Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 39-14-601, 55-2-105 and 106, 55-3-111, 55-21-109,
55-25-101 to 112, 66-14-102(b), 67-1-107, 1703 to 1711
Title XXX of Public Law 103-322
Titles 15 U.S.C. Sections 2721 et seq., and 7006(5), and Title 18 U.S.C. Section
2721 to 2725 et seq.
“Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)” is a federal law effective June 1, 2000,
prohibiting the release of personal information from motor vehicle records without the
express consent of the person to whom the information pertains.
“Vehicle Information Request (VIR)” is a form processed by the Department
authorizing a party’s request for information found in motor vehicle records.
“Personal information” includes name and address information (mailing and
residence) of any individual on the record.
Requesting parties authorized to receive information:
A. Any government agency or a person acting on behalf of a government agency at
the local, state or federal level for the purpose of carrying out its function.
B. A person that has a signed release from all individuals named in the record. This
includes a release from lienholders, if the lienholder(s) is an individual, as well as
all owners in the record. The Division may not provide names and addresses
from the record for the purpose of contacting individuals to get the releases.
1) For use in connection with a civil, criminal, administrative, or arbitration
proceeding in a court or government agency or before a self-regulatory body,
including process service and the execution or enforcement of a judgment or
2) For use in research activities, or in producing statistical reports, provided the
personal information is not published, disclosed to a third party, or used to
contact an individual;
3) For use by an insurer or insurance support organization, or by a self-insured
entity, or an agent, employee, or contractor of an insurer, in connection with
claims investigation activities, anti-fraud activities, rating, or underwriting;
4) For use in providing notice to the owners of towed, abandoned or impounded
5) For use in connection with the operation of private toll transportation facilities.
C. Personal information may be verified and/or corrected if a person provides proof
of identity and signs Form 851 stating that the record will only be limited to one or
more of the uses shown below.
The person requesting verification of personal information must provide a copy of
the information provided by the record holder. If the information is not correct,
write the correct information on the customer's document. Do NOT provide a
For use in the normal course of business by a legitimate business or an agent,
employee, or contractor of the business; only for the following reasons:
1) To verify the accuracy of personal information submitted by an individual to
the business or an agent, employee or contractor of the business; and
2) If the information is not correct, to obtain the correct information, but only for
the purposes of preventing fraud by pursuing legal remedies against, or
recovering on a debt or security interest against, an individual.
Anyone requesting information must:
• complete the VIR form in its entirety, including
o The subject of the information requested (person, VIN, plate, etc.)
o The requestor’s contact information
o The level of search requested
o The certification to comply with DPPA guidelines, which includes
o The requestor’s signature
o The requestor’s driver’s license number and state
• Fees are assessed for the search of records, not for the resulting documents
• Submitting a request does not guarantee authorization to receive the information
• If the VIR is rejected, for any reason, it is the requestor’s responsibility to provide
any and all required information and/or proof for the request to be reconsidered.
• The department is required by law to maintain motor vehicle records for five (5)
County clerks can only release information to an owner or registrant for the portion of the vehicle record pertaining to that owner or registrant. Any information beyond that must be requested on a VIR form.
LAW ENFORCEMENT REQUESTS:
Law enforcement requests for information are often
• Time sensitive
• Receive by telephone, fax, and email or in person at the County Clerk’s Office
and may involve multiple records
Law enforcement requests are processed in the following manner:
1) Always given top priority
2) Accompanied by a completed VIR, if time permits. If necessary, designated staff may
complete the VIR.
3) On rare occasion, officers in the field, who have a critical or immediate need for the
information, may receive information without completing the VIR. The VIR shall be
completed after the fact.
4) To save time, law enforcement agencies should be encouraged to provide a list of
officers/agents who request information to the county clerk, including work, cell and fax
numbers, email and postal mail addresses.
5) In situations described in #4 and #5 above, great care must be exercised to ensure the
person to whom they provide such information is in fact the law enforcement officer or
agency. In these instances, Clerks shall require:
b) The requested information shall be telephoned, faced or emailed to numbers or
email addresses recognized as associated with the law enforcement agency,
c) In no case should information be provided in response to a random request when
the designated staff is not reasonably certain the request is coming from a bona fide
law enforcement officer or agency.
6) Law enforcement may request and be provided with a copy of any form or document
required to be signed.
7) County Clerks providing information will retain a copy of the VIR submitted by law
enforcement and forward the original copy to the Tennessee Department of Revenue,
Vehicle Services Division, 44 Vantage Way, Suite 160, Nashville, TN 37243-8050
8) If copies of filed VIRs are requested, they are maintained by the State in alphabetical
order by the requesting officer or agency to whom the information was released.
9) If law enforcement has completed a VIR and the form is on file with the County Clerk’s
Office and the Department’s Vehicle Services Division, future requests for information
may be processed without filing a new VIR.
Special Note: Licensed out of state towing companies must complete the VIR form, in
order to obtain a vehicle’s current owner and lienholder information. Tennessee
licensed towing firms must file a VIR form only when the original intent to tow was
strictly for repairs and not as a result of a request to tow by law enforcement. In those
cases it is defined as an Abandoned Vehicle.