapter 7 trustee under 11 U.S.C. § 544, and former T.C.A. § 47-9-301, the creditor was not perfected under T.C.A. § 55-3-126, the creditor's security interest was void as in violation of the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(4), and the trustee was entitled to turnover under 11 U.S.C. § 542 of insurance proceeds paid to the creditor by an insurance company. Farmer v. LaSalle Bank (In re Morgan), 291 B.R. 795, 2003 Bankr. LEXIS 327 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2003).

Where the application for noting a lien on the certificate of title was filed two days before the title to the vehicle was issued and where the certificate of title bore the name of the owner and listed the bank as the first lienholder, the certificate of title was perfected pursuant to the requirements of T.C.A. § 55-3-126(b)(1). Regions Bank v. Bric Constructors, LLC, 380 S.W.3d 740, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 668 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 13, 2011), rehearing denied, — S.W.3d —, 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 211 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 30, 2012).

55-3-127. Misdemeanors enumerated — Failure to endorse or deliver certificate — Discharge lien — Report discharge of lien — Transferees — Sales and use tax — Impoundment or abandonment of vehicles — Endorsement of change in ownership on title or registration.

  1. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any person to fail or neglect to properly endorse or deliver any certificate of title to the department, a transferee, or other person lawfully entitled to the certificate of title.
  2. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any lienor, including a mortgagee or a vendor, to fail or neglect upon the discharge of the lien, mortgage or encumbrance, to properly discharge the lien in the manner provided for in this part and, if the certificate of title be in the lienor's possession, to fail to deliver the certificate to the person entitled to the certificate.
  3. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any lienor whose lien has been discharged to fail to report the discharge to the department within seventy-two (72) hours from the date of discharge by registered mail, return receipt demanded.
  4. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any transferor to fail or neglect to enter the transferee name on a properly endorsed certificate of title before delivery to the transferee.
  5. It is a Class C misdemeanor for any person to possess an executed certificate of title without the name of the transferee appearing on the certificate of title.
  6. Any person found to be in violation of subsection (d) or (e) shall be liable for the sales or use tax on the fair market value of the vehicle as is determined by reference to the most recent issue of an authoritative automotive pricing manual, such as the NADA Official Used Car Guide, Southeastern Edition, or by an appraisal by a duly licensed motor vehicle dealer in the state, plus a twenty-five percent (25%) penalty.
  7. Any person found to be in possession of a vehicle with an improperly assigned title which fails to identify the transferee must immediately establish ownership of the vehicle, register the vehicle and pay the required tax and penalty. The vehicle will be impounded by state or local law enforcement officials until the person in possession can prove ownership or until the rightful owner is located. In the event the rightful owner cannot be established within thirty (30) days, the vehicle will be deemed abandoned and will be disposed of by the commissioner of safety.
  8. Insurance companies authorized to underwrite policies on motor vehicles as a result of a paid claim are authorized to endorse change in ownership on the certificate of title or registration without obtaining a new certificate of title or registration or registering with the department for sales and use tax purposes.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 55 (Williams, § 5538.155); Acts 1972, ch. 540, § 6; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-328; Acts 1987, ch. 326, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 2007, ch. 484, § 27.

Cross-References. Certified mail in lieu of registered mail, § 1-3-111.

Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Law Reviews.

Personal Property and Sales — 1956 Tennessee Survey (J. Allen Smith), 9 Vand. L. Rev. 1045.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Breach of Warranty of Title.

Automobile dealer's violation of this section by failure to deliver certificate to transferee of automobile under conditional sale constituted breach of implied warranty under the former Uniform Sales Act (now Uniform Commercial Code, § 47-1-101 et seq.) that dealer had the right to sell the automobile and entitled purchaser to rescind the contract. White v. Mid-City Motor Co., 39 Tenn. App. 429, 284 S.W.2d 689, 1955 Tenn. App. LEXIS 80 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1955).

2. Effect of Failure to Transfer Title.

Failure of the seller to endorse and deliver to the buyer the certificate of title did not prevent ownership of the vehicle from passing to the buyer, the certificate being merely evidence of ownership. Garrett v. American Mut. Liability Ins. Co., 261 F. Supp. 161, 1966 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9598 (E.D. Tenn. 1966).

55-3-128. Manufactured home affixed to real property.

  1. If a manufactured home is affixed to a parcel of real property, as provided in the affidavit of affixation, and the legal ownership of the manufactured home and real property is identical, upon the recording of the affidavit of affixation as provided in subsection (c), the owner shall surrender the certificate of the title or the manufacturer's statement or certificate of origin of the manufactured home to the department for cancellation by providing the following documentation:
      1. The certificate of the title to the manufactured home, or each separate certificate of title if the manufactured home consists of more than one (1) unit, duly endorsed or otherwise showing the release of any lienholders noted on the certificate of title;
      2. If the manufactured home is a new home not covered by a certificate of title, the manufacturer's statement or certificate of origin; or
      3. If the manufactured home is not covered by a certificate of title and the owner of the manufactured home, after diligent search and inquiry, is unable to produce the original manufacturer's certificate of origin for the manufactured home, a statement to that effect in the affidavit of affixation;
    1. A copy of the deed or other instrument of conveyance of legal ownership to the real property to which the manufactured home has become affixed conveying a fee simple or other legal ownership interest in the subject real property and that has been certified by the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the real property is located; and
    2. A certified copy of an affidavit of affixation executed by all persons who have such a legal ownership interest in the manufactured home and the real property to which the manufactured home has become affixed stating that the manufactured home is affixed to the real property described in the deed or other instrument that has been duly recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the real property and manufactured home are located.
    1. The affidavit of affixation shall be a separate document and shall contain the following information:
      1. The names of all of the legal owners of the manufactured home and real property to which the manufactured home has become affixed;
      2. The year built, manufacturer's name, model name or model number, serial number, length and width of the manufactured home;
      3. The physical address of the real property to which the manufactured home has become affixed;
      4. The legal description of the real property to which the manufactured home has become affixed;
      5. A statement that the manufactured home is to be taxed as an improvement to the real property;
      6. A statement that:
        1. The manufactured home is covered by a certificate of title that the owner shall surrender to the department;
        2. The manufactured home is covered by a manufacturer's statement or certificate of origin that the owner shall surrender to the department; or
        3. The manufactured home is not covered by a certificate of title and the owner of the manufactured home, after diligent search and inquiry, is unable to produce the original manufacturer's certificate of origin for the manufactured home;
      7. The name and mailing addresses of any lienholders holding consensual security interests in the manufactured home or whose liens have been noted upon any certificate of title covering the manufactured home;
      8. A statement that:
        1. All permits required by applicable governmental authorities have been obtained;
        2. The foundation system for the manufactured home complies with all laws, rules, regulations and codes and manufacturer's specifications applicable to the manufactured home becoming a permanent structure upon the real property; and
        3. The wheels and axles have been removed;
      9. A statement that the manufactured home is permanently connected to a septic or sewer system and other utilities such as electricity, water and gas;
      10. A statement of the preparer of the affidavit of affixation as required by § 66-24-115 or any successor statute; and
      11. Due acknowledgement of the signature of each affiant as required by title 66, chapter 22 or any successor statute.
    2. Any affidavit of affixation containing the information in subdivision (b)(1) shall be recorded by the appropriate county register of deeds. A copy of the affidavit shall be filed with the assessor of property in order to assist in locating and identifying the manufactured home for property tax purposes.
  2. Recordation of the affidavit of affixation containing the terms in subsection (b) shall be prima facie evidence that the manufactured home has become affixed to the real property as an improvement to real property and shall satisfy the requirements of 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2), or any successor statute, to the extent the manufactured home constitutes the owner's principal residence.
  3. The affidavit of affixation required pursuant to this section shall be in substantially the following form:

    THIS INSTRUMENT PREPARED BY: AFFIDAVIT OF AFFIXATION  (MANUFACTURED HOME) STATE OF    COUNTY OF  ss.: BEFORE ME,  the undersigned notary public, on this day personally appeared   [type the name(s) of each homeowner signing this affidavit]:   known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed below (each a “homeowner”), and who, being by me first duly sworn, did each by personal oath state as follows: 1. Homeowner(s) owns the manufactured home (“home”) described as follows: New/Used Year Manufacturer's Name Model Name and No.   Length/Width Manufacturer's Serial No. 2. The home is or will be located at the following “property address”: Street or Route City County State Zip Code 3. The legal description of the real property where the home is or will be permanently affixed (“land”) is: 4. The homeowner(s) executing below is/are all the legal owner(s) of the real property to which the home has become permanently affixed. 5. The home shall be assessed and taxed as an improvement to the land. 6. (A) All permits required by applicable governmental authorities have been obtained; (B) The foundation system for the home complies with all laws, rules, regulations and codes and manufacturer's specifications applicable to the manufactured home becoming a permanent structure upon the real property; and (C) The wheels and axles have been removed. 7. The home is permanently connected to a septic or sewer system and other utilities such as electricity, water and gas. 8. Check one: A.  The manufactured home is covered by a certificate of title that the owner shall surrender to the department; B.  The manufactured home is covered by a manufacturer's statement or certificate of origin that the owner shall surrender to the department; or C.  The manufactured home is not covered by a certificate of title and the owner of the manufactured home, after diligent search and inquiry, is unable to produce the original manufacturer's certificate of origin for the manufactured home; 9. The home is subject to the following security interests (each, a “security interest”): Name of Lienholder: Name of Lienholder: Address: Address: Original Principal Amount Secured: Original Amount Secured: 10. Other than those disclosed in this affidavit, the homeowner is not aware of: (i) Any other claim, lien or encumbrance affecting the home;  (ii) Any facts or information known to the homeowner that could reasonably affect the validity of the homeowner's title to the home or the existence or non-existence of security interests in the home. This affidavit is executed by homeowner(s) pursuant to applicable state law and shall be recorded in the real property records in the county in which the home is located. Further affiant(s) sayeth naught. Homeowner #1 Printed Name Homeowner #2 (If more than one homeowner) Printed Name Homeowner #3 (If more than two homeowners) Printed Name   STATE OF  COUNTY OF  Personally appeared before me,  , a notary public in and for the state and county aforesaid,  , the within named person(s), with whom I am personally acquainted (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence), and who acknowledged that such person was the one who executed the foregoing instrument for the purposes therein contained. WITNESS my hand and seal at office, on this  day of  , 20 . Notary Public My Commission Expires: ATTENTION COUNTY REGISTER OF DEEDS:   This instrument covers goods that are or are to become fixtures on or improvements to the property described in this instrument and is to be filed for record in the real estate records.

    Click to view form.

Acts 2003, ch. 76, § 5; 2007, ch. 484, § 28; 2009, ch. 132, § 1; T.C.A. § 55-3-138.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-138 to § 55-3-128 by authority of the Code Commission in 2017.

55-3-129. Reissue of cancelled certificate of title to manufactured home.

If the legal owner of a manufactured home, and the real property to which the manufactured home has become affixed, desires a cancelled certificate of title to be reissued, the legal owner shall:

  1. Reapply for a new certificate pursuant to this chapter;
  2. Provide an abstract of land title showing legal ownership of the manufactured home and real property along with any mortgages recorded upon the real property;
  3. For every lienholder listed on the abstract of land title, provide a lien release as to the manufactured home or lienor's statement that such lien is to be recorded on the face of the certificate of title for the manufactured home; and
  4. Pay the required fee for the certificate of title for the manufactured home or for each component unit.

Acts 2003, ch. 76, § 6; T.C.A. § 55-3-139.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-139 to § 55-3-129 by authority of the Code Commission in 2017.

55-3-130. Title to replica model custom-built car.

Title to a custom-built car for which no certificate of title has ever been issued by the division may be titled as the make, model and year of the manufactured motor vehicle that the custom-built car most closely resembles; provided, however, that the car is intended to replicate the make, model and year of the manufactured vehicle; and provided further, that the title clearly identifies the custom-built car as a replica.

Acts 2008, ch. 765, § 2; T.C.A. 55-3-140.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-140 to § 55-3-130 by authority of the Code Commission in 2017.

Part 2
Wrecked, Damaged, Dismantled or Rebuilt Motor Vehicles

55-3-201. Part definitions.

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Automotive dismantler and recycler” means a person who engages in the business of acquiring salvage vehicles for the purpose of recovering parts for resale;
  2. “Flood vehicle” means any passenger motor vehicle which has sustained substantial water damage as determined by departmental rules and regulations. Disclosure that a passenger motor vehicle has become a flood vehicle shall be made at the time of transfer of ownership, and the next certificate of title issued after the transfer shall be conspicuously labeled with the word “Flood” across the front;
  3. “Methamphetamine vehicle” means any motor vehicle subject to registration and certificate of title provisions that has been impounded by a law enforcement agency based on a charge of manufacture of methamphetamine on or within the vehicle and determined to be contaminated pursuant to the standards developed pursuant to title 68, chapter 212, part 5, and for which the department has received a notice of motor vehicle impoundment for manufacture of methamphetamine pursuant to § 55-3-210. Disclosure that a motor vehicle has become a methamphetamine vehicle shall be made upon the department's receipt of such notice by issuance of a new certificate of title conspicuously labeled with the language “Methamphetamine Vehicle” across the front. Upon any subsequent transfer of ownership, the next certificate of title issued after the transfer shall be conspicuously labeled with the language “Methamphetamine Vehicle” across the front;
  4. “Nonrepairable vehicle” means any passenger motor vehicle which is incapable of safe operation for use on roads or highways and which has no resale value except as a source of parts or scrap only or which the owner irreversibly designates as a source of parts or scrap. “Nonrepairable vehicle” includes, but is not limited to, any passenger motor vehicle which has sustained salt water damage as a result of salt water entering the passenger compartment. A nonrepairable vehicle shall be issued a nonrepairable vehicle certificate and shall never again be titled or registered;
  5. “Nonrepairable vehicle certificate” means a passenger motor vehicle ownership document issued by the state to the owner of a nonrepairable vehicle. Ownership of the passenger motor vehicle may only be transferred two (2) times on a nonrepairable vehicle certificate. A passenger motor vehicle for which a nonrepairable vehicle certificate has been issued can never be titled or registered for use on roads or highways. A nonrepairable vehicle certificate shall be conspicuously labeled with the word “Nonrepairable” across the front;
  6. “Passenger motor vehicle” means any vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power manufactured primarily for use on the public streets, roads and highways that is ten (10) model years old or less, including a multipurpose passenger vehicle or light duty truck when that vehicle or truck is rated at not more than nine thousand pounds (9,000 lbs.) gross vehicle weight; “passenger motor vehicle” also includes a motorcycle, as defined in § 55-1-103;
  7. “Rebuilt title” means the passenger motor vehicle ownership document issued by the state to the owner of a rebuilt vehicle. Ownership of the passenger motor vehicle may be transferred on a rebuilt title, and a passenger motor vehicle for which a rebuilt title has been issued may be registered for use on the roads and highways. A rebuilt title shall be conspicuously labeled with the words “Rebuilt Vehicle — Anti-theft Inspections Passed” across the front;
  8. “Rebuilt vehicle” means any passenger motor vehicle which was previously issued a salvage title; has passed state anti-theft inspections; was issued an affidavit pursuant to § 55-3-206 that the passenger motor vehicle was rebuilt to required standards; has been issued a certificate indicating that the passenger motor vehicle has passed the required anti-theft inspections; and has a decal stating “Rebuilt Vehicle — Anti-theft Inspections Passed” affixed to the driver's door jamb;
  9. “Salvage pool operator” means a person who engages in the business of selling salvage vehicles at auction, including wholesale auction, or otherwise;
  10. “Salvage title” means a passenger motor vehicle ownership document issued by the state to the owner of a salvage vehicle. Ownership of the passenger motor vehicle may be transferred on a salvage title; however, a passenger motor vehicle for which a salvage title has been issued shall not be registered for use on the roads or highways unless it has been issued a rebuilt title. A salvage title shall be conspicuously labeled with the word “Salvage” across the front;
    1. “Salvage vehicle” means any passenger motor vehicle which has been wrecked, destroyed, or damaged to the extent that the total estimated or actual cost of parts and labor to rebuild or reconstruct the passenger motor vehicle to its pre-accident condition and for legal operation on the roads or highways exceeds seventy-five percent (75%) of the retail value of the passenger motor vehicle, as set forth in a current edition of any nationally recognized compilation (to include automated databases) of retail values;
    2. The value of repair parts for purposes of this subdivision (11) shall be determined by using the current published retail cost of the repair parts to be used in the repair, or in the absence of a published retail cost the reasonable and customary cost in the community where repair parts are purchased;
    3. The labor cost of repairs for purposes of this subdivision (11) shall be computed by using the hourly labor rate and time allocations that are reasonable and customary in the automobile repair industry in the community where the repairs are performed;
    4. “Salvage vehicle” also includes, without regard to whether such passenger motor vehicle meets the seventy-five percent (75%) threshold specified in the first sentence, any passenger motor vehicle whose owner may wish to designate as a salvage vehicle by obtaining a salvage title, without regard to the extent of the passenger motor vehicle's damage and repairs. This designation by the owner shall not impose on the insurer of the passenger motor vehicle or on an insurer processing a claim made by or on behalf of the owner of the passenger motor vehicle any obligations or liabilities; and
  11. “Scrap metal processor” means any person who is engaged in the business of buying nonrepairable vehicles, automotive parts, or other metallic material by weight to process this material into scrap metal for remelting purposes; which utilizes machinery and equipment for processing ferrous and nonferrous metallic scrap into prepared grades; and whose principal product is metallic scrap.

Acts 1996, ch. 552, § 3; 1996, ch. 839, § 3; 2007, ch. 484, § 32; 2011, ch. 397, §§ 1, 2; 2016, ch. 691, § 1; T.C.A. § 55-3-211; Acts 2020, ch. 675, § 2.

Compiler's Notes.  Former title 55, chapter 3, part 2, T.C.A. §§ 55-3-20155-3-213, was reorganized  in 2017. See the following parallel reference table for the former and new locations.

Former Sections  New Sections

55-3-201 55-3-202

55-3-202 55-3-203

55-3-203 55-3-204

55-3-204 — 55-3-206 [Reserved]  [Deleted]

55-3-207  55-3-205

55-3-208  55-3-206

55-3-209  55-3-207

55-3-210  55-3-208

55-3-211  55-3-201

55-3-212  55-3-209

55-3-213  55-3-210

This section was renumbered from § 55-3-211 to § 55-3-201 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017.

Acts 1996, ch. 552, which enacted this section and § 55-3-209 and amended other sections in this title, may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft, Title Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 1996.”

Acts 1996, ch. 839, § 4 provides “It is the legislative intent of the General Assembly that Chapter 552 of the Public Acts of 1996 shall be applied prospectively and that the provisions of such chapter shall not be construed to create any new causes of action for acts that were in compliance with the prior provisions of law.” The act contained no effective date for § 4, and that section is deemed to have taken effect May 10, 1996.

Acts 2011, ch. 397, § 4 provided that the commissioner of revenue is authorized to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of the act, including, but not limited to, rules to provide a motor vehicle owner an opportunity for a hearing on the issue of whether the certificate of title for such vehicle should be labeled, or should continue to be labeled, as a methamphetamine vehicle. All such rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2011, ch. 397, § 5 provided that the act, which amended the introductory language and added the definition of “methamphetamine vehicle”, shall apply to all applicable offenses committed on or after July 1, 2011.

Acts 2016, ch. 691, § 2 provided that the act, which amended the definition of “Passenger motor vehicle”, shall apply to applicable titles issued on or after March 24, 2016.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added the definitions of “automotive dismantler and recycler” and “salvage pool operator”.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 675, § 3. October 1, 2020; provided that for purposes of promulgating rules, the act took effect June 15, 2020.

55-3-202. Owner dismantling or wrecking vehicle to return evidences of title — Rebuilt motor vehicles — Application for new certificate of title.

  1. Any owner dismantling or wrecking any registered vehicle shall immediately forward to the department the certificate of title issued to the owner for the vehicle, but may retain the certificate of registration and registration plates for the purpose of transferring the certificate of registration and registration plates to any other motor vehicle as provided in § 55-4-101.
  2. Any person, who has rebuilt a motor vehicle for which the certificate of title or other ownership documents have been surrendered and a salvage title, flood title, or nonrepairable vehicle certificate has been issued in accordance with the rules promulgated by the department, prior to the sale of the vehicle to another, shall make application to the local county clerk or directly to the department for a new certificate of title. The application for certificate of title shall be supported by the salvage title and evidence of ownership and reconstruction satisfactory to the commissioner. The person rebuilding or having a motor vehicle rebuilt may apply for a certificate of title.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 56 (Williams, § 5538.156); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 10; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-329; Acts 1987, ch. 443, § 2; T.C.A., § 55-3-128; Acts 2006, ch. 517, § 2; 2007, ch. 484, § 29; 2008, ch. 1007, § 1; T.C.A. 55-3-201.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-201 to § 55-3-202 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

Cross-References. Rebuilt or reconstructed motor vehicles, certificates of title, permits, inspections, §§ 55-3-206, 55-3-207.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Sale.

Sale of wrecked or dismantled truck, which was a reconstructed vehicle within the meaning of title 55, ch. 3, part 2, which was sold under an “as is” disclaimer of warranty, did not bar an action for unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Morris v. Mack's Used Cars, 824 S.W.2d 538, 1992 Tenn. LEXIS 45 (Tenn. 1992).

55-3-203. Records of motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor — Requirements — Violations and penalties.

    1. Any motor vehicle dismantler and recycler required to be licensed pursuant to § 55-17-109 or scrap metal processor as defined in § 55-3-201, who purchases motor vehicles for parts, dismantling, or scrap, shall, notwithstanding the requirements of title 62, chapter 9, be governed by this section with respect to those purchases, and shall maintain a record for three (3) years, in the form the commissioner prescribes, of every vehicle bought, sold, dismantled, exchanged, or received by the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor.
    2. The purchasing motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor shall also require the seller of the vehicle to provide proof of ownership by providing a properly endorsed vehicle title. The title provided shall be securely maintained for each vehicle purchased, shall become a part of the record maintained pursuant to subdivision (a)(1), and shall be cancelled by the department of revenue pursuant to subdivision (h)(2).
      1. Notwithstanding this title to the contrary, any motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor, who purchases a motor vehicle that is twelve (12) years or older solely for parts, dismantling, or scrap, may purchase the motor vehicle without seeing and obtaining the title to the vehicle if the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor does not dismantle, crush, or shred the vehicle for a period of three (3) business days, including the date of purchase, and if the following information is obtained by the buyer and maintained as a part of the record required by subdivision (a)(1):
        1. The name, address, and National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) identification number of the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor;
        2. The name, initials, or other identification of the individual entering the information;
        3. The date of the transaction;
        4. A description of the motor vehicle, including the make and model to the extent practicable;
        5. The vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle to the extent practicable;
        6. The license plate number of any vehicle transporting the motor vehicle being sold;
        7. The amount of consideration given for the vehicle;
        8. A written statement signed by the seller, and the seller's agent, if applicable:
          1. Certifying that the seller, and the seller's agent, if applicable, have the lawful right to sell the motor vehicle;
          2. Certifying that the vehicle is not subject to any security interest or lien;
          3. Acknowledging that a person who falsifies any information contained in the written statement is subject to criminal sanctions and restitution for losses incurred as a result of the sale of a vehicle based on falsified information contained in the statement; and
          4. Certifying that the vehicle shall never be titled again and shall be dismantled or destroyed;
        9. The name, address, and the right thumbprint impression of the person from whom the vehicle is being purchased. However, if taking the right thumbprint is not possible, the left thumbprint or another fingerprint impression shall suffice;
        10. A photocopy or electronic scan of a valid driver license of the seller, and the seller's agent, if applicable, of the motor vehicle, or in lieu of the photocopy or scan of the valid driver license, any other identification card containing a photograph of the seller as issued by any state or federal agency of the United States. If the buyer has a copy of the seller's photo identification on file, the buyer may reference the photo identification on file without making a separate photocopy for each transaction; and
        11. Proof confirming that the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor has reported the vehicle to the department of revenue in accordance with subsection (c) within twenty-four (24) hours, not counting weekends or legal holidays, of the close of business of the day the vehicle was received.
      2. If the seller does not provide the motor vehicle title or provide the information prescribed in subdivision (b)(1)(A), the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor shall not complete the transaction.
    1. The general assembly intends by this subsection (b) to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation related to the age of the vehicle which a motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor may purchase without seeing and obtaining the title to the vehicle and the three-day waiting period prior to dismantling, crushing, or shredding the vehicle when a title is not provided to the dismantler or recycler in accordance with subdivision (b)(1)(A).
  1. Any motor vehicle dismantler and recycler required to be licensed pursuant to § 55-17-109 or scrap metal processor as defined in § 55-3-201, who purchases a vehicle for scrap or parts, shall submit to the department of revenue any information in a format as is necessary to satisfy the requirement for reporting information to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) in accordance with rules adopted by the United States department of justice in 28 CFR 25.56, within twenty-four (24) hours, not counting weekends or legal holidays, of the close of business of the day the vehicle was received. The department shall report such information to NMVTIS on behalf of the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor.
    1. It is a Class A misdemeanor, subject to a minimum fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), for any person to:
      1. Knowingly violate this section;
      2. Knowingly fail to report as required under subsection (c);
      3. Falsify the statement required under subsection (b);
      4. Knowingly falsify the certification required under subsection (g); or
      5. Knowingly sell a vehicle which is the subject of any security interest or lien.
    2. Actions to impose the penalties under this subsection (d) may be brought by any local or state law enforcement agency, district attorney, or by the attorney general and reporter in any court of competent jurisdiction.
      1. One-half (½) of the monies generated from the penalties under this subsection (d) shall be deposited in the general fund.
      2. The remaining one-half (½) of the monies generated from the penalties under this subsection (d) shall be deposited:
        1. In the general fund of the municipality if the suit was brought in a municipal court;
        2. In the general fund of the county if the suit was brought in the court of a county; or
        3. To the appropriate state law enforcement agency, if the suit was brought by any county, state, or municipal law enforcement agency.
    3. Monies generated from the penalties under this subsection (d) shall be used only for the enforcement, investigation, prosecution, and training related to violations of this section, auto thefts, or motor vehicle related crimes.
    4. A court of competent jurisdiction shall also order a seller under this section to make restitution to the owner or lienholder, and to the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor, for any damage or loss caused by the seller arising out of an offense committed by the seller, including attorney's fees.
  2. Any motor vehicle used to transport a motor vehicle illegally sold under this section shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture by any law enforcement officer authorized to effectuate an arrest. The seizure and forfeiture shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure set out in title 40, chapter 33, part 1.
  3. The records required to be maintained by this section shall be open to inspection by a representative of the commissioner's office or a law enforcement officer, or both, during reasonable business hours.
  4. As used in this section, “motor vehicle” or “vehicle” does not include motor vehicles or vehicles that have been reported to the NMVTIS and have been flattened, crushed, baled, or logged, such that the motor vehicle or vehicle is less than fifty percent (50%) of its original volume, is no longer the motor vehicle as described by the certificate of title, and is sold for purposes of scrap metal only. The seller of the material shall certify to the scrap metal processor purchasing the material that all vehicles crushed in this manner and included in the sale have been properly reported to the department of revenue or the NMVTIS.
    1. The department of revenue shall verify within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of the information reported pursuant to subsection (c) whether or not the motor vehicle reported pursuant to subsection (c) has been reported stolen. The department of revenue may develop a method to allow a person subject to this section to verify at the time of the transaction, through the use of the internet, at no cost, that the vehicle has not been reported stolen, and that also allows for the department of revenue's response to be printed and retained by the person making the request. Within ninety (90) days of the development of such system, its use by any motor vehicle dismantler and recycler required to be licensed pursuant to § 55-17-109 or scrap metal processor as defined in § 55-3-201, who purchases a vehicle for scrap or parts, shall become mandatory. One (1) of the following shall apply following the department of revenue's response:
      1. If the department of revenue confirms that the motor vehicle has been reported stolen, the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor shall notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency of the current location of the vehicle and the identifying information of the person selling the vehicle; or
      2. If the department of revenue confirms that the motor vehicle has not been stolen, the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor may proceed with the transaction and shall not be held criminally or civilly liable if the motor vehicle later turns out to be a stolen vehicle, unless the motor vehicle dismantler and recycler or scrap metal processor had knowledge that the motor vehicle was a stolen vehicle or failed to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) or (b).
    2. The department of revenue shall enter a cancellation on the title record for the motor vehicle.
    3. If the department of revenue has not received information from a federal, state, or local department or independent source that a vehicle has been reported as stolen it will continue to check against the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for a period of thirty (30) days. If the vehicle is not reported as stolen, any person damaged shall not have a cause of action against the department of revenue's vehicle services division.
    4. The department of revenue is authorized to comply with some or all of its responsibilities in this section through a contract with a United States department of justice approved third-party data consolidator, pursuant to 28 CFR Part 25.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 57 (Williams, § 5538.157); Acts 1959, ch. 250, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 59-330, 55-3-129; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1996, ch. 552, § 10; 2006, ch. 517, § 3; 2008, ch. 1026, § 1; 2012, ch. 684, § 1; 2015, ch. 466, § 1; T.C.A. 55-3-202.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-202 to § 55-3-203 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

For transfer of auto salvage and auto theft enforcement from the department of revenue to the department of safety, see Executive Order No. 50 (April 14, 1983).

Acts 1996, ch. 552, which amended this section, may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft, Title Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 1996.”

Acts 2015, ch. 466, §  2 provided that for purposes of subsection (i) in section 1 of the act, which rewrites the section effective July 1, 2016, the act shall take effect July 1, 2015. Subsection (i) of section 1 was added as (g) in the version of the section effective until July 1, 2016, and appears as subsection (i) in the version effective on July 1, 2016.

Subsection (i), which expired effective June 30, 2017, read as follows:

“(i)(1)  In addition to any other fees required by this title or title 62, chapter 9, each motor vehicle dismantler and recycler required to be licensed pursuant to § 55-17-109 shall pay a biennial fee of five hundred dollars ($500) to the Tennessee motor vehicle commission accompanying each application for licensure or renewal of a motor vehicle dismantler and recycler license. Prior to the close of each fiscal year, all fees collected pursuant to this subsection (i), less any expenses associated with the collection and processing of such payments by the Tennessee motor vehicle commission, which shall be retained by the Tennessee motor vehicle commission to pay for the receipt and administration of this fee, including payment of any administrative cost back to the regulatory boards division, shall be transferred to the general fund for the implementation and administration of the reporting systems required to comply with this section.

“(2)  This subsection (i) shall expire as of June 30, 2017, and be of no force or effect after June 30, 2017.”

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

55-3-204. Motor vehicle dealer’s license not required for person to sell motor vehicles to automotive dismantlers and recyclers or scrap metal dealers or processors.

A motor vehicle dealer's license shall not be required for a person to sell motor vehicles to licensed automotive dismantlers and recyclers, as defined in § 55-17-102, or to registered scrap metal dealers or scrap metal processors, if:

  1. The motor vehicle has been designated by the seller as a nonrepairable vehicle, whether or not such vehicle has been issued a nonrepairable vehicle certificate; and
  2. The motor vehicle is being sold solely for recycling, dismantling, or scrap.

Acts 2016, ch. 904, § 1; T.C.A. § 55-3-203.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-203 to § 55-3-204 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

55-3-205. Rebuilt motor vehicles — Applications for certificate of title and registration.

  1. The department is authorized to accept applications for rebuilt certificates of title that are supported by a salvage title and other evidence of reconstruction as is required, without the applicant first submitting this evidence through one (1) of the county clerks. In these instances, there shall be an additional five-dollar  issuance fee charged for processing.
  2. Persons applying for both a certificate of title and registration must do so through the appropriate county clerk.

Acts 1987, ch. 443, § 5; T.C.A., § 55-3-134; Acts 1996, ch. 552, § 7; 2007, ch. 484, § 30; T.C.A. § 55-3-207.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-207 to § 55-3-205 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

Acts 1996, ch. 552, which amended this section, may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft, Title Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 1996.”

Cross-References. Rebuilt or reconstructed motor vehicles, certificates of title, permits, inspections, §§ 55-3-120, 55-3-202, 55-3-206, 55-3-207.

55-3-206. Rebuilt motor vehicles — Inspections — Certification.

  1. Prior to the issuance of a rebuilt certificate of title for a vehicle on which a salvage title has been issued, a representative of the department shall inspect the vehicle at a place and time to be designated by the commissioner. The person inspecting the vehicle shall certify the identity of the vehicle. The inspection shall include bills of sale, identification of source of parts used, and an affidavit by the applicant that the vehicle has been repaired in accordance with manufacturer's requirements and department rules. The commissioner, for good cause shown, may waive the inspection requirement for any given vehicle or particular class of vehicle. The commissioner, if the commissioner determines that a vehicle inspection is unsatisfactory or that the requirements of this section have not been met, shall refuse to issue a certificate of title of any kind on such motor vehicle.
  2. The commissioner, or representative of the department, shall have all powers and authority granted under § 55-5-108(a) to inspect at any time during regular business hours any vehicle for which a permit to dismantle has been issued under this section and §§ 55-3-120(c), 55-3-202(b), 55-3-205 and 55-3-207 in order to determine the source of the vehicle and parts.
    1. In addition to  the fee required by § 55-3-205, the commissioner shall charge a reasonable fee not to exceed seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for each conversion of a vehicle salvage document to a rebuilt title in an amount calculated to cover the cost of adequate staffing and other operation costs of a program to enforce the motor vehicle title and salvage laws and anti-theft inspection of rebuilt vehicles.
    2. There shall be a unit established called the anti-theft unit whose primary function shall be as outlined in subdivision (c)(1).
    3. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all moneys collected pursuant to this subsection (c) shall be deposited in the state general fund and credited to a separate account for the cost of operating this program.
    4. Disbursements from this account shall be made solely for the purpose of defraying expenses incurred in the implementation and enforcement of the program.
    5. None of these expenses shall be paid from any other state funds.
    6. Funds remaining in the account at the end of any fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain available for expenditure in accordance with law.

Acts 1987, ch. 443, § 6; T.C.A., § 55-3-135; Acts 1991, ch. 361, §§ 1, 2; 1996, ch. 552, § 5; 1996, ch. 839, § 3; 2005, ch. 130, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 31; T.C.A. § 55-3-208.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-208 to § 55-3-206 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

Acts 1996, ch. 552, which amended this section, may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft, Title Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 1996.”

Cross-References. Rebuilt motor vehicles, vehicles reconstructed out of state, § 55-3-207.

55-3-207. Rebuilt motor vehicles — Vehicles reconstructed out of state.

Sections 55-3-120(c), 55-3-201, 55-3-202(b), 55-3-205, 55-3-206, and 55-3-209, apply equally to vehicles reconstructed out of state and sought to be titled in this state.

Acts 1987, ch. 443, § 6; T.C.A., § 55-3-136; Acts 1996, ch. 552, § 11; T.C.A. § 55-3-209.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-209 to § 55-3-207 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

Acts 1996, ch. 552, which amended this section, may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft, Title Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 1996.”

55-3-208. Water damaged motor vehicles — Certificate of title.

There shall be a brand affixed to a certificate of title issued by the department for a motor vehicle which has sustained substantial water damage.

Acts 1989, ch. 377, § 2; T.C.A. § 55-3-210.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-210 to § 55-3-208 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

55-3-209. Disclosure of motor vehicle's previous titling as “salvage” — Written notice to buyer.

  1. For any passenger motor vehicle, the ownership of which is transferred on or after October 1, 1996, the department shall disclose in writing on the certificate of title whenever records readily accessible to the state indicate that the passenger motor vehicle was previously issued a title that bore any word or symbol signifying that the vehicle was “salvage,” “unrebuildable,” “parts only,” “scrap,” “junk,” “nonrepairable,” “reconstructed,” “rebuilt,” or any other symbol or word of like kind, or that it has been damaged by flood.
    1. The department shall indicate on the face of the title or certificate for a passenger motor vehicle, as applicable, if the passenger motor vehicle is a salvage vehicle, a nonrepairable vehicle, a rebuilt vehicle, or a flood vehicle.
    2. Information concerning a passenger motor vehicle's status as a salvage, nonrepairable, rebuilt, or flood vehicle shall also be conveyed on any subsequent title, including a duplicate or replacement title, for the passenger motor vehicle issued by the original titling state or any other state.
    3. The title documents, the rebuilt anti-theft inspection certificate, the decal stating “Rebuilt Vehicle — Anti-theft Inspections Passed,” and the issuing system shall meet security standards minimizing the opportunities for fraud.
    4. The certificate of title shall include the passenger motor vehicle make, model, body type, year, odometer disclosure, and vehicle identification number.
    5. A passenger motor vehicle designated as nonrepairable shall be issued a nonrepairable vehicle certificate and shall not be retitled.
      1. A passenger motor vehicle owner submitting a vehicle for an anti-theft inspection shall be required to provide a completed document identifying the vehicle's damage prior to being repaired, a list of replacement parts used to repair the vehicle, and proof of ownership of the replacement parts, as may be evidenced by bills of sale, invoices or, if these documents are not available, other proof of ownership for the replacement parts. The owner shall submit in writing under penalty of perjury that the information in the declaration is complete and accurate, and, to the best of the owner's knowledge, no stolen parts were used during the construction or reconstruction of the motor vehicle.
      2. Any passenger motor vehicle or any major part or major replacement part required to be marked under 49 U.S.C. § 33102 of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act having a mark or vehicle identification number that has been illegally altered, defaced, or falsified, and that cannot be identified as having been legally obtained through bills of sale, invoices, or other ownership documentation, shall be contraband and subject to seizure.
    6. No duplicate or replacement title shall be issued unless the word “duplicate” is clearly marked on its face.
      1. If an insurance company is not involved in a damage settlement involving a salvage vehicle or a nonrepairable vehicle, the passenger motor vehicle owner must apply for a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate, whichever is applicable, before the passenger motor vehicle is repaired or the ownership of the passenger motor vehicle is transferred, but in any event within thirty (30) days after the passenger motor vehicle is damaged.
        1. If an insurance company, pursuant to a damage settlement, acquires ownership of a passenger motor vehicle that has incurred damage requiring the vehicle to be titled as a salvage vehicle, nonrepairable vehicle, or flood vehicle, the insurance company either must notify the department electronically or on documents prescribed by the department for purposes of evidencing the insurance company in the ownership chain of title or, alternatively, must apply for a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate within fifteen (15) days after the title is properly assigned by the owner to the insurance company, and delivered to the insurance company with all liens released.
        2. Notwithstanding this or any other law to the contrary, if an insurance company acquires ownership of a passenger motor vehicle under the circumstances described in this subdivision (b)(8) and then sells the vehicle, then these transactions shall be exempt from sales and use tax liability to the same extent the transactions were exempt from such liability prior to October 1, 1996. If the vehicle does not meet or exceed the definition of a “salvage vehicle,” “nonrepairable vehicle” or “flood vehicle,” the insurance company is authorized to endorse change in ownership on the certificate of title as follows:
          1. With regard to a motor vehicle that is sold “as is” without repairs, change in ownership may be endorsed on the certificate of title without:
            1. Obtaining a new certificate of title; or
            2. Registering with the department for sales and use tax purposes; and
          2. With regard to a motor vehicle which is sold after repair, the insurance company must first obtain a certificate of title in its name, unless the transfer is to a licensed dealer or to the insured, in which cases the procedure set forth in subdivision (1) shall apply.
      2. If an insurance company does not assume ownership of its insured's passenger motor vehicle that has incurred damage requiring the vehicle to be titled as a salvage vehicle or nonrepairable vehicle, the insurance company shall:
        1. Notify the insured of the insured's obligation to apply for a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the passenger motor vehicle and notify the department that a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate should be issued for the vehicle; or
        2. Withhold payment of the claim until the insured applies for a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate.
      3. If a leased passenger motor vehicle incurs damage requiring the vehicle to be titled as a salvage vehicle or nonrepairable vehicle, the lessor must apply for a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate within twenty-one (21) days after being notified by the lessee that the vehicle has been so damaged. The lessee of the vehicle shall inform the lessor that the leased vehicle has been so damaged within thirty (30) days after the occurrence of the damage.
      4. Any person acquiring ownership of a damaged passenger motor vehicle that meets the definition of a salvage or nonrepairable vehicle for which a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate has not been issued must apply for a salvage title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate, whichever is applicable. This application must be made before the vehicle is further transferred, but in any event, within thirty (30) days after ownership is acquired. This subdivision (b)(8)(E) shall not apply to a scrap metal processor that acquires a nonrepairable vehicle for the sole purpose of processing it into prepared grades of metallic scrap.
      5. No nonrepairable vehicle certificate shall be issued after two (2) transfers of ownership.
        1. When a passenger motor vehicle has been flattened, baled, or shredded, whichever comes first, the title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle shall be surrendered to the state within thirty (30) days.
        2. If the second transferee on a nonrepairable vehicle certificate is unequipped to flatten, bale or shred the vehicle, this second transferee must, at the time of final disposal of the vehicle, use the services of a professional automotive recycler properly licensed by the state or a scrap metal processor who is hereby authorized to flatten, bale or shred the vehicle and to effect the surrender of the nonrepairable vehicle certificate to the state on behalf of the second transferee.
        3. Records shall be updated to indicate the destruction of this vehicle and no further ownership transactions for the vehicle will be permitted.
        4. If Tennessee is not the state of origin of the title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate, then the department shall notify the state of origin of the surrender of the title or nonrepairable vehicle certificate and of the destruction of this vehicle.
      6. When a salvage title is issued, the department's records shall so note. There shall be no retitling for registration purposes or issuance of a rebuilt title for a passenger motor vehicle with a salvage title without a certificate of inspection, indicating that the vehicle has passed the required state anti-theft inspections. This item does not preclude the issuance of a new salvage title for a salvage vehicle after a transfer of ownership.
      7. After a passenger motor vehicle titled with a salvaged title has passed the required anti-theft inspections, the inspection official will affix a secure decal stating “Rebuilt Vehicle — Anti-theft Inspections Passed” to the driver's door jamb of the vehicle and issue to the owner of the vehicle a certificate indicating that the passenger motor vehicle has passed the required anti-theft inspections. The decal must comply with the permanency requirements established by the department.
      8. The owner of a passenger motor vehicle titled with a salvage title may obtain a rebuilt title and vehicle registration by presenting to the department the salvage title, properly assigned, if applicable, together with the certificate that the vehicle has passed the anti-theft inspections. With this proper documentation and upon request, a rebuilt title and registration shall be issued to the owner. When a rebuilt title is issued, the department's records shall so note.
    7. A seller of a passenger motor vehicle that becomes a flood vehicle shall, at or prior to the time of transfer of ownership, give the buyer a written notice that the vehicle is a flood vehicle. At the time of the next title application for the vehicle, disclosure of the flood status shall be provided to the state with the properly assigned title and the word “Flood” shall be conspicuously labeled across the front of the new title.
    8. In the case of a leased passenger motor vehicle, the lessee, within fifteen (15) days of the occurrence of the event that caused the vehicle to become a flood vehicle, shall give the lessor written disclosure that the vehicle is a flood vehicle.
  2. The department is directed to develop electronic procedures in lieu of paper documents whenever these electronic procedures provide the same information, function, and security otherwise required by this section.
    1. If an insurance company or a salvage pool operator or an automotive dismantler and recycler authorized by the insurance company is unable to obtain the properly endorsed certificate of ownership or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the department within thirty (30) calendar days following the acceptance by the owner of an offer of an amount in settlement of a total loss, the insurance company or salvage pool operator or an automotive dismantler and recycler, on a form provided by the department and signed under penalty of perjury, may request the department to issue a salvage certificate for the vehicle. The request must include written confirmation by the requester that the insurance company has paid the claim and that the requester has made at least two (2) written attempts via commercial delivery service with evidence of delivery to the last known address of the owner to obtain the certificate of ownership or other acceptable evidence of title and must include the fee as set by the department.
    2. The department, upon receipt of the certificate of ownership, other evidence of title, or properly executed request described in subdivision (d)(1) and the fee, shall issue a lien-free salvage certificate for the vehicle.
  3. A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1996, ch. 552, §§ 4, 6; 1996, ch. 839, § 3; 2006, ch. 517, §§ 4, 5; 2007, ch. 484, § 33; T.C.A. § 55-3-212; Acts 2020, ch. 675, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-212 to § 55-3-209 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

Acts 1996, ch. 552, which enacted this section and § 55-3-201 and amended other sections in this title, may be cited as the “Motor Vehicle Anti-Theft, Title Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 1996.”

