Lien - Noting of Lien

Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 55-3-114, 55-3-122, 55-3-123, 55-3-124, 55-3-125, 55-3-12655-3-127,
and 55-6-101, Public Chapter 462

**Important note: Temporary liens are applied through the Secretary of State. For more information on this topic, please visit


  • A lienor may submit a Multi-purpose, Noting of Lien and Duplicate Title Application for Noting of Lien to the County Clerk’s Office to have their lien noted on an existing title. Most frequently these would be subsequent liens, but they could also be a first lien or a lien after previous liens are discharged. Please note that second or additional lien applications are also submitted to the Clerk's office, but will need to be sent as an incomplete to the State for processing. 


  • The Lienor must submit the following documents to the County Clerk:
    • Multi-purpose, Noting of Lien and Duplicate Title Application completed in it’s entirety
      • The application must show the name and address of the lienholder in the lienholder section and the name and address of the owner in the owner’s section
      • If the certificate of title is in possession of the first lienor, enter the name and address of the first lienor in the space provided on the application. Enter information pertaining to the second lienholder in the space provided for second lienor
    • Current Tennessee Certificate of Title
      • When a second lien is being recorded, the certificate of title is not required. The Division will request the certificate from the first lienor
    • Copy of Lien Instrument/Security Agreement (the agreement between the lienor and borrower). The security agreement must include an exact description of the vehicle, name and address of lender and the owner(s) signature


  • Regardless of the conjunction on the title (“and” or “or”) only one signature of the owner(s) is required on the Multi-purpose, Noting of Lien, and Duplicate Title Application and the Security Agreement.
  • The “and” / “or” distinction is clear for transfer of ownership because the statute specifically states that we must have both signatures for “and” and either for “or”.
  • A borrower can use someone else’s vehicle as collateral as long as the vehicle owner signs the Multi-purpose, Noting of Lien and Duplicate Title Application. In most cases the vehicle owner’s name and signature will appear somewhere within the security agreement, allowing the borrower to use the vehicle as collateral.
  • A lienholder shown on a title may assign title and interest to another lienholder without permission of the registered owner. However, the lienholder must notify the registered owner, in writing by registered mail. The new lienholder may apply for a title showing the registered owner and the new lienholder.
    • If the lien is assigned from one lienor to another, the signature of the applicant is not required.
  • When two liens are recorded and the first lienholder decides to record an extension of the first lien, the lienor must file a Multi-purpose, Noting of Lien and Duplicate Title Application. The certificate of title is surrendered with the word "extension" entered in the space for discharging a lien.
  • A conditional sales contract may not be used as a lien instrument to note a lien; therefore, it can only be used at the time of transfer because the lien is recorded on the back of the existing title. The conditional sales contract/security agreement may be used as a supporting document when a properly recorded lien is assigned to a subsequent lienor.


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