Tennessee License Plates


Tennessee License Plates


To operate your vehicle in Tennessee, you must register and obtain plates. The TN Department of Revenue and the county clerk’s office take care of the issuance. This state doesn’t require displaying a front license plate.

In general, there are standard, specialty, disability, and military placards. Moreover, personalization is also available for most of these types. In addition to these, you can also apply for a temporary permit, in case your registration is delayed due to many reasons.

To unveil more info, make sure to check the whole article.

Tennessee License Plates

When you buy a vehicle in the states, it is absolutely mandatory to register it. In this article, we’ll talk about the whole process of registration and obtaining your Tennessee license plates as well as other useful information. So let’s dive in!

How to register your vehicle?

Prior to your application for the TN placards, you need to make sure the car is registered properly. The registration should be done through your local county clerk’s office. Make sure to bring the following paperwork when visiting there:

  • Original title
  • Proof of ID and residency (such as your ID or driver’s license, etc.)
  • Odometer report
  • Payment of fees

There can be other requirements applicable based on many factors. For instance, Davidson County, along with the above-mentioned documents, may also request an emission test and insurance coverage.

While your registration is still in progress or there are delayed problems of issuance, you can get a temporary permit. This is valid only for thirty days and costs $10. To obtain it, you must submit this form.

If you have additional questions regarding the registration process, you should call your local office or the Department of Revenue at 615- 741-3101.


In Tennessee, the DOR handles the plate issuance along with the county clerk’s office. There are numerous options to choose from besides the standard version.
Apart from the typical option, here are the categories to consider when you apply:

  • Vanity
  • Special interest
  • Disabled
  • Military

The application process and requirements for each type vary. That is why, in the next paragraphs, we talk about each classification separately.


Do you want to decide the characters and the design of your placard? If so, then probably, personalization is a good idea for you. However, remember that you have to follow the basic laws and regulations when you present your suggestions.

Therefore, we recommend visiting our banned license page to find out thoroughly which suggestions will get you a rejection from the review committee. In short, these are the basic rules to follow:

  • Use up to 7 characters.
  • Pick a unique combination of numbers and letters.
  • Do not include racist or vulgar connotations.

The customization alone costs $35 plus a $1 service fee. However, there will be other charges as well; such as tax calculation that your county decides. In addition to this, when you personalize special interest tags, you will pay both for customization and the placard fees.


If you want to support the special interests of various organizations or institutions, this classification may be interesting for you. The state offers hundreds of special tags that you may purchase.

The Department of Revenue presents various specialty options including collegiate, environment and conservation, emergency and safety support programs, and more. Find out some examples below:

  • Clubs and Organizations: This type refers to plates that raise awareness about initiatives, foundations, or associations. Among them are “Driving to a Cure-Breast Cancer Awareness”, “American Eagle Foundation”, “Radnor Lake Preservation” and many more.
  • Sports: The category lists many local sports teams or championships such as “Nashville Predators”, “UT Women Basketball Championship”, etc.
  • For Children: Many aid programs for kids are involved in the classification. For instance, “Choose Life” which is available in 33 states including Tennessee advocates an anti-abortion message.


Residents that are disabled permanently or temporarily or hearing impaired can apply for the tags. These types of placards allow qualifying individuals to obtain parking spots where there is that specific sign.

To get this allowance, applicants should have a medical document from the authorized physician. In the form, the doctor should sign and clearly indicate which specification of the condition applies to the patient. To get further details, check out here.

Processing Fees

The cost of plates in Tennessee ranges from $10 to $71. Take a look at the vital charges that may be applicable when registering your car:

  • Registration- varies
  • Custom-made- $36
  • Special- $36
  • Temporary permit- $10
  • Renewal- $26.50
  • Replacement- $3