State Regulations in Tennessee

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Buying a vehicle is considered one of the major investment, whether you are buying a new or used car. Not only does it takes huge chunks of money from your bank, but also requires making wise decisions to prevent future liabilities and regrets.

Purchasing a Vehicle from a Dealer

Although purchasing a vehicle from a dealer can be a bit more expensive than when buying from a private party, doing business with a licensed dealer is the safest and sometimes the fastest way to go. Normally, the dealer is responsible for handling all the required paperwork for registering and titling the vehicle in your name. Before you take your trip to the dealer, conduct some research to determine the price of the vehicle you are buying, its reliability and safety. Don’t fall victim of what is commonly advertised as ‘good deals’. Enter with a plan and be objective on what you want. You can visit the website of the dealer of your choice to get a rough idea of the cars they have in their showrooms. Check to see their quoted price and what you are able to pay. Begin a business relationship with the salesperson and let them know the vehicle you are looking for in terms of price, lifestyle, brand and test.

Used Car Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides guidelines to be followed when buying or selling used vehicles. It has a buyer’s guide that shows the information to be disclosed when completing a transaction. According to some sections of this guide, the information to be disclosed includes the warranty, information about the buyer and vehicle description. The Federal Trade Commission website also gives information about penalties for violating the used car rule. The law also requires sellers to inform buyers of any salvage status of vehicles they are selling. The law also requires sellers to inform the buyer if the vehicle they are selling is a lemon.


Buying a vehicle from a private seller can help you save some money. Normally, their prices are cheap. Also, selling a vehicle to a private buyer allows you to save little cash. You avoid incurring extra amount such as sales tax. Whether you are selling or buying your vehicle, here are some documents that you need to obtain:

  • Bill of sale.
  • Form RV-F1310801 (Odometer Discrepancy Certification).
  • Form RV-F1313801 (Vehicle Information Request).

You can also access the online forms by visiting the Tennessee’s Title and Registration page.

Buying From a private party

If you are purchasing a vehicle from a private party, you must do some research before completing your purchase. Order a vehicle history report for the vehicle you are purchasing. This report contains detailed information about the vehicle’s accident history, damage and repair history, vehicle description and odometer reading. You can also check out the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to check whether the vehicle you intend to purchase has been involved in a serious accident or damage. This report will also help you determine whether the vehicle has a selvage certificate. Ask several questions about the car if you have suspicions. It is also wise to hire a certified mechanic to inspect the vehicle before purchase.

Selling to a private party

If you are selling your vehicle to a private party, it is advised you go with the buyer to the nearest county clerk’s office to complete your transaction there. This ensures that the vehicle ownership is transferred right away to the new owner, preventing additional taxes you may be required to pay if the other processes are followed.

Buying or Selling Without Paperwork

When selling or buying a vehicle, the title must exchange hands. If you are a buyer, don’t purchase a vehicle without a title. If the title is missing, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy and sign it over to you. Without this vital document, you won’t be able to transfer ownership into your name. Registration papers are not required when registering and titling the vehicle. However, you may need this document when verifying the vehicle tags.