Tennessee License Plate Lookup

Check any Tennessee License Plate for vehicle history records

Thinking of moving to Tennessee, the Volunteer State? The state's Department of Revenue oversees all vehicle registration and license plate applications via its Vehicle Services Division. You'll need to visit the local county clerk's office to complete the titling and registration processes.

If you plan to buy an affordable used car once you've moved in, perform a license plate lookup and get a vehicle history report. You'll find everything you need to know about it, from odometer readings and accident records to technical specifications and more.

Use our free license plate lookup tool to get up-to-date information on the vehicle of choice in a split second. Type your license plate number in the search field, choose the state the vehicle was registered in, and the results will be displayed in a few moments.

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    In Case You Didn't Know 🚗

    Tennessee is a major hub for automotive manufacturing in the United States. The state is home to large production facilities for several major car manufacturers, including Nissan, General Motors, and Volkswagen. In fact, the Nissan plant in Smyrna is one of the largest automotive manufacturing plants in North America, producing hundreds of thousands of vehicles each year. This strong automotive presence has earned Tennessee a reputation as a key player in the U.S. auto industry.

    Finding your Tennessee License Plate Number

    Tennessee is one of the few states where rear license plates only need to be displayed. If you aren't currently with your car, you can refer to any documentation related to your registration, such as the certificate of vehicle registration.

    Tennessee certificate of vehicle registration

    How Do I Get a Tennessee License Plate?

    Both processes can be done at the county clerk's office. You'll need to provide the following during the registration process:

    • Proof of identification and residency
    • Most current out-of-state registration
    • Out-of-state title, if applicable
    • Lienholder information, if applicable
    • The name and address of the company "where you are sending car payments," if applicable

    For current residents, you need to furnish the following to the county clerk's office:

    • Proof of identification and residency
    • Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO)
    • New vehicle invoice, if applicable
    • A valid certificate of title for used cars
    • Odometer disclosure statement
    • Payment of all relevant fees

    Temporary tags are only available to "vehicle owners experiencing title problems."

    Tennessee also requires that all drivers must have an "auto liability insurance policy." Not having one or any other form of financial responsibility can lead to hefty fines or even imprisonment.

    Additional information can be found on the Tennessee Department of Revenue's official website.

    What License Plates Can You Apply For?

    Standard Plates: These plates consist of 7 characters, typically following the format AAA 0000. The county where the car is registered is indicated at the bottom of the plate.

    Vanity Plates: Personalized plates that can have up to 7 alphanumeric characters. The length may vary based on the plate design. Special characters and offensive combinations are not permitted.

    Military Plates: Issued to active-duty or retired military personnel from any US military branch. This includes plates for recipients of medals and honors, such as the Medal of Honor.

    Disabled Plates are isssued to individuals who:

    • Are confined to a wheelchair
    • Walk with difficulty or uncertainty
    • Have vision of 20/200 or worse with corrective lenses
    • Are parents or legal guardians of a person who is permanently disabled and unable to operate a motor vehicle

    Temporary disabled placards are also available for those with temporary disabilities and are valid for up to six months.

    Specialty Plates: These plates are for those who want to show support for certain organizations, groups, interests, or charities. Options include:

    • Collegiate plates
    • Organization/association plates
    • Environment and conservation plates
    • Antique plates
    • Volunteer organizations/professions
    • Awareness programs
    • Sports teams/events

    You can view all associated fees for these plates here.

    Benefits of the License Plate Lookup Report

    A license plate lookup provides you with relevant data on the vehicle you intend to purchase or have already purchased. You'll be able to review the following information:

    Accident reports: Lists any accidents the car may have been involved in at any time. If it was a significant accident, you should have an independent check performed on the vehicle. You might find damage that wasn't repaired which could affect the vehicle's performance.

    Previous owners: Get some information on the vehicle's previous owners and the duration in which they owned the vehicle for. The report can give you up-to-date information for both of those queries, but doesn't disclose any private or personal information of these owners.

    Market value: The license plate report will reveal the actual market price of the vehicle you're looking at. You'll be able to find out if you're being under- or overcharged for a used car.

    Vehicle specifications: Provides you with all the information you need about the vehicle’s make, year of manufacture, its model and more. Having all the relevant information at hand will help you with making a more informed decision.

    Flood records: Informs you of any history of damage from floods. If you find the vehicle was damaged by floods, you need to find out how much potential damage the vehicle may have undergone and what repairs were made to restore its condition.

    Lien Records: Provides information on whether the car has been used in a lease, as collateral for a debt, as a rental car unit, etc. There have been cases where cars with an existing lien were sold to unknowing buyers. These buyers end up having to repay the lien, even if it wasn't their fault.

    Odometer records: The report will provide detailed odometer records of a vehicle, allowing you to look for signs of odometer tampering. This fraudulent activity deceives buyers into thinking the vehicle has been driven for less than it actually has.

    Junk/salvage title check: If a car is severely damaged in an accident or has been scrapped for parts, an insurance company might write it off as a ‘total loss.' It would mean repairing the car will be very costly, on top of it being in no condition to operate on the road.

    What's the Big Deal with the Lookup Report?

    Automotive fraud and motor vehicle theft are still significant crimes that occur on a daily basis. Consumers need to be aware of the possibility that a used car deal could be a scam in disguise, especially if it's too good to be true. The vehicle lookup report provides you with a comprehensive list of data pertaining to its use and condition. Knowing this beforehand ensures you make smart decisions when looking for a used car to buy.

    Most used car dealers will provide a free vehicle history report to interest consumers to any of their available used cars. While it's convenient, some shady dealers might use this as an opportunity to give away false reports and lull potential buyers into a false sense of security. In the end, they may end up buying a very problematic lemon vehicle, costing them significantly over time.

    A license plate lookup could also come in handy in the event of a hit and run, or even for suspected motor vehicle thefts. All it takes is a quick check and you'll be able to notify the authorities about suspected automotive criminals trying to make money off of others' misery.

    VinFreeCheck offers you a free and reliable license plate lookup service with data directly taken from reliable and trustworthy sources. Our databases are linked to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to ensure you receive the latest updates for the vehicle you're looking at.

    Am I Allowed to Lookup License Plates Freely?

    Yes, you are. VinFreeCheck is in compliance to the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act's (DPPA); the act prevents any unlawful disclosure of private or personal information of any car owners. Only details on how a car is used and its current condition will be shared. Additionally, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) grants individuals the right to access information collected by the government.

    With all data sourced from NMVTIS and many other reputable sources, you can confidently run a lookup check on that used car you've been keen on purchasing.

    State Based Informational Guides

    We have compiled a list of state specific guides for you. Feel free to check them out.

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