Acts 1996, ch. 839, § 4 provided: “It is the legislative intent of the General Assembly that Chapter 552 of the Public Acts of 1996 shall be applied prospectively and that the provisions of such chapter shall not be construed to create any new causes of action for acts that were in compliance with the prior provisions of law.” The act contained no effective date for § 4, and that section is deemed to have taken effect May 10, 1996.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (d) and redesignated following subsections accordingly.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 675, § 3. October 1, 2020; provided that for purposes of promulgating rules, the act took effect June 15, 2020.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

55-3-210. Notice of motor vehicle impoundment for manufacture of methamphetamine.

  1. Any law enforcement agency that impounds a motor vehicle due to the manufacture of methamphetamine on or within the motor vehicle, determined to be contaminated pursuant to the standards developed pursuant to title 68, chapter 212, part 5, shall submit a notice of motor vehicle impoundment for manufacture of methamphetamine to the department of revenue within thirty (30) days of such impoundment.
  2. A notice in a form substantially as follows is sufficient to comply with subsection (a):

    Notice of Motor Vehicle Impoundment for Manufacture of Methamphetamine

    Notice is hereby given that a motor vehicle has been impounded due to a charge of manufacture of methamphetamine on or within the vehicle. Such motor vehicle was seized at the location described below on

    This motor vehicle has been impounded by  pursuant to

    (name of law enforcement agency)

    Tennessee Code Annotated, § _________________.

    Address of Motor Vehicle Seizure:

    _________________________________

    Name of Motor Vehicle Owner or Owners:

    __________________________________

    Registered Address:

    __________________________________

    Apartment or Unit Number (if applicable):

    __________________________________

    VIN:

    __________________________________

    Year, Make, Model and Color:

    __________________________________

    Name of Person and Agency Giving Notice:

    __________________________________

    Signature of Person Giving Notice:

    __________________________________

    Title/Position:

    __________________________________

    Date:

    __________________________________.

Acts 2011, ch. 397, § 3; T.C.A. § 55-3-213.

Compiler's Notes. This section was renumbered from § 55-3-213 to § 55-3-210 as part of the reorganization of the part by authority of the Code Commission in 2017. See the parallel reference table in § 55-3-201 for the full disposition of sections.

Acts 2011, ch. 397, § 4 provided that the commissioner of revenue is authorized to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of the act, including, but not limited to, rules to provide a motor vehicle owner an opportunity for a hearing on the issue of whether the certificate of title for such vehicle should be labeled, or should continue to be labeled, as a methamphetamine vehicle. All such rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2011, ch. 397, § 5 provided that the act, which enacted this section, shall apply to all applicable offenses committed on or after July 1, 2011.

Chapter 4
Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicles

Part 1
General Provisions

55-4-101. Registration required before operation — Application — Issuance of registration and license plates — Rules and regulations — Temporary permit — Transfer of registration when changing vehicles — Fees — Safety rules for homemade trailers.

    1. As a condition precedent to the operation of any motor vehicle upon the streets or highways of this state, the motor vehicle shall be registered as provided in this chapter.
    2. The registration and the fees provided for registration shall constitute a privilege tax upon the operation of motor vehicles.
    1. The commissioner shall be, and is constituted, the registrar of motor vehicles and, except as otherwise provided in chapters 1-6 of this title, every owner of a vehicle intended to be operated in this state and required by this chapter to be registered shall, before same is operated, apply to the department for the registration of, and the registration plates for, the vehicle.
    2. Notwithstanding subdivision (b)(1), any regularly licensed passenger motor vehicle that is not operated for hire and is owned by a nonresident who establishes residency in this state may be operated in this state for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days from the date that residency is established.
  1. Application for registration shall be made, in the manner prescribed by the commissioner on forms provided or approved by the department, to the county clerk of the county of the owner's residence or of a county wherein the vehicle is based or is to be operated, except that a nonresident may apply directly to the department for registration. Any applicant for registration under any allowance or requirement for the apportionment of the fee shall apply to the department.
      1. Upon finding the title to the vehicle or application for the title in order and all fees required under chapters 1-6 of this title duly tendered, the county clerk shall forward the application for registration and the proper fee to the department in the manner provided by law, and the department upon registering the vehicle shall issue or cause to be issued a registration certificate and license plate or plates to the owner; provided, that any person operating a vehicle under the terms of a bona fide lease agreement of not less than ninety (90) days' tenure may, with the written consent of the owner and other reasonable evidence of right to possession of the vehicle as the commissioner may require, apply to the department for, and be issued, registration and plate or plates thereunder.
      2. The lessee-registrant shall be deemed to be the lawful holder of the registration with all rights in and to it as may be provided under this chapter for owner-registrants, except that each application requiring the owner's consent to register shall be accompanied by a fee of two dollars ($2.00) in addition to other fees required by law.
      3. Any requirements in this title to the contrary notwithstanding, the commissioner is authorized to approve registrations and issue the certificates and plates thereunder, and the several county clerks are designated deputies to perform duties in connection with approving registrations and issuing certificates and plates as the commissioner may prescribe; provided, that the commissioner's authority to remove plates to a point of central distribution to the applicants for registration is limited to those issued for freight motor vehicles, other than farm trucks, in weight classes of eighteen thousand (18,000) or more pounds or for vehicles owned by nonresidents and other vehicles as may be registered under a proration program or like plan allowing the apportionment of fees; and provided further, that any clerk taking an application to be forwarded to the department shall likewise be entitled to the fee provided in § 55-6-101(a)(1).
      4. The commissioner is empowered to make all rules and regulations respecting the manner in which applications shall be made and the manner in which any application and fee shall be forwarded to the department.
      5. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the commissioner has the authority to establish a procedure to accept electronically any and all remittances, titling and registration transactions.
    1. The commissioner shall not issue a registration for a vehicle based in a county that has been designated by the Tennessee air pollution control board to have a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program in order to attain or maintain compliance with national ambient air quality standards, except in accordance with terms and conditions as are established in rules of the board.
  2. The department, in its discretion, may grant a temporary permit to operate a vehicle for which application for registration has been made, where the application is accompanied by the proper fee pending action upon the application by the department.
  3. The registration shall be valid from the time of issuance until the date provided for the annual expiration of registration, except it shall likewise expire upon the prior transfer of any interest by operation of law or otherwise in or pertaining to the vehicles so registered; provided, that upon the registration becoming void by reason of the transfer of ownership, the owner-registrant may, upon application to the department through the county clerk by surrender of the certificate and payment of a fee of one dollar ($1.00) plus the clerk's fee, register another vehicle for the unexpired portion under the same number and be issued a new certificate properly identifying the vehicle to which the license has been transferred. If the vehicle to be registered is of a weight or classification that requires the payment of a higher fee, the applicant must surrender both the certificate and the plate or plates to the clerk, and, upon payment of the amount being the difference between the fees required for the two (2) registrations as of that date, together with the one-dollar transfer fee and the clerk's fee, be issued a new certificate of registration and appropriate plate or plates. Further, it shall be allowable for one holding a license as an individual to submit it, under this subsection (f), in application for reassignment to a vehicle which this licensee holds by the entireties with the licensee's spouse. If a vehicle is permanently withdrawn from a proportionally registered fleet and a replacement vehicle is added to the fleet in the same calendar month, the replacement vehicle shall be considered fully registered as provided in this section if the vehicle is registered for a weight equal to or less than the vehicle permanently withdrawn or if the additional registration fee, one-dollar transfer fee, and clerk's fee are paid when the replacement vehicle is registered for a weight greater than the vehicle withdrawn. If a vehicle is permanently withdrawn from a proportionally registered fleet and is not replaced by another vehicle in the same calendar month, credit shall be allowed as follows:
    1. The credit shall be a sum equal to the amount paid with respect to such vehicle when it was first proportionally registered in the registration year, reduced by one-twelfth (1/12) for each calendar month or fraction of the calendar month elapsing since the beginning of the registration year;
    2. The credit may be applied against subsequent additions to the fleet or for other additional registration fees assessed; and
    3. In no event shall credit be allowed for fees beyond such registration year, nor shall any such amount be subject to refund.
  4. With the approval of the registrar, a license issued for a vehicle that has been destroyed or necessarily removed from service may be transferred to a replacement vehicle in the same manner and under the same conditions provided under this allowance for the reassignment of registration.
    1. When the registrar has issued two (2) valid registrations for the same vehicle, title to which remains vested in the same person, the second registration being taken only for the purpose of qualifying it for operation under a lawful requirement for proration of the registration fee, a refund may be made of the unused portion of the fee paid for the first issued of the two (2) outstanding registrations, less ten dollars ($10.00). Surrender of both the first certificate of registration and the related license plate, and the submission of any other documentation as the registrar may require, is a prerequisite to the payment of the refund, that shall be proportionate to the number of full months remaining in the registration period when the second registration was taken.
    2. When the registrar has issued a valid registration for a vehicle to a lessee-registrant for the purpose of qualifying it for operation under a lawful requirement for proration of the registration fee, and the bona fide lease agreement pertaining to the vehicle is terminated, the lessee-registrant may transfer the license issued to a replacement vehicle in the same manner and under the same conditions provided under this allowance for the reassignment of registration, or surrender both the certificate of registration and relative license plate and any other documentation as the registrar may require to secure a refund of the unused portion of the fee paid, which shall be proportionate to the number of full months remaining in the registration period for which registration was issued; provided, that the annual license fee for the surrendered license plate is one hundred fifty dollars ($150) or more.
    1. The registrant may surrender the certificate and plate or plates to the department through the county clerk in an application for a registration of some other class or classification for the same vehicle and be issued a new certificate for it, together with appropriate plate or plates, upon the payment of a fee of one dollar ($1.00) and the clerk's fee, and if the new registration requires a higher fee, that amount being the difference in the fees required for the two (2) registrations as of the date of application.
    2. Any person registering a motor vehicle under § 55-4-113, who during the registration year exchanges the original registration for a registration in a lesser class and subsequently desires to register the vehicle in the class of the original registration or some lesser class, may do so upon the payment of a fee of one dollar ($1.00) and the clerk's fee.
    3. In addition to this allowance for the reregistration of the vehicle by reason of some change in its use or design, it shall likewise be permissible for a vehicle to be reregistered, in the same class under the same license number, when the owner, an individual, makes an assignment to self and spouse for the purpose of establishing tenancy to the vehicle by the entireties.
    4. Application under this subsection (i), an exception to the requirement for an original registration, shall be made in the manner described in subdivisions (i)(1)-(3) except the fee shall be two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) plus the clerk's fee.
  5. The reassignment of registrations as provided in this section shall be allowable among all classifications and, in computing a reassignment fee, the value of the registration being surrendered shall be determined by establishing that amount which would be the fee required for its issuance as of the date of the application for reassignment. Any law to the contrary notwithstanding, no fee shall be charged for the transfer of registration of any motor vehicle to any person acquiring title to the motor vehicle as a result of the death of the spouse of this person if application for transfer is made within one (1) year from the date of the spouse's death.
  6. The owner of a motorized bicycle may, subject to the approval of the commissioner, apply for registration and registration plates for the motorized bicycle. The commissioner shall by regulation provide for the manner in which single applications are to be made and the conditions under which they may be allowed; however, this subsection (k) shall not be construed as granting the commissioner authority to issue registration and plates for motorized bicycles on any basis other than as is required in this chapter. Each applicant for registration under this provision shall be charged the same registration taxes imposed on Class (A) motor vehicles by § 55-4-111.
    1. Trailers, semitrailers and pole trailers domiciled in this state which are homemade or materially reconstructed, as defined herein, shall not be titled or registered, where required under  this title, to operate over the roads and highways of this state, unless the department certifies that the trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer complies with § 65-15-111 and with any applicable safety rules and regulations promulgated by the department.
    2. It is unlawful to operate trailers, semitrailers and pole trailers titled or registered in accordance with this chapter that are subsequently materially reconstructed during the term of the title or registration for the trailer without certification from the department that the reconstructed trailer complies with § 65-15-111 and all applicable safety rules and regulations.
    3. As used is this subsection (l ):
      1. “Homemade” means the construction or assembly of a trailer from new or used parts, using a body or frame not originating from any previously manufactured trailer, and not originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles; and
      2. “Materially reconstructed” means substantial alteration or modification made to an original manufacturer's specifications. Substantial alterations or modifications shall be deemed to have occurred if the trailer has undergone a major manufacturing alteration, which has materially changed the original configuration, structure or specifications of basic components of a previously assembled or manufactured trailer.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 40 (Williams, § 5538.140); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 5; 1955, ch. 52, § 3; 1963, ch. 143, § 5; 1963, ch. 145, § 3; 1963, ch. 156, § 1; 1965, ch. 272, § 1; 1965, ch. 337, § 1; 1970, ch. 549, §§ 1, 2; 1972, ch. 627, § 1; 1973, ch. 234, § 2; 1976, ch. 432, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; Acts 1979, ch. 247, § 3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-401; Acts 1981, ch. 130, § 1; 1986, ch. 798, § 1; 1988, ch. 817, § 3; 1993, ch. 416, § 1; 1995, ch. 305, § 109; 2001, ch. 233, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 34; 2008, ch. 1007, § 6; 2014, ch. 553, § 2; 2015, ch. 294, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 31 provided that, notwithstanding §§ 55-4-101, 55-4-118 or 55-4-119, if any holder of a Handicapped Veteran plate issued prior to May 19, 2014, pursuant to § 55-4-318, as that section existed prior to May 19, 2014, sells or otherwise transfers the holder's title or interest in the vehicle to which the plate is registered, then the plate shall expire and not be transferred or reassigned to another vehicle, and the holder shall surrender the plate to the department.

Cross-References. Applicability, § 55-4-130.

Collection of wheel tax fees by county clerk, § 7-51-703.

County clerk's fee, § 8-21-701.

County privilege tax on motor vehicles, § 5-8-102.

Disabled drivers and passengers, title 55, ch. 21.

Fees pledged for retirement of state debt, § 9-9-103.

Motorized bicycles, application of registration and title requirements, § 55-3-101.

Municipal licensing prohibited, §§ 6-55-501, 6-55-502.

Sale of motor vehicle to nonresident member of armed forces, § 67-6-303.

Attorney General Opinions. Titling and registration of nonresident's vehicle not authorized, OAG 97-102, 1997 Tenn. AG LEXIS 101 (7/23/97).

Even though no state statute expressly declares parking an unregistered car on private property to be a nuisance subject to abatement or any other penalty, depending on the facts and circumstances, such practice could constitute a nuisance, and, in addition, it could violate local land use, environmental, or zoning ordinances, OAG 04-172, 2004 Tenn. AG LEXIS 184 (12/17/04).

Authority of City to Require Vehicles Registered in Other Counties to Pass Emissions Tests. OAG 15-38, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 39  (4/22/15).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Stopping Car Illegally Using Plates.

Officer would not have been authorized to stop car on assumption, based on second hand information from police records, that driver was using illegally license plates on a car other than the one to which they were issued. Williams v. State, 506 S.W.2d 193, 1973 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 234 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1973).

2. Seizures of Vehicles.

Seizing an unregistered vehicle without a warrant may be justified and not an unreasonable seizure under U.S. Const., amend. 14, when it is being operated on the streets or highways. Lee v. Ladd, 834 S.W.2d 323, 1992 Tenn. App. LEXIS 232 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992).

55-4-102. Forms for certificates of registration furnished by department — Contents.

The department shall furnish to the county clerks of the various counties forms for certificates of registration, which certificates shall contain upon their face blank spaces for the following information: the date issued; the full name and bona fide residence of the owner, including the residential street address and number or route and box number, or post office box number if the applicant has no residential street address; provided, however, that a post office box shall not be sufficient to establish an individual's bona fide residence; mailing address of the owner or business address of the owner if a firm, association, or corporation; the registration plate number assigned to the vehicle; and the description of the vehicle as determined by the commissioner.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 63 (Williams, § 5538.163); impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-402; Acts 1989, ch. 341, § 4; 2009, ch. 530, § 110.

55-4-103. Registration plates furnished by department — Form and contents — Size — Replacement plates — Reissue of plates — County name strip — Recycling of plates.

  1. The department shall likewise furnish to the county clerks of the various counties of the state all registration plates of all types that may be required by the county clerks in the exercise of the duties in subdivision (b)(1) imposed upon them.
    1. Every registration plate shall have displayed upon it, in addition to a registration number, the year in which it expires and the abbreviation of the word, “Tennessee,” and if the registration plate is issued for any type of vehicle other than a privately owned passenger vehicle not operated for hire, some symbol, or word, indicating the type vehicle for which the plate was originally issued. Registration plates shall bear individual distinctive alpha-numerical characters not to exceed a combination of seven (7) as determined by the commissioner. To promote the state's official travel planning website, all registration plates which are created after July 1, 2010, other than registration plates issued under part 2 or part 3 of this chapter, shall also include the language “www.tnvacation.com” or the domain name of any subsequent official website used by the department of tourist development.
    2. Registration plates shall be designed in such a manner as determined by the commissioner as will permit the display of validation or revalidation tabs, stickers, or other devices as provided in § 55-4-104(e), and registration plates shall also be designed in such a manner as determined by the commissioner as will permit thereon, the display of county and/or municipal wheel tax tabs, stickers, or other devices evidencing payment of wheel or road taxes enacted by the respective county and/or municipality of Tennessee, if such local government, pursuant to § 5-8-102(d)(3), requires the issuance, display and placement of such tabs, stickers, or other devices for wheel or road taxes on the registration plate.
    3. Wheel tax records shall be maintained by the county clerk for the same period of time as registration records prior to disposition.
    4. Registration plates shall also be designed in such a manner to require the display of tabs, stickers or devices on plates to be issued for a private passenger vehicle, which tabs, stickers or devices shall specify the name of the county of issue. The characters of the name of the county shall in no event be smaller than the characters of the words “Volunteer State” which now appear on registration plates. The area for the display of the county shall be below and parallel to the alpha-numerical legend as provided in subdivision (b)(1). Tabs, stickers or devices on plates shall be issued at the time of the issuance of the registration plates as required by this chapter and subsection (i) and displayed on the registration plates in a manner to be determined by the commissioner.
  2. Registration plate or plates and the required numerals thereon, except the year number for which issued, shall be of sufficient size to be readable from a distance of one hundred feet (100') during daylight.
  3. This section shall apply to and include any mobile home or house trailer.
  4. The requirement in subdivision (b)(1) for displaying the year of issue on a plate may be removed with respect to those plates issued under a registration which does not require annual renewal.
    1. To promote highway safety and increase visibility and legibility on registration plates, the plates shall be fully reflectorized. The commissioner has the authority to establish specifications covering reflectorization.
    2. In addition to the fee imposed in subdivision (f)(3) and in addition to all other motor vehicle registration fees prescribed by law, there shall be paid to the department the additional fee of seventy-five cents (75¢) at the time of the issuance of registration plates or the renewal thereof.
    3. In addition to all other motor vehicle registration fees prescribed by law, there shall be paid to the department the additional sum of one dollar ($1.00) at the time of the issuance of registration plates or the renewal thereof.
  5. When any plate becomes so mutilated or effaced as to no longer meet the requirements of the law, the holder shall apply to the department for suitable replacement. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to provide for the replacement of lost or destroyed plates and to collect a fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for each application.
  6. Commencing January 1, 2006, and not later than each eighth anniversary thereafter, the commissioner shall cause to be reissued a new registration plate of a design as directed by the commissioner consistent with the terms, conditions and provisions of this section and this chapter. New registration plates shall not be issued prior to January 1, 2006; provided, however, that the issue of the new registration plates on January 1, 2006, and any subsequent issuance shall be deferred to a later January 1 if funds for the reissue of the registration plates are not appropriated specifically in the general appropriations act.
  7. County residents who purchase a vehicle out of their county of residence shall receive a county name strip from the county clerk of their county of residence upon proof of proper registration and payment of any county wheel tax or other applicable county fees.
  8. After January 1, 2009, every motor vehicle owner who replaces the registration plate on the owner’s motor vehicle may deposit the old, outdated or expired registration plate with the department of revenue or its agents in a manner determined by the commissioner pursuant to this subsection (j). The department of revenue shall create a program that promotes the recycling of used or outdated registration plates for the metal content in the plates. The program shall require each county facility where registration plates are issued to have a site for placing a bin or other container to collect used, outdated or expired registration plates for recycling. Each renewal notice of registration shall contain information regarding any such recycling program for registration plates. The commissioner may enter into contractual agreements with nonprofit organizations for the collection, disposal and recycling of used, expired or outdated registration plates, including the placement and maintenance of recycling bins or containers at county facilities where registration plates are issued, and the transportation of the registration plates to recycling facilities. Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection (j) to the contrary, the commissioner shall not be required to enter into an agreement or create a program pursuant to this subsection (j) that would require the department of revenue to incur, pay, or otherwise assume responsibility for the payment of, expenses associated with the collection, disposal or recycling of used, expired or outdated registration plates. However, contractual agreements may allow nonprofit organizations to retain proceeds from the collection, disposal and recycling as an incentive to participation. The county mayor shall designate a location on county property, either inside or outside of any county facility where registration plates are issued, for the placement of recycling bins or containers. Other than providing a location for a bin or container, the county shall have no responsibility for implementation of the recycling program or liability for its operation. If a contractor is not maintaining recycling facilities in a satisfactory manner on county property, the county mayor may notify the commissioner of revenue. The commissioner shall take appropriate steps to ensure that the contractor remedies the problem or terminate the agreement and find a suitable replacement.
    1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who has been issued, or is entitled under this chapter to be issued, a registration plate pursuant to this section, may elect in the alternative for the issuance of a registration plate that is designed in a manner to have engraved or embossed on it the language “In God We Trust” as provided in subdivision (k)(2).
    2. Beginning July 1, 2017, the commissioner shall cause to be issued registration plates issued or reissued pursuant to this section that display the language “In God We Trust” if requested pursuant to subdivision (k)(1).
    3. The redesign of any registration plates with the language provided for in subdivision (k)(2) shall only be effectuated upon the existing inventory of the registration plates issued pursuant to this section without such language being utilized by the department.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 64 (Williams, § 5538.164); impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1963, ch. 143, § 6; 1967, ch. 122, § 2; 1969, ch. 334, § 1; 1970, ch. 499, § 1; 1971, ch. 12, § 1; 1972, ch. 742, § 1; 1974, ch. 668, § 1; 1975, ch. 98, § 1; 1975, ch. 357, § 1; 1977, ch. 39, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-403; Acts 1986, ch. 816, §§ 1-4; 1987, ch. 321, § 1; 1988, ch. 710, § 1; 1988, ch. 971, § 1; 1990, ch. 716, § 1; 1991, ch. 90, § 1; 1991, ch. 405, § 1; 1996, ch. 687, § 3; 1997, ch. 251, § 1; 1997, ch. 538, § 1; 2003, ch. 355, § 17; 2004, ch. 481, §§ 1-3; 2008, ch. 605, § 1; 2009, ch. 530, § 113; 2010, ch. 718, § 1; 2012, ch. 908, § 1; 2013, ch. 183, § 1; 2017, ch. 429, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2003, ch. 355, § 66 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to the act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

Acts 2008, ch. 605, § 2 provided that the commissioner of revenue shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the act, which added subsection (j). The rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2017, ch. 429, § 2 provided that the act, which amended this section, shall apply to plates issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2017.

Cross-References. Manufacture of license plates at prison, §§ 41-22-125, 41-22-126.

Motor vehicle tax, § 5-8-102.

Number inscribed upon retired judicial conference member plates, § 55-4-221.

Attorney General Opinions. Legislation that requires all vehicle registration plates to bear the language “In God We Trust” would be constitutionally suspect under the Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause, and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, as well as Tenn. Const. Article I, Sections 3 and 19. However, legislation that gives vehicle owners the option of selecting a vehicle registration plate bearing the language “In God We Trust” would be constitutionally defensible. OAG 17-21, 2017 Tenn. AG LEXIS 20 (3/23/2017).

55-4-104. Expiration of certificates and plates — Renewal — Decals — Fees — Renewal of special plates.

  1. All certificates of registration and registration plates issued under chapters 1-6 of this title shall expire at twelve o'clock (12:00) midnight on March 31 of each year. These certificates of registration and registration plates shall be available for renewal and purchase commencing on March 1 of each year.
  2. There is excepted from application of subsection (a) all of the registration classes for private passenger motor vehicles, motorcycles registered after March 23, 1994, under Class (A) of § 55-4-111, and Class 1 registrations only of the combined farm and limited private trucks classification. The application of the provisions contained in subsection (a) do not apply to registration plates for handicapped drivers, and this subsection (b) for registration renewals at alternative intervals apply to registration plates for handicapped drivers. With respect to these motor vehicles, the commissioner shall establish a system of registration renewals at alternative intervals which will allow for the distribution of the registration workload as uniformly as is practicable throughout the calendar year. Registrations issued under the alternative method are valid for twelve (12) months, and expire on the last day of the last month of the registration period. However, during a transition period, or at any time thereafter when the commissioner shall determine that the volume of work for any given interval is unduly burdensome or costly, either registrations or renewals, or both of them, may be issued for terms of not less than six (6) nor more than eighteen (18) months; provided further, however, that if a motor vehicle or motorcycle owner attests that the owner will be absent from the state during the owner’s annual registration renewal month and all other requirements for registration have been met, then during the ninety-day period immediately preceding the annual registration renewal month, the registration may be renewed for the original registration period. The commissioner shall provide all registration plates, tabs, stickers and other required devices to county clerks at least ninety (90) days prior to each registration period to facilitate such early renewal. The fee imposed for registration of any vehicle under the alternative interval method for a period of other than twelve (12) months shall be proportionate to the annual fee fixed for the vehicle and modified in no other manner, except that the proportional fee shall be rounded off to the nearest quarter of a dollar (25¢).
    1. For purposes of this subsection (c):
      1. “Business” means any business that registers not less than fifteen thousand (15,000) vehicles annually and is engaged in the rental of motor vehicles, trucks, and trailers for periods of thirty-one (31) days or less when the vehicle is delivered to the lessee in this state;
      2. “Trailers” has the same meaning as defined in § 55-1-105; and
      3. “Trucks” means vehicles with a manufacturer's ton rating not exceeding three-quarter (¾) ton and having a panel or pickup body style or any freight motor vehicles with a gross weight of twenty-six thousand pounds (26,000 lbs.) or less.
    2. Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), the department may issue any business under this subsection (c) registrations that are valid for twenty-four (24) months, and expire on the last day of the last month of the registration period. With respect to vehicles registered by such business, the commissioner may establish a system of registration renewals at alternate intervals that will allow for the distribution of the registration workload as uniformly as is practicable throughout the registration period. The department shall set twenty-four-month registration fees in an amount that offsets revenue that would otherwise be generated by twelve-month registration fees in effect prior to July 1, 2017.
    1. Notwithstanding subsection (a) to the contrary, the commissioner shall establish a system of registration and registration renewals for vehicles registered pursuant to § 55-4-113, whereby these registration and registration renewals expire one (1) year after the purchase or lease for vehicles that are purchased or leased after July 1, 1996. If registration plates are transferred to these vehicles from a vehicle previously registered pursuant to § 55-4-113, then the fee for the registration plate shall be prorated accordingly.
    2. Certificates of registration, registration plates and renewals of registrations and plates registered pursuant to § 55-4-113, that expire February 28, 1997, are extended until twelve o'clock (12:00) midnight on March 31, 1997. Thereafter renewals of the registration and registration plates shall be in accordance with subsection (a).
    1. Upon proof of the payment of all fees accruing therefor, the commissioner shall have continuing authority to revalidate motor vehicle registration plates for a period of one (1) year at a time, or one (1) or more quarters of a year, and is authorized to supply the county clerks of the several counties with tabs, stickers, or other devices, that shall be affixed to the registration plates revalidated to indicate the period for which these revalidated registration plates shall be valid. The tab, sticker, or other device for the revalidated registration plate so affixed to the registration plate shall be evidence that all state fees accruing therefor and applicable local wheel or road taxes have been paid, unless the local legislative body requires a separate tab, sticker, or other device evidencing payment of the local wheel or road tax be affixed, pursuant to § 5-8-102(d)(3).
    2. The commissioner shall not issue a registration renewal for a vehicle based in a county that has been designated by the Tennessee air pollution control board to have a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program in order to attain or maintain compliance with national ambient air quality standards, except in accordance with terms and conditions as are established in rules of the board.
  3. Any county that ceases to have an inspection and maintenance program pursuant to § 68-201-119(b)(1) may, by action of its governing body, increase the amount of any clerk's fee imposed on any initial registration, or at the time of renewal, by an amount up to four dollars ($4.00). Of any increase up to four dollars ($4.00), the clerk shall retain one dollar ($1.00) and remit, as directed by the county governing body, the balance of any funds to the county general fund.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 41 (Williams, § 5538.141); Acts 1959, ch. 307, § 1; 1968, ch. 525, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1970, ch. 420, § 1; Acts 1971, ch. 157, § 1; 1976, ch. 484, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; Acts 1979, ch. 157, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-404; Acts 1981, ch. 15, § 1; 1984, ch. 806, §§ 2, 3; 1987, ch. 434, § 1; 1989, ch. 414, § 1; 1991, ch. 244, § 3; 1993, ch. 416, § 2; 1994, ch. 668, § 1; 1995, ch. 195, § 2; 1996, ch. 839, § 1; 2008, ch. 1196, § 1; 2012, ch. 908, § 2; 2014, ch. 958, § 1; 2017, ch. 325, § 1; 2018, ch. 953, § 5.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

Acts 2014, ch. 958, § 2 provided that the act, which added a new subsection (c) and redesignated former subsections (c) and (d) as present (d) and (e), shall apply to any registration or renewal made on or after January 1, 2015.

Acts 2018, ch. 953, § 3 provided that the Tennessee air pollution control board is authorized to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of this act. All such rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in Tennessee Code Annotated, title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2018, ch. 953, § 6 provided that any fee increase promulgated by the air pollution control board in order to offset any revenue lost as the result of the implementation of this act shall not be imposed on major sources of air pollutants under Title V of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.) except to the extent that such fees are used to pay for indirect and direct costs related to the Title V program as provided in Title 68, chapter 203 and 42 U.S.C. § 7661a, and indirect and direct costs specified in 40 CFR § 70.9.

Cross-References. Applicability, § 55-4-130.

Attorney General Opinions. Maximum county wheel tax authorized by statute, OAG 96-098, 1996 Tenn. AG LEXIS 103 (7/31/96).

55-4-105. Renewal certificates and registration plates — Application — Mail order service — Issuance — Replacement of lost registrations — Locations for obtaining renewal.

    1. Application for renewal certificates of registration and registration plates shall be made by the owner by the surrender of the owner's old certificate of registration or other indicia thereof as the commissioner may authorize to the vehicle and the payment of the required fee for renewal registration.
    2. The office of county clerk may make inquiry into an owner, including, but not limited to, review of driver records for the purpose of establishing an owner's residence or address, before issuing a renewal of registration or a tab, sticker or other device as a prerequisite to payment of wheel or road taxes. Upon request of the office of the county clerk, the department shall provide a current list of the names, drivers' license numbers and addresses of drivers from the requesting county.
      1. Any applicant who applies for registration who was a resident of the county in the previous year or years and was liable for and failed to pay the applicable wheel tax shall, for such year or years, be liable for and pay all prior years' wheel taxes prior to being issued such registration. This subdivision (a)(3)(A) shall not apply to licensed motor vehicle dealers, financial institutions or businesses and applicants engaged in the rental of motor vehicles, trucks and trailers for periods of thirty-one (31) days or less.
      2. This subdivision (a)(3) shall only apply in any county having a population of not less than one hundred eighty-two thousand (182,000) nor more than one hundred eighty-two thousand one hundred (182,100), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census.
  1. The registrar of motor vehicles, or deputy as provided by law, may receive applications for renewal certificates of registration and registration plates and issue the certificates and plates commencing on March 1 of each year.
  2. Each county clerk shall provide a mail order service for the renewal of registrations whereby registrants may apply for and receive the renewal certificates and plates or decals through the United States postal service. Except as otherwise required by law, an application for renewal by mail must be postmarked not later than twenty (20) days before the license expiration date to allow time for processing. Each county clerk may impose a fee of two dollars ($2.00) for the service of handling mail orders of plates and decals; provided, that the amount of such fee for the service of handling mail orders of plates is three dollars ($3.00) between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2019, and four dollars ($4.00) on or after July 1, 2019.
  3. In the event a plate or decal is lost after issuance and mailing, and before delivery to the registrant, the county clerk shall, as agent for the state, process a replacement registration at no charge upon application and affidavit from the registrant. The county clerk shall verify the registration and date of mailing.
    1. The holder of a valid and outstanding certificate of registration for a noncommercial vehicle shall apply for its renewal through the office of the clerk of the county of the owner's residence. The registration issued for a commercial vehicle may be renewed through the office of the clerk of the county of the owner's principal place of business within the state, or of the county of incorporation in the case of a corporate owner or of any other county in which the owner or corporate owner maintains an office or place of business. Any applicant for the renewal of a registration under which the fee is to be prorated or apportioned and any nonresident applicant for renewal shall, within the discretion of the commissioner, make application directly to the division.
    2. For the purposes of this subsection (e), “commercial vehicle” means any vehicle that is operated in the furtherance of any commercial enterprise; provided, that vehicles registered with Tennessee Association of Realtors new specialty earmarked license plates shall be deemed not to be commercial vehicles.
      1. A violation of subdivision (e)(1) for the renewal of a motor vehicle license in certain locations is a Class C misdemeanor.
      2. If a county wheel tax or like local fee is due and owing to local government for the use of the vehicle, the owner or operator shall, upon conviction, be punished in accordance with a Class B misdemeanor and subject to the fine only.
      3. In instances of violations in which it is found that the wheel tax or local fee has been paid or is not due, the court may, in the event of a conviction, substitute, in lieu of the punishment set forth in subdivision (e)(3)(B), a fine of not less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than ten dollars ($10.00).
  4. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the office of county clerk shall not be required to review the driving record of any owner before issuing a certificate of registration or a tab, sticker or other device as a prerequisite to payment of wheel or road taxes.
    1. If a person makes an application for a renewal certificate of registration or registration plate pursuant to this section and at the time of application owes any motor vehicle registration fee to the office of the county clerk, then the clerk may deny the application until the person makes full payment on such fee amount.
    2. In addition to the fee amount described in subdivision (g)(1), the clerk may charge the person a clerk's fee, which shall be equal to ten percent (10%) of the fee amount described in subdivision (g)(1); provided, that eighty percent (80%) of such clerk's fee may be retained by the county and the remaining twenty percent (20%) of such clerk's fee shall be forwarded by the clerk to the department.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 42 (Williams, § 5538.142); Acts 1969, ch. 53, § 1; 1970, ch. 357, § 1; 1971, ch. 157, § 2; 1972, ch. 540, § 7; 1973, ch. 5, § 1; 1973, ch. 234, § 1(b); 1977, ch. 23, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-405; Acts 1980, ch. 744, § 1; 1989, ch. 136, § 2; 1989, ch. 218, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1991, ch. 232, § 1; 1993, ch. 529, § 1; 2003, ch. 178, §§ 1, 2; 2008, ch. 924, § 5; 2008, ch. 1165, § 38; 2010, ch. 1083, § 1; 2013, ch. 376, § 1; 2014, ch. 1005, § 1; 2019, ch. 449, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

Cross-References. Collection of wheel tax fees by county clerk, § 7-51-703.

Penalties for Class B and C misdemeanors, § 40-35-111.

Penalty for violation of title 55, chs. 1-6, § 55-5-120.

Attorney General Opinions. The imposition of the clerk’s fee authorized by T.C.A. § 55-4-105(g)(2) is not mandatory but in the county clerk’s discretion.  Because the fee only applies when the certificate or registration or plate is being renewed, it does not apply to a late initial registration of the vehicle. The fee does not apply to any liability for a tax or fee other than a motor vehicle registration fee.  OAG 13-94, 2013 Tenn. AG LEXIS 97 (11/27/13).

Authority of City to Require Vehicles Registered in Other Counties to Pass Emissions Tests. OAG 15-38, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 39  (4/22/15).

55-4-106. Registration indexes — Manner of keeping.

The department shall file the original of each certificate of registration received by it from the various county clerks, and shall keep a record of all these certificates of registration by registration years for a period of at least five (5) years in suitable books as follows:

  1. Numerically, under the registration number assigned by the county clerk issuing the certificate of registration as provided for in this part, which entry shall show, in addition to the registration number, all the information required to be set out on the face of the certificate of registration; and
  2. Alphabetically, under the name of the registered owner, which entry shall show, in addition to the name of the registered owner, the number of the owner's certificate of registration.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 34 (Williams, § 5538.134); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-406; Acts 2001, ch. 233, § 3; 2007, ch. 484, § 35.

55-4-107. Lost, mutilated or illegible certificates — Replacement — Fee.

In the event any certificate of registration is lost, mutilated or becomes illegible, the owner of the vehicle for which the certificate was issued, as shown by the records of the county clerk for the county where the vehicle was registered, or the owner's legal representative, shall immediately make application for and obtain a replacement certificate of registration upon the payment of the fee provided in § 55-6-104.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 43 (Williams, § 5538.143); impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-407.

55-4-108. Registration certificate to be carried in vehicle or on driver's person — Display — Exception.

  1. Every certificate of registration shall at all times be carried in the vehicle to which it refers or shall be carried by the person driving, or in control of the vehicle, who shall display the certificate upon demand of any officer or employee of the department. The owner may, in order to ensure its safekeeping, provide a duplicate or facsimile of the certificate of registration to be kept in the vehicle for display by any person who may legally operate the vehicle under the owner's registration.
  2. The provision of subsection (a) requiring that a certificate of registration be carried in the vehicle to which it refers, or by the person driving the vehicle, shall not apply when the certificate of registration is used for the purpose of making application for renewal of registration or upon a transfer of the vehicle.
  3. For purposes of any vehicle operating as part of a platoon, as defined by § 55-8-101, the requirements of subsection (a) are satisfied if the certificate of registration is at all times carried in the first or lead vehicle in the platoon.
  4. For purposes of an ADS-operated vehicle, as defined by § 55-30-102, the requirements of subsection (a) are satisfied if the certificate of registration is at all times carried in or available electronically through, the vehicle to which it refers.
  5. A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 44 (Williams, § 5538.144); Acts 1961, ch. 292, § 1; 1972, ch. 540, § 10; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-408; Acts 2003, ch. 2, § 1; 2017, ch. 171, § 1; 2017, ch. 474, § 1.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, §§ 40-35-111, 55-5-120.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Display to Police Officer.

This section, when read with § 55-50-351, does not authorize a state highway patrolman to demand to see the certificate of vehicle registration of a vehicle where the operator of the vehicle has not violated an ordinance or law. United States v. Anderson, 401 F. Supp. 996, 1975 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11313 (E.D. Tenn. 1975).

2. —County Officers.

Although this statute directs that only officers of the department of revenue (now safety) and state troopers have the authority to stop a vehicle and check the registration papers, that is not the case involving a legal stop by a county law enforcement officer. State v. Forero, 700 S.W.2d 190, 1985 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 2831 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1985).

55-4-109. Number of plates — Issuance.

In registering any motor vehicle, the county clerk shall cause to be issued one (1) registration plate.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 45 (Williams, § 5538.145); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 6; 1955, ch. 52, § 4; 1959, ch. 26, § 1; 1975, ch. 128, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-409.

Code Commission Notes.

The second sentence, which read: “The commissioner shall, however, have the authority to permit county clerks to continue issuance of two (2) plates until such time as the existing supply in their hands is exhausted.” was deleted by the Code Commission in 1998 as obsolete.

55-4-110. Display of registration plates — Manner — Penalty for violation.

  1. The registration plate issued for passenger motor vehicles shall be attached on the rear of the vehicle. The registration plate issued for those trucks with a manufacturer's ton rating not exceeding three-quarter (¾) ton and having a panel or pickup body style, and also those issued for all motor homes, regardless of ton rating or body style thereof, shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle. The registration plate issued for all other trucks and truck tractors shall be attached to the front of the vehicle. All dealers' plates, as provided in § 55-4-226, and those registration plates issued for motorcycles, trailers or semitrailers shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle.
  2. Every registration plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which it is issued so to prevent the plate from swinging and at a height of not less than twelve inches (12") from the ground, measuring from the bottom of the plate, in a place and position to be clearly visible and shall be maintained free from foreign materials and in a condition to be clearly legible; provided, if a motorcycle is equipped with vertically mounted license plate brackets, its license plate shall be mounted vertically with the top of such license plate fastened along the right vertical edge. No tinted materials may be placed over a license plate even if the information upon the license plate is not concealed.
    1. Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2), for all motor vehicles that are factory-equipped to illuminate the registration plate, the registration plate shall be illuminated at all times that headlights are illuminated.
    2. Subdivision (c)(1) shall not apply to any antique motor vehicle as defined in § 55-4-111(b).
    1. As used in this subsection (d), “historic military vehicle” means a vehicle, including a trailer, that is at least twenty-five (25) years old at the time of making application for registration, was manufactured for use in any country's military forces, and is maintained to represent the vehicle's military design and markings, regardless of the vehicle's size or weight.
    2. An owner or operator of a historic military vehicle is not required to display the vehicle's registration plate on the vehicle in accordance with this section. In lieu of such display, the owner or operator shall maintain the vehicle's registration plate in the vehicle and produce the plate for inspection upon the request of any law enforcement officer.
    1. A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor. All proceeds from the fines imposed by this subsection (e) shall be deposited in the state general fund.
    2. A person charged with a violation of this section may, in lieu of appearance in court, submit a fine of ten dollars ($10.00) for a first violation, and twenty dollars ($20.00) on second and subsequent violations to the clerk of the court that has jurisdiction of the offense within the county in which the offense charged is alleged to have been committed.
    3. If the violation of this section results solely from the failure to illuminate the registration plate at all times headlights are required to be displayed, the fine set out in this subsection (e) shall be the only amount the person is assessed. No litigation tax levied pursuant to title 67, chapter 4, part 6 shall be imposed or assessed against anyone convicted of a violation of this section nor shall any clerk's fee or court costs, including, but not limited to, any statutory fees of officers, be imposed or assessed against anyone convicted of a violation of this section. Further, the lighting violation described in this subdivision (e)(3) shall be considered a nonmoving traffic violation and no points shall be added to a driver's record for such violation.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 46 (Williams, § 5538.146); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 7; 1955, ch. 52, § 5; 1957, ch. 108, § 1; 1959, ch. 26, § 2; 1973, ch. 234, § 3; 1974, ch. 525, § 2; 1975, ch. 128, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-410; Acts 2004, ch. 698, §§ 1, 2; 2010, ch. 1151, § 5; 2013, ch. 223, §§ 1, 2; 2018, ch. 1023, § 52; 2019, ch. 103, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Acts 2013, ch. 223, § 3 provided that the act, which added subsection (c) and amended and redesignated former subsection (c) as present subsection (d), and added present subdivision (d)(3), shall apply to any violations occurring on or after July 1, 2013.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Law Reviews.

