Green Driver State Incentives in Tennessee
Tennessee entices its drivers to go green with a handful of time- and money-saving green driver incentives. These include emissions test exemptions for electric cars, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane anytime-access for hybrids, federal tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), and auto insurance discounts for fuel-efficient vehicles.
These eco-friendly incentives an related green vehicle laws are subject to change. Keep pace by also periodically consulting your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DOR) branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Tennessee exempts electric vehicles (EVs) from emissions tests as a requirement of TN vehicle registration. However, alternative fuel vehicles capable of running on gasoline, such as hybrids, still must undergo an emissions test.
Keep in mind that Tennessee only requires emissions testing in the following counties:
Additionally, only gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles within the above counties, and bearing a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,500 lbs or less, require testing. Learn more about Tennessee's Vehicle Inspection Program, and check out our page on smog and emissions checks.
Find a nearby emissions check station using the locator widget at the bottom of this page if your vehicles requires an emissions test.
Drivers of qualified hybrid vehicles displaying a Smart Pass decal may use Tennessee’s high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes at any time. Keep in mind the decal exempts you from the passenger minimum, but is not valid beyond TN's state lines.
You have three ways to apply for the decal through the Department of Revenue after downloading and completing the Smart Pass Application:
- By e-mail: Check the DOR’s Smart Pass page for the current e-mail address.
- By fax: (615) 253-4260
- By mail:
Department of Revenue
Vehicle Services Division
44 Vantage Way, Suite 160
Nashville, TN 37243
Once you receive your free Smart Pass decal, place it on the outside of your rear vehicle window in the lower-right corner (passenger side).
Check the FAQs or call (615) 741-3101 (in Nashville or out of state) or (888) 871-3171 if you have questions.
Though Tennessee does not offer any local tax incentives for individual drivers at this time, you might be eligible for a federal tax break for purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle. The government offers federal tax credits to owners of the following eco-friendly cars:
- Electric cars (EV).
- Plug-in hybrids (PHEV).
- Alternative fuel vehicles (AFV).
To find out if you're eligible to save even more money, check out fueleconomy.gov.
If you have tax incentive-related questions, consider contacting a tax professional and/or your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center when it comes time to file.
Get a break on what you pay for your car insurance for having green driving habits and/or driving a fuel-efficient vehicle. Consult your car insurance company about potential green vehicle auto insurance discounts such as:
- Hybrid auto discounts.
- Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) discounts.
- Economy car discounts.
- Low-mileage discounts.
- Pay-as-you-drive discounts.
Understand that not all auto insurance providers offer the same discounts. Plus, your specific circumstances might also affect how much you save. For example, you might receive a 10% discount on car insurance for owning or leasing a hybrid car, while maintaining low mileage can earn you up to a 30% auto insurance discount.
If your current TN auto insurance carrier doesn't reward eco-friendly driving, find one that does. Compare auto insurance rates online and save some green for going green.
Locate the closest TN smog and emissions testing station with the widget below: