Selling a Car in Tennessee

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When selling a car in Tennessee, you’ll need to fill out the required paperwork, sign your title over to the buyer, and pay any applicable fees.
Selling a car privately may seem like a headache, but if you understand the procedures, it’s actually pretty simple. Each state has its own set of rules for transferring legal ownership, and if you don't follow them, you could be held liable for the vehicle even after you’ve given it away.
Thankfully, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry is here to walk you through the process of selling a car in Tennessee.

What you need to sell a car in Tennessee

If you’re looking to sell your car in Tennessee, make sure to check with your county office for the specific requirements in your area.
You’ll then have to organize and gather the necessary documentation, which includes:
  • Certificate of title
  • Maintenance records or vehicle history report (if needed)
  • An odometer disclosure if the vehicle transfer is occurring between 1/1/2021 and 12/31/2030 and the car is newer than model year 2011
A Bill of Sale isn’t required but is always useful to have.
Once the transfer of title is complete, you’ll need to remove your plates and cancel your insurance policy (remember that insurance follows the car, not the driver). 

Getting a pre-sale inspection

A smog certificate or emissions test is not required to sell a vehicle in Tennessee.
That said, you may want to consider getting a safety inspection done so that you and the buyer can have a transparent discussion about any mechanical issues with the car. 
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Documenting the sale

Selling a car in Tennessee is sometimes simpler than buying one. The seller has to fill out the back of the title with the necessary information and sign it.
The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission only regulates licensed, professional sellers in the state, so a Bill of Sale is not required—but it’s definitely in the seller’s best interest to get one!
If you’re a private seller, you can sell up to five vehicles a year titled in your name without needing a sales license.
The exception to this rule is if you are completing a tax-exempt DMV title transfer—for example, if the car is a gift or is being sold to a family member. In such a case, you’ll need to fill out a Non-Dealer Transfer Affidavit (form RV-F1301201).

Signing the title over

To sign the title to the new owner, ensure you have a properly assigned title and Odometer Disclosure Statement (if applicable).
The buyer must bring this documentation to the local county clerk’s office with the following information on the back of the title:
  • Legal name, address, and signature of the buyer and seller
  • Selling price
  • Date of sale
  • Odometer reading
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement, if applicable
If the title has a lien on it, the lienholder must give up their interest in the vehicle before it can be sold. Either the current owner can pay off the loan, or the lienholder can relinquish their claim to the car. 
You can receive a replacement or duplicate Tennessee title if yours is lost, stolen, or badly damaged by filling out form RV-F1315201 and paying $11 to the DMV.

Reporting the sale

Private and unlicensed sellers don’t have to report their sales to any clerk’s office or DMV as long as they sell no more than five vehicles in a year.

Finding affordable car insurance 

When you sell a car, you’ll need to redo your car insurance to find coverage for your new vehicle. With Jerry, finding affordable insurance has never been easier.  
Jerry gathers affordable rates, assists you in switching plans, and will even help you in canceling your old policy. Jerry users save an average of $879 each year on their insurance payments!
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FAQs

Resources such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book can help you figure out what your car is worth so you can determine a fair price based on its make, model, year, and condition.

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