Erie and Federal Criminal Courts (Wayne A. Logan), 63 Vand. L. Rev. 1243 (2010).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Traffic Stop.

Under T.C.A. § 55-4-110, Tennessee did not require a single vehicle to have a light to illuminate the license plate, and as such, the deputy did not have reasonable suspicion to stop defendant; the record failed to reflect that the officer had reasonable suspicion defendant had committed or was about to commit a crime, and the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress. State v. Hunt, 302 S.W.3d 859, 2009 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 266 (Tenn. Crim. App. Apr. 17, 2009), superseded by statute as stated in, United States v. Melton, — F. Supp. 2d —, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204080 (E.D. Tenn. Dec. 12, 2017).

55-4-111. Registration fees — Classification of vehicles — Registration taxes.

    1. In order to facilitate efficient and uniform enforcement of chapters 1-6 of this title, motor vehicles, excepting such motor vehicles as are constructed for the purpose of transporting tangible personal property or other property, and passenger motor vehicles operating for hire, are classified, and the respective registration taxes imposed are fixed as follows:

      Class (A) Motorcycles or autocycles — registration fee  $ 16.75 Class (B) Passenger motor vehicle and motor home —  registration fee  23.75 Class (C) Antique vehicles — registration fee  30.00 Class (D)(i) Privately owned trailers and trailers held for public rental, not exceeding eight feet (8') in width and less than twenty feet (20') in length, exclusive of the tongue, and all trailers which are limited to vacationing and camping purposes, unless otherwise exempted in this section, and any privately owned trailer or semitrailer that is otherwise exempted, but the owner desires to be registered — registration fee  14.50 (ii) Mobile homes or house trailers, whether privately owned or held for public rental, the chassis and exterior shell of which are designed and constructed for occupancy, but with dimensions not exceeding eight feet (8') in width — registration fee  24.00 (iii) Mobile homes or house trailers, whether privately owned or held for public rental, the chassis and exterior shell of which are designed and constructed for occupancy, but with dimensions exceeding eight feet (8') — registration fee  36.00 Class (E) Private buses (not for hire) — In the case of buses or motor driven coaches utilized exclusively for transporting either the owner or persons associated with the owner in a trade, business or vocation, or both of them, together with personalty constituting the tools of such trade, business or vocation, between places where such trade, business or vocation may be carried on, and not used to transport persons or property for hire — registration fee  205.00 Class (F) Low speed vehicles — registration fee   14.50 Class (G) Medium speed vehicles — registration fee  14.50 Class (H)(i) Class I off-highway vehicles — registration fee  15.00 (ii) Class II off-highway vehicles — registration fee    16.00

      Click to view table.

    2. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the first one dollar ($1.00) of each registration fee imposed by subdivision (a)(1) shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the police pay supplement fund.
    1. Upon receipt of an application on a form prescribed by the commissioner, applying for registration and certifying that the motor vehicle for which registration is being applied is an “antique motor vehicle,” the commissioner may issue license plates to owners of antique motor vehicles in accordance with part 2 of this chapter. These license plates shall bear the word “ANTIQUE” in capital letters at the bottom of their plate, and a unique identifying number in the center of the plate. For the purpose of this section, “antique motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle over twenty-five (25) years old with a nonmodified engine and body that is used:
      1. For participation in, or transportation to and from, club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar uses as a collector's item;
      2. On the highways for the purpose of selling, testing the operation of, or obtaining repairs to or maintenance on such motor vehicle; and
      3. For general transportation on Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.
    2. This registration shall be valid so long as title to the antique motor vehicle is vested in the applicant, and shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter requiring annual registration.
    3. Any person violating this section, or operating an antique motor vehicle for general transportation purposes on a day other than Saturday or Sunday or a federal holiday, shall forfeit the antique motor vehicle registration, shall be liable for the regular registration fee for that vehicle, and shall be barred from applying for or holding antique motor vehicle registration for five (5) years from the date of the violation.
    4. The owner or lessee of an antique motor vehicle may display the license plates from an era when the manufacture of such vehicle occurred instead of the current license plates; provided, that current license plates are maintained in the vehicle by the owner or lessee and produced for inspection upon the request of any law enforcement officer.
    5. The department shall permit owners of antique motor vehicles to register an official license plate issued by the state from an era when the manufacture of the vehicle occurred instead of registering for new license plates in accordance with part 2 of this chapter. The vintage license plate shall be displayed on the motor vehicle in accordance with this chapter.
    1. There shall be no tax on trailers owned by farmers and used for agricultural purposes or hauling livestock between farm and market.
    2. This section shall not apply to trailers:
      1. Used for the transportation of boats or drawn by an automobile or truck, unless the owner desires that the trailer be registered;
      2. Used in the furtherance of a business; or
      3. That are truck trailers registered under § 55-4-113.
    3. This section shall apply to house trailers and rented trailers as defined in this section and to any personal trailer, including a trailer used for the transportation of boats or other trailer or semitrailer drawn by an automobile or truck, that is not required to be registered but that the owner desires to be registered.
  1. Each person engaged in the business of renting trailers of any description to others for a consideration may register each trailer, for a period of ten (10) years, and annually pay the registration fee; provided, that every owner of automobile utility trailers engaged in the business of leasing such trailers in interstate as well as intrastate commerce shall register with the commissioner that the person is so engaged in the business of leasing such trailers in interstate as well as intrastate commerce, and shall furnish proof to the commissioner that the person has registered in the state, a number of trailers equal to the average number of automobile utility trailers operated by this person during the preceding licensing year in and through this state. Thereafter, all such trailers properly identified as belonging to the registered person and licensed in any state, territory, province, country or the District of Columbia shall be permitted to operate in this state on an interstate and intrastate basis. For the purpose of interstate and intrastate reciprocal provisions of this chapter, the utility trailers shall be classified the same as private passenger automobiles and extended the same privileges. The burden of submitting verifiable data as to the average number of trailers operating during the preceding licensing year in and throughout this state shall be on the trailer owner. The commissioner's determination in and through the state during the preceding licensing year shall be final.
  2. Only one (1) registration plate shall be issued for trailers.
  3. For the purposes of this section, “mobile home” or “house trailer” is a trailer or semitrailer which is designed, constructed and equipped as a dwelling place, living abode or sleeping place, either permanently or temporarily, and is equipped for use as a conveyance on streets and highways, or whose chassis and exterior shell are designed and constructed for use as a house trailer, but which is used instead for the advertising, sales, display or promotion of merchandise or services, or for any other commercial purpose except the transportation of property for hire or for distribution by a private carrier.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 83 (Williams, § 5538.183); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 17; 1955, ch. 10, § 1; 1955, ch. 52, §§ 6, 7; 1957, ch. 250, § 1; 1957, ch. 388, § 1; 1961, ch. 336, § 1; 1963, ch. 143, § 7; 1963, ch. 145, §§ 1, 3; 1965, ch. 48, § 1; 1965, ch. 269, § 1; 1965, ch. 283, § 1; 1967, ch. 218, § 1; 1973, ch. 234, § 4; 1974, ch. 735, § 1; 1978, ch. 786, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-421; Acts 1984, ch. 966, § 10; 1985, ch. 283, § 2; 1985, ch. 402, § 6; 1985, ch. 461, § 1; 1986, ch. 804, § 8; 1987, ch. 446, § 8; 1988, ch. 816, § 1; 1991, ch. 13, § 1; 1994, ch. 603, § 1; 1994, ch. 662, § 1; 1995, ch. 282, § 1; 1999, ch. 98, §§ 1, 2; 2001, ch. 4, § 1; 2002, ch. 620, § 1; 2002, ch. 747, § 4; 2002, ch. 856, § 8a; 2006, ch. 910, §§ 1, 2; 2007, ch. 142, §§ 1, 2; 2007, ch. 601, § 1; 2008, ch. 959, § 3; 2009, ch. 265, § 1; 2009, ch. 530, § 127; 2016, ch. 790, § 3; 2017, ch. 10, §§ 1, 2; 2017, ch. 181, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1999, ch. 98, § 15, provided that it was the intent of that act that any registration issued prior to January 1, 2000, shall remain valid until the expiration.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 8(o) provided that notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all revenues attributable to statutory changes effectuated by the provisions of § 8 of that act shall be deposited exclusively in the state's general fund and shall be allocated for general state purposes in accordance with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 13 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

Acts 2007, ch. 601, § 2 provided that the commissioner of revenue is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. The rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2017, ch. 181, § 1 provided that the act, which amended this section,  shall be known and may be cited as the “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act” or the “2017 Tax Cut Act.”

Cross-References. Cost of placards for disabled persons, § 55-21-103.

Motorcycle rider education and safety, title 55, ch. 51.

Special license plate fee schedule, § 55-4-203.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 29.

Attorney General Opinions. Registration of school bus owned by a private contractor and operated under contract with the county to provide transportation to students attending county schools. OAG 15-53, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 53  (6/25/15).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Fees.

Registration fees imposed by this section and § 55-4-112 are privilege taxes and not ad valorem taxes. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

2. Local Tax on Vehicle.

There is nothing in this section which prohibits a county from levying and collecting a privilege tax on motor vehicles as authorized by § 5-8-102. Adkins v. Robertson County, 201 Tenn. 596, 301 S.W.2d 337, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 340 (1957).

3. Apportionment of Fees.

Operator of intrastate and interstate bus company was not entitled to apportion its registration fees for the year 1962-1963 upon the basis of the Tennessee mileage of its predecessor corporation during the year 1961-1962 in absence of specific statutory authority. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

Inasmuch as registration fees constitute privilege taxes, the operating experience of another corporation was not transferable to motor carrier as an asset and could not be utilized to apportion registration fees of buses in absence of specific statutory authority. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

Failure of assistant commissioner of finance (now revenue) to insist on payment of registration fees upon merger of former corporation with taxpayer corporation would not estop commissioner from insisting that operation experience of the predecessor corporation was inapplicable to taxpayer corporation in apportioning registration fees. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

55-4-112. Registration fees for private and commercial motor vehicles operating for hire and transporting passengers — Fees deemed additional to certain registration fees.

  1. The registration fees for private and commercial motor vehicles operating for hire who transport passengers shall be as follows:
    1. Motor vehicles with not more than seven (7) seats for passengers  $ 47.13
    2. Motor vehicles with over seven (7) seats and not more than fifteen (15) seats for passengers  $ 96.63
    3. Motor vehicles with over fifteen (15) seats and not more than twenty-five (25) seats for passengers  $ 162.63
    4. Motor vehicles with over twenty-five (25) seats and not more than thirty-five (35) seats for passengers  $ 245.12
    5. Motor vehicles with over thirty-five (35) seats for  passengers  $ 327.63
  2. Where any route over which a private or commercial motor vehicle operating for hire is operated is exclusively within the limits of a municipality of the state, or where the route is partially within and partially without the limits of a municipality of the state, but does not extend more than fifteen (15) miles beyond the municipal limits, or where the route is wholly within the limits of a metropolitan government created under title 7, chapter 1, the fees shall be in addition to the registration fees set out in § 55-4-111 for passenger motor vehicles, fifty-five cents (55¢) for each passenger seat, with a minimum fee of thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents ($37.50) for any single vehicle. The applicant must submit an affidavit confirming the route mileage and seating capacity of any vehicle registering under this provision.
  3. Personal buses that are not used in a trade or business shall be subject to the registration fee set out in § 55-4-111(a)(1), Class (B). All buses not subject to the registration fees set out in this section or in § 55-4-111 shall be subject to the registration fees set out in § 55-4-113(a)(2).

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 84 (Williams, § 5538.184); Acts 1955, ch. 52, § 8; 1957, ch. 383, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1961, ch. 327, § 1; 1963, ch. 277, § 1; 1976, ch. 418, § 1; modified; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-422; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1999, ch. 98, § 4; 2002, ch. 856, §§ 8b, 8c; 2009, ch. 530, § 111; 2017, ch. 181, §§ 4, 5.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1999, ch. 98, § 15, provided that it was the intent of that act that any registration issued prior to January 1, 2000, shall remain valid until the expiration.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 8(o) provided that notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all revenues attributable to statutory changes effectuated by the provisions of § 8 of that act shall be deposited exclusively in the state's general fund and shall be allocated for general state purposes in accordance with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 13 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

Acts 2017, ch. 181, § 1 provided that the act, which amended this section,  shall be known and may be cited as the “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act” or the “2017 Tax Cut Act.”

Cross-References. Ridesharing, applicability of additional fees, § 65-19-206.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 29.

Attorney General Opinions. Registration of school bus owned by a private contractor and operated under contract with the county to provide transportation to students attending county schools. OAG 15-53, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 53  (6/25/15).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Fees.

Registration fees imposed by T.C.A. § 55-4-111 and this section are privilege taxes and not ad valorem taxes. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

2. Apportionment of Fees.

Operator of intrastate and interstate bus company was not entitled to apportion its registration fees for the year 1962-1963 upon the basis of the Tennessee mileage of its predecessor corporation during the year 1961-1962 in absence of specific statutory authority. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

Inasmuch as registration fees constitute privilege taxes, the operating experience of another corporation was not transferable to motor carrier as an asset and could not be utilized to apportion registration fees of buses in absence of specific statutory authority. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

Failure of assistant commissioner of finance (now revenue) to insist on payment of registration fees upon merger of former corporation with taxpayer corporation would not estop commissioner from insisting that operation experience of the predecessor corporation was inapplicable to taxpayer corporation in apportioning registration fees. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

55-4-113. Registration taxes for freight motor vehicles.

  1. The registration taxes for trucks and truck tractors shall be:
    1. Private Carriers and Public Household Goods Carriers.  Fixed load vehicles, as defined in § 55-1-117, so designated and used only for the transportation of equipment that is mounted thereon may be registered at a rate of twenty-five percent (25%) of the tax schedules set forth in subdivision (a)(2);
    2. Private Carriers, Public Carriers and Household Goods Carriers.  Every person, firm or corporation operating, for commercial purposes, a freight motor vehicle over the roads of the state shall first register the vehicle with the department and shall pay a tax as follows, according to the indicated classes set forth in this subdivision (a)(2):
      1. Class 1 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including vehicle and load, of not more than nine thousand pounds (9,000 lbs.). Registration tax  $ 68.50 (B) Class 2 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including vehicle and load, not in excess of sixteen thousand pounds (16,000 lbs.). Registration tax  122.50 (C) Class 3 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including vehicle and load, not in excess of twenty thousand pounds (20,000 lbs.). Registration tax  327.50 (D) Class 4 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including vehicle and load, not in excess of twenty-six thousand pounds (26,000 lbs.). Registration tax  481.00 (E) Class 5 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including vehicle and load, not in excess of thirty-two thousand pounds (32,000 lbs.). Registration tax  635.00 (F) Class 6 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including vehicle and load, not in excess of thirty-eight thousand pounds (38,000 lbs.). Registration tax  711.00 (G) Class 7 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including the weight of vehicle and load, not in excess of forty-four thousand pounds (44,000 lbs.). Registration tax  788.00 (H) Class 8 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including the weight of vehicle and load, not in excess of fifty-six thousand pounds (56,000 lbs.). Registration tax  942.00 (I) Class 9 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including the weight of vehicle and load, not in excess of sixty-six thousand pounds (66,000 lbs.). Registration tax  1019.00 (J) Class 10 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including the weight of vehicle and load, not in excess of seventy-four thousand pounds (74,000 lbs.). Registration tax  1,198.50 (K) Class 11 Freight motor vehicles with declared maximum gross weight, including the weight of vehicle and load, not in excess of eighty thousand pounds (80,000 lbs.). Registration tax  1,352.50 (L) Class 12 Fixed load vehicles, as defined in § 55-1-117, may be registered at twenty-five percent (25%) of the rate set forth in this subdivision (a)(2) for a vehicle of comparable weight;

        Click to view table.

    3. Combined Farm and Limited Private Trucks.
      1. Motor vehicles used exclusively for the movement of farm products for the grower from the point of production to the first market, or operated as farm trucks, or as a logging and lumbering truck as defined in subdivision (a)(3)(C), or as the owner's private conveyance, transporting only tangible personal property belonging to the owner or a guest occupant, shall be classified by the commissioner and registered with the department as freight motor vehicles at the following taxes in lieu of those set out in subdivision (a)(1):

        Class 1  $  39.53

        Class 2   56.30

        Class 3  128.90

        Class 4  160.80

        Class 5  207.00

        Class 6  237.80

        Class 7  262.00

        Class 8  317.00

        Class 9  363.20

        Class 10  420.40

        Class 11  561.20

      2. There shall not be eligible for registration under this exception to the general licensing provisions any motor vehicles operated commercially as part of a business venture or for delivery service to customers by dairies, hatcheries, pharmacies, grocers, service stations, garages and the like; however, farm trucks used by egg farmers to transport eggs from the point of production to the first market shall be registered with the department as freight motor vehicles at taxes in subdivision (a)(3)(A) in lieu of those set out in subdivision (a)(1);
      3. For purposes of this section, “logging and lumbering trucks” are those trucks used for hauling logs, pulpwood, bark, wood chips, and wood dust from the woods to the mill or for hauling lumber, bark, wood chips, and wood dust from the mill to a loading or storage place;
      4. Truck tractors used exclusively to pull lowboy-type trailers on which are transported machinery that is used only for agricultural purposes, such as, but not limited to, terracing, clearing land, and building ponds, levees, ditches and/or canals; and trucks on which are mounted lime or fertilizer spreaders may register in this category under the appropriate weight class. The use of the highways by these limited use motor vehicles registered in this class is restricted to that which is incidental to the movement of the designated machinery from farm to farm and any volume and unpackaged lime and fertilizer from the distribution point to the farm;
    4. Miscellaneous Classes.

      Well drillers as defined in  § 55-1-117  $ 55.20;

    5. Freight trailers, semitrailers and pole trailers.
      1. Freight trailers, semitrailers, and pole trailers used primarily for hauling freight and trailers used in the furtherance of a business, any trailer not required to be registered but which the owner desires to be registered, shall be registered and, in addition to the tax herein prescribed for trucks and truck tractors, there shall be imposed on vehicles so classified a registration tax of ninety-five dollars ($95.00). The certificate of registration and registration plate issued for a specific vehicle shall continue valid for the duration of the owner's interest in that vehicle;
        1. The provisions of § 55-4-101 to the contrary notwithstanding, no registration for trailers, semitrailers or pole trailers shall be transferred for any reason and a new registration shall be required for additional trailers;
        2. The commissioner may, in his discretion, require an owner of a freight trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer registered in this state pursuant to subdivision (a)(5)(A) to provide written confirmation to the department as to whether or not the trailer has been destroyed, abandoned, sold, or otherwise transferred to another owner and still bears the permanent registration plate originally issued to the trailer;
        3. If such owner provides written confirmation to the department that the trailer has been destroyed, abandoned, sold, or otherwise transferred to another owner and the trailer has not been properly registered to the new owner, the commissioner shall immediately terminate the registration and plate originally assigned to the trailer under the name of the owner of record;
        4. If such owner fails to provide written confirmation within ninety (90) days of the date of the commissioner's request, the commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, terminate the registration and plate originally assigned to the trailer under the name of the owner of record;
        5. Whenever the title to a freight trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer registered in this state pursuant to subdivision (a)(5)(A) is destroyed, abandoned, sold, or otherwise transferred to another owner, the registration of the trailer shall expire. If the trailer is sold or otherwise transferred to a new owner, the new owner shall obtain a new registration of the trailer. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the department may issue to such new owner a new or existing registration plate bearing the same alpha-numerical characters as were affixed to such trailer at the time of transfer to the new owner; and
      2. Implements designed for carrying and distributing fertilizer shall not be subject to the licensing requirement imposed on trailers, and when used for the transportation of fertilizer between a plant and a farm the gross weight of the implement and its cargo shall not be considered in determining the licensing requirement for the prime mover;
    6. Special Zone Licenses.
      1. Class 1.  It shall be permissible for any owner or operator of a freight motor vehicle that is to be operated exclusively within a zone limited to the streets of a designated municipal corporation and to the highways for a distance not to exceed fifteen (15) air miles beyond the limits of the municipality, to apply for and be issued a special municipal zone license. In counties having a metropolitan form of government, the county line shall be the limit for the operation of motor vehicles registered under this special license. The annual fee for this special license shall be four hundred ninety-three dollars ($493) for freight motor vehicles with a declared maximum gross weight not exceeding seventy-four thousand pounds (74,000 lbs.), and an annual fee of five hundred seventy dollars ($570) for freight motor vehicles with a declared maximum gross weight not exceeding eighty thousand pounds (80,000 lbs.). The annual fee for this special license for ready-mix concrete trucks shall be three hundred sixty-one dollars ($361); and
      2. Class 2.  It shall be permissible for any owner or operator having a freight motor vehicle that is to be operated exclusively in a given county, and the counties that adjoin it, to apply for and be issued a special county zone license. The owner must, upon application for this special license, declare the base county and attest that the vehicle is to be operated exclusively in the base county and such other counties as may adjoin it. Movements from the base county to one (1) adjoining are restricted to the delivery of freight to its final destination, or to the place of consignment, or for the purpose of bringing freight from its place of origin to a point in the base county. The annual fee for this special license shall be six hundred thirty-six dollars ($636) for freight motor vehicles with a declared maximum gross weight not exceeding seventy-four thousand pounds (74,000 lbs.), and an annual fee of seven hundred thirty-five dollars ($735) for freight motor vehicles with a declared maximum gross weight not exceeding eighty thousand pounds (80,000 lbs.). The annual fee for this special license for ready-mix concrete trucks shall be four hundred sixty dollars ($460); and
      1. Registration being a condition precedent to vehicular use in this state, it is the intent of this section that the owner or operator of a freight motor vehicle shall pay a registration tax sufficient to allow for its operation under a declared maximum gross weight limited only by the following scale of maximum weights for its axle configuration:
        1. For any single axle, the maximum allowable weight shall be twenty thousand pounds (20,000 lbs.); and
        2. For any tandem axle group, the maximum allowable weight shall be thirty-four thousand pounds (34,000 lbs.);
      2. When a vehicle on which the tax has not been paid is found in operation, the owner or operator shall be required to register the vehicle and, in addition to the statutory registration taxes, shall be subject to a tax assessed at the rate of ten cents (10¢) per pound on each pound of weight for which no Tennessee tax has been previously paid;
      3. When a vehicle registered in some class adequate for its lawful operational weight is found in operation at a weight exceeding the limit of the license, for which the tax has been paid, the operator shall be assessed an additional tax at the rate of ten cents (10¢) per pound on each pound of weight for which no Tennessee tax has been previously paid;
      4. Nonresidents operating vehicles under the provisions of a reciprocity agreement shall likewise be subject to the additional taxes provided under this subdivision (a)(7) when their vehicles are operated in excess of the licensed weight, or regardless of the licensed weight, in excess of eighty thousand pounds (80,000 lbs.);
      5. When the operator of any freight motor vehicle shall fail to load it or have it loaded in a manner and at weights conforming to the axle weight limitations set forth in this subdivision (a)(7), there shall be imposed a tax assessed on the basis of ten cents (10¢) per pound on each pound of weight that exceeds the limit on an axle or group of axles. Except, with respect to vehicles being used to transport the products identified under § 55-7-203(b)(6), liability for the tax imposed by this subdivision (a)(7)(E) shall only begin to run commencing with the first pound that exceeds the total weight allowable for the number and type of its axles. On an overweight poundage of the axle weight limit imposed for the classification in which a freight motor vehicle is registered, the tax per pound of the overage shall be ten cents (10¢) per pound;
      6. When any freight motor vehicle is found in operation with a gross weight in excess of the road and bridge weights posted by the commissioner of transportation pursuant to § 55-7-205, or weight that exceeds the maximum allowable under an overweight permit issued by the commissioner, the operator of a vehicle shall be assessed a tax at the rate of ten cents (10¢) per pound for each pound of excess weight;
        1. The provisions of this subdivision (a)(7) respecting licensing and the assessment of additional taxes for excessive weights shall apply with respect to vehicles registered under the allowance for “Special Zone Licenses”;
        2. For the first offense, any owner of a freight motor vehicle that is operated in violation of the territorial limitation of a special zone license issued pursuant to this subdivision (a)(7) shall be subject to assessment of a penalty by the department, which shall be twenty-five percent (25%) of the special zone license fee for the full year with no credit or rebate for any portion of the year in which a license is unused. All funds collected pursuant to this subdivision (a)(7)(G)(ii) shall be earmarked for the enforcement of these zone license provisions;
        3. On a second offense, occurring within the same licensing year as the first offense, in addition to the penalty specified in subdivision (a)(7)(G)(ii), any licensee whose truck is found to be in violation of the territorial limitation placed on the license shall be required to immediately reregister it under an applicable general licensing provision for a period of one (1) year following the date on which the second offense occurred;
      7. All taxes imposed by this section shall be a part of the registration taxes or fees and shall be payable to the department. Upon becoming delinquent, these taxes or fees shall be subject to collection by the commissioner of revenue under title 67, chapter 1, part 14. The assessment of these taxes shall in no wise be restricted through the assessment of other taxes for some prior violation or any other condition relating to the privilege of operating the vehicle over the streets and highways of this state;
      8. A motor vehicle otherwise properly registered in its class pursuant to this section shall not be in violation of the maximum gross weight for its class, including vehicle and load, if the vehicle is found to have exceeded the maximum gross weight for its class solely by the occasional towing of a fork lift or tow motor where no part of the weight of such equipment rests on the towing vehicle; and the weight of the equipment shall not be considered in determining whether the motor vehicle has exceeded its maximum gross weight, including the load thereon, and in determining the licensing requirements for the motor vehicle in such circumstances;
        1. When any logging truck, as defined in § 55-7-203, is found in operation with a gross weight in excess of the weights established by law, the operation of the vehicle shall not be assessed a tax if the vehicle's excess weight is less than ten percent (10%) of the vehicle's gross weight. If the weight of the vehicle is greater than ten percent (10%) in excess of the maximum applicable weight, the tax of ten cents (10¢) per pound shall be imposed on any poundage over the maximum applicable weight;
        2. If the commissioner of transportation is formally notified by an appropriate federal officer that as a result of any provision of this subdivision (a)(7)(J) that Tennessee will lose federal funds, then such provision shall be void and inoperative. A loss of federal funds as a result of any provision of this subdivision (a)(7)(J) shall render the provision void and inoperative;
      9. When a freight motor vehicle is registered under subdivision (a)(3)(A), as a combined farm and limited private use truck and being operated commercially or as a commercial vehicle and is found in operation in violation of subdivision (a)(3)(A), the owner shall be subject to assessment of a penalty by the department, which shall be twenty-five percent (25%) of the commercial license fee for the full year with no credit or rebate for any portion of the year in which a license is unused;
      10. The penalties provided for in subdivision (a)(7), shall be waived upon submission within thirty (30) days to the commissioner, of proof that the vehicle has been properly registered in the appropriate classification and payment of a two hundred dollar ($200) administrative fee, and no citation shall be issued for a violation of subdivision (a)(7)(C), (a)(7)(E), (a)(7)(F), or (a)(7)(J).
  2. There shall be added to all the vehicle registration taxes imposed by this section a two and one-half percent (2.5%) increase, rounding to the nearest fifty cents (50¢), which shall be designated as the department of safety's safety inspection fee pursuant to § 65-15-112. This safety inspection fee shall not apply to a vehicle registering pursuant to subdivision (a)(3). This safety inspection fee shall be collected as a part of the vehicle registration taxes required by this section, and shall not be used for any purpose other than to fund the motor vehicle safety enforcement activities of the department of safety.

Acts 1939, ch. 105, §§ 2, 3; 1941, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1945, ch. 164, §§ 1, 2; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 2680.75 (Williams, §§ 1166.29, 1166.30); Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 85; 1953, ch. 3, §§ 1-3; 1955, ch. 52, §§ 1, 2; impl. am. Acts 1955, ch. 69, § 1; Acts 1957, ch. 182, § 1; 1957, ch. 284, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1959, ch. 60, § 1; 1959, ch. 247, § 1; 1959, ch. 281, §§ 1, 2; 1961, ch. 200, § 1; 1963, ch. 103, § 1; 1967, ch. 122, § 1; 1967, ch. 218, § 2; 1969, ch. 324, §§ 1, 2; 1970, ch. 501, § 1; 1971, ch. 301, § 1; 1972, ch. 499, § 1; 1972, ch. 518, § 8; 1972, ch. 540, § 8; 1972, ch. 620, § 1; 1973, ch. 97, §§ 1-3; 1973, ch. 396, § 1; 1974, ch. 747, § 1; 1976, ch. 390, § 1; 1976, ch. 765, § 1; 1976, ch. 788, § 1; 1977, ch. 82, § 1; 1977, ch. 326, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-423; Acts 1981, ch. 448, § 2; 1981, ch. 535, § 4; 1983, ch. 206, § 1; 1983, ch. 319, § 1; 1983, ch. 376, § 1; 1983, ch. 480, § 1; 1984, ch. 733, § 1; 1986, ch. 540, § 1; 1987, ch. 140, § 1; 1987, ch. 425, §§ 4, 5; 1988, ch. 817, § 4; 1993, ch. 142, §§ 2-4; 1993, ch. 327, § 10; 1995, ch. 282, § 2; 1995, ch. 305, § 110; 1999, ch. 98, §§ 5-10; 2001, ch. 166, § 1; 2002, ch. 856, §§ 8d-8i; 2004, ch. 501, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 36; 2013, ch. 183, § 2; 2017, ch. 181, §§ 6-11; 2018, ch. 808, §§ 1-6.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of the responsibilities of the motor vehicle enforcement staff under this section, from the department of revenue to the department of safety, see Executive Order No. 48 (February 11, 1983).

Acts 1999, ch. 98, § 15, provided that it was the intent of that act that any registration issued prior to January 1, 2000, shall remain valid until its expiration.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 8(o) provided that notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all revenues attributable to statutory changes effectuated by the provisions of § 8 of that act shall be deposited exclusively in the state's general fund and shall be allocated for general state purposes in accordance with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 13 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

Acts 2017, ch. 181, § 1 provided that the act, which amended this section,  shall be known and may be cited as the “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act” or the “2017 Tax Cut Act.”

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, §§ 29, 29.1.

Law Reviews.

Selected Tennessee Legislation of 1983 (N. L. Resener, J. A. Whitson, K. J. Miller), 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 785 (1983).

Attorney General Opinions. Registration of school bus owned by a private contractor and operated under contract with the county to provide transportation to students attending county schools. OAG 15-53, 2015 Tenn. AG LEXIS 53  (6/25/15).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

The 1953 amendment was not unconstitutional because it referred alone to the sections of the 1950 Code Supplement without additional language. Donahoo v. Mason & Dixon Lines, Inc., 199 Tenn. 145, 285 S.W.2d 125, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 438 (1955).

2. Penalties.

The penalty provided for in § 55-5-114 for violation of the gross weight limitation set forth in § 55-7-203 does not apply to overweight freight motor vehicles operating with special zone licenses authorized by subdivision (a)(7), as the reregistration requirement and two-year prohibition against special licensing provided by this section was intended to be the exclusive penalty for such licensees. Woods v. Phillips, 558 S.W.2d 825, 1977 Tenn. LEXIS 661 (Tenn. 1977).

55-4-114. Maximum gross weight and ownership displayed on certain vehicles.

  1. The declared maximum gross weight, including motor vehicle and load, shall be painted with durable paint in letters and figures.
  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed as a grant of authority for the use on the public highways of the state of any motor vehicle that now is or may hereafter by law be prohibited from such use.
    1. There shall be displayed on both sides of the power unit of each freight motor vehicle the name or trade name and address of the motor carrier under whose authority the vehicle is being operated, and an identifying company number of the vehicle; provided, the requirement for an identifying number shall not apply to a carrier owning and operating one (1) vehicle.
    2. The display of name and number shall be in letters and figures in sharp color contrast to the background and be of a size, color, and shape that is readily legible during daylight hours, from a distance of fifty feet (50') while the vehicle is not in motion, and the display shall be kept and maintained in a manner as to remain so legible.
    3. If desired, displays may be accomplished through use of a removable device so prepared and displayed as otherwise to meet the identification, legibility, and display location requirements of this subsection (c).
    4. Nothing in this subsection (c) shall prohibit the display of any additional information that is not inconsistent with this subsection (c).
    5. This subsection (c) shall not be applicable to vehicles having a licensed or actual weight of thirty-five thousand pounds (35,000 lbs.) or less and operating not for hire solely intrastate.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 85 (Williams, § 5538.185); Acts 1955, ch. 52, §§ 9, 13; 1955, ch. 109, § 1; 1972, ch. 518, § 9; 1973, ch. 326, § 8; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-424; Acts 1999, ch. 289, § 1.

55-4-115. “Temporary operation permits,” “trip permit” and “temporary trailer permit” defined — Issuance — Fees.

    1. As used in this section, “temporary operation permit” means a permit which the commissioner or the commissioner's designee is authorized to issue to an applicant desiring to operate a motor vehicle, otherwise subject to registration in Tennessee, over the streets and highways of this state for a temporary period of thirty (30) days, where it appears that the proposed operation is actually temporary in character. The fee for this issuance shall be ten dollars ($10.00). The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall also have the authority to issue one (1) additional temporary operation permit for a period of thirty (30) days upon payment of an additional fee of ten dollars ($10.00). The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee is authorized to prescribe by regulation the method by which temporary operation permits shall be issued. In the event the permits are issued through the offices of the county clerks of the state, out of the ten-dollar issuance fee the clerks shall retain as compensation for services a fee of four dollars and fifty cents ($4.50) and shall remit the remaining five dollars and fifty cents ($5.50) to the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee.
    2. A temporary operation permit shall not be renewed or another permit issued to cover the operation of the same motor vehicle except upon the written authorization of the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee is authorized to refuse the issuance of a temporary operation permit when it appears that any owner of a motor vehicle is using the permit as a subterfuge to avoid registering the motor vehicle.
    3. Any person operating a motor vehicle on a temporary operation permit which has expired or in violation of the terms thereof commits a Class C misdemeanor and, in addition, shall be required to register the vehicle concerned with the department, and the arresting officer shall not permit the vehicle to leave the officer's charge or custody until the proper registration thereof has been effected.
    4. Any person who has properly registered a vehicle under § 55-4-113(a)(3), who shall desire to operate the vehicle within an increased gross weight class for the bona fide and actual seasonal or temporary transportation of horticultural, agricultural, dairy products or livestock, but not including manufactured products thereof, from the farm or point of production to the first market or for bringing seed, feed and fertilizer to the owner's farm may do so by obtaining a temporary operation permit for these operations.
    5. The permit fees for the several gross weight classes shall be as follows:

      16,000 lbs.  $2.75

      20,000 lbs.  8.25

      26,000 lbs.  11.00

      32,000 lbs.  14.30

      38,000 lbs.  16.50

      44,000 lbs.  55.00

      56,000 lbs.  71.50

      66,000 lbs.  82.50

      74,000 lbs.  99.00

      80,000 lbs.  115.50

    6. Each temporary operation permit shall be issued for a period of thirty (30) consecutive calendar days and shall be renewable to the permittee for the vehicle for which it was issued upon proper application with remittance for the permit. No permit shall be issued for any vehicle with three (3) or more axles, except that such vehicle shall be properly licensed for the maximum weight class in the special licensing classification described in § 55-4-113(a)(3). No permit shall be issued for a vehicle that would allow a gross weight exceeding the axle configuration allowance established by § 55-4-113(a)(7)(A).
    7. Seasonal or temporary permits shall be issued by the commissioner or the commissioner's agents. The permit shall be issued on forms to be prescribed by the commissioner, and the permit shall authorize the owner to operate the motor vehicle in the weight class identified for the period of time therein prescribed; provided, that the person, owner or operator complies with all other requirements of law respecting the operation.
    8. Five (5) permits may be issued for a vehicle during a twelve-month period.
    9. If more than five (5) permits have been issued during a twelve-month period, as shown by the department's records, the commissioner shall immediately cause the vehicle for which the permits were issued to be reregistered in the highest weight class for which any permit was issued during the twelve-month period.
    10. Any person operating under this section and § 55-4-113(a)(3), who is found to be in violation of load limits, may not purchase a permit, but shall reregister the vehicle in violation for the weight class, as established in § 55-4-113(a)(1), in which that person is operating at the time of the violation.
      1. In lieu of or in addition to any other permit authorized by this section, to expedite and facilitate, during the harvesting season, the harvesting and marketing of farm products produced in this state, the department is authorized to issue to a nonresident owner a thirty-day temporary registration permit for any truck, truck tractor, trailer or semitrailer to be used in the movement of the farm commodities from the place of production to market, storage or railhead, not more than seventy-five (75) miles distant from the place of production, or to be used in the movement of machinery used to harvest any of the commodities named in this section.
      2. To expedite and facilitate, during the harvesting season, the harvesting and movement of farm products produced outside of Tennessee but marketed or processed in Tennessee or moved to points in Tennessee for shipment, the department is authorized to issue to a nonresident owner a thirty-day temporary registration permit for any truck, truck tractor, trailer or semitrailer to be used in the movement of the farm commodities from the point of entry into Tennessee to market, storage, processing plant or railhead not more than eighty (80) miles distant from the point of entry into Tennessee. All mileages and distances referred to in this subdivision (a)(11) are state highway mileages.
      3. The department is authorized to prescribe the form of the application and the information to be furnished in the application for the temporary registration permits. If the application is granted, the department shall issue a special distinguishing insignia which must be attached to the vehicle in lieu of the regular registration plates. The special insignia shall show its expiration date. The temporary registration permit fee shall be one-twelfth (1/12) of the annual registration fee for the vehicle for which the special permit is secured.
      4. The temporary permits authorized in this section shall be issued only when the vehicle for which the permit is issued is legally registered in the nonresident owner's home state or county for the current registration year; and the temporary registration permit will remain valid only so long as the home state or county registration is valid; but in any event the temporary registration permit will expire thirty (30) days from the date of issuance. No more than three (3) temporary registration permits may be issued to a nonresident owner during any one (1) vehicle registration year. A vehicle registered under the terms of this subsection (a) may not be operated after the expiration of the temporary permit, unless the nonresident owner secures a second temporary permit as provided above, or unless the nonresident owner registers the vehicle under the appropriate vehicular registration statutes, applicable to residents, for the remainder of the registration year.
      5. Any person who transports any of the commodities described in this subsection (a), under a temporary permit provided for in this section, to a market, place of storage, processing plant or railhead that is a greater distance from the place of production of the commodity in this state, or the point of entry into the state than is provided for the temporary permit, or follows a route other than that prescribed by the commissioner, shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than two hundred dollars ($200).
    1. As used in this section, “trip permit” means a permit that the commissioner or the commissioner's designee is authorized to issue to a person desiring to operate a freight motor vehicle over the streets and highways of this state, registered in a state, province or foreign country that imposes upon freight motor vehicles registered in this state, a tax, fee or toll for the privilege of operating the vehicles upon the highways of that state, province or foreign country, in addition to a registration fee and any tax, fee or toll imposed upon gasoline or other motor fuel purchased within that state, province or foreign country. A trip permit shall authorize one (1) trip into this state and shall become invalid either upon exiting this state or upon the expiration of seventy-two (72) hours after entry into this state, whichever occurs first. The fee for the issuance of trip permits shall be either fifteen dollars ($15.00) or a fee equivalent to and computed and applied in the same manner as the tax, fee or toll of the other state, province or foreign country so long as the tax, fee or toll imposed by the other state, province or foreign country shall remain in force. This requirement for a trip permit shall not be construed to be in lieu of the temporary operation permit provided in subsection (a). The trip permit may be issued in addition to the temporary operation permit when the latter is necessary for licensing the movement of an otherwise unlicensed vehicle. This requirement for a trip permit shall apply only with respect to freight motor vehicles having a gross weight of twenty-six thousand pounds (26,000 lbs.) or more.
    2. The commissioner is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with appropriate officials of any other state, province or foreign country wherein such commissioner may agree to and waive all or any part of the tax, fee or toll herein imposed for the issuance of a trip permit in consideration of a similar waiver by such state, province or foreign country.
  1. Any revenue generated from the increase in fees pursuant to chapter 418 of the of the Public Acts of 1985 shall be deposited in the state general fund.
  2. “Temporary trailer permit” means a permit that the commissioner is authorized to issue to an applicant desiring to operate a motor vehicle using a trailer that is not subject to registration in this state, over the streets and highways of this state for a temporary period of no more than five (5) days, where it appears that the proposed operation is actually temporary in character. The fee for this issuance shall be nine dollars ($9.00).

Acts 1939, ch. 105, § 8; 1941, ch. 66, § 3; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 2680.77 (Williams, § 1166.35); Acts 1957, ch. 408, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1969, ch. 105, §§ 1, 2; 1970, ch. 478, § 1; 1972, ch. 822, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 134, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-425; Acts 1983, ch. 206, § 2; 1985, ch. 418, §§ 1, 2, 4; 1988, ch. 815, § 1; 1994, ch. 879, § 20; 2001, ch. 233, §§ 5, 6; 2002, ch. 856, §§ 8j, 8k; 2007, ch. 484, § 37; 2008, ch. 924, § 6; 2008, ch. 1007, § 2; 2008, ch. 1144, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. For transfer of the responsibilities of the motor vehicle enforcement staff under this section, from the department of revenue to the department of safety, see Executive Order No. 48 (February 11, 1983).

Chapter 418 of the Public Acts of 1985, referred to in this section, amended this section and former § 67-3-706.

The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Acts 2001, ch. 233, § 10 provided:

“The additional revenue generated from the additional temporary operation fees and permits authorized in § 55-4-115(a)(1) and the additional temporary plate fees and permits authorized in § 55-4-221(c)(4) shall be deposited in the alcohol and drug addiction treatment fund provided in § 40-33-211 and shall not be included in the general fund.”

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 8(o) provided that notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all revenues attributable to statutory changes effectuated by the provisions of § 8 of that act shall be deposited exclusively in the state's general fund and shall be allocated for general state purposes in accordance with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 13 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Law Reviews.

Selected Tennessee Legislation of 1983 (N. L. Resener, J. A. Whitson, K. J. Miller), 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 785 (1983).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Seizures.

Seizing an unregistered vehicle without a warrant may be justified and not an unreasonable seizure under U.S. Const., amend. 14, when it is being operated on the streets or highways. Lee v. Ladd, 834 S.W.2d 323, 1992 Tenn. App. LEXIS 232 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992).

Towing an unregistererd car to the impoundment lot gave the government the opportunity to make sure the registration laws had been satisfied before releasing the car, pursuant to T.C.A. § 55-4-115(a)(3). Lee v. Ladd, 834 S.W.2d 323, 1992 Tenn. App. LEXIS 232 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992).

55-4-116. Additional registration fee for electric vehicles.

  1. In addition to all other motor vehicle registration fees prescribed by law, in the case of electric vehicles, there shall be paid to the department at the time the vehicle is registered or renewed an additional registration fee in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100).
  2. For purposes of this section, “electric vehicle” means a passenger or commercial motor vehicle with an electric motor as its sole means of propulsion; provided, however, that “electric vehicle” does not include a “low speed vehicle” as defined in § 55-1-122 or a “medium speed vehicle” as defined in § 55-1-125.

