REVISED: 03/31/2020


Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-6-306


When a marriage is legally dissolved through Divorce, the court often divides jointly owned property through a final divorce decree.

If the spouses hold joint ownership to the vehicle, the person awarded the vehicle by the courts must file application for certificate of title and registration in his or her name. This constitutes a transfer of ownership. The system entry will be coded “used” and reflect the current mileage. Note: It does not change if it is a surviving spouse.


When filing application for certificate of title and registration, applicants must provide the following:


  • If a cultural, specialty earmarked or new specialty earmarked plate, memorial plate or special plate was issued, and the spouse is no longer entitled to the plate, the spouse shall deliver the plate to the county clerk, and the county clerk shall issue a regular plate valid for the same period as the plate being surrendered
  • If the spouse fails to relinquish a properly assigned certificate of title to the person awarded the vehicle in the divorce decree, the final divorce decree should be used in lieu of title
  • If the spouse awarded the vehicle through divorce remarries before titling and registering the vehicle in his or her name, he or she must title and register in his or her name only and then re-file through the county clerk's office if he or she desires to add the new spouse
  • When the court makes disposition of the lien, proceed according to the direction given by the court. The lien needs to be shown on the application unless there is a discharge of lien. The Vehicle Services Division will request the surrender of the certificate of title from the lienholder.
  • Vehicles transferred pursuant to a property settlement in a divorce are exempt from sales tax
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