Dealer-related Information in Tennessee

DMV.ORG can't train you to be a Tennessee motor vehicle dealer, but we can help you by giving you some tips and tools. This section, along with our Licensing Requirements and Dealer Forms can get you headed in the right direction.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding motor vehicle dealers and licensing. For more information, refer to the TN Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).

Now that I have my dealer license certificate, what should I do?

Take it to your county clerk's office so it can be recorded. This is also the time you'll get dealer registration license plates.

Where can I get the paper temporary plates?

Along with providing you with paper (drive-out) tags, the Department of Revenue (DOR) Vehicle Services Division will inform you of the correct way to keep records of them. Contact them at (888) 871-3171, or (615) 741-3101 if you reside in Nashville, or write to them at:

  • Department of Revenue
  • Vehicle Services Division
  • 500 Deaderick Street
  • Nashville, TN 37242

Who needs to be licensed at my dealership?

Everyone who purchases or sells the vehicles. Refer to our Dealer Forms section to obtain the appropriate forms and helpful publications.

I'm making some changes to my sales staff. Are there any special steps I should take?

The MVC must be notified within 30 days of any changes in location, address, ownership, or sales reps of a dealership.

I'm closing my dealership. Is there anything I should remember?

Yes. Aside from notifying the MVC, any licensed dealer who closes his or her dealership must submit his or her license certificate to the MVC, and all plates must be returned to the county clerk's office.

When will I need to renew my dealer license?

Be sure to submit required fees and paperwork well before your license expires.

I haven't received my Annual Sales Report yet. What should I do?

You could be penalized for not completing and returning your annual sales report in a timely manner. Also, your county clerk's office won't be able to issue your dealer plates until the report is returned.

Are there any other helpful websites out there?

Of course! Check out the National Automobile Dealers Association as well as the many online reports Tennessee offers.

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