Acts 2017, ch. 181, § 3.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2017, ch. 181, § 1 provided that the act, which enacted this section,  shall be known and may be cited as the “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy (IMPROVE) Act” or the “2017 Tax Cut Act.”

55-4-117. Registration fees for dealers, manufacturers and transporters — Dealer plates for use on trucks — Lost plates.

    1. Any manufacturer, transporter or dealer may make application to the department for a certificate containing a general distinguishing number and for one (1) or more special plates, as are provided for in § 55-4-226. The fee for the master plate shall be at the rate of twice the amount of the annual registration fee for a passenger motor vehicle as prescribed in § 55-4-111, and the charge for additional plates shall be at a rate equal in amount to the annual fee for passenger motor vehicles.
    2. Each dealership shall be limited to two hundred twenty-five (225) dealer plates. The fee to replace lost plates shall be the same rate as provided for obtaining the plate initially issued. The fee to replace a mutilated or defaced plate shall be the same as the fee for replacing any other plate; provided, that the mutilated or defaced plate is surrendered to the clerk.
    1. Any dealer engaged in the sale of trucks at retail may make application to the department for a certificate for special dealer plates for use on trucks being operated for demonstration purposes or loaned temporarily to a prospective customer to be tested under load conditions over the highways of the state. The fee for the registration plates shall be at the rate of three hundred fifty-seven dollars and fifty cents ($357.50) per set for the licensing year. No dealer shall purchase more than seven (7) sets of the special plates in any one (1) year. The fee for a plate to replace any lost plate authorized in this section shall be the same as provided for the plate initially issued, and the replacement fee for a mutilated or defaced plate shall be one dollar ($1.00); provided, that this mutilated or defaced plate is surrendered to the clerk. These special registration plates shall contain some wording, marking or coloring so as to be readily distinguishable from all other registration plates issued by the state, and shall not be required to bear county numerical prefixes.
    2. No truck dealer shall permit special registration plates to be used by any person except one who is a prospective purchaser of the truck or an employee of the dealer. A truck dealer may authorize by contract a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to distribute food to the needy to use one (1) of its trucks with special registration plates to transport food from the location of a wholesale grocery distributor to the nonprofit organization's own place of operation. While the purchaser in using the truck for a reasonable time may operate the truck in the normal course of business, it is unlawful for the dealer to charge, receive or collect any rental fee or other consideration from or on behalf of the prospective customer for the use of the truck for the time it shall be operated with the special registration plates. Any violation of this subdivision (b)(2) constitutes grounds for the revocation of all the special registration plates issued to or owned by the dealer.
    3. The county clerk shall be entitled to a fee of two dollars ($2.00) for issuing each plate; provided, that the clerk shall only be entitled to receive a maximum of ten dollars ($10.00) a day from any one (1) dealer.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 88 (Williams, § 5538.188); Acts 1955, ch. 52, § 11; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1959, ch. 61, § 1; 1967, ch. 218, § 3; 1971, ch. 145, § 1; 1972, ch. 518, § 10; 1972, ch. 529, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-427; Acts 1984, ch. 560, § 1; 1984, ch. 692, § 1; 1988, ch. 816, §§ 3-5; 1994, ch. 922, § 4; 2002, ch. 856, § 8l ; 2007, ch. 484, § 115; 2008, ch. 924, § 7; 2009, ch. 530, § 123; 2018, ch. 1023, § 52.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 8(o) provided that notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all revenues attributable to statutory changes effectuated by the provisions of § 8 of that act shall be deposited exclusively in the state's general fund and shall be allocated for general state purposes in accordance with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 13 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

55-4-118. Transfer of registered vehicle by owner — Death of owner.

  1. Whenever the owner of a registered vehicle transfers or assigns the owner's title or interest to the vehicle, the registration of the vehicle shall expire.
  2. The owner shall remove the registration plate or plates from the vehicle and may have the plates assigned to another vehicle, as provided in § 55-4-101, except upon the death of the owner of a registered vehicle, the registration shall remain in effect until the end of the license year unless the ownership passes or is transferred to a person other than the surviving spouse before the end of that year.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 47 (Williams, § 5538.147); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 8; 1955, ch. 52, § 12; 1963, ch. 328, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-433.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 31 provided that, notwithstanding §§ 55-4-101, 55-4-118 or 55-4-119, if any holder of a Handicapped Veteran plate issued prior to May 19, 2014, pursuant to § 55-4-318, as that section existed prior to May 19, 2014, sells or otherwise transfers the holder's title or interest in the vehicle to which the plate is registered, then the plate shall expire and not be transferred or reassigned to another vehicle, and the holder shall surrender the plate to the department.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 29.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Transfer of Vehicles.

In determining whether ownership of a motor vehicle was transferred in a situation where the requirements of the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Title and Registration Law were not complied with, this section at most might be a circumstance reflecting the intent of the parties if it could be shown that they knew of the statute and did not comply with it. Mercado v. Travelers Ins. Co., 59 Tenn. App. 741, 443 S.W.2d 819, 1969 Tenn. App. LEXIS 352 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1969).

2. —Successor Corporations.

Failure of assistant commissioner of finance (now commissioner of revenue) to insist on payment of registration fees upon merger of former corporation with taxpayer corporation would not estop commissioner from insisting that operating experience of predecessor corporation was inapplicable to taxpayer corporation in apportioning registration fees under § 55-4-122. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

55-4-119. Transfer by operation of law.

  1. Upon any transfer of title or interest of an owner in or to a registered vehicle to another otherwise than by voluntary transfer, the new owner may secure a new registration and certificate of title upon the payment of all proper fees by any one (1) of the following methods:
    1. By proper application and upon presentation of either the last certificate of title, or a bill of sale properly endorsed by the former owner and duly assigned to the new owner, as provided in §§ 55-3-118 and 55-4-101;
    2. Where the motor vehicle has been advertised and sold under any conditional sales contract, or other lien which shall be noted on the then outstanding certificate of title without the necessity of judicial proceedings, a new certificate of title and registration may be obtained by the new owner upon an application therefor regularly filed, accompanied by an affidavit made by the lienor, stating that the motor vehicle has been repossessed and sold under and by virtue of the terms of the lien and the law applicable thereto, together with the outstanding certificate of title, if available, and any other additional information as may be reasonably required by the commissioner;
    3. Where the motor vehicle has been sold under and by virtue of an order of any court, or by virtue of an execution duly issued by any court or its clerk, the new owner will be entitled to a certificate of title and registration thereof upon an application therefor, being duly filed together with a certified copy of the court order or execution, showing the return thereon, an affidavit of the person who shall actually sell the motor vehicle by virtue of the court order or execution that the sale has been conducted in a legal and proper manner and in accordance with the terms of the lien contract, and if sold under a lien, noted on the certificate of title, together with the certificate of title, if available, and such other information as may be reasonably required by the commissioner; or
    4. By any other means as may be provided for by the reasonable rules and regulations of the commissioner.
  2. No title transferred by virtue of any of the means set out in subsection (a) shall pass better or greater title to the purchaser than could have been conveyed and assigned by the certificated title holder when joined in the transfer or assignment by the lienor at whose instance the motor vehicle is being sold, if being sold for the satisfaction of a lien noted on the certificate of title, to an innocent purchaser for value.
  3. Where the holder or owner of a conditional sales contract has possession of the then outstanding certificate of title and becomes the purchaser of the motor vehicle at such sale and holds the vehicle for resale and operates the same under special plates as may be issued under § 55-4-226, to dealers for purposes of demonstrating or selling the vehicle, the purchaser at the sale shall not be required to obtain a new registration of the vehicle or be required to obtain a new certificate of title, but upon transferring interest or title to another person shall execute an affidavit stating that the motor vehicle has been repossessed and sold under and by virtue of the terms of the conditional sales contract and the law applicable to the conditional sales contract and that this person became the purchaser of the motor vehicle, and the affidavit and the then outstanding certificate of title shall be delivered to the person as the new owner, and the new owner may secure a new registration and certificate of title.
  4. Where no certificate of title has been issued by the state or by any other state in connection with any such motor vehicle as may be sold or otherwise disposed of as provided in subdivision (a)(2), and where the lienor is a financial institution authorized to do business in the state and subject to supervision by the commissioner of commerce and insurance, the commissioner of financial institutions, or the comptroller of the currency of the United States, then the commissioner shall accept, in lieu of a certificate of title and in lieu of the affidavit specified in subdivision (a)(2), the following:
    1. An affidavit made by the lienor setting forth:
      1. The name and last known address of the former owner;
      2. That no certificate of title has been issued in connection with the motor vehicle, to the best of lienor's information and belief;
      3. That the lien instrument held by lienor evidences a valid and enforceable lien in the lienor's favor;
      4. That the motor vehicle was repossessed and sold under and by virtue of the terms of the lien and the law applicable thereto;
      5. The balance owing which is secured by the lien; and
      6. The exhibit of a true copy of the lien instrument, together with any assignment thereof if applicable; and
    2. A bond executed by the lienor, without sureties, in a penal sum equal to the value of the motor vehicle, payable to the state of Tennessee, and conditioned to hold the state harmless from any liability or damages which might arise in connection with the issuance of a new registration and certificate of title. For purposes of this subdivision (d)(2), it shall be presumed, in the absence of a contrary showing, that the value of the motor vehicle is equal to the balance owing which is secured by the lien instrument. Where the affidavit and bond specified in this subdivision (d)(2) are filed by a lienor, that lienor shall pay to the department, in addition to all other fees which may be required, a fee of five dollars ($5.00).

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 51 (Williams, § 5538.151); Acts 1955, ch. 342, § 1; 1967, ch. 392, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1971, ch. 137, § 2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-434; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 38; 2018, ch. 1023, § 52.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 31 provided that, notwithstanding §§ 55-4-101, 55-4-118 or 55-4-119, if any holder of a Handicapped Veteran plate issued prior to May 19, 2014, pursuant to § 55-4-318, as that section existed prior to May 19, 2014, sells or otherwise transfers the holder's title or interest in the vehicle to which the plate is registered, then the plate shall expire and not be transferred or reassigned to another vehicle, and the holder shall surrender the plate to the department.

55-4-120. Limited exemption of nonresident owners from registration — Registration required when transporting for hire.

      1. A nonresident owner of any regularly licensed passenger motor vehicle not operated for hire registered in any state or territory of the United States, Canada or Mexico may have the privilege of operating upon the public roads of this state for a period of thirty (30) consecutive days, plus such additional period of time as a resident of Tennessee would be permitted to operate passenger vehicles not for hire over the highways of the state of the nonresident.
      2. In the event the commissioner finds that another state has failed to extend the benefits of reciprocity to a resident of this state for a period of more than thirty (30) days, the commissioner is authorized to deny the privileges of reciprocity to vehicles registered in the other state for any period of time in excess of thirty (30) days.
      3. An owner or operator who operates in this state shall not be entitled to reciprocity for a period in excess of thirty (30) days; provided, that any personnel of the army, navy, marine corps or air force stationed in this state, whose motor vehicle is properly registered in that person's state of domicile, will not be required to reregister the vehicle in this state.
      4. A nonresident owner of a foreign licensed private passenger automobile, or a pickup or panel truck, who operates the vehicle in this state solely as a means of transportation to and from a place of temporary employment shall be permitted to operate it without titling and paying registration fees and taxes in this state to the same extent as a resident of Tennessee, under similar circumstances, would be permitted to operate a like vehicle over the highways of the state of the residence of the nonresident pursuant to a reciprocity agreement.
    1. A nonresident owner of any regular licensed or unlicensed mobile home or house trailer may have the privilege of occupying the mobile home or house trailer and traveling upon the public roads of this state for a period of sixty (60) consecutive days without the necessity of having to register the mobile home or house trailer in this state. If any such person remains in the state for any period of time in excess of sixty (60) consecutive days, the person will be required to register the mobile home or house trailer in the state.
  1. A nonresident owner, having a valid foreign certificate of title and/or certificate of registration for a foreign vehicle, which is operated within this state for the transportation of persons or property for compensation, or for the transportation of merchandise, shall register and obtain a Tennessee certificate of registration for the vehicle and pay the same fees as are required with reference to like vehicles owned by residents of this state, but shall not be required to surrender the foreign certificate of title, certificate of registration, or registration plate or plates, except during the pendency of the application, for a Tennessee certificate of registration, if the vehicle is to continue to remain registered in a foreign state as well as in this state; provided, that the nonresident owner of a foreign vehicle operated within the state for the transportation of persons or property for compensation or for the transportation of merchandise shall be permitted to operate the vehicle over the highways of this state without obtaining a certificate of registration or registration plate or plates or paying registration fees, to the same extent and for the same period of time as a resident of this state under similar circumstances would be permitted to operate a vehicle over the highways of the state of the residence of the nonresident by reciprocity agreement.
    1. Every nonresident, including any foreign corporation carrying on business within this state and owning and regularly operating in such business any motor vehicle, within this state, shall be required to register and procure a Tennessee certificate of registration and registration plate or plates for each such vehicle and pay the same fees therefor as are required with reference to like vehicles owned by residents of this state.
    2. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect, change or restrict the authority of the commissioner to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states in accordance with § 55-4-121.

Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 58 (Williams, § 5538.158); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 11; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1963, ch. 143, § 9; 1972, ch. 535, § 2; 1976, ch. 817, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-435; Acts 1995, ch. 305, § 111.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Registration in Foreign State Necessary.

Nonresident cannot bring himself within the provisions of this section unless he has car registered in his resident state with license plates issued by that state displayed. Edwards v. Central Motor Co., 38 Tenn. App. 577, 277 S.W.2d 413, 1954 Tenn. App. LEXIS 143 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1954), aff'd, 198 Tenn. 50, 277 S.W.2d 417, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 343 (1955).

55-4-121. Reciprocal agreements concerning nonresidents.

  1. The commissioner is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with proper officials of other states under which agreements motor vehicles of nonresident owners properly licensed and bearing license tags or plates of those states may be operated over the highways of this state, and without being registered or licensed in the state; provided, that this section shall not warrant the commissioner in entering into any agreement with the officials of any other state that does not grant like privileges to citizens of Tennessee operating motor vehicles in that state or states.
    1. The commissioner may likewise enter into agreements or arrangements with the duly authorized representatives of other jurisdictions relating to the proportional registration of commercial vehicles in interstate or combined interstate and intrastate commerce. The apportionment may be made on a basis commensurate with and determined on the miles traveled on and use made of the highways of this state as compared with the miles traveled on and use made of other jurisdictions' highways or any other equitable basis of apportionment. The commissioner may require that any remittance for proportional registration of commercial vehicles, pursuant to the agreements, be in the form of cash, cashier's check, certified check, or money order, and that any other remittance will be rejected and returned. The commissioner may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations as shall be necessary to effectuate and administer the provisions contained in this section.
    2. The commissioner is further authorized to establish a system of registration renewals for these vehicles at alternative intervals during the calendar year that will allow for the distribution of the registration workload as uniformly as practicable throughout the year. This registration renewal system shall be established by rules promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 1937, ch. 242, § 1; 1943, ch. 58, § 1; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 2680.48 (Williams, §§ 1152.7a, 5501.14a); impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; Acts 1972, ch. 504, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-436; Acts 1983, ch. 206, § 4; impl. am. Acts 1995, ch. 305, § 30; Acts 1996, ch. 649, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Until July 1, 1996, with respect to persons and motor vehicles of the character covered by title 65, chapter 15, the chair of the public service commission shall participate in the negotiations of reciprocal agreements, as formerly provided in § 65-15-118.

Textbooks. Tennessee Jurisprudence, 4 Tenn. Juris., Automobiles, § 29; 5 Tenn. Juris., Carriers, § 58.

Law Reviews.

Selected Tennessee Legislation of 1983 (N. L. Resener, J. A. Whitson, K. J. Miller), 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 785 (1983).

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

This statute is not unconstitutional as an attempted delegation of legislative power and an agreement made pursuant thereto is not illegal as being in conflict with the general registration laws. Marshall v. State, 180 Tenn. 9, 171 S.W.2d 269, 1943 Tenn. LEXIS 18 (1943).

This section is not violative of the due process and law of the land provisions of the state and federal constitutions since regulation of the use of highways is within plenary power of the general assembly. Donahoo v. Mason & Dixon Lines, Inc., 199 Tenn. 145, 285 S.W.2d 125, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 438 (1955).

This section was not violative of Tenn. Const., art. I, § 1, on ground that it was for public injury and not public welfare and contrary to purpose of government since general assembly was acting within its discretion in regulation of use of highways. Donahoo v. Mason & Dixon Lines, Inc., 199 Tenn. 145, 285 S.W.2d 125, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 438 (1955).

This section is not violative of Tenn. Const., art. II, § 28, on ground that it grants special privileges and immunities to one small group since it applies to all persons who can bring themselves within its provisions. Donahoo v. Mason & Dixon Lines, Inc., 199 Tenn. 145, 285 S.W.2d 125, 1955 Tenn. LEXIS 438 (1955).

2. Strict Construction.

In a suit by taxpayer claiming exemption from payment of motor vehicle registration fees by virtue of reciprocal agreement between Tennessee and Indiana the taxing statute and agreement will be construed strictly against taxpayer. Silver Fleet Motor Express, Inc. v. Carson, 188 Tenn. 338, 219 S.W.2d 199, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 345 (1949).

3. Application to Trucking Company.

Trucking company which kept stock book records and held annual stockholders meeting at Seymour, Indiana where it had a small office manned by three employees was not entitled to exemption from registration tax by virtue of reciprocal agreement between Tennessee and Indiana where evidence showed that it maintained a large office in Louisville, Kentucky manned by 70 employees, designated Louisville as its main office on its literature, and had in a prior petition based on invalid agreement between Tennessee and Kentucky designated Louisville as its main office. Silver Fleet Motor Express, Inc. v. Carson, 188 Tenn. 338, 219 S.W.2d 199, 1949 Tenn. LEXIS 345 (1949).

4. City License Fees.

The charter provisions of the City of Chattanooga under which it enacted an ordinance imposing a license fee on passenger automobiles using the streets of the city were not repealed by implication or superseded by the provisions of this statute or by a reciprocal agreement made pursuant thereto by the state commissioner of finance and taxation (now revenue) with the officials of the state of Georgia. DeLay v. Chattanooga, 180 Tenn. 316, 174 S.W.2d 929, 1943 Tenn. LEXIS 17 (1943).

The city itself is charged with the duty of constructing and maintaining its streets and the commissioner of finance and taxation (now revenue) is without authority under this statute to contract with reference to the use thereof. DeLay v. Chattanooga, 180 Tenn. 316, 174 S.W.2d 929, 1943 Tenn. LEXIS 17 (1943).

55-4-122. Interstate carriers — Registration costs — Regulations — Special handling fee.

  1. The commissioner is authorized and directed to apportion the costs of registration plates, as provided in §§ 55-4-111 and 55-4-112, to interstate motor carriers of passengers operating a fleet of two (2) or more vehicles under the authority of the interstate commerce commission, so that the total cost of such registration bears the same proportion to the registration costs provided in §§ 55-4-111 and 55-4-112 as the total number of miles operated in Tennessee by the fleet of the carrier registered in Tennessee during the preceding year bears to the total number of miles operated by the fleet during that year.
  2. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to effectuate this apportionment.
  3. In addition to the costs of registration plates provided for in subsection (a), there shall be levied a special handling fee of four dollars ($4.00) on each vehicle registered within the state which is principally operated outside of this state and which is owned by a business entity, commercial enterprise or corporation which has its principal place of business outside of this state. All funds derived from the proceeds of this subsection (c) are directed to the county general fund and credited as fees collected by the county clerk.

Acts 1955, ch. 77, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1959, ch. 9, § 14; T.C.A., § 59-437; Acts 1989, ch. 300, § 1.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

1. Nature of Tax.

The general assembly intended the tax to be levied against the motor carrier for the privilege of operating a fleet of two or more vehicles upon the highways of the state of Tennessee and not upon specific vehicles, and the vehicle registration fees are privilege taxes based upon the privilege of the operation of such vehicles by the owner over the highways of the state. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

2. Apportionment of Fees.

3. —Successor Corporations.

Operator of intrastate and interstate bus company was not entitled to apportion its registration fees for the year 1962-1963 upon the basis of the Tennessee mileage of its predecessor corporation during the year 1961-1962 in absence of specific statutory authority. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

Inasmuch as registration fees constitute privilege taxes, the operating experience of another corporation was not transferable to motor carrier as an asset and could not be utilized to apportion registration fees of buses in absence of specific statutory authority. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

Failure of assistant commissioner of finance (now revenue) to insist on payment of registration fees upon merger of former corporation with taxpayer corporation would not estop commissioner from insisting that operation experience of the predecessor corporation was inapplicable to taxpayer corporation in apportioning registration fees. Tennessee Trailways, Inc. v. Butler, 213 Tenn. 136, 373 S.W.2d 201, 1963 Tenn. LEXIS 337 (1963).

55-4-123. Rental trucks and truck tractors — Registration — Special handling fee.

  1. As used in this section, “rental” means the delivery of possession within this state for a unit for consideration for a period of less than thirty (30) days.
  2. Owners of fleets of rental trucks and truck tractors may designate to the commissioner for allocation their respective rental fleets. Each such designation shall disclose the number of units in the owner's rental fleet. Each owner of a fleet of rental trucks and truck tractors so designated to the commissioner shall register in this state a proportional part of the owner's rental fleet, which proportional part shall be determined by dividing the mileage of all units in the designated fleet driven in this state during the year ending on the preceding August 31, by the total mileage of all units in the designated fleet during the same period.
  3. No such fleet of trucks shall include less than five (5) units, and these fleets shall include only units maintained solely for rental purposes.
  4. The commissioner may promulgate reasonable rules for the furnishing of data by owners of rental fleets respecting the units which constitute each rental fleet, the number of miles traveled in this state by units of each fleet, and the total mileage of all units in each designated fleet, in order to determine proper allocation of each rental fleet for registration in this state.
  5. After the owner of a fleet of rental trucks has registered in this state, the number of units in the fleet that the commissioner has allocated for registration in this state according to this chapter, all units properly identified as belonging to the owner, and that shall be part of the owner's designated rental fleet, licensed in any state, territory, province, county, or the District of Columbia, shall be permitted to operate in this state on an interstate or an intrastate basis.
  6. In addition to the costs of registration plates provided for in this section, there shall be levied a special handling fee of four dollars ($4.00) on each unit in the owner's rental fleet registered within the state that is principally operated outside of this state and that is owned by a business entity, commercial enterprise or corporation that has its principal place of business outside of this state. All funds derived from the proceeds of this subsection (f) are directed to the county general fund and credited as fees collected by the county clerk.

Acts 1972, ch. 698, § 1; T.C.A., § 59-465; Acts 1989, ch. 300, § 2.

55-4-124. Registration of vehicles hauling certain materials.

  1. Any vehicle, freight motor vehicle, truck-tractor, trailer or semitrailer or combinations of these vehicles that transports crushed stone, fill dirt and rock, soil, bulk sand, coal, clay, shale, phosphate muck, asphalt, concrete, other building materials, forest products, unfinished lumber, ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal, agricultural lime, liquid fertilizer, solid waste, coal ash and agricultural products shall be permitted to register as follows:
    1. The vehicles hauling such products in a single unit motor vehicle having four (4) axles and designed to unload itself, with a gross weight not exceeding seventy-four thousand pounds (74,000 lbs.) including the load thereon, shall be permitted to register as a Class 10 vehicle, or purchase the appropriate special zone tag; and
    2. The vehicles hauling such products in a single unit motor vehicle having three (3) axles and designed to unload itself, with a gross weight not exceeding sixty-six thousand pounds (66,000 lbs.) including the load thereon, shall be permitted to register as a Class 9 vehicle, or purchase the appropriate special zone tag.
  2. If the commissioner of transportation is formally notified by an appropriate federal official that, as a result of any provision of this section, the state will lose federal funds, then the provision shall be void and inoperative.
  3. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as authorizing these vehicles to use that portion of the state highway system designated as the interstate system.

Acts 1982, ch. 953, § 1; 1983, ch. 319, § 2; 1987, ch. 152, § 1; 1987, ch. 153, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 514, § 1; 1992, ch. 566, § 1; 1994, ch. 680, § 1; 1995, ch. 20, § 1; 1996, ch. 882, § 3.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 1987, ch. 152, § 1 provided that a loss of federal funds as a result of any provision of that act (deleting the former second sentence in (a)(2)) shall render those provisions in Acts 1987, ch. 152 void and inoperative.

Cross-References. Classification of freight vehicles, § 55-4-113.

Law Reviews.

Selected Tennessee Legislation of 1983 (N. L. Resener, J. A. Whitson, K. J. Miller), 50 Tenn. L. Rev. 785 (1983).

55-4-125. Implementation of passenger motor vehicle registration or wheel tax incentive for participation in college savings plans.

  1. The department shall assist the board of trustees of the college savings trust fund program in the implementation of a passenger motor vehicle registration or wheel tax incentive established under § 49-7-805(4) that shall include, but not be limited to, college savings plan incentive inserts in the department's motor vehicle registration notifications, providing college savings plan incentives information with any website renewal, sending other notifications about college savings incentives by electronic means, and providing information about college savings incentives through any other web-based means.
  2. For any insert included in the mailing of renewal notices that causes the total postal weight to be over one ounce (1 oz.) as permitted by the United States postal service, the board of trustees of the college savings trust fund program shall pay the increased cost of mailing.

Acts 2014, ch. 910, § 27; 2017, ch. 400, § 10.

55-4-126. Permit fees designated for highway maintenance — Effect of loss of federal funds.

  1. All revenue received as a result of any permit fee provided for by § 55-7-205(h)(5) shall be earmarked for highway maintenance.
  2. A loss of federal funds as a result of any provision of chapter 953 of the Public Acts of 1982 shall render the provision void and inoperative.

Acts 1982, ch. 953, §§ 9, 10.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1982, ch. 953, referred to in this section, enacted §§ 55-4-124 and 55-4-126.

55-4-127. Exemptions for volunteer first aid or rescue squad vehicles.

  1. No person shall be required to obtain an annual registration certificate and license plates or to pay the fee prescribed therefor pursuant to this chapter for vehicles owned or used exclusively by volunteer lifesaving or first-aid crews or rescue squads; provided, that:
    1. The vehicle is used exclusively as a lifesaving, rescue, or first-aid vehicle and is not rented, leased or loaned to any private individual, firm or corporation;
    2. No charges are made by the organization for the use of the vehicles; and
    3. The organization is chartered by the state as a volunteer, nonprofit organization.
  2. The equipment must be painted a distinguishing color and conspicuously display in letters and figures, not less than three inches (3") in height, the identity of the volunteer lifesaving or first-aid crew or rescue squad having control of its operation; provided, that the equipment be used exclusively for lifesaving, first-aid, or rescue activities.
  3. Before the equipment may be operated upon the highways of this state without license plates, there must be filed with the department a certification by the county clerk of the county in which the equipment is based, certifying a description of the equipment and the name of the lifesaving or first-aid crew, or rescue squad.
  4. “Rescue squad,” as used in this section, means only those persons or organizations who are members of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, except that in counties having a population of six hundred thousand (600,000) or more, according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, “rescue squad” includes persons and organizations which meet the requirements of this section but who are not members of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads.

Acts 1984, ch. 966, § 2; 2007, ch. 484, § 39.

Compiler's Notes. For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

55-4-128. Emissions test grace period — Waiver.

  1. The owner of any motor vehicle who resides in any county in which the issuance or renewal of the certificate of registration, or any registration plates issued pursuant to chapters 1-6 of this title, or a city or county vehicle inspection sticker, for a motor vehicle depends upon the successful completion of a motor vehicle emissions test, shall be:
    1. Given a grace period of thirty (30) days from the date fixed for issuance or renewal in which to effect necessary repairs and successfully complete the emissions test for any motor vehicle that does not successfully complete an emissions test administered prior to the date fixed for issuance or renewal, and repairs necessary to pass the test cannot be effected prior to that date;
    2. Issued an inspection certificate by the motor vehicle emissions testing authority which shall state on its face the date the emissions test was administered and failed, and that a thirty-day grace period shall apply to that motor vehicle; and
    3. The air pollution control board, created by § 68-201-104, shall promulgate rules providing conditions under which owners of motor vehicles that do not successfully complete an emissions test may apply for waivers or variances. The rules may set appropriate conditions for waivers that are consistent with federal as well as state law and consider the expenditures made by the owner in order to come into compliance.
  2. Possession of a duly authorized inspection certificate issued pursuant to subsection (a) shall be deemed possession of a valid certificate of registration, registration plate, and inspection sticker for the duration of the authorized grace period provided by subsection (a).

Acts 1985, ch. 339, § 1; 1995, ch. 153, § 1; 2004, ch. 926, § 1.

55-4-129. Unlawful removal of registration decal or plate.

  1. Unless lawfully transferred in accordance with this chapter, it is unlawful to willfully cut, clip or otherwise remove the registration decal from a registration plate, or to remove a registration plate from a motor vehicle if either are removed for the purpose of selling the decal or plate, attaching the decal or plate to another registration plate or motor vehicle, or otherwise using the decal or plate to circumvent or avoid the vehicle registration laws of this chapter.
  2. A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1987, ch. 224, § 1; 1990, ch. 1030, § 39.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

55-4-130. Applicability — Passage — Purchasing — Inspection and maintenance programs — Contracts — Remote sensing devices.

  1. Sections 55-4-101(d)(2), 55-4-104(e)(2), and 55-6-105(a)(9) shall only apply in those counties:
    1. That have been designated by the air pollution control board to have an inspection and maintenance program because it is necessary to attain or maintain compliance with national ambient air standards; provided, however, that the board may only designate counties that:
      1. Have been designated by the United States environmental protection agency as not attaining the national ambient air standards and have over fifty thousand (50,000) registered vehicles in the most recent year;
      2. Are former nonattainment counties with over fifty thousand (50,000) registered vehicles in the most recent year that are under a maintenance plan designed to continue to meet the national ambient air standards; or
      3. That contribute significantly to nonattainment in another county and have more than sixty thousand (60,000) motor vehicles registered in the county in the most recent year; or
    2. For which a resolution has been passed by the governing body of the county that specifically establishes an inspection and maintenance program for the county and the air pollution control board approves the resolution as providing for inspection and maintenance that is consistent with the programs operated under subdivision (a)(1). The board may also oversee the implementation of the program to assure statewide consistency and shall review the programs at least once every three (3) years. The implementation of §§ 55-4-101(d)(2), 55-4-104(e)(2), and 55-6-105(a)(9) shall be in a manner as to assure compliance with the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.), and the Air Quality Act, compiled in title 68, chapter 201, part 1. All counties implementing a vehicle inspection and maintenance program may only charge fees that are directly related to the county's cost of establishing and implementing the vehicle inspection and maintenance program.
  2. For purposes of this section, the state or county may purchase goods and services on the same terms and conditions as these goods and services have been purchased by the state or a county where a contract, as amended or extended, is in effect at the date of the purchase by the state or a county and where the contract was executed in the first instance by the state or a county pursuant to its regular purchasing procedures for these goods and services. This contract, whether the existing contract from which the purchase is made or the new contract, may be modified by the state or county for one (1) additional term of not more than sixty (60) months, the policy of the state being to promote statewide uniformity in price and term of these contracts.
  3. The rules promulgated by the air pollution control board shall provide that, with respect to any fleet of motor vehicles owned or leased by any manufacturer of motor vehicles located in any county designated in subsection (a), the manufacturer shall be allowed to provide its own vehicle inspection and maintenance program so long as the vehicle inspection and maintenance program meets the standards required by the board.
  4. A ninety-day certificate of compliance for a light-duty motor vehicle that is offered for sale by a motor vehicle dealer shall be extendable at the option of the dealer for an additional period of ninety (90) days upon payment of a fee of one dollar and fifty cents ($1.50). The fee shall be in addition to all other fees and costs associated with the certificate and shall be paid to the contractor that conducts the vehicle inspection program in the county in which the dealer is located.
  5. The air pollution control board is authorized in any county subject to this section to provide an enhanced inspection and maintenance program utilizing remote sensing devices that will identify vehicles that comply with the air quality criteria determined by the board. For those vehicles that meet the air quality criteria determined by the board through a remote sensing device, the requirement for an annual emissions test can be fulfilled without the need for passing vehicles to also visit an inspection and maintenance inspection facility. Without regard to the current terms of contracts that support an inspection and maintenance program and any other law notwithstanding, the board is authorized and encouraged to utilize technologies that can increase motorist convenience or compliance, or both, with air quality criteria determined by the board. In order to evaluate any such technology, the board is further authorized to extend, if necessary, any inspection and maintenance program contract for no more than twenty-four (24) months beyond its current expiration date.
    1. Subsection (e) shall only apply to those counties on May 5, 2009, that have been designated by the air pollution control board to have an inspection and maintenance program pursuant to subsection (a).
    2. A board or any entity or vendor that contracts to perform annual emissions tests pursuant to subsection (e) shall promptly and permanently purge all identifying information regarding motor vehicles that are not registered in a county that has been designated by the air pollution control board to have an inspection and maintenance program pursuant to subsection (a).
  6. The rules promulgated by the air pollution control board shall provide that any motor vehicle over twenty-five (25) years old with a nonmodified engine and body, when such motor vehicle is being registered as an antique motor vehicle pursuant to § 55-4-111(b), shall be exempt from all motor vehicle inspection requirements.
    1. Any county that has been designated by the air pollution control board to have a vehicle inspection and maintenance program to attain or maintain compliance with national ambient air standards, may, by an affirmative vote of a majority of its governing body, exempt motor vehicles that are registered in the county that are required to undergo testing pursuant to § 55-4-101(d)(2), § 55-4-104(e)(2), or § 55-6-105(a)(9) and that are three (3) or less model years old from those motor vehicle inspection requirements; provided, that the governing body shall authorize the exemption on or before December 31, 2016, and the presiding officer of the governing body shall furnish a certified copy of the approved resolution to the technical secretary of the air pollution control board on or before January 31, 2017.
      1. The exemption authorized by an action of a governing body pursuant to subdivision (h)(1) shall take effect on the January 1 following the date on which the United States environmental protection agency (EPA) approves a revised state implementation plan consistent with this subsection (h); provided, however, that if on such January 1, a contract exists between the department and a contractor providing inspection services, or a local pollution control program and a contractor providing inspection services, then the exemption shall take effect in those jurisdictions that are covered by the contract upon the date of the contract's termination or expiration or the effective date of the contract's renewal or an applicable amendment to the inspection service fee of such contract.
        1. The commissioner of environment and conservation shall certify in writing to the executive secretary of the Tennessee code commission the date of the approval by the EPA described in subdivision (h)(2)(A) and provide the executive secretary of the commission with a copy of such approval.
        2. If a contract exists on the January 1 following the date of approval of the revised state implementation plan, then the commissioner or the chief public officer of the local pollution control program, whichever is applicable, shall also certify in writing the date of the department's or local pollution control program's contract termination or expiration or the effective date of the contract's renewal or an applicable amendment to the inspection service fee of such contract, and provide the executive secretary of the commission with a copy of the signed document.

Acts 1993, ch. 416, §§ 4-6; 1999, ch. 154, § 1; 2004, ch. 926, §§ 2-4; 2006, ch. 844, § 1; 2009, ch. 123, §§ 1, 2; 2011, ch. 127, § 1; 2016, ch. 1028, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2011, ch. 127, § 2 provided that the act, which added (g), shall apply to any registration or renewal on or after July 1, 2011.

Acts 2016, ch. 1028, § 2 provided that the air pollution control board is authorized to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of the act, which amended this section. All such rules shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

55-4-131. Notice of change of address.

  1. Whenever any person, after applying for or receiving a title or registration, moves from the address named in the application or title or registration, or when the name of an applicant is changed for any reason, the person shall within ten (10) days thereafter, notify the department of the change or changes.
  2. A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Acts 1999, ch. 98, § 14.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class C misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

55-4-132. Funding for computerized titling and registration system.

  1. In addition to all other fees provided for in this part, there is imposed an additional fee of one dollar ($1.00) on the registration of motor vehicles and the renewal of the registrations.
  2. All revenues received from the fees shall be earmarked and used for the operation, maintenance, modernization, improvement, enhancement, or replacement of the titling and registration system. These revenues shall not be used to replace, displace, reduce or otherwise supplant any moneys budgeted for the titling and registration of motor vehicles.
  3. All funds generated pursuant to this section shall be deposited in a special account earmarked solely for the purposes set forth in this section and any unused funds shall not revert to the general fund but shall be held in the account for these purposes. Such purposes shall also include the acquisition, maintenance, modernization, enhancement, or replacement of software or equipment and related necessary supplies used in the operation of the titling and registration system by the county clerks. All fees or payments under § 55-6-104(b)-(d) shall be paid to the county clerks out of such funds.
  4. The department shall submit reports on its progress to the transportation and safety committee of the senate and transportation committee of the house of representatives between July 1, 1999, and until the completion of the updated computerized titling and registration system. These reports shall be submitted quarterly to the transportation committees unless the department is otherwise directed by the committees.
  5. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall appear before the transportation committee of the house of representatives and the transportation and safety committee of the senate no later than March 1 annually to report the status of the computerized titling and registration system.

Acts 1999, ch. 459, § 1; 2004, ch. 660, §§ 4, 6; 2004, ch. 943, § 3; 2007, ch. 484, § 40; 2008, ch. 924, § 4; 2013, ch. 236, §§ 88, 90; 2014, ch. 718, § 4.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2004, ch. 660, § 5 provided that subsection (a) of this section shall cease to be effective June 30, 2008, and on such date, the fee authorized in subsection (a) shall no longer be imposed or collected. Acts 2008, ch. 924, § 4 provided that Acts 2004, ch. 660, § 5 be deleted.

55-4-133. Used oil and other automotive fluids collection and recycling — Definitions.

  1. To increase public knowledge of the availability of collection facilities for used oil and other automotive fluids and the benefits of recycling used oil and other automotive fluids, the department shall conduct a promotional campaign, including, but not limited to, the inclusion of information concerning the Used Oil Collection Act, pursuant to title 68, chapter 211, part 10, with motor vehicle registration renewal notices. This information shall include automotive fluid collection center locations and the toll-free telephone information number established by the department of environment and conservation pursuant to § 68-211-1005. The department may include additional information as deemed appropriate by the department.
  2. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
    1. “Automotive fluid collection center” has the same meaning as defined in § 68-211-1002;
    2. “Other automotive fluid” has the same meaning as defined in § 68-211-1002; and
    3. “Used oil” has the same meaning as defined in § 68-211-1002.

Acts 2001, ch. 258, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 41; 2016, ch. 771, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. As of October 1, 2001, the toll-free telephone number referred to in this section, is 1-800-287-9013.

Acts 2001, ch. 258, § 2, provided that any cost relative to the implementation of the act shall come from funds derived from taxes authorized by the Used Oil Collection Act of 1993, compiled in title 68, chapter 211, part 10.

55-4-134. Replica license plates.

  1. Any replica license plate manufactured or sold in this state  purporting to be an official license plate previously issued by the state shall include the language “REPLICA” in at least twenty-four (24) point type on the face of the replica license plate.
  2. A violation of subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 2005, ch. 84, § 1.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

55-4-135. Registration of vehicles by owners performing full-time service in the military.

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the owner of any motor vehicle who is performing full-time service in the military and who is stationed outside of the continental United States shall be given a grace period of thirty (30) days from the date of the owner's return to this state to renew the registration for any motor vehicle registered to the owner.

Acts 2005, ch. 401, § 2; 2013, ch. 183, § 3.

55-4-136. Registration of medium speed vehicles.

  1. Any vehicle that is not equipped with a windshield and that otherwise qualifies as a medium speed vehicle as defined in § 55-1-125 may be registered as a medium speed vehicle; provided, that while the vehicle is in operation upon any public road of this state, the operator and each passenger shall wear a helmet in accordance with § 55-9-302 and eye protection, including glasses containing impact resistant lenses, safety goggles, or a face shield.
  2. Any vehicle described in subsection (a) shall be registered as a medium speed vehicle if the operator provides an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, on a form prescribed by the department certifying that the vehicle meets applicable safety standards and that the operator will otherwise comply with subsection (a).

Acts 2014, ch. 871, § 1.

Attorney General Opinions. An all-terrain vehicle that is registered as a “medium speed vehicle” pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 55-8-101 and 55-4-136 may be operated on a state highway that has a posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour or less. OAG 14-97, 2014 Tenn. AG LEXIS 100 (10/30/14).

55-4-137. Exemption from registration fee for certain veteran or active-duty service members.

Notwithstanding § 55-4-256, § 55-4-257, or any other provision of this chapter, a veteran or active-duty service member of the armed services is exempt from the regular registration fee prescribed under § 55-4-111 and any fee provided for in § 55-4-203(c)(1) for a motor vehicle sold, given, or donated to the veteran or service member if:

  1. The veteran or service member has a service-connected disability as described in 38 U.S.C. § 3901;
  2. The veteran or service member receives a grant from the United States department of veterans affairs, pursuant to 38 U.S.C. §§ 3901-3904; and
  3. The grant is used to provide or assist in providing the vehicle to the veteran or service member.

Acts 2018, ch. 541, § 3.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2018, ch. 541, § 4 provided that the act, which enacted this section, shall apply to any vehicle sold, given, or donated to a veteran or active-duty service member on or after March 5, 2018.

55-4-138. Evidence of vehicle registration in electronic format — Acceptable electronic formats.

In addition to the provisions of § 55-12-139 authorizing a person to display evidence of financial responsibility through the use of electronic devices, a person may also display evidence of vehicle registration in electronic format. The electronic images shall state that the vehicle is properly registered and that a certificate of registration has been issued to the owner or operator of the vehicle. For purposes of this section, acceptable electronic formats include display of electronic images on a cellular phone or any other type of portable electronic device. If a person displays the evidence in an electronic format pursuant to this section, the person is not consenting for law enforcement to access any other contents of the electronic device.

Acts 2018, ch. 606, § 1.

Code Commission Notes.

Acts 2018, ch. 606, § 1 purported to enact § 55-4-137.  Section 55-4-137 was previously enacted by Acts 2018, ch. 541, § 3; therefore, the enactment by Acts 2018, ch. 606, § 1 was designated as § 55-4-138 by the code commission.

55-4-139. Designation of owner or lessee of motor vehicle as deaf or hard of hearing.

  1. At the time of initial application for the registration of a motor vehicle under this part, or upon renewal, an owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is deaf or hard of hearing may request that the department include such designation in the Tennessee Vehicle Title and Registration System (VTRS) database. The registrant's request must be accompanied by a physician's statement supporting the registrant's request for a deaf or hard of hearing designation. Upon receipt of such a request accompanied by a valid physician's statement, the department shall cause the registrant's deaf or hard of hearing status to be entered into the VTRS database, and ensure such designation is associated with the applicant's motor vehicle and registration.
  2. Information submitted to the department under this section shall be supplied to law enforcement to assist in identifying the operator of the vehicle as possibly being deaf or hard of hearing. Information collected pursuant to this section shall only be available to law enforcement for the purpose of ensuring safe and efficient interactions between law enforcement and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and shall not be used for any other purpose.
  3. All law enforcement officers charged with the enforcement of this title and emergency call takers and public safety dispatchers, as described in § 7-86-205, shall receive instruction in the identification of deaf or hard of hearing designation included in the VTRS database as provided for in this section.
  4. The commissioner is authorized to adopt policies and procedures as necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.

Acts 2018, ch. 735, § 1.

55-4-140. Exemption for member of volunteer fire department or volunteer local rescue squad.

  1. Any owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, is an active member of a volunteer fire department, and has at least one (1) year of service shall be exempt, at the time of renewal, from the regular registration fee imposed pursuant to § 55-4-111, for only one (1) vehicle owned or used by the firefighter, upon the certification or sworn statement from the chief of the fire department to which the person is attached confirming the applicant is an active volunteer member, and upon compliance with state motor vehicle registration and licensing laws. In addition to the exemption provided by this subsection (a), the legislative body of a county is authorized to waive the motor vehicle tax for motor vehicles receiving an exemption under this subsection (a) from the registration fee if the waiver is approved in the same manner as the adoption of the motor vehicle tax under § 5-8-102.
  2. Any owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, is an active member of a volunteer local rescue squad, and has at least one (1) year of service shall be exempt, at the time of renewal, from the regular registration fee imposed pursuant to § 55-4-111, for only one (1) vehicle owned or used by the member, upon certification or sworn statement from the captain of the local rescue squad to which the person is attached confirming the applicant is an active volunteer member, and upon compliance with state motor vehicle registration and licensing laws. In addition to the exemption provided by this subsection (b), the legislative body of a county is authorized to waive the motor vehicle tax for motor vehicles receiving an exemption under this subsection (b) from the registration fee if the waiver is approved in the same manner as the adoption of the motor vehicle tax under § 5-8-102.

Acts 2018, ch. 923, § 3.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2018, ch. 923, § 3, which enacted this section, shall apply to registration plates renewed on or after May 15, 2018.

55-4-141. Authority of department of revenue to issue, suspend, or revoke a registration, permit, plate, or certificate of certain motor carriers.

    1. The department or its agent is authorized to refuse to issue or transfer a registration, license plate, permit, or a certificate of title on a vehicle that has been assigned to a motor carrier that has been prohibited from operating by the federal motor carrier safety administration; provided, that the department or its agent may allow a motor carrier that has been prohibited from operating by the federal motor carrier safety administration to transfer a title if the motor carrier does not retain an interest, either directly or indirectly, in the vehicle.
    2. The department or its agent is authorized to suspend or revoke the registration, license plate, permit, or certificate of title issued to any vehicle assigned to a motor carrier that has been prohibited from operating by the federal motor carrier safety administration.
  1. The department shall deny registration for a vehicle assigned to a motor carrier that has been prohibited from operating by the federal motor carrier safety administration for safety reasons or a carrier whose business is operated, managed, or otherwise controlled by or affiliated with a person who is ineligible for registration, including an applicant, owner, corporate officer, or shareholder of the carrier or a relative of any such persons. For purposes of this section, “relative” means husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, father, mother, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law.
  2. If a prohibition from operating by the federal motor carrier safety administration is rescinded, the department or its agent may issue a registration, license plate, permit, or certificate of title to the motor carrier; provided, that all other taxes and fees have been paid to the department.

Acts 2019, ch. 70, § 1.

Part 2
Special License Plates

55-4-201. Part definitions.

As used in this part:

  1. “Collegiate plate” or “collegiate license plate” means the class of cultural motor vehicle registration plates enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(5)(C), which features on each individual plate a special reference to or identification or information on:
    1. A two-year or four-year college or university located within this state;
    2. A four-year college or university located outside this state; or
    3. A four-year law school located within this state that is not accredited by the American Bar Association;
    1. “Cultural plate” or “cultural license plate” means:
      1. A special or cultural motor vehicle registration plate authorized by statute prior to July 1, 1998, and enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(5); or
      2. An honorary motor vehicle registration plate authorized by statute on or after July 1, 1998, which statute does not specifically earmark the funds produced from the sale of the plate;
    2. “Cultural plate” or “cultural license plate” includes collegiate plates and personalized plates unless those plates are specifically excluded from this definition by statute;
  2. “Memorial plate” or “memorial license plate” means those motor vehicle registration plates, as enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(4) and defined in § 55-4-250, that are issued free of charge, including the regular registration fee, pursuant to § 55-4-204(b);
  3. “New specialty earmarked plate” or “new specialty earmarked license plate” means a motor vehicle registration plate authorized by statute on or after July 1, 1998, which statute earmarks the funds produced from the sale of that plate to be allocated to a specific nonprofit organization or state agency or fund to fulfill a specific purpose or to accomplish a specific goal;
  4. “Off-highway vehicle plate” or “off-highway vehicle license plate” means those motor vehicle registration plates, as enumerated in § 55-4-203(a) and described in chapter 4, part 7 of this title, that are issued to Class I and Class II off-highway vehicles as defined in § 55-8-101;
  5. “Personalized plate” or “personalized license plate” means the class of cultural motor vehicle registration plates that features on each individual plate not less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) identifying numbers, letters, positions or a combination thereof for a passenger motor vehicle, recreational vehicle or truck of one-half or three-quarter-ton rating or, if authorized, not less than three (3) nor more than six (6) identifying numbers, letters, positions or a combination thereof for a motorcycle, as requested by the owner or lessee of the vehicle to which that plate is assigned;
  6. “Personalized trailer plate” or “personalized trailer license plate” means a motor vehicle registration plate that is permitted, but not required, to be registered to a trailer or semitrailer that features on each individual plate not less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) identifying numbers, letters, positions or a combination of numbers, letters or positions for a trailer or semitrailer, as requested by the owner or lessee of the trailer or semitrailer to which the plate is assigned;
  7. “Special purpose plate” or “special purpose license plate” means all other motor vehicle registration plates issued pursuant to this part, including antique motor vehicle, dealer, disabled, emergency, firefighter pursuant to § 55-4-224, general assembly, government service, judiciary, national guard, OEM headquarters company, sheriff, special event, boat dealer, United States house of representatives, United States judge and United States senate plates; and
  8. “Specialty earmarked plate” or “specialty earmarked license plate” means a motor vehicle registration plate authorized by statute prior to July 1, 1998, and enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(6), which statute earmarks the funds produced from the sale of that plate to be allocated to a specific organization, state agency or fund, or other entity to fulfill a specific purpose or to accomplish a specific goal.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 142, § 4; 2009, ch. 530, § 120; 2009, ch. 589, § 41; 2013, ch. 117, § 1; 2016, ch. 790, § 6; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-209; Acts 2020, ch. 571, § 1; 2020, ch. 660, § 40.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2009, ch. 589.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment by ch. 571 inserted “boat dealer,” in the definition of “special purpose plate”.

The 2020 amendment by ch. 660 substituted “§ 55-4-203(c)(5)(C)” for “§ 55-4-203(c)(5)(B)” in the definition of “collegiate plate” and added (1)(C).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 571, § 3. July 1, 2020.

Acts 2020, ch. 660, § 51. July 1, 2020.

55-4-202. Issuance — Applicability of part — Requirements — Plates deemed obsolete due to inactivity.

    1. All cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked motor vehicle registration plates, memorial motor vehicle registration plates and special purpose motor vehicle registration plates now, or in the future, shall be issued and renewed pursuant to this part. No plate, other than those issued under part 1 of this chapter, shall be issued or renewed unless authorized in this part.
    2. For the purposes of this part and part 3 of this chapter, “this part” means this part and part 3 of this chapter.
  1. All plates issued pursuant to this part shall be issued and renewed subject to the following:
    1. Payment of the applicable registration fee, except as specifically provided otherwise by § 55-4-204 or any other applicable provision of this part;
    2. An additional fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00) to be paid by the applicant upon issuance and renewal, except as specifically provided otherwise by § 55-4-204 or any other applicable provision of this part;
      1. A minimum order of one hundred (100) plates for collegiate plates as defined by § 55-4-201. Collegiate plates for motorcycles, as authorized by § 55-4-210(c), shall be subject to a minimum order of one hundred (100) plates for each classification of collegiate plates;
      2. A minimum order of at least five hundred (500) plates for all other cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plates. Personalized plates for motorcycles, as authorized by § 55-4-210(c), shall be subject to a minimum order of five hundred (500) plates;
    3. A design which shall be approved by the commissioner; and
    4. A handling fee of one dollar ($1.00) payable to the county clerk upon issuance or renewal of any cultural, specialty earmarked, or new specialty earmarked license plate, except plates exempted from payment of fees under § 55-4-204 or any other applicable provision of this part.
    1. Subsection (b) shall apply equally to the renewal of any plate issued pursuant to this part; provided, that any plate that fails to meet the minimum requirements of subdivision (b)(3) by December 31, 1999, or for two (2) successive renewal periods thereafter shall not be reissued or renewed, and the commissioner shall notify the Tennessee code commission that the section of Tennessee Code Annotated authorizing the issuance of the plate is, on the basis of inactivity, to be deemed obsolete and invalid.
    2. Any cultural or new specialty earmarked plate authorized by statute on or after July 1, 1998, shall be subject to the minimum issuance requirements of subdivision (b)(3).
    3. Any plate authorized by this part that qualifies for initial issuance on or after July 1, 1998, shall be subject to the minimum issuance requirements of subdivision (b)(3).
  2. Any plate authorized by this part that has not qualified for initial issuance by December 31, 1999, shall not be issued and the commissioner shall notify the Tennessee code commission that the section of Tennessee Code Annotated authorizing the issuance of the plate is, on the basis of inactivity, to be deemed obsolete and invalid.
  3. Notwithstanding subsection (d), any plate authorized by statute on or after January 1, 1999, that fails to meet the minimum issuance requirements of subdivision (b)(3)(B) within one (1) year of the effective date of the act authorizing the plate shall not be issued, and the commissioner shall notify the Tennessee code commission that the section of Tennessee Code Annotated authorizing the issuance of the plate is, on the basis of inactivity, to be deemed obsolete and invalid.
  4. Subdivision (b)(3) and subsections (c), (d), (e), (g), and (k) shall not apply to the following plates issued pursuant to this part:
    1. Antique motor vehicle;
    2. Dealer;
    3. Disabled;
    4. Emergency;
    5. Firefighter, as provided for in § 55-4-224;
    6. General assembly;
    7. Government service;
    8. Honorary consular;
    9. Judiciary;
    10. Legislator Emeritus;
    11. Memorial;
    12. Metropolitan council;
    13. Military;
    14. National Guard;
    15. Sheriff;
    16. United States house of representatives;
    17. United States judge; and
    18. United States senate.
    1. Notwithstanding this part to the contrary, any cultural or new specialty earmarked license plate authorized by statute on or after July 1, 2002, shall be subject to a minimum order of at least one thousand (1,000) plates prior to initial issuance. This subdivision (g)(1) shall apply equally to the renewal of any cultural or new specialty earmarked plate initially issued on or after July 1, 2002. Any such plate that does not meet the minimum order requirements of this subdivision (g)(1) within one (1) year of the effective date of the act authorizing that plate, or does not meet the renewal requirements for any two (2) successive renewal periods thereafter, shall not be issued, reissued or renewed and shall be deemed obsolete and invalid. The commissioner shall annually notify the executive secretary of the Tennessee code commission of the sections of the code authorizing the issuance of plates deemed obsolete and invalid pursuant to this subdivision (g)(1).
    2. Subdivision (g)(1) shall not apply to collegiate plates otherwise administered pursuant to this part; provided, that on and after July 1, 2002, collegiate plates for four-year colleges or universities located outside this state shall be subject to a minimum order of at least one thousand (1,000) plates prior to initial issuance by the department. This subdivision (g)(2) shall apply equally to the renewal of any collegiate plates for four-year colleges or universities located outside this state initially issued by the department on or after July 1, 2002. Any such plate that does not meet the minimum order requirements of this subdivision (g)(2) or does not meet the renewal requirements for any two (2) successive renewal periods, shall not be administratively issued, reissued or renewed by the department and shall be deemed obsolete and invalid.
      1. Notwithstanding any provision of this part to the contrary, between July 1, 2002, and August 31, 2002, any cultural license plate authorized by § 55-4-240 shall be subject to a minimum order of at least two hundred fifty (250) plates prior to initial issuance. This subdivision (g)(3)(A) shall apply equally to the renewal of any cultural license plate authorized by § 55-4-240 and initially issued between July 1, 2002, and August 31, 2002. Any such plate that does not meet the minimum order requirements of this subdivision (g)(3)(A) or does not meet the renewal requirements for any two (2) successive renewal periods, shall not be administratively issued, reissued or renewed by the department and shall be deemed obsolete and invalid.
      2. On or after September 1, 2002, any cultural license plate authorized by § 55-4-240 shall be subject to a minimum order of at least one thousand (1,000) plates prior to initial issuance. This subdivision (g)(3)(B) shall apply equally to the renewal of any cultural license plate authorized by § 55-4-240 and initially issued on or after September 1, 2002. Any such plate that does not meet the minimum order requirements of this subdivision (g)(3)(B) or does not meet the renewal requirements for any two (2) successive renewal periods, shall not be administratively issued, reissued or renewed by the department and shall be deemed obsolete and invalid.
  5. All funds produced from the sale or renewal of cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked license plates shall be used exclusively in Tennessee to support departments, agencies, charities, programs and other activities impacting Tennessee, as authorized pursuant to this part.
    1. Any new specialty earmarked license plate authorized by statute on behalf of a nonprofit organization shall be subject to certification of the organization's nonprofit status by the secretary of state within ninety (90) days of the effective date of the act authorizing the plate prior to initial issuance.
    2. Any specialty earmarked license plate authorized by statute and initially issued prior to July 1, 1998, on behalf of a nonprofit organization, and any new specialty earmarked license plate authorized by statute and initially issued on or after July 1, 1998, and prior to July 1, 2008, on behalf of a nonprofit organization, shall be subject to certification of the organization's nonprofit status by the secretary of state.
    3. Any new specialty earmarked license plate or specialty earmarked license plate authorized on behalf of a nonprofit organization that is not certified as a registered nonprofit organization in good standing with the state by the secretary of state shall not be issued or renewed and shall be deemed obsolete and invalid.
  6. Any nonprofit organization receiving proceeds from the sale of a specialty earmarked license plate or new specialty earmarked license plate, shall be subject to the following requirements:
    1. The nonprofit organization shall meet and maintain all statutory requirements and internal revenue service regulations for nonprofit corporations;
    2. Each nonprofit organization shall maintain its nonprofit status in good standing with the secretary of state;
    3. By September 30 each year, all nonprofit organizations receiving proceeds from the sale or renewal of a specialty earmarked license plate or new specialty earmarked license plate shall submit an annual accounting of all such funds received from July 1 to June 30 of the preceding state fiscal year to the comptroller of the treasury. If a nonprofit organization fails to comply with the annual accounting requirement, then the commissioner of the department or agency responsible for paying the specialty earmarked license plate or new specialty earmarked license plate proceeds shall, at the request of the comptroller of the treasury, hold the proceeds in reserve until the nonprofit organization submits its annual accounting and the comptroller notifies the department or agency to release the funds. Any costs associated with holding the plate proceeds shall be deducted from the reserve fund as an administration fee. The comptroller of the treasury may audit any nonprofit organization receiving funds from a specialty earmarked license plate or new specialty earmarked license plate to ensure that the funds are being used in accordance with statutory authority for the plate, and the cost of the audit shall be charged to the nonprofit organization; and
    4. A nonprofit organization shall return any proceeds received from a specialty earmarked license plate or new specialty earmarked license plate that a comptroller of the treasury's audit finds have been used in violation of statutory authority. The attorney general and reporter is authorized to institute proceedings, as defined in § 48-51-201, under the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act, compiled in title 48, chapters 51-68, to recover the proceeds.
    1. Notwithstanding this part to the contrary, any cultural or new specialty earmarked license plate authorized by statute on or after July 1, 2013, shall be subject to a minimum order of at least one thousand (1,000) plates prior to initial issuance. Any cultural or new specialty earmarked license plate authorized by statute shall be subject to a minimum order of at least eight hundred (800) plates for the renewal of such cultural or new specialty earmarked plates. Any such plate that does not meet the minimum order requirements of this subdivision (k)(1) within one (1) year of the effective date of the act authorizing that plate, or does not meet the renewal requirements for any two (2) successive renewal periods thereafter, shall not be issued, reissued, or renewed and shall be deemed obsolete and invalid. The commissioner shall annually notify the executive secretary of the Tennessee code commission of the sections of the code authorizing the issuance of plates deemed obsolete and invalid pursuant to this subdivision (k)(1).
    2. Subdivision (k)(1) shall not apply to collegiate plates otherwise administered pursuant to this part; provided, that on and after July 1, 2013, collegiate plates for four-year colleges or universities located outside this state shall be subject to a minimum order of at least one thousand (1,000) plates prior to initial issuance by the department. The renewal of any collegiate plates for four-year colleges or universities located outside Tennessee issued by the department on or after July 1, 2013, shall be subject to a minimum order of at least eight hundred (800) plates. Any such plate that does not meet the minimum order requirements of this subdivision (k)(2) or does not meet the renewal requirements for any two (2) successive renewal periods, shall not be administratively issued, reissued, or renewed by the department and shall be deemed obsolete and invalid.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 1999, ch. 494, § 1; 2000, ch. 674, § 1; 2002, ch. 876, §§ 1, 3; 2007, ch. 484, § 42; 2007, ch. 604, § 17; 2008, ch. 924, §§ 8, 12; 2008, ch. 1145, § 1; 2013, ch. 264, § 1; 2016, ch. 655, §§ 1-5; 2017, ch. 359, §§ 1, 2; 2017, ch. 384, § 38; 2018, ch. 1023, §§ 48, 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-201.

Code Commission Notes.

Former subsection (i), concerning a performance audit of the department’s policies, procedures and directives with findings and recommendations to be reported on or before February 5, 2003, was deleted as obsolete by the code commission in 2008.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Former part 2, §§ 55-4-20155-4-234 (Acts 1951, ch. 67, §§ 1-3 (Williams §§ 5538.161a-5538.161c); 1951, ch. 70, §§ 59-61 (Williams §§ 5538.159-5538.161); 1953, ch. 167, § 12; 1955, ch. 66, §§ 1, 2; 1955, ch. 198, §§ 1-4; 1955, ch. 233, §§ 1-4; 1957, ch. 57, § 1; 1957, ch. 108, § 2; 1959, ch. 9, § 14; 1959, ch. 211, §§ 1-3; 1959, ch. 274, § 1; 1963, ch. 178, § 1; 1963, ch. 179, § 1; 1963, ch. 352, § 1; 1967, ch. 152, § 1; 1967, ch. 242, § 2; 1967, ch. 281, § 1; 1968, ch. 515, § 1; 1969, ch. 71, §§ 1, 2; 1969, ch. 83, § 1; 1969, ch. 334, §§ 2-6; 1970, ch. 420, § 1; 1970, ch. 421, § 1; 1970, ch. 544, § 1; 1971, ch. 20, § 1; 1971, ch. 146, §§ 1, 2; 1971, ch. 157, § 3; 1971, ch. 233, §§ 1, 2; 1972, ch. 518, § 7; 1972, ch. 712, §§ 1, 2; 1973, ch. 70, § 1; 1973, ch. 234, §§ 1(c), 5; 1973, ch. 366, § 1; 1973, ch. 380, § 1; 1974, ch. 531, § 1; 1974, ch. 537, § 1; 1975, ch. 195, § 1; 1975, ch. 212, § 1; 1975, ch. 218, § 1; 1975, ch. 271, § 1; 1976, ch. 500, § 1; 1976, ch. 637, § 1; 1976, ch. 778, § 1; 1976, ch. 830, § 1; 1977, ch. 134, § 1; 1978, ch. 534, §§ 1, 2; 1978, ch. 571, §§ 1, 2; 1978, ch. 604, § 1; 1978, ch. 644, § 1; 1978, ch. 779, § 1; 1978, ch. 934, §§ 22, 36; 1979, ch. 417, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 59-411 — 59-415, 59-429; T.C.A., §§ 59-428, 59-439 — 59-450, 59-452, 59-453, 59-462, 59-464, 59-473 — 59-477; Acts 1980, ch. 487, § 1; 1980, ch. 514, §§ 1, 2; 1980, ch. 521, § 1; 1980, ch. 561, § 1; 1980, ch. 589, §§ 2-4; 1981, ch. 102, § 1; 1981, ch. 271, § 1; 1982, ch. 741, § 1; 1983, ch. 349, § 1), concerning free and special license plates, was repealed by Acts 1984, ch. 966, § 1.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, which repealed and reenacted this part, provided in § 2 that the provisions of that act shall supersede the issuance, renewal and revenue allocation provisions of all other acts enacted by the One-Hundredth General Assembly authorizing special or cultural motor vehicle registration plates. This part shall control the issuance and renewal of such plates and the allocation of the revenues produced from the sale and renewal of such plates, regardless of the order of passage of any conflicting provisions. All special and cultural motor vehicle registration plates authorized by an enactment of the One-Hundredth General Assembly shall be classified as one of the following for the purposes of this part:

“Cultural plate” if the act authorizing for such plate does not specifically earmark the funds produced from the sale of such plate; or “New Specialty Earmarked plate” if the act authorizing such plate earmarks the funds produced from the sale of such plate to be allocated to a specific nonprofit organization or state agency or fund to fulfill a specific purpose or to accomplish a specific goal. All special and cultural motor vehicle registration plates authorized by an enactment of the One Hundredth General Assembly shall be issued and renewed in accordance with the provisions of this part governing the issuance and renewal of cultural plates or new specialty earmarked plates, as appropriate. The revenues produced from the sale of the special and cultural motor vehicle registration plates authorized by an enactment of the One Hundredth General Assembly shall be allocated in accordance with the provisions of § 55-4-216, if such plate is classified as a cultural plate, or § 55-4-215  [now § 55-4-301], if such plate is classified as a new specialty earmarked plate. Section 2 further provides that nothing in that section shall be construed as reallocating the revenues produced from the regular motor vehicle registration fees, or renewals thereof, imposed by part 1 of this chapter. Such revenues shall be allocated in accordance with the provisions of § 55-6-107.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 3 further provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is directed to codify the acts enacted by the One Hundredth General Assembly authorizing special or cultural motor vehicle license plates in accordance with the statutory provisions of this part and to conform all citations to Tennessee Code Annotated in the acts authorizing such plates to the statutory provisions of this part. When the statutory language of the acts authorizing such plates duplicates the statutory language of § 55-4-220 [now § 55-4-212], the Tennessee Code Commission is authorized to omit such duplicative language from Tennessee Code Annotated.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 5 provided that no later than July 15 of each year, the department of safety shall notify the code commission which sections or subsections of Tennessee Code Annotated have been deemed obsolete and invalid pursuant to the provisions of that act, if any.

Provisions enacted in 1998, concerning the issuance of cultural and new specialty earmarked registration plates, which conflicted with the provisions of Acts 1998, ch. 1063, were not codified. For provisions governing the issuance of such plates and the distribution of fees from such issuances, see this section and §§ 55-4-202 [now § 55-4-203]55-4-209 § 55-4-201], 55-4-210 and 55-4-214—55-4-220.

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 64 provided that the provisions of subsection (f) of this section shall not apply to that act.

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 65 provided that the commissioner of safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of that act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

For transfer of the division of title and registration to the department of revenue, see Executive Order No. 36, effective July 1, 2006 (April 19, 2006).

Acts 2008, ch. 1165, § 49 provided that the provisions of § 55-4-201(f) [became § 55-4-202(f), which was repealed in 2019] shall not apply to § 48 of the act, which added Bryan College to § 55-4-202(c)(5)(B) [now § 55-4-203(c)(5)(C)(i) defined by Bryan College].

Acts 2011, ch. 491, § 40 provided that, for the purposes of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], all license plates authorized or issued pursuant to § 55-4-245(a), (e) and (g) [now § 55-4-326(a), (e) and (g)] shall be jointly included in any determinations for initial issuance and continuation of issuance. If Tennessee Fraternal Order of Police specialty earmarked plates are subsequently deemed obsolete pursuant to § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], such determination shall also apply to all Fraternal Order of Police license plates issued prior to July 1, 2011.

In view of subsection (h), former provisions in § 55-4-202 [now § 55-4-203] concerning the new specialty license plates for Adoption, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Habitat for Humanity, Harpeth River Watershed Association, Kappa Delta Sorority, Prince Hall Masons, Rotary International, Spirit Horse Therapeutic Riding, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, T. C. Thompson Children’s Hospital, and the Tennessee Equine Association were deleted as obsolete and invalid in 2012, since these license plates failed to meet the minimum order requirements for issuance.

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Tennessee’s Veterans, Donate Life, Labrador Retriever Foundation, American Red Cross, National Civil Rights Museum, Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), American Lung Association, Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition, Ronald McDonald House, FedEx Family House, Dogwood Arts, Music City Alumni Chapter of Western Kentucky University, Boy Scouts of America, Teamsters, Brain Injury Awareness, and Wilson County – The Place to Be! are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2013, deadline.

Acts 2014, ch. 941, § 17, as amended by Acts 2015, ch. 383, §  35, and as amended by Acts 2017, ch. 384  §  52, provided that, notwithstanding § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the “Niswonger Children's Hospital” new specialty earmarked license plate authorized pursuant to  § 55-4-313 [now § 55-4-345] shall have until July 1, 2018, to meet the applicable minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)].

Acts 2014, ch. 941, § 23 provided that, notwithstanding § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs new specialty earmarked license plate authorized pursuant to  § 55-4-374 shall have until July 1, 2015, to meet the applicable minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)].

Acts 2014, ch. 941, § 24, as amended by Acts 2015, ch. 383, §  20, provided that, notwithstanding § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the Native American Indian Association new specialty earmarked license plate authorized pursuant to  § 55-4-230 shall have until July 1, 2016, to meet the applicable minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1).

Pursuant to the requirements of  § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Concerned Motorcyclists of Tennessee/American Bikers Active Toward Education, Alpha Eta Rho International Aviation Fraternity, Vanderbilt University Athletic Department, Northwest Tennessee Disaster Service, Suicide Prevention, Safe Schools, Tennessee Theatre, Adoption, Sons of American Revolution, Historic Collierville, Tennessee Tennis, and Almost Home Animal Rescue are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2014, deadline.

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Chambliss Center for Children, Historic Gallatin, I RECYCLE, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lung Cancer Alliance, McCallie School, and Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2015 deadline.

Acts 2016, ch. 879, § 42 provided that notwithstanding § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the Friends of Sycamore Shoals Historic Area, Inc., new specialty earmarked license plates authorized pursuant to §  55-4-327 [now § 55-4-323] shall have until July 1, 2017, to meet the applicable minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)].

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 2014 College World Series Champions — Vanderbilt University, Alzheimer's Association, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness, Donate Life, Germantown Charity Horse Show, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Inc., Music City Inc. Foundation, Native American Indian Association, Scenic and Historic Gallatin, Soulsville, U.S.A., Supporters of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Tennessee Vietnam Veterans, Inc., Vanderbilt University Athletic Department, and Wingz of Love Foundation are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2016 deadline.

Acts 2017, ch. 384,  § 53 provided that notwithstanding  § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the Pat Summitt Foundation  new specialty earmarked license plates authorized pursuant to § 55-4-315 [now § 55-4-355)] shall have until July 1, 2018, to meet the applicable minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4- 201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)].

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Be Nice, Combat Action, D.A.R.E., Down Syndrome Awareness, Eastern Star, Fallen Linemen, Fallen Police and Firefighters, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Nashville Parks Foundation, Prostate Cancer Awareness, Rotary International, Tennessee Schools Nutrition Association, Tennessee Tech University, The Fairgrounds Nashville, and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2017 deadline.

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for A Soldier's Child, Alzheimer's Association, Baylor School, Boy Scouts of America, Chattanooga Football Club, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Childhood Hunger Awareness, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness, Diabetes Awareness, Germantown Charity Horse Show, Historic Collierville, Historic Whitehaven, In Remembrance, Justin P Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail State Park, Police Activities League, Retired Female Firefighter, Strictly Vettes, are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2018 deadline.

Cross-References. Collection of additional fee for special plates, § 55-4-104.

Attorney General Opinions. Establishment of new specialty earmarked license plate recognizing catholic charities.  OAG 10-34, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 34 (3/16/10).

Establishment of new specialty earmarked license plate asserting that “Jesus is Lord”.  OAG 10-52, 2010 Tenn. AG LEXIS 52 (4/15/10).

Legislation that requires all vehicle registration plates to bear the language “In God We Trust” would be constitutionally suspect under the Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause, and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, as well as Tenn. Const. Article I, Sections 3 and 19. However, legislation that gives vehicle owners the option of selecting a vehicle registration plate bearing the language “In God We Trust” would be constitutionally defensible. OAG 17-21, 2017 Tenn. AG LEXIS 20 (3/23/2017).

A privately owned and operated vehicle with emergency plates operated by an amateur radio operator may not have amber and white lights flashing all around the vehicle because it is not an emergency vehicle. OAG 19-09, 2019 Tenn. AG LEXIS 11 (7/3/2019).

55-4-203. Issuance — Category — Supplemental registration — Eligibility.

  1. All registration plates issued under this part shall be issued in one (1) of the following categories:
    1. Antique motor vehicle;
    2. Cultural;
    3. Dealer;
    4. Disabled;
    5. Emergency;
    6. Firefighter;
    7. General assembly;
    8. Government service;
    9. Judiciary;
    10. Legislator Emeritus;
    11. Memorial;
    12. National Guard;
    13. New specialty earmarked;
    14. OEM headquarters company;
    15. Off-highway vehicles:
      1. Class I off-highway vehicles; and
      2. Class II off-highway vehicles;
    16. Sheriff;
    17. Specialty earmarked;
    18. United States house of representatives;
    19. United States judge; and
    20. United States senate.
    1. Registration plates currently provided under the “dealer,” “government service,” “disabled,” and “national guard” categories shall be issued in design configurations and colors which distinguish the plates from those of other categories, and in a manner which would avoid confusion with any other registration plates.
    2. Registration plates issued in any other category shall be issued in a design configuration distinctive to that category and determined by the commissioner, and shall bear at the top of the plate the word “Tennessee” or “Tenn” and at the bottom the name of the category. In addition, the plates in each category may bear identifying letter prefixes to distinguish the group within the category, and shall bear identifying number suffixes to identify the individual registrant.
  2. The groups within each category having multiple plates shall be as follows:
    1. Emergency:
      1. Amateur radio;
      2. Auxiliary police;
      3. Civil air patrol;
      4. Civil defense;
      5. Rescue squad;
      6. Emergency services squad, including, but not limited to, emergency medical technicians and paramedics;
      7. Police officer;
      8. Trauma physicians;
      9. Trauma nurses;
      10. On-call surgical personnel;
      11. Constables;
      12. Tennessee state guard; and
      13. United States coast guard auxiliary;
    2. Judiciary:
      1. Supreme court;
      2. Court of appeals;
      3. Court of criminal appeals;
      4. Chancery court;
      5. Circuit court;
      6. Probate court;
      7. Juvenile court;
      8. General sessions court;
      9. Retired judges of courts, not-of-record;
      10. Municipal court judges; and
      11. Magistrates;
    3. National Guard:
      1. Enlisted;
      2. Honorably discharged members;
      3. Officers; and
      4. Retirees;
    4. Memorial:
      1. Air Force Cross recipient;
      2. Air Medal (Valor) recipients;
      3. Bronze Star (Valor) recipients;
      4. Disabled veteran;
      5. Distinguished Flying Cross recipients;
      6. Distinguished Service Cross recipient;
      7. Former prisoner of war;
      8. Gold star family;
      9. Holder of the Purple Heart;
      10. Medal of honor recipient;
      11. Navy Cross recipient; and
      12. Silver Star recipients;
    5. Cultural:
      1. Antique Auto (unrestricted use) [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      2. Arts, as provided for in § 55-4-217 and § 55-4-240;
      3. Collegiate, as defined in § 55-4-201:
        1. Bryan College;
        2. Cumberland University [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
        3. Penn State University;
        4. University of Arkansas;
        5. University of Florida;
        6. University of Mississippi;
        7. All collegiate plates issued as cultural motor vehicle registration plates prior to July 1, 1998; and
        8. All collegiate plates administratively issued by the department on or after July 1, 1998, pursuant to § 55-4-210;
      4. Delta Kappa Gamma Society International;
      5. Honorary consular;
      6. Metropolitan council;
      7. Military:
        1. 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne);
        2. Air Medal (Meritorious) recipients;
        3. Blue star family;
        4. Bronze Star (Meritorious) recipients;
        5. Combat veterans;
        6. Disabled Veteran (service-connected);
        7. “Enemy Evadees” as certified by the department of veterans services;
        8. Honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces;
        9. Legion of Merit recipients;
        10. Marine Corps League;
        11. Paratrooper;
        12. Pearl Harbor survivors;
        13. Rakkasans;
        14. Submarine veteran;
        15. Tennessee woman veteran, pursuant to § 55-4-267;
        16. United States military, active forces, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
        17. United States military, honorably discharged members, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
        18. United States military, retired forces, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
        19. United States reserve forces, pursuant to § 55-4-254;
        20. United States reserve forces, honorably discharged members, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
        21. United States reserve forces, retired, pursuant to § 55-4-252; and
        22. Women Veterans of Color;
      8. Personalized, pursuant to §§ 55-4-210 and 55-4-214;
      9. Police Benevolent Association; and
      10. Retired female firefighter;
    6. Specialty earmarked:
      1. Agriculture;
      2. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority;
      3. Alpha Phi Alpha;
      4. CHILDREN FIRST!;
      5. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.;
      6. Ducks Unlimited;
      7. Environmental;
      8. Friends of Great Smoky Mountains;
      9. Helping school volunteer;
      10. Kappa Alpha Psi;
      11. Nongame and endangered wildlife species or “Watchable Wildlife”;
      12. Omega Psi Phi;
      13. Phi Beta Sigma;
      14. Supporters of Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital; and
      15. Zeta Phi Beta; and
    7. New specialty earmarked plates, as defined in § 55-4-201:
      1. 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle;
      2. A Soldier's Child [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      3. African American Breast Cancer Awareness;
      4. ALS Awareness;
      5. Alumni Program of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville;
      6. Alzheimer's Association [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      7. AMVETS [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      8. Animal Friendly;
      9. Appalachian Trail;
      10. Autism Awareness;
      11. Baylor School [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      12. BE NICE [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      13. Big Brothers Big Sisters;
      14. Blood Donor [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      15. Boone Lake Association [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      16. Boy Scouts of America [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      17. Chattanooga Football Club [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      18. Childhood Cancer Awareness;
      19. Childhood Hunger Awareness [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      20. Children's Hospital at Erlanger [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      21. Choose Life;
      22. Civil War Preservation;
      23. Combat Action [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      24. Cystic Fibrosis Awareness [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      25. D.A.R.E. [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      26. Diabetes Awareness [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      27. Dollywood Foundation;
      28. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      29. Down Syndrome Awareness;
      30. “Driving To A Cure” (Pink Ribbon);
      31. Eagle Foundation;
      32. East Tennessee Children's Hospital;
      33. Eastern Star [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      34. Enjoy the Ride;
      35. Fallen Linemen [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      36. Fallen Police and Firefighters [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      37. Fighting for At-Risk Youth [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      38. Fish and wildlife species;
      39. Fraternal Order of Police;
      40. Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms;
      41. Friends of Sycamore Shoals Historic Area, Inc.;
      42. Germantown Charity Horse Show [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      43. Greene County School System;
      44. Habitat for Humanity;
      45. Historic Collierville [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      46. Historic Franklin;
      47. Historic Maury [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      48. Historic Whitehaven [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      49. I RECYCLE;
      50. I Stand with Israel [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      51. In Remembrance [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      52. International Association of Firefighters;
      53. Isaiah 117 House;
      54. Jackson State University;
      55. Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail State Park [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      56. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      57. Kiwanis International [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      58. Knights of Columbus [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      59. Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center;
      60. Linemen Power Tennessee;
      61. Louisiana State University [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      62. Loyal Order of Moose;
      63. Lung Cancer Awareness [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      64. Make-A-Wish Foundation [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      65. Make-A-Wish Foundation;
      66. Martin Luther King, Jr. [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      67. Masons;
      68. Memphis Grizzlies;
      69. Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum;
      70. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare;
      71. Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt;
      72. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD);
      73. Mountain Tough [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      74. Nashville Parks Foundation [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      75. Nashville Predators;
      76. National Rifle Association;
      77. National Wild Turkey Federation;
      78. Niswonger Children's Hospital;
      79. North Carolina State University [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      80. Nurses;
      81. Ohio State University [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      82. Order of The Eastern Star [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      83. Pat Summitt Foundation;
      84. Police Activities League [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      85. Prostate Cancer Awareness [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      86. Protecting Rivers and Clean Waters;
      87. Radnor Lake;
      88. Regional Medical Center at Memphis (The MED);
      89. Rotary International [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      90. Save the Bees;
      91. Service Dogs [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      92. Service Dogs Changing Lives;
      93. Share the Road;
      94. Smallmouth bass;
      95. Sons of Confederate Veterans;
      96. Sportsman;
      97. Strictly Vettes [Obsolete. See the Compiler’s Notes.];
      98. Suicide Prevention [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      99. Support Our Troops;
      100. Tennessee Association of Realtors;
      101. Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
      102. Tennis Memphis [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      103. Tennessee School Nutrition Association [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      104. Tennessee Sheriffs' Association;
      105. Tennessee Tech University [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      106. Tennessee Titans;
      107. Tennessee Voices for Victims [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      108. Tennessee Walking Horse;
      109. Tennessee Wildlife Federation;
      110. Tennessee Wildlife Federation nongame and education programs;
      111. The Center for Living and Learning, Inc.;
      112. The Fairgrounds Nashville [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      113. TN Back the Blue [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      114. Trout Unlimited;
      115. University of Miami;
      116. University of South Carolina [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      117. University of Tennessee Health Science Center;
      118. University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers' NCAA National Championships;
      119. University of Tennessee National Championship;
      120. University of Texas;
      121. VFW [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      122. West Virginia University;
      123. Whitehaven High School [Obsolete. See the Compiler's Notes.];
      124. Women's Suffrage Centennial;
      125. Youth Villages.
    1. No registration plate shall be issued under this section unless authorized by this part. Registration under this part is supplemental to the motor vehicle title and registration law, compiled in chapters 1-6 of this title, and nothing in this part shall be construed as abridging or amending that law. An applicant with more than one (1) motor vehicle titled or leased in that applicant's name, or applicants with more than one (1) motor vehicle jointly titled and/or leased in their names are entitled to an unlimited number of registration plates under the applicable provision of law, as long as all other special fees and regular costs are paid by the applicant and all requirements set out in parts 1 and 2 of this chapter are followed.
    2. No qualified person shall receive more than one (1) free plate, unless the issuance of additional free plates is specifically authorized by the statute creating the cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked plate, memorial plate or special purpose plate.
  3. Registration plates issued to United States judges, United States senators, and members of the United States house of representatives pursuant to subdivisions (a)(9) and (a)(16)-(18) shall be of a distinctive design approved by the department and shall bear, as applicable, the district number of house members, the number “1” or “2” for senators, based on seniority, and the appropriate number for judges, based on seniority of appointment. Unless a conflict exists with other designs, the designs used before July 1, 1984, shall be used.
  4. Whenever a spouse having a cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked plate, memorial plate or special purpose plate is divorced and no longer entitled to the plate, the spouse no longer entitled to that plate shall deliver the plate to the county clerk, and the county clerk shall issue a regular plate valid for the same period as the cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked plate, memorial plate or special purpose plate.
    1. Registration plates issued to honorary consulars pursuant to subdivision (c)(5)(C) shall be of a distinctive design approved by the department and shall bear, as applicable, the words “Honorary Consul” and an appropriate number.
    2. The revised honorary consular plates issued pursuant to this section shall be delivered to qualified persons upon renewal of registration of the vehicle to which the plates are issued. No person with honorary consular plates shall be required to exchange the plates until the renewal of registration of the vehicle to which the plates are issued.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 1998 ch. 1113, § 1; 1998, ch. 1114, § 1; 1998, ch. 1115, § 1; 1998, ch. 1116, § 1; 1998, ch. 1117, § 1; 1998, ch. 1118, § 1; 1998, ch. 1119, § 1; 1998, ch. 1120, § 1; 1998, ch. 1121, § 1; 1998, ch. 1122, § 1; 1998, ch. 1123, § 1; 1998, ch. 1124, § 1; 1998, ch. 1130, § 1; 1998, ch. 1132, § 1; 1998, ch. 1133, § 1; 1999, ch. 3, § 1; 1999, ch. 9, §§ 4, 5; 1999, ch. 42, § 1; 1999, ch. 46, § 1; 1999, ch. 71, § 1; 1999, ch. 132, § 1; 1999, ch. 281, § 1; 1999, ch. 290, § 1; 1999, ch. 292, § 1; 1999, ch. 316, § 1; 1999, ch. 400, § 1; 1999, ch. 416, § 1; 1999, ch. 449, §§ 1, 3; 1999, ch. 529, § 1; 2002, ch. 633, §§ 1, 4; 2002, ch. 876, §§ 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61; 2003, ch. 130, § 1; 2003, ch. 135, § 1; 2003, ch. 140, § 1; 2003, ch. 147, § 1; 2003, ch. 151, § 1; 2003, ch. 165, § 1; 2003, ch. 265, § 1; 2003, ch. 280, § 4; 2003, ch. 372, § 1; 2003, ch. 417, §§ 1, 4; 2004, ch. 787, § 2; 2004, ch. 788, § 1; 2004, ch. 789, § 1; 2004, ch. 790, § 1; 2004, ch. 791, § 1; 2004, ch. 792, § 1; 2004, ch. 793, § 1; 2004, ch. 794, § 1; 2004, ch. 795, § 1; 2004, ch. 933, § 1; 2004, ch. 934, § 1; 2004, ch. 935, § 1; 2004, ch. 936, §§ 1, 3, 5; 2004, ch. 937, § 1; 2004, ch. 938, § 1; 2005, ch. 506, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 21; 2006, ch. 911, §§ 1, 2; 2006, ch. 964, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19, 21, 26; 2007, ch. 17, §§ 1, 2; 2007, ch. 63, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 43; 2007, ch. 604, §§ 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 39, 41, 42; 2008, ch. 1165, §§ 1, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 20, 22, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, 36, 41, 43, 48, 50, 52, 54, 57, 59, 62; 2009, ch. 530, §§ 117, 118; 2009, ch. 589, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 36, 38, 39; 2010, ch. 1151, §§ 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 23, 25, 28, 31, 33, 35, 37, 42, 44, 48, 50, 56; 2011, ch. 491, §§ 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 14, 16, 20, 22, 28, 31, 33, 35, 39; 2012, ch. 543, § 1; 2012, ch. 545, § 1; 2012, ch. 546, § 1; 2012, ch. 587, § 1; 2012, ch. 590, § 1; 2012, ch. 593, § 1; 2012, ch. 597, § 1; 2012, ch. 702, § 1; 2012, ch. 746, § 1; 2012, ch. 749, § 1; 2012, ch. 768, § 1; 2012, ch. 769, § 1; 2012, ch. 782, § 1; 2012, ch. 827, § 1; 2012, ch. 864, § 1; 2012, ch. 868, § 1; 2012, ch. 920, §§ 1, 3; 2013, ch. 183, § 4; 2013, ch. 303, § 1; 2013, ch. 308, § 18(2); 2013, ch. 318, §§ 6, 7; 2013, ch. 484, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 20, 22, 24; 2014, ch. 941, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13, 14, 15, 19, 21; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 2, 4, 24; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2015, ch. 383, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 37, 39; 2016, ch. 790, § 4; 2016, ch. 825, § 1; 2016, ch. 879, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 35, 36; 2017, ch. 97, § 1; 2017, ch. 359, § 3; 2017, ch. 384, §§ 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 39; 2018, ch. 926, § 2; 2018, ch. 1023, §§ 1, 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 49, 54; T.C.A. 55-4-202; Acts 2019, ch. 64, § 1; 2019, ch. 253, §§ 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 41, 43, 48; 2020, ch. 660, §§ 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 41, 43, 48.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Provisions of Acts 1998, chs. 1113, 1114, 1116-1124, 1130, 1132 and 1133, concerning the issuance of cultural and new specialty earmarked registration plates, which conflicted with the provisions of Acts 1998, ch. 1063, were not codified. For provisions governing the issuance of such plates and the distribution of fees from such issuances, see §§ 55-4-201, 55-4-202, 55-4-209, 55-4-210 and 55-4-214—55-4-220.

The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 64 provided that the provisions of subsection (f) of this section shall not apply to that act.

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 65 provided that the commissioner of safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of that act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2006, ch. 911, § 4 provided that the act shall apply to the issuance and renewal of all Masons license plates on or after July 1, 2006.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2009, ch. 589.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

In view of § 55-4-201(h) [now § 55-4-202(g)], former provisions concerning the new specialty earmarked plates for Adoption, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Habitat for Humanity, Harpeth River Watershed Association, Kappa Delta Sorority, Prince Hall Masons, Rotary International, SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, T. C. Thompson Children’s Hospital, Tennessee Equine Association, were deleted as obsolete and invalid in 2012, since these license plates failed to meet the minimum order requirements for issuance.

Acts 2013, ch. 318,  § 13, as amended by Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 28, provided that notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any person issued an Air Medal memorial license plate prior to June 21, 2013, shall be entitled to retain the plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Meritorious) on or after May 13, 2013, shall be subject to the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-203(c)(1) [now § 55-4-204(c)(1)]. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Valor) on or after May 13, 2013, and prior to May 19, 2014, shall be memorial plates upon their first renewal on or after May 13, 2013; provided, that the plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to§ 55-4-203(b) [now § 55-4-204(b)].

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Tennessee Veterans, Donate Life, Labrador Retriever Foundation, American Red Cross, National Civil Rights Museum, Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), American Lung Association, Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition, Ronald McDonald House, FedEx Family House, Dogwood Arts, Music City Alumni Chapter of Western Kentucky University, Boy Scouts of America, Teamsters, Brain Injury Awareness, and Wilson County – The Place to Be! are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2013, deadline.

Acts 2014, ch. 941, § 17, as amended by Acts 2015, ch. 383, §  35, and as amended by Acts 2017, ch. 384  §  52, provided that, notwithstanding § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the “Niswonger Children's Hospital” new specialty earmarked license plate authorized pursuant to  § 55-4-313 [now § 55-4-345] shall have until July 1, 2018, to meet the applicable minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)].

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 29 provided that notwithstanding title 55, chapter 4, any person issued a Handicapped Veteran, Legion of Valor, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, or Air Medal license plate prior to May 19, 2014, shall be entitled to retain the license plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Concerned Motorcyclists of Tennessee/American Bikers Active Toward Education, Alpha Eta Rho International Aviation Fraternity, Vanderbilt University Athletic Department, Northwest Tennessee Disaster Service, Suicide Prevention, Safe Schools, Tennessee Theatre, Adoption, Sons of American Revolution, Historic Collierville, Tennessee Tennis, and Almost Home Animal Rescue are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2014, deadline. Pursuant to Acts 2013, ch. 308, § 18(2), these obsolete entries have been deleted and the subdivisions redesignated accordingly.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Chambliss Center for Children, Historic Gallatin, I RECYCLE, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lung Cancer Alliance, McCallie School, and Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2015 deadline.

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 2014 College World Series Champions — Vanderbilt University, Alzheimer's Association, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness, Donate Life, Germantown Charity Horse Show, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Inc., Music City Inc. Foundation, Native American Indian Association, Scenic and Historic Gallatin, Soulsville, U.S.A., Supporters of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Tennessee Vietnam Veterans, Inc., Vanderbilt University Athletic Department, and Wingz of Love Foundation are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2016 deadline.

Acts 2017, ch. 384,  § 53 provided that notwithstanding  § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the Pat Summitt Foundation  new specialty earmarked license plates authorized pursuant to § 55-4-315 [see § 55-4-355] shall have until July 1, 2018, to meet the applicable minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)].

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for Be Nice, Combat Action, D.A.R.E., Down Syndrome Awareness, Eastern Star, Fallen Linemen, Fallen Police and Firefighters, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Nashville Parks Foundation, Prostate Cancer Awareness, Rotary International, Tennessee Schools Nutrition Association, Tennessee Tech University, The Fairgrounds Nashville, and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFWs) are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2017 deadline.

Pursuant to the requirements of § 55-4-201(h)(1) [now § 55-4-202(g)(1)], the former specialty license plates for A Soldier's Child, Alzheimer's Association, Baylor School, Boy Scouts of America, Chattanooga Football Club, Childhood Cancer Awareness, Childhood Hunger Awareness, Cystic Fibrosis Awareness, Diabetes Awareness, Germantown Charity Horse Show, Historic Collierville, Historic Whitehaven, In Remembrance, Justin P Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail State Park, Police Activities League, Strictly Vettes, are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2018 deadline.

Pursuant to the requirements of §  55-4-201(h)(1) [now §  55-4-202(g)(1)], the former speciality license plates for Boone Lake Association, Cumberland University, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness, Historic Maury, Kiwanis International, Louisiana State University, Lung Cancer Awareness, Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD, Mountain Tough, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Suicide Prevention, Stand For Israel, TN Back The Blue, and University of South Carolina are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2019 deadline.

Pursuant to the requirements of §  55-4-202(g)(1), the former speciality license plate for the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger did not meet  its minimum registration requirements for two consecutive renewal periods; therefore, this plate became obsolete as of July 1, 2020.

Pursuant to the requirements of §  55-4-202(g)(1), the former speciality license plates for AMVETS,  Antique Auto (unrestricted use), Blood Donor, Fighting for At-Risk Youth, Germantown Charity Horse Show, Greene County School System (reauthorized by 2020 legislation), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Knights of Columbus, Martin Luther King, Jr., Order of The Eastern Star, Service Dogs, Tennis Memphis, Tennessee Voices for Victims, and Whitehaven High School are declared to be obsolete since they did not qualify for initial issuance by the July 1, 2020 deadline.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment, in (c)(5), added “Antique Auto”, “Delta Kappa Gamma Society”, “Disabled Veteran (service-connected)” and, in (c)(7), added “101st Airborne Screaming Eagle”, “African American Breast Cancer Awareness”, “ALS Awareness”, “Alumni Program of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville”, “Big Brothers Big Sisters”, “Childhood Cancer Awareness”, “Enjoy the Ride”, “Greene County School System”, “Habitat for Humanity”, “I RECYCLE”, “Isiah 117 House”, “Loyal Order of Moose”, “Make-A-Wish Foundation”, “Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)”, “Service Dogs Changing Lives”, “Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry”, “University of Miami”, “University of Texas”, “West Virginia University”, and “Women's Suffrage Centennial”.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 660, § 51. July 1, 2020.

Cross-References. 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle, §  55-4-385.

African American Breast Cancer Awareness, §  55-4-374.

ALS Awareness, §  55-4-372.

Alumni Program of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, §  55-4-340.

Amateur radio station licensees, § 55-4-225.

Animal Friendly specialty license plates, § 55-4-317.

Autism Awareness, § 55-4-354.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, §  55-4-386.

Blue star family, § 55-4-265.

Bronze Star (Meritorious) and Air Medal (Meritorious) recipients, § 55-4-260.

Childhood Cancer Awareness, §  55-4-375.

Children First, § 55-4-291.

Class C misdemeanor for violations of title 55, chapters 1-4, § 55-5-120.

Dealers category plates, § 55-4-226.

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, §  55-4-233.

Disabled drivers, § 55-4-209.

Disabled Veteran (service-connected), §  55-4-377.

Disabled veterans, § 55-4-256.

Dollywood Foundation, § 55-4-352.

Down Syndrome Awareness, § 55-4-371.

East Tennessee Children's Hospital, § 55-4-343.

Emergency category plates, § 55-4-223.

Enjoy the Ride, §  55-4-384.

Fees for new specialty earmarked plates, § 55-4-204.

Fish and wildlife species plates, § 55-4-307.

Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms, §  55-4-313.

Friends of Sycamore Shoals Historic Area, Inc., §  55-4-323.

Former prisoners of war, § 55-4-261.

Fraternal Order of Police plates, § 55-4-326.

General assembly members, § 55-4-220.

Governmental service plates, § 55-4-219.

Greene County School System, §  55-4-382.

Habitat for Humanity, §  55-4-378.

Holders of the Purple Heart, § 55-4-257.

I RECYCLE, §  55-4-360.

Isaiah 117 House, §  55-4-377.

Jackson State University, §  55-4-366.

Judiciary members, § 55-4-221.

Legion of Merit, §  55-4-275.

Legislator Emeritus, § 55-4-229.

Linemen Power Tennessee, §  55-4-361.

Loyal Order of Moose, §  55-4-376.

Make-A-Wish Foundation, §  55-4-373.

Medal of Honor § 55-4-258.

Medal of Honor recipients, § 55-4-259.

Members of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), § 55-4-273.

Memorial registration plates, § 55-4-250.

Memphis Grizzlies, § 55-4-336.

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, § 55-4-364.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, § 55-4-347.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), §  55-4-380.

National guard members, § 55-4-255.

Niswonger Children's Hospital plates, § 55-4-345.

Nurse plates, § 55-4-348.

Paratrooper,  § 55-4-272.

Pat Summitt Foundation, § 55-4-355.

Protecting Rivers and Clean Waters, § 55-4-314.

Radnor Lake plates, § 55-4-315.

Rakkasans, § 55-4-274.

Save the Bees, § 55-4-318.

Service Dogs Changing Lives, §  55-4-383.

Submarine veteran, § 55-4-268.

Support Our Troops plates, § 55-4-324.

Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, §  55-4-379.

Tennessee Sheriffs' Association, § 55-4-325.

The Center for Living and Learning, lnc, §  55-4-381.

University of Miami, §  55-4-367.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center, §  55-4-341.

University of Texas, §  55-4-368.

West Virginia University, §  55-4-369.

Women's Suffrage Centennial, §  55-4-387.

Women Veterans of Color, §  55-4-276.

Attorney General Opinions. Subsection (c)(1) of T.C.A. § 54-2-202 and T.C.A. § 55-4-222 [now § 54-2-203 and T.C.A. § 55-4-223] do not authorize the issuance of emergency license plates to trauma physicians except to the extent that such physicians may also be authorized to receive such plates by virtue of membership in a group to whose members such plates may be issued, OAG 03-163; 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 178 (12/23/03).

55-4-204. Fees.

  1. In addition to title, registration, transfer or other fees or taxes otherwise applicable under this title, persons applying for and receiving registration plates under this part shall pay additional fees as follows:
    1. Antique motor vehicle — thirty dollars ($30.00), pursuant to § 55-4-111(a)(1) Class C and as provided for in § 55-4-111(b);
    2. Dealers, as provided for in § 55-4-226;
    3. Disabled — regular fee applicable to the vehicle, except as expressly provided otherwise in § 55-21-103;
    4. Emergency:
      1. Amateur radio:
        1. Regular fee applicable to the vehicle, if the applicant meets the qualifications of § 55-4-225(e); or
        2. Twenty-five dollars ($25.00), if the applicant does not meet the qualifications of § 55-4-225(e);
      2. On-call surgical personnel — regular fee applicable to the vehicle and as provided for in § 55-4-223(i);
      3. Police officer — regular fee applicable to the vehicle and as provided for in § 55-4-223(f);
      4. Regular fee applicable to the vehicle and as provided for in § 55-4-223 for the following special purpose plates:
        1. Auxiliary police;
        2. Civil air patrol;
        3. Civil defense;
        4. Constables;
        5. Emergency services squad, including, but not limited to, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency medical technician-paramedics, other emergency medical services providers or emergency medical responders, or physicians or nurses on the scene or accompanying or attending a patient in an ambulance; and
        6. Rescue squad;
      5. Tennessee state guard — regular fee applicable to the vehicle and a fee proportionately equal to the cost of actually designing and manufacturing the plates to ensure that the issuance of the plates is revenue neutral; provided, that the fee shall only be applicable upon initial issuance or reissuance of the plates provided for in this section and shall not be applicable at the time of renewal;
      6. Trauma nurses — regular fee applicable to the vehicle and as provided for in § 55-4-223(h);
      7. Trauma physicians — regular fee applicable to the vehicle and as provided for in § 55-4-223(g); and
      8. United States coast guard auxiliary — regular fee applicable to the vehicle and a fee proportionately equal to the cost of actually designing and manufacturing the plates to ensure that the issuance of the plates is revenue neutral; provided, that the fee shall only be applicable upon initial issuance or reissuance of the plates provided for in this section and shall not be applicable at the time of renewal;
    5. Firefighter — regular fee applicable to the vehicle and as provided for in § 55-4-224;
    6. General assembly — twenty-five dollars ($25.00);
    7. Government service — as provided for in § 55-4-219;
    8. Judiciary — twenty-five dollars ($25.00);
    9. National guard: enlisted, officers, retirees and honorably discharged members — as provided for in § 55-4-255;
    10. Sheriff — twenty-five dollars ($25.00);
    11. Street rod — fifty dollars ($50.00) and as provided for in § 55-4-318 [obsolete];
    12. United States house of representatives — twenty-five dollars ($25.00);
    13. United States judge — twenty-five dollars ($25.00);
    14. United States senate — twenty-five dollars ($25.00);
    15. Regular fee as provided for in Class H of § 55-4-111(a)(1) and as provided for in part 7 of this chapter for Class I off-highway vehicles and Class II off-highway vehicles; and
    16. Legislator Emeritus — twenty-five dollars ($25.00).
  2. The following plates shall be issued free of charge and in the number specified by the section authorizing the issuance of the individual plate; provided, that the appropriate criteria are met by the applicant:

    Memorial:

    1. Air Force Cross recipients;
    2. Air Medal (Valor) recipients;
    3. Bronze Star (Valor) recipients;
    4. Disabled Veterans, including those disabled veterans who choose to receive the Purple Heart plate pursuant to § 55-4-257(e);
    5. Distinguished Flying Cross recipients;
    6. Distinguished Service Cross recipients;
    7. Former Prisoner of War;
    8. Gold star family;
    9. Holder of the Purple Heart;
    10. Medal of Honor recipients;
    11. Navy Cross recipients; and
    12. Silver Star recipients.
    1. The following military cultural plates shall be issued upon the payment of the regular registration fee and a fee equal to the cost of actually designing and manufacturing the plates; provided, that the issuance of these plates shall be revenue neutral:
      1. 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne);
      2. Air Medal (Meritorious) recipients;
      3. Blue Star family;
      4. Bronze Star (Meritorious) recipients;
      5. Combat veterans;
      6. Disabled Veteran (service-connected);
      7. “Enemy Evadees,” as certified by the department of veterans services, pursuant to § 55-4-263;
      8. Honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces, pursuant to § 55-4-253;
      9. Legion of Merit recipients;
      10. Marine Corps League;
      11. Paratrooper;
      12. Pearl Harbor survivors, pursuant to § 55-4-262;
      13. Rakkasans;
      14. Submarine veteran;
      15. Tennessee woman veteran, pursuant to § 55-4-267;
      16. United States military, active forces, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
      17. United States military, honorably discharged members, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
      18. United States military, retired, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
      19. United States reserve forces, honorably discharged members, pursuant to § 55-4-252;
      20. United States reserve forces, pursuant to § 55-4-254;
      21. United States reserve forces, retired, pursuant to § 55-4-252; and
      22. Women Veterans of Color.
    2. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the payment of the fee equal to the cost of actually designing and manufacturing the plates provided in subdivision (c)(1) shall only be applicable upon initial issuance or reissuance of the plates specified in subdivision (c)(1) and shall not be applicable at the time of renewal.
  3. All other cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plates authorized by this part shall be issued upon the payment of a fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00), in addition to the regular registration fee, in accordance with § 55-4-202(b)(2).
  4. OEM headquarters company plates shall be issued free of charge as provided for in § 55-4-227.
  5. For purposes related to this chapter, the department may authorize the state treasurer to establish a program for the sale of nonrefundable gift vouchers, gift cards, rebates, incentives, debit cards or any other form of electronic payments. The state treasurer, or designated entity, may administer all or any portion of the program regarding the use of such gift vouchers, gift cards, rebates, incentives, debit cards or any other form of electronic payments. The treasurer may charge for reasonable administration costs, or authorize the designated entity to charge a fee to defray such costs.

Acts 1984, ch. 966, § 1; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 5, 12; 1987, ch. 172, § 5; 1988, ch. 618, § 2; 1988, ch. 687, § 2; 1988, ch. 781, § 3; 1988, ch. 864, § 2; 1990, ch. 925, § 3; 1991, ch. 482, § 6; 1992, ch. 846, § 2; 1992, ch. 1008, § 2; 1993, ch. 105, § 2; 1993, ch. 236, § 2; 1993, ch. 446, § 2; 1994, ch. 624, § 2; 1994, ch. 665, § 2; 1994, ch. 930, § 2; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 2-4; 1995, ch. 122, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, § 2; 1995, ch. 399, § 2; 1996, ch. 615, § 2; 1996, ch. 658, § 2; 1996, ch. 672, § 5; 1996, ch. 673, § 2; 1996, ch. 854, § 2; 1996, ch. 914, § 2; 1996, ch. 963, § 2; 1996, ch. 965, § 3; 1996, ch. 971, § 2; 1996, ch. 994, § 2; 1996, ch. 1024, § 2; 1996, ch. 1030, § 4; 1996, ch. 1047, § 3; 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 1999, ch. 98, § 3; 2002, ch. 633, §§ 2, 5; 2002, ch. 866, § 1; 2002, ch. 876, §§ 2, 5; 2003, ch. 280, § 5; 2004, ch. 933, § 2; 2004, ch. 937, § 2; 2006, ch. 964, §§ 16, 27; 2007, ch. 63, § 2; 2007, ch. 604, §§ 19, 43, 44; 2008, ch. 924, § 13; 2008, ch. 1165, §§ 5, 8, 23, 31, 44; 2009, ch. 530, § 119; 2010, ch. 1151, §§ 7, 10; 2011, ch. 491, § 23; 2013, ch. 318, §§ 8, 9; 2014, ch. 869, § 1; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 3, 5, 25; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2016, ch. 790, § 5; 2017, ch. 97, § 4; 2017, ch. 384, § 37; 2018, ch. 926, § 3; 2018, ch. 1023, §§ 4, 24, 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-203; Acts 2019, ch. 253, §§ 17, 42; 2019, ch. 254, § 1; 2020, ch. 597, § 1; 2020, ch. 660, § 44.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Provisions of Acts 1998, chs. 1113, 1114, 1116-1124, 1130, 1132 and 1133, concerning the issuance of cultural and new specialty earmarked registration plates, which conflicted with the provisions of Acts 1998, ch. 1063, were not codified. For provisions governing the issuance of such plates and the distribution of fees from such issuances, see §§ 55-4-201, 55-4-202, 55-4-209, 55-4-210 and 55-4-214—55-4-220.

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 65 provided that the commissioner of safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of that act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Acts 2013, ch. 318,  § 13, as amended by Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 28, provided that notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any person issued an Air Medal memorial license plate prior to June 21, 2013, shall be entitled to retain the plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Meritorious) on or after May 13, 2013, shall be subject to the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-203(c)(1) [now § 55-4-204(c)(1)]. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Valor) on or after May 13, 2013, and prior to May 19, 2014, shall be memorial plates upon their first renewal on or after May 13, 2013; provided, that the plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-203(b) [now § 55-4-204(b)].

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 29 provided that notwithstanding title 55, chapter 4, any person issued a Handicapped Veteran, Legion of Valor, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, or Air Medal license plate prior to May 19, 2014, shall be entitled to retain the license plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment by ch. 597 inserted “, emergency medical technician-paramedics, other emergency medical services providers or emergency medical responders, or physicians or nurses on the scene or accompanying or attending a patient in an ambulance” in (a)(4)(D)(v).

The 2020 amendment by ch. 660 added “Disabled Veteran (service-connected);” in (c)(1).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 597, § 4. July 1, 2020.

Acts 2020, ch. 660, § 51. July 1, 2020.

55-4-205. Seven characters maximum.

Registration plates issued under this part may bear up to seven (7) characters or positions for a passenger motor vehicle, recreational vehicle or truck of one-half  or three-quarter-ton rating, or, if authorized, up to six (6) characters or positions for a motorcycle.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-204.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Registration fees for dealers, manufacturers and transporters, § 55-4-117.

Law Reviews.

Evidence — 1963 Tennessee Survey (Lyman R. Patterson), 17 Vand. L. Rev. 1058.

55-4-206. Rules and regulations — Compliance with state license laws — Location for making application for plates — Waiver of county name requirement.

  1. The commissioner, or any other department commissioner designated with responsibility in this section, shall make rules and regulations as are necessary to require compliance with all state license laws relating to the use and operation of a motor vehicle before issuing cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked plates, memorial plates or special purpose plates in lieu of the regular Tennessee license plates, and all applications for the plates shall be made to the county clerk of the county wherein the applicant resides, unless provided for otherwise.
  2. The commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this part. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.
  3. Notwithstanding § 55-4-103(b)(4), if additional space is needed on any cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked plate, memorial plate or special purpose plate issued pursuant to this part for a logo or other identifying message, the commissioner shall be authorized to waive the requirement that the plates specify the name of the county of issue.
  4. The commissioner is authorized to facilitate delivery of any new specialty earmarked, emergency, firefighter, national guard, memorial or military plate authorized for a motorcycle in this part in a manner that maximizes efficiency and costs, and is not unduly burdensome to either the department or county clerks.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, §§ 1, 6; 1999, ch.400, § 2; T.C.A. §§ 55-4-298, 55-4-299; Acts 2007, ch. 484, § 44; 2009, ch. 589, § 34; Acts 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-205.

Code Commission Notes.

Former §§ 55-4-298 and 55-4-299 were transferred to this section, as (c) and (b), respectively, in 1999, by authority of the Tennessee code commission.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2009, ch. 589.

55-4-207. Expiration and renewal.

  1. Notwithstanding § 55-4-104 or other provisions of part 1 of this chapter, all license plates issued under this part and certificates of registration shall not expire on March 31 of each year, but rather shall expire pursuant to subsection (b).
  2. With respect to motor vehicles using plates issued pursuant to this part, the commissioner shall establish a system of registration renewals at alternate intervals which will allow for the distribution of the registration workload as uniformly as is practicable throughout the calendar year. Registrations issued under the alternate method are valid for twelve (12) months, and expire on the last day of the last month of the registration period. However, during a transition period, or at any time thereafter when the commissioner shall determine that the volume of work for any given interval is unduly burdensome or costly, either registrations or renewals, or both of them, may be issued for terms of not less than six (6) months nor more than eighteen (18) months. The fee imposed for registration of any vehicle under the alternate interval method for a period of other than twelve (12) months shall be proportionate to the annual fee fixed for the vehicle and modified in no other manner, except that the proportional fee shall be rounded off to the nearest quarter of a dollar ($0.25).
  3. Notwithstanding this section, dealer plates shall be issued and renewed pursuant to § 55-4-226.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. 55-4-206.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-208. Reimbursement of cost.

The cost of any registration plate that is provided without cost to an individual on account of employment, membership, or participation in any agency, department, organization, or governmental entity shall be reimbursed to the department by the agency, department, organization, or governmental entity of which the person is an employee, member, or participant.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-207.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-209. Disabled drivers.

  1. Registration plates for disabled drivers shall be issued in accordance with this chapter and chapter 21 of this title.
    1. Persons who are eligible to purchase or receive a license plate or plates of distinctive design for disabled drivers pursuant to chapter 21 of this title may elect to personalize the plate or plates pursuant to §§ 55-4-214 and 55-21-103.
    2. Personalized plates for disabled drivers must bear the stylized wheelchair symbol or symbol of access in accordance with § 55-21-104.
    3. The issuance and renewal of plates for disabled drivers shall otherwise comply with §§ 55-4-214 and 55-4-218, including annual payment by the applicant of a twenty-five-dollar ($25.00) fee for each personalized plate in addition to the regular registration fee, if the regular registration fee is applicable.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023,  § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-224; Acts 2019, ch. 112, § 4.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2019, ch. 112, § 1 provided that the act shall be known and may be cited as the “Dynamic Accessibility Act.”

Acts 2019, ch. 112, § 8 provided that a state governmental entity that receives documentation from a federal agency that compliance with a provision of the act may jeopardize federal funding or grant money for the state governmental entity is not required to comply with such provision; provided, that the state governmental entity shall comply with each provision of the act that does not jeopardize such federal funding or grant money.

Provisions of Acts 1998, ch. 1128, concerning the issuance of cultural and new specialty earmarked registration plates, which conflicted with the provisions of Acts 1998, ch. 1063, were not codified. For provisions governing the issuance of such plates and the distribution of fees from such issuances, see §§ 55-4-201, 55-4-202, 55-4-209, 55-4-210 and 55-4-214—55-4-220 [see the parallel reference table under § 55-4-201 for present section designations].

The twenty-five dollar ($25.00) fee for personalized plates, referred to in this section, was increased to thirty-five dollars ($35.00) by Acts 2008, ch. 924, § 14, effective July 1, 2008.

55-4-210. Authorization; issuance.

  1. The department is authorized to administratively issue personalized plates to qualified applicants; provided, that the minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-202(b)(3) and all other requirements of this part are met.
  2. The department is additionally authorized to administratively issue collegiate plates, as defined in § 55-4-201, that have a special reference to or identification or information on a two-year or four-year college or university located within Tennessee or a four-year college or university located outside Tennessee to qualified applicants; provided, that the minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-202(b)(3) and all other requirements of this part are met for each classification of collegiate plates.
    1. All cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plates, including personalized and collegiate plates, may be issued for private passenger automobiles, recreational vehicles and trucks of one-half or three-quarter-ton rating, unless specifically prohibited by § 55-4-214.
    2. Personalized and collegiate plates may also be issued for motorcycles, provided the minimum issuance requirements of § 55-4-202(b)(3) are met.
    1. The commissioner shall not issue any license plate commemorating any practice which is contrary to the public policy of the state, nor shall the commissioner issue any license plate to any entity whose goals and objectives are contrary to the public policy of Tennessee.
    2. The commissioner shall refuse to issue any combination of letters, numbers or positions that may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency or that are misleading.
  3. Registration numbers for license plates issued pursuant to this part shall not conflict with or duplicate the registration numbers for any existing passenger, recreational, commercial, trailer or motor vehicle registration plates that are presently issued pursuant to statute, resolution, executive order, or custom.
    1. The department is authorized to design, issue, and renew, or to authorize a designee to issue and renew, off-highway vehicle plates for the following vehicles registered by residents of this state:
      1. Class I off-highway vehicles; and
      2. Class II off-highway vehicles.
    2. The department is authorized to design, issue, and renew, or to authorize a designee to issue and renew off-highway vehicle temporary permits in lieu of plates for off-highway vehicles registered by nonresidents; provided, however, that a nonresident may apply directly to the department for an off-highway vehicle permit. An off-highway vehicle temporary permit shall be valid for thirty (30) days.
    3. The department is authorized to contract with county clerks and with private vendors for the issuance and renewal of off-highway vehicle plates and off-highway temporary permits.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 46; 2016, ch. 790, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-211. Computerization of applications and records.

The commissioner is urged to take the necessary steps to computerize applications for and records of the cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plates, memorial plates and special purpose plates authorized by this part.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 45; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-208.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-212. Miscellaneous provisions.

  1. This subsection (a) shall apply to the issuance and renewal of the cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plates authorized by this part, unless the section authorizing the issuance of an individual plate specifically provides otherwise:
    1. The plates enumerated in this subsection (a) shall be issued in conformity with § 55-4-203;
    2. The plates shall contain the logo, emblem, insignia, or other distinctive design of the agency, organization, purpose or other entity which is being honored or recognized by the issuance of that specific plate;
    3. The plates shall be designed in consultation with the commissioner and the department's taxpayer and vehicle services director, in addition to any other person or entity designated to be consulted relative to the design of the plate in the section authorizing an individual plate;
    4. The plates shall include:
      1. A unique identifying number not to exceed seven (7) characters or positions for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c)(1); or
      2. If authorized, a unique identifying number not to exceed six (6) positions or characters for a motorcycle;
    5. No two (2) applicants shall be assigned identical registration numbers or identical license plates;
    6. Any eligible person may elect to exchange a regular registration plate for a plate enumerated in subsection (a); provided, that the fees prescribed under § 55-4-204 are paid;
    7. The whole or parts of the additional fee prescribed by § 55-4-204 for a cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked plate shall not be refunded for the exchange of a regular plate;
    8. Additional such plates may be obtained by any eligible person upon payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, plus the payment of the fee prescribed in § 55-4-204;
    9. The plates enumerated in this subsection (a) shall be issued for the applicant's use only on the authorized motor vehicle, and in the event of a transfer of title, the transferor shall surrender the plate to the department through the county clerk;
    10. The plates may be transferred to another vehicle of the same weight class owned or leased by the same person upon proper application being made therefor and approved by the department; and
    11. It is unlawful for any person to whom the plates have been issued to knowingly permit them to be displayed on any motor vehicle, except as authorized by the department.
  2. This section shall also apply to the issuance and renewal of special purpose plates and memorial plates, unless the section authorizing the issuance of an individual memorial or special purpose plate specifically provides otherwise.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 48; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-220.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-213. Promotional campaign.

  1. To increase public knowledge of the availability of cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked motor vehicle registration plates, the department shall conduct a promotional campaign, which shall include, but not be limited to, the inclusion of applications for, and information about, these plates with motor vehicle registration renewal notices.
  2. The promotional campaign authorized in subsection (a) shall include, but not be limited to:
    1. The inclusion of the following information in the motor vehicle registration renewal notices:
      1. An application for cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plates;
      2. An explanation of the formula by which the additional fees for each plate are allocated; and
      3. An illustration of the plates, selected in consultation with the transportation and safety committee of the senate and transportation committee of the house of representatives; and
    2. The creation and distribution of a chart containing an illustration and the information required by subdivision (b)(1)(B) for each cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plate at each county clerk's office. The chart shall be printed on paper eight and one-half inches by seven inches (8½" x 7").
  3. For any insert included in the mailing of renewal notices which originates from a county and which causes the total postal weight to be over one ounce (1 oz.) as permitted by the United States postal service, the county shall pay the increased cost of mailing. However, the weight of any notice of a vehicle emissions testing requirement shall not be included in the calculation of the total weight.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2008, ch. 1007, § 3; 2013, ch. 236, § 90; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-214. Personalized plates — Fees.

    1. In addition to the personalized plates authorized by § 55-4-210, an applicant may, through the payment of a personalization fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00), in addition to the regular registration fee and the thirty-five-dollar ($35.00) fee established by § 55-4-202(b)(2), obtain certain cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked plates with a personalized combination of numbers, letters, positions or a combination of numbers, letters and positions.
    2. The personalization fee shall be paid by the applicant upon the issuance and renewal of any personalized plate.
    1. An applicant for the issuance of personalized motor vehicle registration plates or the personalization of cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked motor vehicle registration plates pursuant to subsection (a) or the renewal of those plates in a subsequent registration year shall file an application in the form and by the date as the department may require, indicating the numbers, letters, positions or combination, requested as a registration number.
    2. The registration number shall consist of not less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) numbers, letters, positions or combination of numbers, letters or positions for a passenger motor vehicle, truck of one-half or three-quarter-ton rating or recreational vehicle or trailer or semitrailer that is not required to be registered but that the owner desires to be registered pursuant to § 55-4-111(c)(3), or, if authorized, not less than three (3) nor more than six (6) numbers, letters, positions or combination of numbers, letters or positions for a motorcycle.
    3. Registration numbers issued pursuant to this section shall be in compliance with § 55-4-210(d) and (e).
  1. The following plates shall not be eligible for personalization pursuant to this section, but may be personalized if the statute authorizing such plate permits or requires the plates to be personalized in some form:
    1. Dealer;
    2. Emergency;
    3. Firefighter, pursuant to § 55-4-224;
    4. General assembly;
    5. Government service;
    6. Honorary consular;
    7. Judiciary;
    8. Memorial, as enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(4) and defined in § 55-4-250;
    9. Metropolitan council;
    10. Military, as enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(5)(F);
    11. National guard;
    12. OEM headquarters company;
    13. Sheriff;
    14. Street rod, as defined in [former] § 55-4-230 [obsolete];
    15. United States house of representatives;
    16. United States judge; and
    17. United States senate.
    1. Notwithstanding any provision of this title to the contrary, any person who fulfills the following conditions may continue to renew and be issued personalized plates that consist of two (2) letters, numbers, or a combination of letters and numbers:
      1. The person was the owner of a passenger motor vehicle which was registered with the department prior to July 1, 1984; and
      2. The person was issued a personalized motor vehicle registration plate which consisted of two (2) letters, numbers, or combination thereof prior to July 1, 1984.
    2. All other provisions of this title regarding registration and licensing of passenger motor vehicles shall apply to any registration plates issued in accordance with subdivision (d)(1).
  2. Notwithstanding subdivisions (c)(8) and (10), memorial plates, as enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(4) and defined in § 55-4-250, and military plates, as enumerated in § 55-4-203(c)(5)(F), are eligible for personalization pursuant to this section. In addition to any other fees required by this section or by this part for the issuance of such plates, an applicant for the personalization of memorial or military plates shall pay a fee equal to the cost of actually designing and manufacturing the personalized plates. Nothing in this subsection (e) authorizes the removal or other redesign of any distinctive identification legend or letters required to be included on memorial or military plates.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2002, ch. 876, § 63; 2007, ch. 142, § 3; 2008, ch. 924, § 14; 2009, ch. 530, § 121; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-211; Acts 2019, ch. 461, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 64 provided that the provisions of subsection (f) of this section shall not apply to that act.

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 65 provided that the commissioner of safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of that act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

In view of § 55-4-201(h), former § 55-4-230 (Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2009, ch. 589, § 40) was deleted as obsolete and invalid in 2010, since the street rod new specialty earmarked plates in the section failed to meet the minimum requirements for issuance.

55-4-215. Allocation of revenue from personalized plates.

  1. Effective July 1, 1998, and for all subsequent fiscal years, all revenues produced from the sale or renewal of personalized plates and all revenues produced from the personalization of cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked motor vehicle registration plates as authorized by §§ 55-4-214 and 55-4-241, or renewals of the plates, after deducting the expense the department has incurred in designing, manufacturing and marketing the plates, shall be allocated to the Tennessee arts commission created in title 4, chapter 20.
  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed as reallocating the revenues produced from the regular motor vehicle registration fees, or renewals thereof, imposed by part 1 of this chapter. Such revenues shall be allocated in accordance with § 55-6-107.
    1. Notwithstanding subsection (a), funds received from the sale of personalized trailer plates shall be earmarked as provided by this subsection (c). A general fund reserve is established to be allocated by the general appropriations act, which shall be known as the trailer license plate fund, referred to as the fund in this subsection (c).
    2. Moneys from the fund shall be expended to finance the development and maintenance of public horseback riding trails.
    3. Any revenues deposited in the fund shall remain in the fund until expended for purposes consistent with this section, and shall not revert to the general fund on any June 30.
    4. Any excess revenues shall not revert on any June 30, but shall remain available for appropriation in subsequent fiscal years.
    5. Any appropriation from the fund shall not revert to the general fund on any June 30, but shall remain available for expenditure in subsequent fiscal years.
    6. No moneys shall be expended from the fund unless the funds are specifically appropriated by the general appropriations act.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 142, § 5; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-214.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-216. Allocation of revenue from cultural plates.

  1. Effective July 1, 1998, and for all subsequent fiscal years, all revenues produced from the sale or renewal of cultural motor vehicle registration plates as defined in § 55-4-201, excluding personalized plates and the arts plates authorized by § 55-4-240, after deducting the expense the department has incurred in designing, manufacturing and marketing the plates, shall be allocated as follows:
    1. Eighty percent (80%) of the funds shall be allocated to the Tennessee arts commission created in title 4, chapter 20; and
    2. Twenty percent (20%) of the funds shall be allocated to the state highway fund.
    1. Notwithstanding subsection (a), the revenues produced from the sale or renewal of personalized plates pursuant to § 55-4-210 and the revenues produced from the personalization of cultural, specialty earmarked and new specialty earmarked motor vehicle registration plates pursuant to §§ 55-4-214 and 55-4-241, or renewals thereof, shall be allocated in accordance with § 55-4-215.
    2. Notwithstanding this section, the revenues produced from the sale or renewal of the cultural plates to support the arts authorized by § 55-4-240 shall be allocated in accordance with § 55-4-217.
  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed as reallocating the revenues produced from the regular motor vehicle registration fees, or renewals thereof, imposed by part 1 of this chapter. The revenues shall be allocated in accordance with § 55-6-107.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 1999, ch. 494, § 2; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-217. Allocation of revenue from cultural earmarked plates.

  1. Notwithstanding any provision of this part to the contrary, all revenues produced in each fiscal year from the sale or renewal of the cultural earmarked plates to support the arts authorized by § 55-4-240, minus the expense the state has incurred in manufacturing the plates, shall be allocated to the Tennessee arts commission.
  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed as reallocating the revenues produced from the regular motor vehicle registration fees, or renewals thereof, imposed by part 1 of this chapter. The revenues shall be allocated in accordance with § 55-6-107.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-218.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-218. Allocation of revenue from special purpose and memorial plates.

Effective July 1, 1998, and for all subsequent fiscal years, the revenues produced from the sale or renewal of special purpose motor vehicle registration plates and memorial motor vehicle registration plates as defined in § 55-4-201, after deducting the expense the department has incurred in manufacturing the plates, shall be allocated in accordance with § 55-6-107.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-219.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-219. Governmental service.

      1. Upon the sworn statement from the head of any department of state government or the county mayor of any county, or the mayor or other executive head of any town or city, or upon certification of authorized officials of the United States government, or upon the sworn statement from the chief of any private or volunteer fire department, that the motor vehicle for which application is being made for registration is owned or leased by the state, the county, municipality, United States government, or the private or volunteer fire department, and operated exclusively for essential governmental purposes or exclusively for fire protection purposes, the department, through the county clerk or as otherwise provided hereinafter, shall register the vehicles and issue registration plates upon the payment of one dollar and twenty-five cents ($1.25).
      2. In addition to the governmental entities listed in subdivision (a)(1)(A), senior citizens service centers which meet the standards set by the commission on aging and disability for eligibility to receive state funds may also apply for government service plates under this section for vans owned by the centers and used exclusively for the centers' activities.
      3. In addition to the governmental entities listed in subdivisions (a)(1)(A) and (B), human resource agencies created pursuant to § 13-26-102 and development districts as created pursuant to § 13-14-102 may also apply for government service plates under this section for vans owned by such human resource agencies and development districts and used exclusively for agencies' and districts' activities.
      4. In addition to the governmental entities listed in subdivisions (a)(1)(A) and (B), community action agencies may also apply for government service plates under this section for vans owned by such community action agencies and used exclusively for agencies' activities.
    1. The county clerk shall have a right to collect the fee for registration as hereinafter provided.
    2. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate this section.
    3. Registration certificates and plates shall be valid for the motor vehicles until the transfer of ownership or the destruction of the motor vehicles at which time the registration shall expire. Upon the expiration of any such registration, the registration certificates and plates shall be returned to the department.
    4. Upon proper application through the county clerk, the registration plates may be transferred to another motor vehicle acquired by the owner to whom the registration certificates and plates were previously issued upon the payment of one dollar ($1.00) plus the county clerk's fee, except that application from the head of any department of state government may be made directly to the department of revenue.
    5. All registration plates issued to state departmental agencies shall be of a distinctive design as approved by the commissioner and shall not display the year of issuance. All registration plates issued to governmental agencies, other than the state, shall be of a distinctive design and shall have conspicuously inscribed, stamped or printed thereon so as to be easily seen and read the words “Govt. Service” or “Govt. Ser.” All registration plates issued to private or volunteer fire departments shall be of a distinctive design.
  1. The exemption conferred by this section shall apply only to motor vehicles owned or leased and operated by governmental units or private or volunteer fire department units exclusively for governmental and fire protection purposes and shall not apply to motor vehicles operated by governmental units as bailee.
    1. “Essential government purposes” includes the operation of local transit service by independent contractors operating a local transit company.
    2. As used in this subsection (c):
      1. “Local transit company” means a person, firm, partnership or corporation, engaged in furnishing, and at least sixty percent (60%) of the total passenger fare revenue of which shall be derived from, scheduled common carrier public passenger land transportation service along the regular routes within a municipality and the territory adjacent thereto, or within a metropolitan government created under title 7, chapters 1-3, the operation of which is supervised, regulated and controlled as a street railway company, under § 65-16-101 [repealed] and all other legislative and statutory provisions applicable thereto; and
      2. “Local transit service” means scheduled common carrier public passenger land transportation service furnished by a local transit company within the territorial limits of the regulatory jurisdiction of the municipality or metropolitan government that is authorized to supervise, regulate and control the operations of such company, under § 65-16-101 [repealed], and all other legislative and statutory provisions applicable thereto.
  2. Upon the further certification of the person authorized by this section to apply for registration that issuance of plates has been requested for vehicles assigned for use in the investigation of actual or suspected violations of the law, the department may issue plates or authorize issuance thereof from the regular series used for non-tax-exempt vehicles. The registrar of motor vehicles, with the approval of the attorney general and reporter, may enter into agreements with the proper officials of other states for the exchange of plates for the purposes provided in this section.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2000, ch. 630, §§ 1, 2; 2003. ch. 90 § 2; 2007, ch. 484, § 49; 2010, ch. 1151, §§ 20, 54; 2018, ch. 985, §§ 1-3; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-223.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Section 65-16-101, referred to in this section, was repealed by Acts 2003, ch. 19, § 2, effective April 11, 2003.

Acts 2003, ch. 90, § 2, directed the code commission to change all references from “county executive” to “county mayor” and to include all such changes in supplements and replacement volumes for Tennessee Code Annotated.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

The term “commission on aging and disability” was substituted for “commission on aging” pursuant to Acts 2001, ch. 397.

55-4-220. General assembly members.

  1. A member of the general assembly, complying with the title and registration law and upon payment of the regular license fee appropriate to the vehicle's design or use as prescribed in this chapter, plus payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate as provided for in this part.
  2. The design of the special purpose license plates shall be rectangular in shape, white in color with all letters and numbers in blue and the great seal of Tennessee in gold. There shall be centered on the upper edge, the word “Tennessee” or “Tenn” enclosed in a drawing of the state, with the current year of registration designated in the upper left and right corners of the rectangle; centered on the lower edge shall be the word or words “Senate” or “House” as may be appropriate; on the left half of the plate shall be the great seal of the state of Tennessee; and on the right half of the plate the member may at option use the member's initials or other letters if the total number of characters making up the configuration does not exceed four (4) rather than the number assigned to the member. The design of the plate shall not be used by any other branch or agency of the state.
  3. The suffixes provided for in § 55-4-203(b)(2), shall be assigned by the speaker of each house. The same numbers assigned in the first year of the biennial for a general assembly shall be assigned for the second year.
  4. A member, optionally, may use initials or other letters if the total number of characters does not exceed four (4). In the event there is a conflict with respect to like letters, the first applicant to the department shall be entitled to preference.
  5. Members of the general assembly may be entitled to special purpose plates for additional automobiles owned by the members or their immediate families. These additional plates may bear the same legend as the first assigned tags but shall be distinguished therefrom by the addition of letters A, B, or C; provided, that the letters do not exceed the requirements of this part.
  6. The special plates shall be delivered to the several county clerks for issuance during each registration renewal period as provided in § 55-4-207, except that the registrar of motor vehicles may make direct issue of the plates to the members upon proper application being made, if the plates can be prepared for direct issuance prior to March 1.
  7. This section shall not be construed to mean that any member shall be prevented from exchanging a regular type plate for one of special design in the course of a given registration year.
  8. The commissioner is authorized to facilitate the continued utilization of existing, issued special purpose plates by a member of the general assembly upon the member's reelection through the issuance of decals or by any other means as to effectuate this subsection (h). Any method of continued utilization shall only be available for plates previously issued to members of the general assembly or their immediate families. Upon ineligibility under this section, any special purpose plates issued shall be surrendered to the department and the department shall issue a regular registration plate valid for the same period as the surrendered special purpose plate. The continued use of existing, issued special purpose plates upon reelection shall be accomplished in a manner that maximizes efficiency and costs and is not unduly burdensome to either the department or county clerks.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2004, ch. 481, §§ 4-6; 2009, ch. 589, § 43; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-225.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2009, ch. 589.

55-4-221. Judiciary members.

  1. Registration plates for members of the judiciary shall be issued in accordance with this part.
  2. Registration plates for judges of the state courts of record shall bear individual distinctive numbers, as determined by the commissioner in consultation with the administrative director of the courts.
    1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is a duly elected juvenile court judge, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a license plate, as prescribed by § 55-4-101, for motor vehicles authorized by § 55-4-210(c), upon which, in lieu of the numbers as prescribed by § 55-4-103, shall be inscribed an individual distinctive number.
    2. Former juvenile court judges may also obtain a license plate as provided for in subdivision (c)(1).
  3. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is a duly elected general sessions court judge or former general sessions court judge, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a license plate, as prescribed by § 55-4-101, for motor vehicles authorized by § 55-4-210(c), upon which, in lieu of the numbers as prescribed by § 55-4-103, shall be inscribed with an individual distinctive number.
  4. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is a retired or former member of the Tennessee judicial conference, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a license plate, as prescribed by § 55-4-101 for motor vehicles authorized by § 55-4-210(c), upon which, in lieu of the numbers as prescribed by § 55-4-103, shall be inscribed an individual distinctive number.
  5. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is a municipal court judge or former municipal court judge, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a license plate, as prescribed by § 55-4-101, for motor vehicles authorized by § 55-4-210(c), upon which, instead of the numbers as prescribed by § 55-4-103, shall be inscribed an individual distinctive number.
  6. The amendments to this section by chapter 336 of the Public Acts of 1987, which applied provisions of this section to certain former judges, shall not apply to any judge who has been convicted of a felony or who has been removed from office.
  7. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the commissioner is authorized, and shall issue, license plates to owners or lessees of motorcycles otherwise qualified pursuant to this section upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motorcycles and paying the regular fee applicable to motorcycles and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204.
  8. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and whose duty is to serve a judiciary function as a magistrate, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a license plate, as prescribed by § 55-4-101, for motor vehicles authorized by § 55-4-210(c), upon which, instead of the numbers as prescribed by § 55-4-103, shall be inscribed an individual distinctive number.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2003, ch. 380, § 1; 2009, ch. 589, § 4; 2010, ch. 1151, § 43; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-226.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2003, ch. 380, § 2 provided that the commissioner of safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of the act.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2009, ch. 589.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

55-4-222. Sheriffs.

An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is a duly elected sheriff, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate which shall bear the number of the sheriff's county of jurisdiction and the word “SHERIFF” in capital letters.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-227.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-223. Emergency personnel.

  1. Registration plates issued under the emergency category pursuant to § 55-4-203(c)(1)(B)-(K) may be issued to persons included in the groups set out in this section, and in accordance with this part.
  2. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who holds a permanent official identification card of an auxiliary police unit working with the civil defense authorities, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111 and payment of the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate as provided for in this part.
  3. A resident of the state who holds a permanent official registration card of the civil air patrol and/or the civil defense organization, and/or a spouse, whose vehicle is titled or leased in the name of the resident and/or spouse, upon application accompanied by a letter from the local civil defense director indicating the current membership of the applicant and/or the spouse of the applicant, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of any fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate as provided for in this part.
  4. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle, who is a resident of this state and who is a member of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads or who is a resident of this state and a member of an emergency services squad in any county having a population of six hundred thousand (600,000) or more, according to the 1970 federal census or any subsequent federal census, or who is a resident of this state and is an emergency medical technician, paramedic, emergency medical technician-paramedic, or other emergency medical responder, upon complying with the title and registration law, payment of the regular license fee appropriate to the vehicle's design or use, as prescribed under § 55-4-111 or § 55-4-113, and payment of the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate as provided for in this part; except, that any active volunteer member of a local rescue squad who has at least one (1) year of service shall be exempt, at the time of renewal, from the regular license fee for only one (1) motor vehicle, upon the certification or sworn statement from the captain of the local rescue squad to which the person is attached confirming the person is an active volunteer member. In addition to the exemption provided by this subsection (d), the legislative body of a county is authorized to waive the motor vehicle tax for motor vehicles receiving an exemption under this subsection (d) from the registration fee if the waiver is approved in the same manner as the adoption of the motor vehicle tax under § 5-8-102. The county clerk shall issue no plates to a local rescue squad member until receiving a list of all eligible members from the captain of the local rescue squad. Emergency medical technicians, paramedics, or emergency medical technician-paramedics not affiliated with a local rescue squad are required to present a current, valid paramedic, emergency medical technician, or emergency medical technician-paramedic's license prior to issuance of a plate under this section. Other emergency medical responders not affiliated with a local rescue squad are required to present a current, valid emergency medical responder's certification prior to issuance of a plate under this section.
    1. The commissioner shall cause to be manufactured metal plates of distinctive design for various groups included in the emergency category. Upon application by the president, or other chief executive officer, of recognized organizations of persons in the various groups in the emergency category and the submission of a certified listing of the members of that organization and their motor vehicle registration numbers, the commissioner shall sell, at a cost of two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) per plate, to the chief executive officer the appropriate number of plates for distribution to each listed person, with the plates to be displayed on the front of each vehicle registered by that person in the emergency category.
    2. The plates shall be for identification purposes only and shall not be valid for motor vehicle operation. The plates shall be issued only for the term of the emergency category registration plate, and shall be surrendered by the holder at such time as the holder's emergency registration expires or the holder ceases to be a member of the group included in the emergency category.
    3. It is a Class A misdemeanor to display the plate on any vehicle that is not properly registered in the emergency category.
  5. Notwithstanding  this section to the contrary, an owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of the state and who is a full-time police officer as defined by § 38-8-101 and is certified as such, and authorized, by the chief law enforcement officer of the organization to which the person is attached or by which the person is employed, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle, shall be issued an emergency registration plate.
  6. Notwithstanding  this section to the contrary, an owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of the state and who is a trauma physician licensed by the board of medical examiners, who submits a statement or certification from the board of medical examiners and from a trauma center in a hospital or other medical facility confirming that the applicant practices medicine as a trauma physician, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and a fee equal to the cost of producing the plate; provided, however, that the issuance of the plates shall be revenue neutral, shall be issued an emergency registration plate and shall be eligible to renew such emergency registration plate.
  7. Notwithstanding  this section to the contrary, an owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of the state and who is a nurse licensed by the Tennessee board of nursing, who submits a statement or certification from a trauma center or emergency room in a hospital or other medical facility confirming that the applicant is a trauma nurse, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and a fee equal to the cost of producing the plate; provided, that the issuance of the plates is revenue neutral, shall be issued an emergency registration plate and shall be eligible to renew the registration plate.
  8. Notwithstanding  this section to the contrary, an owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is on-call surgical personnel licensed or certified under title 63 or as a surgical technologist under title 68, chapter 57, serving in a hospital, emergency room or surgical department, who submits a statement or certification from the hospital, emergency room or surgical department confirming that the applicant is on-call surgical personnel, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and a fee equal to the cost of producing such plate, shall be issued an emergency registration plate and shall be eligible to renew such registration plate; provided, that the issuance of the plates shall be revenue neutral.
  9. Subject to the requirements of § 55-4-202, the commissioner is authorized and shall issue a license plate to an owner or lessee of a motorcycle who is otherwise eligible for an emergency plate in the appropriate category; provided, however, that the owner or lessee shall comply with the state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motorcycles and shall pay the regular fee applicable to motorcycles and the applicable fee specified in § 55-4-204 prior to the issuance of the plate.
  10. Notwithstanding this section to the contrary, an owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of the state and who is a constable duly elected, trained, and qualified in accordance with title 8, chapter 10, and is certified as such, and authorized, by the county legislative body of the county in which the person serves, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle, shall be issued an emergency registration plate.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2002, ch. 633, §§ 3, 6; 2004, ch. 937, § 3; 2007, ch. 63, §§ 3, 4; 2008, ch. 1007, § 4; 2008, ch. 1165, §§ 45, 46; 2009, ch. 589, § 35; 2017, ch. 97, §§ 2, 3; 2018, ch. 923, § 2; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-222; Acts 2020, ch. 597, §§ 2, 3.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

For tables of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2009, ch. 589.

Acts 2018, ch. 923, § 3, which amended this section, shall apply to registration plates renewed on or after May 15, 2018.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment, in (d), substituted “emergency medical technician, paramedic, emergency medical technician-paramedic, or other emergency medical responder” for “emergency medical technician or paramedic” in the first sentence, in the fourth sentence, inserted “, or emergency medical technician-paramedics” preceding “not affiliated”, substituted “are” for “shall be”, inserted “, emergency medical technician,” following “valid paramedic” and substituted “technician-paramedic's” for “technician's”, and added the last sentence.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 597, § 4. July 1, 2020.

Cross-References. Penalty for Class A misdemeanor, § 40-35-111.

Attorney General Opinions. T.C.A. § 55-4-222 and T.C.A. § 55-4-202(c)(1) [T.C.A. § 55-4-223 and T.C.A. § 55-4-203(c)(1)] now do not authorize the issuance of emergency license plates to trauma physicians except to the extent that such physicians may also be authorized to receive such plates by virtue of membership in a group to whose members such plates may be issued, OAG 03-163, 2003 Tenn. AG LEXIS 178 (12/23/03).

55-4-224. Firefighters.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is a member of a volunteer fire department or full-time firefighting unit, or another bona fide firefighter, including a paid, paid-on-call, or volunteer firefighter, or a bona fide retired firefighter, shall be issued a special firefighter registration plate, as provided for in this part, upon proof of current membership in a firefighting unit, or upon proof of former membership in a firefighting unit from which the owner or lessee is a retired member in good standing, and upon compliance with state motor vehicle registration and licensing laws and payment of the applicable registration fee under § 55-4-111; except, that any active volunteer firefighter who has at least one (1) year of service shall be exempt, at the time of renewal, from the applicable registration fee for only one (1) motor vehicle, upon the certification or sworn statement from the chief of the fire department to which the person is attached confirming the person is an active volunteer firefighter. In addition to the exemption provided by this subsection (a), the legislative body of a county is authorized to waive the motor vehicle tax for motor vehicles receiving an exemption under this subsection (a) from the registration fee if the waiver is approved in the same manner as the adoption of the motor vehicle tax under § 5-8-102.
  2. Subject to the requirements of § 55-4-202, the commissioner is authorized and shall issue a license plate to an owner or lessee of a motorcycle who is otherwise eligible for a special firefighter registration plate; provided, however, that the owner or lessee shall comply with the state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motorcycles and shall pay the regular fee applicable to motorcycles and the applicable fee specified in § 55-4-204 prior to the issuance of the plate.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2004, ch. 481, § 7; 2007, ch. 604, § 3; 2009, ch. 589, § 42; 2018, ch. 923, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-241.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2009, ch. 589.

Acts 2018, ch. 923, § 3, which amended this section, shall apply to registration plates renewed on or after May 15, 2018.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-201, 55-4-202.

55-4-225. Amateur radio station licensees.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who holds an unrevoked and unexpired official amateur radio station license issued by the federal communications commission may apply to the department, through the county clerk, for issuance of a special purpose license plate under this part. The application shall be accompanied by proof of ownership of a amateur radio station license.
    1. The initial issuance of a special purpose license plate to the applicant shall be made upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and upon payment of the additional fee prescribed by § 55-4-204, if applicable. Thereafter, annual renewal for a qualified resident shall be as provided by this chapter.
    2. The special purpose license plates issued pursuant to this section for motor vehicles authorized by § 55-4-210(c) and motorcycles shall bear the official amateur radio call letters assigned by the federal communications commission to the applicant.
  2. All applications under this section shall be accompanied by the required fees.
  3. In the event of the reissuance of a special purpose license plate under this section whether due to design changes, loss, changes in call letters, revocation or expiration of the radio station license or any other reason shall require payment of fees in the same manner as initial issuance of the license plate.
    1. To be eligible for an amateur radio license plate issued pursuant to § 55-4-203(c)(1)(A) without paying the fee prescribed by § 55-4-204(a)(4)(A)(ii) in addition to the regular fee for the plate, the registrant shall furnish proof to the commissioner, through the county clerk, that the registrant is a member of a squad or group that actively participates in needed services during any and all emergencies, as determined by the civil defense, rescue squads or other organizations that are engaged in volunteer emergency services.
    2. Notwithstanding this part to the contrary, to be eligible for an amateur radio license plate without paying the fee prescribed by § 55-4-204(a)(4)(A)(ii) in addition to the regular fee for the plate, the registrant shall furnish proof to the commissioner, through the county clerk, that the registrant:
      1. Has credentials approved by the county emergency management director; or
      2. Holds a class license as an amateur radio operator issued by the federal communications commission.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2016, ch. 702, § 1; 2018, ch. 990, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-229.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2016, ch. 702, § 2 provided that the act, which amended this section, took effect April 6, 2016 and shall apply to registration plates issued or renewed on or after such date.

55-4-226. Dealers.

  1. Registration plates issued under the dealer category may be issued to manufacturers, dealers and transporters of motor vehicles as provided for in this part.
    1. Any dealer owning any vehicle that may be legally operated upon the streets or highways of this state with a regular vehicle registration may, either in person or through a duly authorized agent or employee, operate or move the vehicle upon any highway of the state without registering each such vehicle, upon condition that the vehicle display a special purpose plate issued to that owner as prescribed in this part. The dealer may further authorize the operation of the vehicle bearing such plates by customers for temporary purposes not to exceed seventy-two (72) hours. The dealer may further authorize the operation of the vehicle bearing such plates by any customer who is using the vehicle, without charge, while the customer's vehicle is being serviced or repaired by the dealer or by any person who is participating in a driver's education program and is operating a vehicle that was provided by the dealer to a school for use in the driver's education program.
    2. The special purpose dealer plate shall have the legend “TENN” at the top of the plate and shall have “auto dealer” at the bottom of the plate. The legend shall contain the letter “D” and five (5) numbers. The special purpose dealer plate for a motor vehicle dealer that sells used motor vehicles shall have a red background and white letter and numbers. The special purpose dealer plate for a franchise motor vehicle dealer that sells new motor vehicles shall have a white background and black letter and numbers.
    3. Any dealer who has a valid number assigned by the motor vehicle commission may make application to the department for one (1) or more special purpose plates. The fee for the first plate is forty-seven dollars and thirty cents ($47.30), and the fee for any plates in addition to the first plate is twenty-three dollars and sixty-five cents ($23.65) for each additional plate. No dealer shall be permitted to purchase more than two hundred twenty-five (225) auto dealer plates during a registration year.
    4. A transporter may operate or move any vehicle that may be legally operated under a regular vehicle registration upon any highway within this state solely for the purpose of delivery, upon likewise displaying thereon like plates issued to the transporter as provided in this part.
    5. Any vehicle preparation service or motor vehicle auction company licensed by the state may obtain special purpose plates to operate or move dealer-owned vehicles upon any highway within the state solely for the purpose of transporting the vehicles between a dealer's business location and the location where the cleaning, repairing, or preparation is performed or where the vehicle is to be auctioned, and for the purposes of testing the vehicle within a twenty (20) mile radius of the location where the cleaning, repairing or preparation is performed.
    6. This subsection (b) shall not apply to work or service vehicles owned by a manufacturer, transporter or dealer.
    1. Any manufacturer or transporter may make application to any county clerk within the state, and any vehicle preparation service may make application to the county clerk of the county where the established place of business of the service is located, upon appropriate forms for a certificate and for one (1) or more special purpose plates or single special purpose plates as appropriate to vehicles subject to registration hereunder, which plates shall be of the same color as auto dealer plates issued in the state for the particular year in question and on which shall appear the letters “DL” and identifying numbers. An applicant for these registration plates who is a transporter shall submit proof of the applicant's status as a bona fide transporter that may reasonably be required by the county clerk to whom the application is made. If the applicant is a manufacturer, the county clerk shall not issue the registration plates until the applicant has registered with the county clerk to whom the application is made the number of the current license issued to such manufacturer by the motor vehicle commission. For registering the license number of such manufacturers and dealers, the county clerk shall be entitled to a fee of five dollars ($5.00).
    2. The county clerk, upon granting an application, shall, upon the payment of the appropriate fee, issue to the applicant a certificate containing the applicant's name and address.
    3. All special purpose plates issued to any vehicle preparation service, manufacturer, or transporter shall bear identifying numbers, and no special purpose plates issued to other vehicle preparation services, manufacturers, or transporters shall bear the same number.
    4. The commissioner is authorized and empowered to design, issue and regulate the use of temporary plates for use in cases where dealer plates cannot be used. Upon the depletion of the department's current inventory of temporary plates, the department shall redesign the temporary plates in such a manner as determined by the commissioner as will permit the conspicuous display of individual distinctive alpha-numerical characters. Temporary plates may be issued for a period of thirty (30) days. The fee for the thirty-day plate is five dollars and fifty cents ($5.50). No person may operate a motor vehicle for more than sixty (60) days with the temporary plate. Nothing in this section shall be construed as a grant of authority for the issuance or use of the temporary plates on trucks or truck tractors being used or tested under load conditions over the streets and highways of this state.
    1. Registration plates issued under this subsection (d) may only be issued to dealers as provided for in this subsection (d).
    2. Any dealer owning a vehicle suitable for special event services may, either in person or through a duly authorized agent, employee, or lessee, operate or move the vehicle upon any highway of the state without registering such vehicle, upon condition that the vehicle display a special event plate issued to that owner as prescribed in this part.
    3. A vehicle is suitable for special event services if it:
      1. Is rented to legal entities of this state, or any political subdivision thereof, pursuant to a rental agreement;
      2. Only travels in this state during the rental period;
      3. Is capable of holding fifteen (15) or more passengers; and
      4. Has fewer than two thousand five hundred (2,500) miles on the odometer.
    4. Notwithstanding any statute to the contrary, a vehicle meeting all of the criteria of a special event services vehicle pursuant to subdivision (d)(3) shall not be eligible to use a special purpose dealer plate.
    5. The special event plate shall have the legend “TENN” at the top of the plate and shall have “Special Event” at the bottom of the plate. The legend shall contain the letters “SE” and five (5) numbers. The special event plates shall have a light blue background with black letters and numbers.
    6. Any dealer who has a valid number assigned by the motor vehicle commission may make application to the department for one (1) or more special event plates and shall provide sufficient information as reasonably requested by the commissioner to show how many vehicles are suitable for special event services. The fee for such plate shall be more than one hundred fifty-two dollars and sixty-three cents ($152.63). No dealer shall be permitted to purchase more than one hundred (100) special event plates during a registration year.
    1. Except as provided in subdivision (e)(2), the special purpose plates issued under this section shall expire on May 31 of each year, and a new plate or plates for the ensuing year may be obtained by the person to whom the expired plate or plates were issued upon application to the registrar of motor vehicles, or the registrar's deputy as provided by law. Issuance of the plates shall begin May 1 of each year, upon payment of the fee provided by law, and proof by the applicant that the applicant is still engaged in business as a manufacturer, transporter, dealer or vehicle preparation service.
    2. In the year in which the issuance of such plates shall be valid for a period of fourteen (14) months pursuant to this section, the fee provided by law shall be computed as seven-sixths (7/6) times the regular annual fee. The intent of this subdivision (e)(2) is to provide that the annual fee be increased by a pro-rata portion to cover the additional two (2) months fee during the transition year of implementation of this new schedule. Issuance of the plates pursuant to this subdivision (e)(2) shall begin on March 1 of the year so affected, upon payment of the appropriate fee, and proof by the applicant that such applicant is still engaged in business as a manufacturer, transporter, dealer or vehicle preparation service.
    1. Registration plates issued under this subsection (f) may only be issued to manufacturers and dealers of boats as provided for in this subsection (f).
    2. A person may operate a boat trailer for hire upon any highway within this state without registering the boat trailer, if the boat trailer is operated solely for the purpose of delivery of a boat to a customer of a manufacturer or dealer of boats and the boat trailer displays a special purpose boat dealer plate issued to the manufacturer or dealer as prescribed in this subsection (f).
    3. Any dealer or manufacturer of boats who hires individuals who own or operate boat trailers to deliver boats to the dealer's or manufacturer's customers may make, either in person or through a duly authorized agent, employee, or lessee, application to any county clerk within the state, upon appropriate forms for a certificate and for one (1) or more special purpose boat dealer plates.
    4. The boat dealer plates must be of a different color than the auto dealer and special event plates issued in the state for the particular year in question and must have the legend “TENN” at the top of the plate and must have “boat dealer” at the bottom of the plate. The legend must contain the letters “BD” and five (5) numbers.
    5. The fee for the first plate is forty-seven dollars and thirty cents ($47.30), and the fee for any plates in addition to the first plate is twenty-three dollars and sixty-five cents ($23.65) for each additional plate. A dealer or manufacturer of boats shall not purchase more than two hundred twenty-five (225) boat dealer plates during a twelve-month period.
    6. The county clerk, upon granting an application, shall issue to the applicant, upon the payment of the appropriate fee, a certificate containing the applicant's name and address.
    7. The special purpose boat dealer plates issued under this subsection (f) expire on May 31 of each year, and a new plate or plates for the ensuing year may be obtained by the person to whom the expired plate or plates were issued upon application to the registrar of motor vehicles, or the registrar's deputy as provided by law. Issuance of the plates begins May 1 of each year, upon payment of the fee provided by law, and proof by the applicant that the applicant is still engaged in business as a manufacturer or dealer of boats.
  2. The commissioner is authorized and empowered to promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this section.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 1999, ch. 98, §§ 12, 13; 2001, ch. 98, § 1; 2001, ch. 233, § 7; 2002, ch. 722, § 1; 2002, ch. 856, §§ 8m, 8n; 2007, ch. 484, § 116; 2009, ch. 530, § 124; 2010, ch. 1151, § 52; 2013, ch. 117, §§ 2, 3; 2013, ch. 183, § 5; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-221; Acts 2020, ch. 571, § 2.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 1999, ch. 98, § 15, provided that it was the intent of that act that any registration issued prior to January 1, 2000, shall remain valid until the expiration.

Acts 2001, ch. 98, § 2 provided that the act shall apply to any plate issued which would expire after March 31, 2002.

Acts 2001, ch. 233, § 10 provided:

“The additional revenue generated from the additional temporary operation fees and permits authorized in § 55-4-115(a)(1) and the additional temporary plate fees and permits authorized in § 55-4-221(c)(4) shall be deposited in the alcohol and drug addiction treatment fund provided in § 40-33-211 and shall not be included in the general fund.”

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 8(o) provided that notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all revenues attributable to statutory changes effectuated by the provisions of § 8 of that act shall be deposited exclusively in the state's general fund and shall be allocated for general state purposes in accordance with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Acts 2002, ch. 856, § 13 provided that no expenditure of public funds pursuant to that act shall be made in violation of the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified in 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Amendments. The 2020 amendment added (f), and redesignated former (f) as present (g).

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 571, § 3. July 1, 2020.

Attorney General Opinions. Restrictions on how dealers and customers may use vehicles for which registration plates have been issued under T.C.A. § 55-4-221(b) [now T.C.A. § 55-4-226(b)]; fees for use of such vehicles.  OAG 12-108, 2012 Tenn. AG LEXIS 112 (12/14/12).

Decisions Under Prior Law

1. Purchaser Operating Vehicle — Liability of Dealer.

Prospective purchaser of automobile, driving automobile for the purpose of demonstrating it to himself to determine whether he should purchase it, was a bailee of the vehicle, and the dealer, whose license plates were on the vehicle, was not liable for the acts of such prospective purchaser while driving the automobile. Hill v. Harrill, 203 Tenn. 123, 310 S.W.2d 169, 1957 Tenn. LEXIS 469, 1958 Tenn. LEXIS 283 (1958).

Where driver of automobile obtained automobile from dealer for purpose of test driving it and demonstrating it to his parents as prospective purchasers but at time of accident was on the way to a lake for the purpose of motor boating and water skiing, dealer was not liable for negligence of driver. Walters v. Kee, 51 Tenn. App. 261, 366 S.W.2d 534, 1962 Tenn. App. LEXIS 107 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1962).

55-4-227. OEM headquarters company.

  1. Registration plates issued under the OEM headquarters company category pursuant to § 55-4-203(a) may be issued to any OEM headquarters company for purposes of registering any OEM headquarters company vehicle. Eligible employees and eligible family members may operate an OEM headquarters company vehicle on any highway within this state upon displaying thereon plates issued to the OEM headquarters company as provided in this part. A registration plate issued under the OEM headquarters company category may only be transferred to another qualified OEM headquarters company vehicle.
  2. The special purpose OEM headquarters company plates provided for in this section shall be designed by the commissioner in consultation with the OEM headquarters company making application for the plate. All special purpose plates issued to any OEM headquarters company shall bear identifying numbers and shall display the word “Tennessee” or an abbreviation thereof.
  3. This registration shall be valid so long as title to the OEM headquarters company vehicle is vested in the OEM headquarters company and shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter requiring annual registration.
  4. Any OEM headquarters company may make application to the department for the special purpose plates authorized by this section. The plates shall be free of charge, as provided in § 55-4-204.
  5. Any motor vehicle registered for use as an OEM headquarters company vehicle under this section shall, at the termination of such use, be sold at an auction limited to any dealer who sells new or unused motor vehicles of the same line-make as the motor vehicle to be sold.

Acts 2009, ch. 530, § 122; 2013, ch. 183, § 6; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-232.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-228. Special purpose nonprofit organization plate.

  1. Any nonprofit organization owning any vehicle that may be legally operated upon the streets or highways of this state with a regular vehicle registration may, through an authorized agent or employee, operate or move the vehicle upon any highway of the state without registering the vehicle, upon condition that the vehicle display a special purpose plate issued to that owner as prescribed in this section.
  2. The special purpose nonprofit organization plate shall have the legend “TENN” at the top of the plate and shall have “nonprofit organization” at the bottom of the plate. The legend shall contain the letters “CVPT” and three (3) numbers. The special purpose nonprofit organization plate shall have a purple background and white letters and numbers.
  3. A nonprofit organization may make application to the department for one (1) or more special purpose nonprofit organization plates and shall provide sufficient information as reasonably requested by the commissioner to show that the applicant is a nonprofit organization. The fee for each special purpose plate is forty-seven dollars and thirty cents ($47.30), and the fee for any plates in addition to the first plate is twenty-three dollars and sixty-five cents ($23.65) for each additional plate. No nonprofit organization shall be permitted to purchase more than three (3) nonprofit organization plates each year.
  4. A special purpose nonprofit organization plate may be used in the place of a regular vehicle registration to operate or move the vehicle upon any highway of the state without registering such vehicle, solely for the following purposes:
    1. To transport the vehicle between a prior or subsequent owner and the nonprofit organization;
    2. To transport the vehicle between the nonprofit organization and a location where cleaning, repairing, or preparation is performed; or
    3. To test the vehicle within a twenty-mile radius of the location where the cleaning, repairing, or preparation is performed.
  5. A special purpose nonprofit organization plate may be used solely for vehicles that were donated to the nonprofit organization with the intent that the vehicle be transferred to a subsequent owner. This section does not apply to vehicles used in a nonprofit organization's daily operations.
  6. The special purpose plates issued under this section shall expire on May 31 of each year, and a new plate or plates for the ensuing year may be obtained by the person to whom the expired plate or plates were issued upon application to the department or any county clerk within the state. Issuance of the plates shall begin May 1 of each year, upon payment of the fee provided by law, and proof by the applicant that the applicant continues to be a nonprofit organization.
  7. For purposes of this section, “nonprofit organization” means an organization that has received a determination of exemption from the internal revenue service under the Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)).

Acts 2016, ch. 902, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-343.

55-4-229. Legislator Emeritus.

  1. A member of the general assembly, or a former member of the general assembly, who is deemed by this section to have emeritus status after having served in the general assembly eight (8) or more years, upon complying with the title and registration law and upon payment of the regular license fee appropriate to the vehicle's design or use as prescribed in this chapter, plus payment of the additional fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate as provided for in this part.
  2. The design on the Legislator Emeritus special purpose license plates shall be distinguishable from the special purpose license plates authorized by § 55-4-220 for members or former members of the general assembly. There shall be an image of the state capitol on the left half of the plate and the plate shall bear the legend “Legislator Emeritus”.
  3. The special purpose license plates shall be delivered to the several county clerks for issuance during each registration renewal period as provided in § 55-4-207, except that the registrar of motor vehicles may make direct issue of the plates to the members or former members upon proper application being made, if the plates can be prepared for direct issuance prior to March 1.
  4. This section shall not be construed to mean that any member or former member shall be prevented from exchanging a regular type plate for one of special design in the course of a given registration year.

Acts 2017, ch. 384, § 36; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-346.

55-4-230. Tennessee Police Benevolent Association.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is certified as a member of the Tennessee Police Benevolent Association, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a Tennessee Police Benevolent Association cultural license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
    1. The application for these license plates shall be accompanied by a statement from the Tennessee Police Benevolent Association, certifying the applicant to be a member of this organization.
    2. This application shall only be permitted to full-time paid or retired law enforcement officers who are members of the Tennessee Police Benevolent Association.
  2. The cultural plates provided for in this section shall bear the inscription “POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION” or “PBA” and an appropriate standardized insignia of the organization.
    1. Within thirty (30) days of terminating membership in the Tennessee Police Benevolent Association, an applicant to whom a cultural license plate has been issued pursuant to this section shall surrender the plate to the county clerk of the county of the applicant's residence.
    2. The Tennessee Police Benevolent Association shall provide biannually to the department the names and addresses of any persons who have terminated their membership in the Tennessee Police Benevolent Association, together with any other identifying information as the commissioner may require.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2001, ch. 233, § 9; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-258.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-231. Retired Female Firefighter.

  1. A distinctive license plate is authorized for any female who is a retired firefighter, if the female is currently a resident of this state, is otherwise qualified to register and license a motor vehicle pursuant to this title, and submits proof of former membership in a firefighting unit from which the female is a bona fide retired member in good standing.
  2. The registration plates shall bear the legend “Retired Female Fire- fighter”.
  3. The registration plate shall be issued upon payment of the regular registration fee pursuant to this chapter and an additional fee equal to the cost of actually designing and manufacturing the plates, and submission of information in accordance with subsection (d).
  4. For issuance of a license plate pursuant to this section, all applications shall contain information that the commissioner requires proving the eligibility of the applicant as a female who retired in good standing as a firefighter pursuant to subsection (a).

Acts 2017, ch. 384, § 26; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-325.

Compiler's Notes. In view of § 55-4-201(h), former § 55-4-325 (Acts 2015, ch. 383, § 30) was deleted as obsolete and invalid in 2016, since the Donate Life new specialty earmarked plates in this section failed to meet the minimum requirements for issuance.

55-4-232. [Obsolete.]

Compiler's Notes. In view of § 55-4-202(g), former § 55-4-232 (Acts 2019, ch. 253, § 29; T.C.A. § 55-4-337) was deleted as obsolete and invalid in 2020, since the Antique Auto new specialty earmarked plates in this section failed to meet the minimum requirements for issuance.

55-4-233. Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.

  1. An owner or lessee of an antique motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a Delta Kappa Gamma Society International cultural license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
  2. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International cultural license plates provided for in this section shall contain the official logo or other design representative of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Such plates shall be designed in consultation with a representative of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.

Acts 2020, ch. 660, § 17.

Effective Dates. Acts 2020, ch. 660, § 51. July 1, 2020.

55-4-234 — 55-4-239. [Reserved.]

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a cultural earmarked plate to support the arts for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
  2. The Tennessee arts commission is authorized to design multiple plates for issuance pursuant to this section; provided, that the minimum requirements of § 55-4-202(b)(3) shall apply to the issuance of each individual classification of the plates.
  3. The Tennessee arts commission shall determine the colors and pictorial representations to be included on the plates.
  4. Notwithstanding this part to the contrary, all revenues produced from the sale or renewal of cultural earmarked plates to support the arts, minus the expense the state has incurred in manufacturing the plates, shall be allocated to the Tennessee arts commission.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-264.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-241. Collegiate plates.

  1. Collegiate motor vehicle registration plates shall be the same size as regular passenger motor vehicle or motorcycle license plates and may be of the same color and design as regular license plates or may be of the colors and contain the logo or other distinctive design of the appropriate college or university. The commissioner, after consultation with the appropriate college or university, shall determine the colors and design for each classification of collegiate plates.
  2. Applicants may elect to personalize collegiate plates pursuant to § 55-4-214.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 47; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-212.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-242. Penn State University alumnus.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a Penn State University collegiate license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
  2. The collegiate plates provided for in this section shall be of the colors and contain the logo of Penn State University.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-247.

Compiler's Notes. The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-243. University of Florida alumnus.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a University of Florida collegiate license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
  2. The collegiate plates provided for in this section shall be of the colors and contain the logo of the University of Florida.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-250.

Compiler's Notes. The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-244. University of Arkansas alumnus.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a University of Arkansas collegiate license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
  2. The collegiate plates provided for in this section shall be of the colors and contain the logo of the University of Arkansas.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-251.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-245. University of Mississippi alumnus.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a University of Mississippi collegiate license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
  2. The collegiate plates provided for in this section shall be of the colors and contain the logo of the University of Mississippi.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-256.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-246. [Obsolete.]

Compiler's Notes. In view of § 55-4-202(h) [now 55-4-202(g)], former § 55-4-246 (Acts 2018, ch. 1023, § 22) was deleted as obsolete and invalid in 2019 since the Cumberland University new specialty earmarked plates in this section failed to meet the minimum requirements for issuance.

55-4-247 — 55-4-249. [Reserved.]

Memorial registration plates shall be issued in accordance with this part and § 55-4-261 pertaining to former prisoners of war, § 55-4-258 pertaining to recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, § 55-4-259 pertaining to recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross, Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star (Valor), Air Medal (Valor), and Distinguished Flying Cross, and § 55-4-256 pertaining to disabled veterans.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2011, ch. 491, § 25; 2013, ch. 318, § 4; 2014, ch. 966, § 18; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-240.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2013, ch. 318,  § 13, as amended by Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 28, provided that notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any person issued an Air Medal memorial license plate prior to June 21, 2013, shall be entitled to retain the plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Meritorious) on or after May 13, 2013, shall be subject to the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-203(c)(1) [now § 55-4-204(c)(1)]. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Valor) on or after May 13, 2013, and prior to May 19, 2014, shall be memorial plates upon their first renewal on or after May 13, 2013; provided, that the plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-203(b) [now § 55-4-204(b)].

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-251. Annual verification process for memorial registration plates and military registration plates.

  1. This section shall apply to memorial registration plates described in § 55-4-203(c)(4) and military registration plates described in § 55-4-203(c)(5)(F).
  2. Each registration plate to which this section applies shall be subject to a verification process that shall occur annually upon the renewal of the plate, if applicable, or upon such other time as determined by the department. The department may prescribe the form and manner of submitting any proof or documentation required by this section; provided, that the holder shall be permitted to submit such proof or documentation by mail or in person.
  3. At the time of annual verification, the holder of the plate shall submit satisfactory proof that the holder is a resident of the county in which the vehicle is registered, and any other proof that the department may require showing that the holder is complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration.
  4. If the holder of the plate is deceased as of the date of annual verification, and if the copy of the death certificate of the deceased holder has not been previously submitted, then the surviving spouse of the deceased or the personal representative of the deceased holder's estate shall submit a copy of the death certificate at the time of the annual verification.
  5. If any surviving spouse of a deceased holder of a plate wishes to continue the issuance of, and retain the plate formerly held by the deceased holder, or apply for issuance of the plate to which the deceased spouse was entitled, as authorized by § 55-4-261, § 55-4-257, § 55-4-263, § 55-4-252, or § 55-4-253, as applicable, then the surviving spouse shall do so at the time of the annual verification. The surviving spouse shall submit a copy of the death certificate of the deceased holder and documentation showing the surviving spouse is a resident of the county for which the vehicle that is owned or leased by the deceased holder or surviving spouse is registered, and shall pay any applicable fees.

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 22; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-316.

55-4-252. United States military — Active, retired and honorably discharged members — Military reserves.

  1. Registration plates are authorized for active, retired and honorably discharged members of the United States military and the United States military reserves in good standing. The plates are approved for display on motor vehicles that are authorized by § 55-4-210(c) and that are owned and operated, or leased by, a member or member's spouse. A surviving spouse of a deceased retired or honorably discharged member or of a member who died while on active duty, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular fee applicable to the vehicle and the fee prescribed by § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate pursuant to this section, until the surviving spouse remarries.
  2. The registration plates shall be of a distinctive design as approved by the commissioner and shall include the appropriate emblem of the branch of service of the recipient of the plate. The registration plates shall also contain the words “Volunteer State” at the bottom of the plates.
  3. The registration plate authorized pursuant to this section shall be issued upon payment of the regular registration fee pursuant to this chapter and the additional fee prescribed by § 55-4-204.
    1. All applications pursuant to this section shall contain all information that the commissioner requires to prove eligibility for issuance of a license plate pursuant to this section; provided, that, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a retired member of the United States military or the United States military reserves shall be required to submit retirement status documentation only when initially applying for registration plates under this section and subsequent registration plates under this section shall be issued to that person without the repeated presentation of retirement status documentation. Eligibility for the cultural registration plate for United States reserve forces shall be determined by the department in consultation with the appropriate information on current and valid DD Form 2A (Res), DD Form 2N (Res), DD Form 2MC (Res), DD Form 2AF (Res), DD Form 2CG (Res) (Armed Forces of the United States Identification Card), citing that the request is submitted by a member of the United States reserve forces, or current and valid stationing orders citing that the request is submitted by an active duty member of the United States reserve forces.
    2. A retired member of the United States military and the United States military reserves in good standing who has participated in full or voluntary early retirement authorized by the branch of the United States armed forces in which the retired member served shall also be eligible for the issuance of a cultural plate pursuant to this section. Eligibility for the cultural registration plates for retired members of the United States armed forces who have participated in full or voluntary early retirement shall be determined by the department, in consultation with the appropriate information on these retired members' “Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty” or on the current and valid forms enumerated in subdivision (d)(1). The retired members' plate shall be distinguished by a retired decal placed below the branch of service located on the left side of the license plate.
    3. An active duty member of the United States military and the United States military reserves in good standing shall also be eligible for the issuance of a cultural plate pursuant to this section. Eligibility for the cultural registration plates for active duty members of the United States armed forces shall be determined by the department, in consultation with the appropriate information on the active duty member's stationing orders required in subdivision (d)(1).
    4. An honorably discharged member of the United States military and the United States military reserves in good standing shall also be eligible for the issuance of a cultural plate pursuant to this section. Eligibility for the cultural registration plates for honorably discharged members of the United States armed forces shall be determined by the department and by consulting the appropriate information on the DD214 form. An honorably discharged member's plate shall be distinguished by an honorably discharged decal placed below the branch of service located on the left side of the license plate.
  4. Each recipient of a military plate issued pursuant to this section may apply an appropriate decal to the plate that designates the military unit in which the recipient served and/or the purpose for which the plate has been issued. The decal, and the placement of the decal, shall be subject to the approval of the commissioners of revenue and veterans services. The cost of this decal shall be borne by the recipient of the plate wishing to apply the decal.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2002, ch. 866, § 3; 2006, ch. 964, §§ 17, 18; 2007, ch. 484, § 55; 2010, ch. 1151, § 53; 2014, ch. 966, § 21; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-244.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-253. Honorably discharged veterans.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces, or a civilian veteran of the United States army corps of engineers, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided in § 55-4-204, shall be issued an honorably discharged veteran registration plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c). A surviving spouse of such a deceased honorably discharged veteran, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles, upon paying the regular fee applicable to the vehicle and the fee prescribed by § 55-4-204, and upon providing a copy of the death certificate of the deceased honorably discharged veteran, shall be issued a registration plate pursuant to this section, until the surviving spouse remarries.
  2. All applications pursuant to this section shall be accompanied by orders or a statement of discharge from the appropriate branch of the United States armed forces classifying the applicant as an honorably discharged veteran, or by orders or official documentation from the United States army corps of engineers classifying the applicant as a civilian veteran; provided, that, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces or a surviving spouse of an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces shall be required to submit the required documentation only when initially applying for registration plates under this section and subsequent registration plates under this section shall be issued to that person without the repeated presentation of the required documentation. This subsection (b) shall not apply in the case of an application by a surviving spouse in which the deceased honorably discharged veteran had been issued a license plate or license plates under this section.
    1. The registration plates provided for in this section shall be designed in consultation with the commissioner of veterans services.
    2. The design of registration plates that are issued pursuant to this section shall bear the name of the county of issue on the lower edge of the tag.
    3. For honorably discharged veterans and civilian veterans, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate.
      1. For honorably discharged veterans and civilian veterans of Vietnam, the center emblem shall be the American flag. A Southeast Asia campaign medal or appropriate civilian documentation shall have been awarded in order to obtain the Vietnam Veteran plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans and civilian veterans who served during the time that Vietnam occurred but who do not qualify for issuance of the Vietnam Veteran plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Vietnam Era Veteran.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(4)(B) prohibits any veteran or civilian veteran who served during Vietnam from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
      1. For veterans and civilian veterans of World War II, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “WW II Veteran,” and the symbol on the left shall be the Honorable Service Lapel Pin, also known as the ruptured duck. Proof of honorable military or civilian service between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, shall be required to obtain this plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans and civilian veterans who served during the time that World War II occurred but who do not qualify for issuance of the World War II Veteran plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “World War II Era Veteran.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(5)(B) prohibits any veteran or civilian veteran who served during World War II from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
      1. For veterans and civilian veterans of the Korean War, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Korean War Veteran,” and the symbol on the left shall be the American flag. A Korean Service Medal shall have been awarded for an honorably discharged veteran, or appropriate civilian documentation, to obtain this plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans and civilian veterans who served during the time that the Korean War occurred but who do not qualify for issuance of the Korean War Veteran plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Korean War Era Veteran.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(6)(B) prohibits any veteran or civilian veteran who served during the Korean War from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
      1. For veterans and civilian veterans of Operation Desert Storm, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Desert Storm Veteran,” and the symbol on the left shall be the American flag. Award of the Southwest Asia Service Medal and proof of honorable service, or appropriate civilian documentation, shall be required for a veteran or civilian veteran to obtain this plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans and civilian veterans who served during the time that Operation Desert Storm occurred but who do not qualify for issuance of the Desert Storm Veteran plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Desert Storm Era Veteran.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(7)(B) prohibits any veteran or civilian veteran who served during Operation Desert Storm from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
      1. For veterans and civilian veterans of the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Bosnia Veteran”, and the symbol on the left shall be the American flag. Proof of honorable service, or appropriate civilian documentation, shall be required for a veteran or civilian veteran to obtain this plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans and civilian veterans who served during the time that the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia occurred but who do not qualify for issuance of the Bosnia Veteran plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Bosnia Era Veteran.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(8)(B) prohibits any veteran or civilian veteran who served during the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
      1. For honorably discharged veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and active members of the United States armed forces who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” and the symbol on the left shall be the American flag, below which shall appear the word “VETERAN” in letters of an appropriate size. The commissioner of veterans services shall also set proof of service requirements for veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom to obtain the plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans who served during the time that Operation Iraqi Freedom occurred but who do not qualify for issuance of the Operation Iraqi Freedom plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation Iraqi Freedom Era.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(9)(B) prohibits any veteran who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
      1. For honorably discharged veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and active members of the United States armed forces who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation Enduring Freedom,” and the symbol on the left shall be the American flag, below which shall appear the word “VETERAN” in letters of an appropriate size. The commissioner of veterans services shall also set proof of service requirements for veterans who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom to obtain the plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans who served during Operation Enduring Freedom but who do not qualify for issuance of the Operation Enduring Freedom plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation Enduring Freedom Era.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(10)(B) prohibits any veteran who served during Operation Enduring Freedom from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
      1. For honorably discharged veterans of Operation New Dawn and active members of the United States armed forces who served in Operation New Dawn, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation New Dawn,” and the symbol on the left shall be the American flag, below which shall appear the word “VETERAN” in letters of an appropriate size. The commissioner of veterans services shall also set proof of service requirements for veterans who have served in Operation New Dawn to obtain the plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans who served during Operation New Dawn but who do not qualify for issuance of the Operation New Dawn Veteran plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation New Dawn Era.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(11)(B) prohibits any veteran who served during Operation New Dawn from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
    4. For honorably discharged veterans who served during the period between the announcement of the Truman Doctrine on March 12, 1947, and the collapse of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991, with this period being known as the Cold War, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Cold War Era Veteran.” Nothing in this subdivision (c)(12) prohibits any veteran who served during this period from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a) or any other plate authorized by this subsection (c) for which the veteran qualifies.
      1. For honorably discharged veterans of the peacekeeping mission in Somalia occurring between December 5, 1992 and March 3, 1994, the plate shall be designed by the commissioner of veterans services in consultation with the commissioner of revenue. The commissioner of veterans services shall also set proof of service requirements for honorably discharged veterans to obtain this plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans who served during the time that the peacekeeping mission in Somalia occurred but who do not qualify for issuance of the Somalia Veteran plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Somalia Era Veteran”. Nothing in this subdivision (c)(13)(B) prohibits any veteran who served during the peacekeeping mission in Somalia from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
    5. For honorably discharged veterans and active members of the United States armed forces who served in South Korea after the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement in support of the defense of the South Korean state and who qualify for the Korea Defense Service Medal, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Korean Defense Service”, and the plate shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Korea Defense Service Medal. The commissioner of veterans services shall set proof of service requirements for eligible veterans and military service members to obtain the plate.
      1. For honorably discharged veterans of Operation Inherent Resolve and active members of the United States armed forces who served in Operation Inherent Resolve, the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation Inherent Resolve” and the symbol on the left shall be the American flag, below which shall appear the word “VETERAN” in letters of an appropriate size. The commissioner of veterans services shall also set proof of service requirements for veterans who have served in Operation Inherent Resolve to obtain the plate.
      2. For honorably discharged veterans who served during Operation Inherent Resolve but who do not qualify for issuance of the Operation Inherent Resolve plate, the American flag shall be in the center of the license plate and the strip along the bottom of the license plate shall read “Operation Inherent Resolve Era”. Nothing in this subdivision (c)(15)(B) prohibits any veteran who served during Operation Inherent Resolve from requesting issuance of the honorably discharged veteran plate that is authorized by subsection (a).
  3. The commissioner of revenue is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this section. All rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2006, ch. 964, §§ 13, 14; 2007, ch. 484, § 56; 2007, ch. 604, § 20; 2010, ch. 1151, § 21; 2012, ch. 791, §§ 1, 3; 2013, ch. 484, § 27; 2014, ch. 941, § 18; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2017, ch. 384, §§ 45-50; 2018, ch. 1023, §§ 39, 49; 2019, ch. 75, § 1; 2019, ch. 253, §§ 10, 15, 25.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Acts 2012, ch. 791, § 2 provided that it is the legislative intent that the redesign of license plates provided for in subdivisions (c)(9) and (10) shall only be effectuated upon the existing inventory of such plates being utilized by the department of revenue.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Acts 2017, ch. 384, § 51 provided that the redesign of the Vietnam Veteran, Korean War Veteran, Operation Desert Storm, Operation lraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn license plates provided for in §§ 45 through 50 of the act, which amended this section, shall only be effectuated upon the existing  inventory of the plates being utilized by the department of revenue.

Acts 2019, ch. 75, § 2 provided that the redesign of the Bosnia Veteran license plate provided for in section 1 of the act, which amended this section, shall only be effectuated upon the existing inventory of the plates being utilized by the department of revenue.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-254. United States reserve forces.

  1. A member of the United States reserve forces shall be issued a registration plate, upon request, for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c), upon complying with the title and registration laws and paying the regular fee applicable to the vehicle and the additional fee prescribed by § 55-4-204.
  2. The registration plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to members of the United States reserve forces. The legend shall read “US Reserve Forces.” The registration number of the plates shall include the letters “US” and a unique identifying number.
  3. Eligibility for United States reserve forces registration plates shall be determined by the department in consultation with the appropriate information on current and valid DD Form 2A (Res), DD Form 2N (Res), DD Form 2MC (Res), DD Form 2AF (Res) or DD Form 2CG (Res) (Armed Forces of the United States identification card), citing that the request is submitted by a member of the United States reserve forces.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-242.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-255. National guard members.

  1. Special purpose and distinctive license plates are authorized for active, retired and honorably discharged members of the Tennessee national guard in good standing. The plates are approved for display on motor vehicles authorized by § 55-4-210(c) that are owned and operated or leased by a member or member's spouse. A surviving spouse of a national guard member, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular fee applicable to the vehicle and a revenue-neutral fee equal to the cost of producing the special purpose plate, may apply for issuance of a national guard registration plate pursuant to this section, which shall be valid until the surviving spouse remarries.
  2. The commissioner shall, with the advice of the adjutant general and the department's taxpayer and vehicle services division director, select an appropriate format for the special purpose plates to include an identification legend which is distinctive to their use and which complies with general registration requirements for vehicles licensed in this state. Additionally, the commissioner shall specify the date by which the adjutant general shall furnish the estimate of the necessary number of plates to be manufactured for use in a given registration year, and shall prescribe the time and manner in which the adjutant general shall furnish lists of national guard members. The lists shall be suitable to the needs of the department and county clerks and shall comply with the requirements of the law for registering vehicles.
  3. Chapters 1-6 of this title relating to titling and registering motor vehicles shall apply with respect to the issuance and use of these special purpose plates, except as otherwise provided in this section.
    1. The fees imposed for registrations using the special purpose plates shall be as follows:
      1. For enlisted national guard members there shall be no tax (fee) for registering the first vehicle and the regular license fee shall be collected for any additional vehicles;
      2. For national guard officers the tax (fee) shall be the regular license fee for each vehicle;
      3. For national guard retirees, the initial issuance of a special purpose plate and renewals shall be made upon payment of the regular registration fee applicable to the vehicle and a fee equal to the cost of producing the special purpose plate; provided, that the issuance of the plates shall be revenue neutral; and
      4. For honorably discharged national guard members, the initial issuance of a special purpose plate and renewals shall be made upon payment of the regular registration fee applicable to the vehicle and a fee equal to the cost of producing the special purpose plate; provided, however, that the issuance of the plates shall be revenue neutral.
    2. The county clerk in effecting registrations through the use of these special purpose plates shall collect other fees that have application for all registrations, such as service charges provided in § 55-6-104 and reassignment fees when applicable.
  4. If a holder of a special purpose plate is discharged from the national guard prior to the expiration of the registration under which the plate was issued, the special purpose plate may remain valid for display on the vehicle until the expiration date of the registration, unless it was issued under the tax- exempt allowance. All plates that are issued under the tax-exempt allowance shall be surrendered to the national guard when the holders of the plates are discharged from service.
  5. This authority for the use of special purpose license plates is not intended to allow the holders of the special purpose license plate to operate vehicles on which they are displayed in violation of state or local laws or ordinances which govern and relate to the use of motor vehicles.
  6. All applications from retired national guard members shall contain information as the commissioner shall require to prove eligibility for issuance of a license plate. Eligibility for a special purpose registration plate for national guard retirees shall be determined by the department, in consultation with the appropriate information on an applicant's current and valid armed forces of Tennessee identification card, citing that the request is submitted by a retired member of the Tennessee national guard.
  7. All applications from honorably discharged national guard members shall contain such information as the commissioner shall require to prove eligibility for issuance of a license plate. Eligibility for a special purpose registration plate for honorably discharged national guard members shall be determined by the department, in consultation with the appropriate information on an applicant's current and valid armed forces of Tennessee identification card, citing that the request is submitted by an honorably discharged member of the Tennessee national guard.
  8. An application by a surviving spouse for a national guard license plate shall be accompanied by such information as the commissioner shall require to prove the member's eligibility for issuance of the license plate, to include a department of defense form 214 (DD 214) or an NGB form 22, showing adequate proof of service, and a copy of the relevant marriage certificate and death certificate, as further evidence of a surviving spouse's eligibility.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2003, ch. 280, §§ 1-3; 2007, ch. 484, § 50; 2018, ch. 691, §§ 1, 2; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-228.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

55-4-256. Disabled veterans.

    1. The department shall provide and issue, free of charge, to each disabled veteran in this state, registration and license plates for any motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c) that is registered in the name of or leased by a disabled veteran, or by the disabled veteran and the spouse of the disabled veteran, including, but not limited to, a motor home containing life support equipment; provided, that the authorized motor vehicle or motor home shall not be used for rehire or for any other commercial purpose.
    2. One (1) disabled veteran memorial license plate may be issued free of charge to any qualified applicant pursuant to this section; provided, that one (1) additional plate may be obtained by any eligible person upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of one-half (½) of the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1). Additional disabled veteran license plates may be obtained by any disabled veteran upon payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, plus the payment of a fee equal to the cost of actually producing the plate.
    3. For the purposes of this section, “disabled veteran” means a veteran having served in the military, naval, marine or air services of the United States, who is a resident of Tennessee and who is entitled to compensation under the laws administered by the veterans' administration for any of the following due to disability incurred in or aggravated by active military, naval, marine or air services of the United States:
      1. Loss or permanent loss of use of one (1) or both feet;
      2. Loss or permanent loss of use of one (1) or both hands; or
      3. Permanent impairment of vision of both eyes of the following status: central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees (20°) in the better eye.
  1. Any disabled veteran in this state who has any other service-connected disability that is determined by the veterans' administration to constitute a one hundred percent (100%) permanent total disability shall be entitled, upon compliance with the registration laws and without being required to pay a fee, to the issuance of the registration plates provided for by this section.
  2. Disabled veteran registration plates shall bear:
    1. The words “Disabled Veteran”;
    2. A registration number composed of the prefix “DV” and a unique identifying number; and
    3. A representation of the United States flag in the background.
  3. A disabled veteran who is entitled under this section to be issued a memorial registration plate, free of charge, may elect in the alternative for the issuance of a registration plate for holders of the Purple Heart, free of charge, for one (1) motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c) or one (1) motor home, as defined in subdivision (a)(1), which is owned or leased by the disabled veteran; provided, that a disabled veteran shall meet the requirements of § 55-4-257(c) in order to be eligible for the issuance of a registration plate for a holder of the Purple Heart.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2001, ch. 30, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 53; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 14, 15; 2018, ch. 1023, §§ 40, 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-237.

Compiler's Notes. The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 30 provided that any memorial license plates issued free of charge prior to May 19, 2014, to an eligible person under the following sections as they existed prior to May 19, 2014, shall be free of charge and shall not be subject to the regular registration fee for such plates: Sections 55-4-235 for former prisoners of war, 55-4-233 or 55-4-236, as applicable, for recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 55-4-236 for recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross, 55-4-237 for disabled veterans, including those disabled veterans who choose to receive the Purple Heart plate pursuant to Section 55-4-237(d), or 55-4-239 for holders of the Purple Heart plate or surviving spouses of deceased holders of the Purple Heart plate. Such persons shall be entitled to retain the plates for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Acts 2018, ch. 1023, § 41 provided that the redesign of the Disabled Veteran license plates provided for in this section shall only be effectuated upon the existing inventory of the plates being utilized by the department of revenue.

Cross-References. Disabled veterans and physically disabled persons, identification and parking certificates, § 55-21-106.

Disabled veterans, memorial registration plates, § 55-4-250.

Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-257. Holders of the Purple Heart.

  1. A holder of the Purple Heart shall be issued a special memorial registration plate upon request, upon complying with the title and registration law.
  2. The special plates provided for in this section shall be issued in conformity with § 55-4-203, shall include an identification legend distinctive to the holders of the Purple Heart, and be designed by the commissioner in consultation with the department's taxpayer and vehicle services director. The legend shall read “Purple Heart Veteran, Combat Wounded.” The registration number of the special plate shall include the letters “PH” and a unique identifying number, whereby the total characters do not exceed the sum of seven (7).
  3. Eligibility for the special memorial registration plate shall be determined by the department in consultation with the appropriate information on the DD214 form, or in a case of military service predating 1950, in consultation with appropriate information on the equivalent form or on other official documentation, citing that the request is submitted by a holder of the Purple Heart.
  4. Persons eligible for such special memorial registration plates shall be eligible to apply for plates on a vehicle owned or leased by the person or owned or leased by a company and furnished to the person; provided, that all appropriate fees, including the supplemental twenty-five-dollar special fee, if still applicable to this category of plates, shall be paid. Special memorial registration plates for holders of the Purple Heart that are issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2007, shall not be subject to the twenty-five-dollar special fee, but shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-204(b), except as provided in subdivision (e)(2).
    1. A disabled veteran who is entitled to be issued a special memorial registration plate, free of charge, pursuant to § 55-4-256, may elect in the alternative for the issuance of one (1) special memorial registration plate for holders of the Purple Heart, free of charge, for one (1) motor vehicle or one (1) recreational vehicle owned or leased by that disabled veteran; provided, that a disabled veteran shall meet the requirements of subsection (c) in order to be eligible for the issuance of a special memorial registration plate for holders of the Purple Heart.
    2. One (1) additional plate may be obtained by any eligible disabled veteran upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of one-half (½) of the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1). Additional plates may be obtained by any person entitled to receive the holders of the Purple Heart registration plate upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1).
    1. Upon the death of the spouse who was entitled to receive a holder of the Purple Heart registration plate, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive a Purple Heart registration plate for any motor vehicle or recreational vehicle owned or leased by the surviving spouse. The application shall be accompanied by a copy of the death certificate. To be entitled to the plate, the surviving spouse shall pay the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1).
    2. Plates issued to, or renewed by, surviving spouses under this section as it existed prior to May 19, 2014, shall not be subject to the regular registration fee or the cost of producing the plate, and shall be free of charge.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 54; 2007, ch. 604, §§ 45, 46; 2008, ch. 1165, § 47; 2010, ch. 1151, § 1; 2011, ch. 491, § 18; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 16, 17; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-239.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 30 provided that any memorial license plates issued free of charge prior to May 19, 2014, to an eligible person under the following sections as they existed prior to May 19, 2014, shall be free of charge and shall not be subject to the regular registration fee for such plates: Sections 55-4-235 for former prisoners of war, 55-4-233 or 55-4-236, as applicable, for recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 55-4-236 for recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross, 55-4-237 for disabled veterans, including those disabled veterans who choose to receive the Purple Heart plate pursuant to Section 55-4-237(d), or 55-4-239 for holders of the Purple Heart plate or surviving spouses of deceased holders of the Purple Heart plate. Such persons shall be entitled to retain the plates for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Acts 2018, ch. 1023, § 57. July 1, 2018.

Cross-References. Holders of the Purple Heart, memorial registration plates, § 55-4-256.

Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-258. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

  1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department shall provide and issue, free of charge, to each resident of this state who is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, upon presentation of proper application, Medal of Honor memorial registration plates for one (1) motor vehicle or motor home which is registered or leased for private use in the name of any one (1) recipient. For the purposes of this section, “private use” vehicle means any motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c) or motor home that is not used for rehire or for any other commercial purpose. One (1) additional plate may be obtained by any eligible recipient upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of one-half (½) of the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1). Additional plates may be obtained by any eligible recipient upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1).
  2. The Medal of Honor memorial plates provided for in this section shall be the same as regular registration plates, but shall be of a distinctive design which denotes the importance of these distinguished veterans and the high regard in which this state holds the heroic recipients of the highest military decoration. The legend shall read “Medal of Honor.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “CM” and a unique identifying number.
    1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, eligibility for the Medal of Honor memorial plate shall be determined by the department by consulting the appropriate information on the:
      1. DD214 form and a copy of the orders that awarded the medal or copy of the certificate or citation granting the medal, in the case of an applicant who has been discharged from the armed forces;
      2. Copy of the orders that awarded the medal or copy of the certificate or citation granting the medal, in the case of an applicant who has not been discharged from the armed forces; or
      3. A written communication from the department of veterans services, in the case of an applicant who does not possess the documentation required by subdivision (c)(1)(A) or (c)(1)(B).
    2. The form, documentation or communication required by subdivision (c)(1) shall certify that the application for the plate is submitted by a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
    3. Any person issued a Medal of Honor plate under this chapter prior to June 21, 2013, shall submit to the department of revenue the appropriate information required by this subsection (c) within thirty (30) days after June 21, 2013. If any such person to whom a Medal of Honor plate has been issued does not comply with this subdivision (c)(3) or the department of revenue determines that the person is not eligible for the plate, the person shall surrender the plate to the county clerk of the county of the person's residence within thirty (30) days of noncompliance or determination of ineligibility, whichever is sooner.

Acts 2013, ch. 318, § 2; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 10, 11; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-233.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 30 provided that any memorial license plates issued free of charge prior to May 19, 2014, to an eligible person under the following sections as they existed prior to such date, shall be free of charge and shall not be subject to the regular registration fee for such plates: Sections 55-4-235 for former prisoners of war, 55-4-233 or 55-4-236, as applicable, for recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 55-4-236 for recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross, 55-4-237 for disabled veterans, including those disabled veterans who choose to receive the Purple Heart plate pursuant to Section 55-4-237(d), or 55-4-239 for holders of the Purple Heart plate or surviving spouses of deceased holders of the Purple Heart plate. Such persons shall be entitled to retain the plates for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

55-4-259. Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star (Valor), and Air Medal (Valor) recipients.

  1. The department shall provide and issue, free of charge, to each resident of this state who is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star (Valor), or the Air Medal (Valor), upon presentation of proper application, a memorial registration plate for one (1) motor vehicle or motor home which is registered or leased for private use in the name of any one (1) recipient. One (1) additional plate may be obtained by any eligible recipient upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of one-half (½) of the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1). Additional plates may be obtained by any eligible recipient upon payment of the regular registration fee applicable for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1). For the purposes of this section, “private use” vehicle means any motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c) or motor home that is not used for rehire or for any other commercial purpose.
    1. The memorial plates provided for in this section shall be the same as regular registration plates, but shall be of a distinctive design which denotes the importance of these distinguished veterans and the high regard in which this state holds the courageous recipients of these military decorations.
      1. On and after May 19, 2014, no plate on which the legend reads “Legion of Valor” shall be issued to any person entitled to a memorial or military cultural registration plate under this chapter, including any recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross. A recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross shall be issued a distinctive Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross memorial registration plate, as appropriate.
      2. The Distinguished Service Cross plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross. The legend shall read “Distinguished Service Cross.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “SC” and a unique identifying number.
      3. The Navy Cross plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Navy Cross. The legend shall read “Navy Cross.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “NC” and a unique identifying number.
      4. The Air Force Cross plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Air Force Cross. The legend shall read “Air Force Cross.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “AC” and a unique identifying number.
      1. A recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star (Valor), Air Medal (Valor), or the Distinguished Flying Cross shall be issued a distinctive Silver Star, Bronze Star (Valor), Air Medal (Valor), or Distinguished Flying Cross memorial plate, as appropriate.
      2. The Silver Star plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Silver Star. The legend shall read “Silver Star — Valor.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “SS” and a unique identifying number.
      3. The Bronze Star (Valor) plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Bronze Star (Valor). The legend shall read “Bronze Star — Valor.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “BSV” and a unique identifying number.
      4. The Air Medal (Valor) plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Air Medal (Valor). The legend shall read “Air Medal — Valor.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “REV” and a unique identifying number.
      5. The Distinguished Flying Cross plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The legend shall read “Distinguished Flying Cross.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “FC” and a unique identifying number.
    1. Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any other law to the contrary, eligibility for the memorial plates provided for in this section shall be determined by the department by consulting the appropriate information on the:
      1. DD214 form and a copy of the orders that awarded the medal or copy of the certificate or citation granting the medal, in the case of an applicant who has been discharged from the armed forces;
      2. Copy of the orders that awarded the medal or copy of the certificate or citation granting the medal, in the case of an applicant who has not been discharged from the armed forces; or
      3. A written communication from the department of veterans services, in the case of an applicant who does not possess the documentation required by subdivision (c)(1)(A) or (c)(1)(B).
    2. The form, documentation, or communication required by subdivision (c)(1) shall certify that the application for the plate is submitted by a recipient of the military decorations described in this section, as appropriate.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2007, ch. 484, § 52; 2011, ch. 491, § 24; 2013, ch. 318, §§ 1, 3; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 6, 7; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-236; Acts 2019, ch. 171, § 1.

Compiler's Notes. The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2013, ch. 318,  § 13, as amended by Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 28, provided that, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any person issued an Air Medal memorial license plate prior to June 21, 2013, shall be entitled to retain the plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Meritorious) on or after May 13, 2013, shall be subject to the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-203(c)(1) [now § 55-4-204(c)(1)]. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Valor) on or after May 13, 2013, and prior to May 19, 2014, shall be memorial plates upon their first renewal on or after May 13, 2013; provided, that the plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-203(b) [now § 55-4-204(b)].

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 29 provided that notwithstanding title 55, chapter 4, any person issued a Handicapped Veteran, Legion of Valor, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, or Air Medal license plate prior to May 19, 2014, shall be entitled to retain the license plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 30 provided that any memorial license plates issued free of charge prior to May 19, 2014, to an eligible person under the following sections as they existed prior to May 19, 2014, shall be free of charge and shall not be subject to the regular registration fee for such plates: Sections 55-4-235 for former prisoners of war, 55-4-233 or 55-4-236, as applicable, for recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 55-4-236 for recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross, 55-4-237 for disabled veterans, including those disabled veterans who choose to receive the Purple Heart plate pursuant to Section 55-4-237(d), or 55-4-239 for holders of the Purple Heart plate or surviving spouses of deceased holders of the Purple Heart plate. Such persons shall be entitled to retain the plates for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Acts 2019, ch. 171, § 2 provided that the department shall make the change required by act section 1 (which amended subdivision (b)(3)(B)),  to the Silver Star license plates upon the exhaustion of the current inventory of the plates.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-260. Bronze Star (Meritorious) and Air Medal (Meritorious) recipients.

  1. A recipient of the Bronze Star (Meritorious) or the Air Medal (Meritorious) who is a resident of this state and who is an owner or lessee of a motor vehicle, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1), shall be issued a distinctive Air Medal (Meritorious) or Bronze Star (Meritorious) motor vehicle registration plate, as appropriate, for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
    1. The Bronze Star (Meritorious) plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Bronze Star (Meritorious). The legend shall read “Bronze Star — Meritorious.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “BSM” and a unique identifying number.
    2. The Air Medal (Meritorious) plates provided for in this section shall include an identification legend distinctive to recipients of the Air Medal (Meritorious). The legend shall read “Air Medal — Meritorious.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “REM” and a unique identifying number.
  2. Eligibility for Air Medal (Meritorious) plates and Bronze Star (Meritorious) plates shall be determined by the department by consulting the appropriate information on the DD214 form, or in a case of military service predating 1950, in consultation with appropriate information on the equivalent form or on other official documentation, or a written communication from the department of veterans services, the form, documentation or communication certifying that the application for the plate is submitted by a recipient of the Bronze Star (Meritorious) or the Air Medal (Meritorious), as appropriate.
    1. Any Air Medal (Meritorious or Valor) license plate issued to any recipient of the Air Medal prior to May 13, 2013, shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-204(b).
    2. Any Air Medal license plate initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Meritorious) on or after May 13, 2013, shall be military cultural plates on and after such date; provided, that the plate shall be subject to the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1).
      1. Any Air Medal license plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Valor) on or after May 13, 2013, and prior to May 19, 2014, shall be memorial plates upon their first renewal on or after May 13, 2013; provided, that the plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-204(b).
      2. Any Air Medal license plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Valor) on or after May 19, 2014, shall be memorial plates on and after May 19, 2014; provided, that the plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-204(b).
    3. Any Silver Star or Bronze Star (Valor) plates issued prior to May 19, 2014, shall be considered memorial plates upon their first renewal on or after May 19, 2014; provided, that such plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-204(b).

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 6; 2007, ch. 484, § 51; 2013, ch. 318, §§ 10-12; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 1, 8, 9; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-231.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

In view of § 55-4-201(c)(1) [now § 55-4-202(c)(1)], former § 55-4-231 (Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1) was deleted as obsolete and invalid by the Code Commission in 2000, as the Shriners plates named in this section continued to fail to meet the minimum requirements for existence.

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 64 provided that the provisions of § 55-4-201(f)  [now § 55-4-202(f)], shall not apply to that act.

Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 65 provided that the commissioner of safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of that act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

Acts 2013, ch. 318,  § 13, as amended by Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 28, provided that notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any person issued an Air Medal memorial license plate prior to June 21, 2013, shall be entitled to retain the plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Meritorious) on or after May 13, 2013, shall be subject to the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and the fee provided for in § 55-4-203(c)(1) [now  [now § 55-4-204(c)(1)]. Any Air Medal military cultural plates initially issued to any recipient of the Air Medal (Valor) on or after May 13, 2013, and prior to May 19, 2014, shall be memorial plates upon their first renewal on or after May 13, 2013; provided, that the plates shall not be subject to the regular registration fee and shall be free of charge pursuant to § 55-4-203(b)  [now § 55-4-204(b)].

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 29 provided that notwithstanding title 55, chapter 4, any person issued a Handicapped Veteran, Legion of Valor, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, or Air Medal license plate prior to May 19, 2014, shall be entitled to retain the license plate for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

55-4-261. Former prisoners of war.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is a former prisoner of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, or the surviving spouse of the former prisoner of war, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon application, shall be issued one (1) license plate for any one (1) motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c), by the department, free of charge for life or, in the case of a surviving spouse, until that surviving spouse remarries. The application shall be accompanied by a certificate from the United States defense department stating the period of time that the applicant was a prisoner of war or, in the case of an application by a surviving spouse for continuation of a license plate or plates formerly held by a deceased spouse prisoner-of-war, a copy of the death certificate.
  2. The design of these memorial license plates as are issued shall be colored red, white, and blue so as to be similar in hue and intensity to the coloration of the United States Flag and shall carry the legend, “Former POW”
  3. One (1) additional plate may be obtained by any eligible person upon payment of the regular registration fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, and payment of one-half (½) of the fee provided for in § 55-4-204(c)(1). Additional license plates may be obtained by any former prisoner of war or eligible surviving spouse upon payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, plus the payment of a fee equal to the cost of actually producing the plate.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2014, ch. 966, §§ 12, 13; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-235.

Compiler's Notes. The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 30 provided that any memorial license plates issued free of charge prior to May 19, 2014, to an eligible person under the following sections as they existed prior to such date, shall be free of charge and shall not be subject to the regular registration fee for such plates: Sections 55-4-235 for former prisoners of war, 55-4-233 or 55-4-236, as applicable, for recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 55-4-236 for recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross, 55-4-237 for disabled veterans, including those disabled veterans who choose to receive the Purple Heart plate pursuant to Section 55-4-237(d), or 55-4-239 for holders of the Purple Heart plate or surviving spouses of deceased holders of the Purple Heart plate. Such persons shall be entitled to retain the plates for vehicular use upon compliance with all motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

Cross-References. Former prisoners of war, memorial registration plates, § 55-4-250.

Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-262. Pearl Harbor survivors.

  1. A distinctive license plate is authorized for any person who was a member of the Armed Forces of the United States and who was present at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, if the person is currently a resident of Tennessee, is the owner of a motor vehicle or motor home that is registered for private use, and is otherwise qualified to register and license a motor vehicle pursuant to this title. For the purposes of this section, “private use” vehicle means any motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c) or motor home that is not used for rehire or for any other commercial purpose.
  2. The registration plates provided for in this section shall be the same as regular registration plates but shall also bear the legend “PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR.”
  3. The registration plate authorized pursuant to this section shall be issued upon payment of the regular registration fee pursuant to this chapter and the additional fee prescribed by § 55-4-204 and submission of information in accordance with subsection (d).
  4. All applications pursuant to this section shall contain such information as the commissioner shall require to prove eligibility for issuance of a license plate pursuant to this section.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2002, ch. 866, § 2; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-238.

Compiler's Notes. The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-263. Enemy evadees.

    1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is an “enemy evadee” certified as such by the department of veterans services, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular fee applicable to the vehicle and the fee prescribed by § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
    2. A surviving spouse of a deceased enemy evadee, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular fee applicable to the vehicle and the fee prescribed by § 55-4-204, shall be issued a registration plate pursuant to this section, until the surviving spouse remarries.
    3. The application shall be accompanied by orders or a statement of discharge from the appropriate branch of the United States armed forces, certified by the department of veterans services, classifying the applicant as an “enemy evadee,” or in the case of an application by a surviving spouse for continuation of a license plate or plates formerly held by a deceased spouse enemy evadee, a copy of the death certificate.
    1. The design of such license plates that are issued pursuant to this section shall be colored red, white and blue so as to be similar in hue and intensity to the coloration of the United States flag and shall bear the legend, “ENEMY EVADEE.”
    2. The registration plates provided for in this section shall be designed in consultation with the commissioner of veterans services.
  1. For the purposes of this part, “enemy evadees” means veterans of the United States armed forces who, in time of war, successfully evaded capture behind enemy lines, and many of whom joined local indigenous personnel in resisting enemy forces.

Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-243.

Compiler's Notes. The division of motor vehicles was transferred from the department of revenue to the department of safety by Executive Order No. 37 (June 29, 1990).

Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-264. Gold star family.

  1. The department, or any other department or agency of the state having jurisdiction, shall provide and issue, free of charge, to each eligible person in the state whose spouse, parent, sibling, or child served and died in the line of duty in the armed forces of the United States or its allies, or died as a result of injuries sustained in such service, upon presentation of proper application, a gold star family memorial registration plate for no more than one (1) motor vehicle or motor home; provided, that the vehicle or motor home is registered or leased for private use in the name of any one (1) recipient. For purposes of this section, “private use” vehicle means any motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c), or motor home that is not used for rehire or for any other commercial purpose.
  2. The gold star family plate shall include an identification legend distinctive to gold star families. The legend shall read “Gold Star Family.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “GS” and a unique identifying number. The plates shall be designed in consultation with the department of veterans services.
  3. Eligibility for gold star family plates shall be determined by the department by consulting appropriate documentation from the department of veterans services.
  4. Additional license plates may be obtained by any eligible person upon payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, plus the payment of a fee equal to the cost of actually producing the plate.
  5. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the legal display of a gold star mothers memorial license plate issued or renewed prior to July 1, 2008, as evidence of registration, or the renewal of any such plate for such purpose.

Acts 2006, ch. 964, § 28; 2007, ch. 484, § 63; 2008, ch. 1165, § 24; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-288.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

In view of § 55-4-201(d) [now § 55-4-202(d)], former § 55-4-288 (Acts 1998, ch. 1133, § 3; impl. am. Acts 1998, ch. 1063, §§ 1-3) was deleted as obsolete and invalid by the Code Commission in 2000, as the United Daughters of the Confederacy plates named in this section did not qualify for initial issuance.

In view of § 55-4-201(c)(1) [now § 55-4-202(c)(1)], former § 55-4-288 (Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 54) was deleted as obsolete and invalid by the Department of Safety in 2004, as the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere plates named in this section continued to fail to meet the minimum requirements for existence.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-265. Blue Star family.

  1. The department shall issue to each eligible person in the state whose spouse, parent, sibling or child is serving in the armed forces of the United States at the time of application, a blue star family military license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c), upon the applicant complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided in § 55-4-204.
  2. The Blue Star family plate shall include an identification legend distinctive to Blue Star families. The legend shall read “Blue Star Family.” The registration number of the plate shall include the letters “BS” and a unique identifying number. The plates shall be designed in consultation with the department of veterans services.
  3. Eligibility for Blue Star family plates shall be determined by the department by consulting appropriate documentation from the department of veterans services.
  4. Additional license plates may be obtained by any eligible person upon payment of the regular license fee for plates, as prescribed under § 55-4-111, plus the payment of a fee equal to the cost of actually producing the plate pursuant to § 55-4-204(c).

Acts 2010, ch. 1151, § 11; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-330.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 3 of this chapter, concerning cultural plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-30155-4-316 (Acts 1973, ch. 11, §§ 1-7; T.C.A., §§ 59-466 — 59-471; Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 3-7; 1987, ch. 205, § 1; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 13-18; 1987, ch. 434, §§ 3-9; 1991, ch. 507, § 3; 1992, ch. 738, § 1; 1992, ch. 928, § 1; 1993, ch. 381, § 1; 1994, ch. 578, § 1; 1994, ch. 652, § 1; 1994, ch. 792, § 1; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 15-19; 1994, ch. 930, § 4; 1995, ch. 159, §§ 1-6; 1995, ch. 335, § 3; 1996, ch. 983, §§ 1, 2; 1998, ch. 750, § 1; 1998, ch. 1120, § 4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-266. Surviving spouse decal — Fees.

  1. On and after May 19, 2014, any registration plate that is retained or renewed by, or initially issued to, a surviving spouse pursuant to  § 55-4-252, § 55-4-253, § 55-4-255, §  55-4-257,  § 55-4-261, § 55-4-263 or § 55-4-273, or § 55-4-274, as applicable, shall be distinguished by a surviving spouse decal. The design of the decal shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner of veterans services. The placement of the decal on the plate shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner of revenue; provided, that the decal shall be placed in a conspicuous manner.
  2. The department of revenue shall charge a one-time fee for issuance of the decal in an amount sufficient to defray the administrative costs of implementing this section. The one-time fee for a decal is in addition to any other applicable fees required for issuance of the plate to the surviving spouse pursuant to § 55-4-252, § 55-4-253, § 55-4-255, § 55-4-257, § 55-4-261, or § 55-4-263, § 55-4-273 or § 55-4-274; except, that a decal shall be issued free of charge to a surviving spouse who is issued a former prisoner of war registration plate free of charge under § 55-4-261 or a surviving spouse who, prior to May 19, 2014, was issued a Purple Heart registration plate free of charge under § 55-4-257. Upon application for a decal and payment of the one-time fee, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to issuance of the decal.

Acts 2014, ch. 966, § 27; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 691, § 3; 2018, ch. 926, § 4; 2018, ch. 1023, §§ 6, 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-320.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 2015, ch. 24,  § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” wherever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

55-4-267. Tennessee woman veteran.

  1. A distinctive license plate is authorized for any woman who is a veteran, if the woman is currently a resident of this state and is otherwise qualified to register and license a motor vehicle pursuant to this title.
  2. The registration plates shall bear the legend “Tennessee Woman Veteran.”
  3. The registration plate shall be issued upon payment of the regular registration fee pursuant to this chapter and the additional fee prescribed by § 55-4-204(c)(1), and submission of information in accordance with subsection (d).
  4. For issuance of a license plate pursuant to this section, all applications shall contain information that the commissioner requires proving the eligibility of the applicant as a woman who received an honorable discharge as a member of the armed services, as defined in § 49-4-928.

Acts 2007, ch. 604, § 21; 2008, ch. 1165, § 29; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-292.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

In view of § 55-4-201(d) [now § 55-4-202(d)], former § 55-4-292 (Acts 1999, ch. 71, § 2) was deleted as obsolete and invalid by the Code Commission in 2000, as the City of Oak Ridge plates named in this section did not qualify for initial issuance.

In view of § 55-4-201(c)(1) [now § 55-4-202(d)], former § 55-4-254 (Acts 2002, ch. 876, § 60) was deleted as obsolete and invalid by the Department of Safety in 2004, as the retired fire fighters plates named in this section continued to fail to meet the minimum requirements for existence.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-201, 55-4-202.

55-4-268. Submarine veteran.

    1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state, who is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces having served on a submarine in the line of military duty, and whose submarine service has been certified by the department of veterans services, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and upon paying the regular fee applicable to the vehicle and the fee prescribed by § 55-4-204, shall be issued a submarine veteran license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
    2. The application for such plate shall be accompanied by documentation from the appropriate branch of the United States armed forces, certified by the department of veterans services, verifying that the applicant served on a submarine in the line of military duty as a member of the United States armed forces.
    1. The design of such license plates that are issued pursuant to this section shall be colored red, white and blue so as to be similar in hue and intensity to the coloration of the United States flag and shall bear the legend, “SUBMARINE VETERAN.”
    2. The license plates provided for in this section shall be designed in consultation with the commissioner of veterans services.

Acts 2010, ch. 1151, § 8; 2015, ch. 24, § 7; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-329.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 3 of this chapter, concerning cultural plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-30155-4-316 (Acts 1973, ch. 11, §§ 1-7; T.C.A., §§ 59-466—59-471; Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 3-7; 1987, ch. 205, § 1; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 13-18; 1987, ch. 434, §§ 3-9; 1991, ch. 507, § 3; 1992, ch. 738, § 1; 1992, ch. 928, § 1; 1993, ch. 381, § 1; 1994, ch. 578, § 1; 1994, ch. 652, § 1; 1994, ch. 792, § 1; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 15-19; 1994, ch. 930, § 4; 1995, ch. 159, §§ 1-6; 1995, ch. 335, § 3; 1996, ch. 983, §§ 1, 2; 1998, ch. 750, § 1; 1998, ch. 1120, § 4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2010, ch. 1151.

Acts 2015, ch. 24, § 7 provided that the Tennessee Code Commission is requested to change references in Tennessee Code Annotated, as volumes are replaced and supplements are issued, from “veterans’ affairs” and “veterans affairs” to “veterans services” where ever the language appears in reference to the name or commissioner of the Tennessee department of veterans services.

Cross-References. Issuance of special license plates, §§ 55-4-202, 55-4-203.

55-4-269. Tennessee state guard.

  1. An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who is a resident of this state and who is certified as a member in good standing of the Tennessee state guard, upon complying with state motor vehicle laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and paying the regular fee applicable to the motor vehicle and the fee provided for in § 55-4-204, shall be issued a Tennessee state guard special purpose license plate for a motor vehicle authorized by § 55-4-210(c).
  2. The application for the plates shall be accompanied by a written statement from the adjutant general or the commanding officer of the Tennessee state guard certifying the applicant to be a member in good standing of the organization.
  3. The special purpose license plates shall bear the official seal of the Tennessee state guard and shall bear the language “Tennessee State Guard” in an appropriate design. The plates shall be designed in consultation with the adjutant general and the commanding officer of the Tennessee state guard.
    1. Within thirty (30) days of terminating membership in the Tennessee state guard, a motor vehicle owner or lessee to whom a license plate has been issued pursuant to this section shall surrender the plate to the county clerk of the county of the applicant's residence.
    2. The adjutant general or the commanding officer of the Tennessee state guard shall provide biannually to the department the names and addresses of all persons whose membership in the Tennessee state guard has been terminated during such period, together with such other identifying information as the commissioner may require.

Acts 2008, ch. 1165, § 3; 2018, ch. 1023, § 49; T.C.A. § 55-4-270.

Compiler's Notes. Former part 2 of this chapter, concerning special plates, was repealed and reenacted by Acts 1998, ch. 1063, § 1, effective July 1, 1998. The former provisions, excluding those previously repealed by other acts, were §§ 55-4-20155-4-272 and 55-4-275 (Acts 1984, ch. 966, §§ 1, 9; 1985, ch. 56, §§ 1, 2; 1985, ch. 95, § 1; 1985, ch. 402, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 172, §§ 1-5; 1987, ch. 228, §§ 1-11; 1987, ch. 336, §§ 1-3, 5; 1987, ch. 434, § 2; 1988, ch. 575, § 1; 1988, ch. 618, §§ 1, 2; 1988, ch. 687, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 781, §§ 1-3; 1988, ch. 810, §§ 1-4; 1988, ch. 864, §§ 1-4; 1989, ch. 16, §§ 3, 4; 1989, ch. 136, § 1; 1989, ch. 158, § 1; 1989, ch. 501, § 1; 1989, ch. 591, § 6; 1990, ch. 871, § 1; 1990, ch. 897, § 1; 1990, ch. 925, §§ 1-4; 1991, ch. 209, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 244, §§ 1, 2; 1991, ch. 450, §§ 1-3; 1991, ch. 482, §§ 1-12; 1992, ch. 543, §§ 1, 2; 1992, ch. 737, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 846, §§ 1-3; 1992, ch. 1008, §§ 1, 2; 1993, ch. 66, § 72; 1993, ch. 105, §§ 1-4; 1993, ch. 106, § 1; 1993, ch. 128, § 1; 1993, ch. 145, § 1; 1993, ch. 236, §§ 1-6; 1993, ch. 314, § 1; 1993, ch. 446, §§ 1-3; 1993, ch. 529, § 6; 1994, ch. 624, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; 1994, ch. 665, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 879, §§ 1-19; 1994, ch. 930, §§ 1-3; 1994, ch. 959, § 1; 1994, ch. 999, §§ 1-5; 1995, ch. 56, § 1; 1995, ch. 82, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 84, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 122, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 132, § 2; 1995, ch. 173, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 195, § 1; 1995, ch. 199, § 1; 1995, ch. 335, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 399, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 615, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 658, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 672, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 673, §§ 1-3; 1996, ch. 759, § 1; 1996, ch. 854, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 914, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 963, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 965, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 971, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 994, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1024, §§ 1-4; 1996, ch. 1030, §§ 1-5; 1996, ch. 1047, §§ 1-4).

For the Preamble of the act regarding special license plates, please refer to Acts 2008, ch. 1165.

In view of § 55-4-201(d) [now § 55-4-202(d)], former §