Trailer Tags Required


The Department of Safety does not register Commercial Vehicles nor issue Commercial Vehicle tags. Please visit the Department of Revenue for information on obtaining registration and tags for Commercial Vehicles. The information on this page is provided as a courtesy.

For information on obtaining registration for a homemade trailer or a trailer without a VIN, please see our Homemade Trailer page.

Click access for a free online version of The Tennessee Code. To find a particular statute, enter the statute number (i.e. 39-17-1351) into the search box at the top left of the page and click the 'search' button. That will give you a direct link to the statute you want to read.

T.C.A. 55-4-111. Registration fees — Classification of vehicles — Registration taxes. —

  • (a) (1) In order to facilitate efficient and uniform enforcement of chapters 1-6 of this title, motor vehicles, excepting such motor vehicles as are constructed for the purpose of transporting tangible personal property or other property, and passenger motor vehicles operating for hire, are hereby classified and the respective registration taxes imposed are fixed as follows:

    (2) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the first one dollar ($1.00) of each registration fee imposed by this subsection (a) shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the police pay supplement fund.
  • (b) (1) Upon receipt of an application on a form prescribed by the commissioner, applying for registration and certifying that the motor vehicle for which registration is being applied is an “antique motor vehicle,” the commissioner may issue license plates to owners of antique motor vehicles in accordance with the provisions of part 2 of this chapter. Such license plates shall bear the word “ANTIQUE” in capital letters at the bottom of such plate, and a unique identifying number in the center of the plate. For the purpose of this section, “antique motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle over twenty-five (25) years old with a nonmodified engine and body that is used for participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar uses as a collector's item, and that may be used for general transportation only on Saturday and Sunday.

    (2) Such registration shall be valid so long as title to such vehicle is vested in the applicant, and shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter requiring annual registration.

    (3) Any person violating the provisions of this section, or operating an antique motor vehicle for general transportation purposes on a day other than Saturday or Sunday, shall forfeit the antique motor vehicle registration, shall be liable for the regular registration fee for that vehicle, and shall be barred from applying for or holding antique motor vehicle registration for five (5) years from the date of the violation.

    (4) The owner or lessee of an antique motor vehicle may display the license plates from an era when the manufacture of such vehicle occurred instead of the current license plates; provided, that current license plates are maintained in the vehicle by the owner or lessee and produced for inspection upon the request of any law enforcement officer.
  • (c) There shall be no tax on trailers owned by farmers and used for agricultural purposes or hauling livestock between farm and market, or for trailers used for the transportation of boats, or any other trailer drawn by an automobile or truck, except house trailers and rented trailers as herein defined. This section shall not apply to any trailer used in the furtherance of a business, any personal trailer that is not required to be registered but which the owner desires to be registered nor to truck trailers registered under § 55-4-113.
  • (d) Each person engaged in the business of renting trailers of any description to others for a consideration may register each such trailer, for a period of ten (10) years, and annually pay the registration fee there for; provided, that every owner of automobile utility trailers engaged in the business of leasing such trailers in interstate as well as intrastate commerce shall register with the commissioner that such person is so engaged in the business of leasing such trailers in interstate as well as intrastate commerce, and shall furnish proof to the commissioner that such a person has registered, in the state of Tennessee, a number of trailers equal to the average number of automobile utility trailers operated by such person during the preceding licensing year in and through this state. Thereafter, all such trailers properly identified as belonging to such registered person and licensed in any state, territory, province, country or the District of Columbia shall be permitted to operate in this state on an interstate and intrastate basis. For the purpose of interstate and intrastate reciprocal provisions of this chapter, such utility trailers shall be classified the same as private passenger automobiles and extended the same privileges. The burden of submitting verifiable data as to the average number of trailers operating during the preceding licensing year in and throughout this state shall be on the trailer owner. The commissioner's determination in and through the state during the preceding licensing year shall be final.
  • (e) Only one (1) registration plate shall be issued for trailers.
  • (f) For the purposes of this section, “mobile home” or “house trailer” is a trailer or semitrailer which is designed, constructed and equipped as a dwelling place, living abode or sleeping place (either permanently or temporarily), and is equipped for use as a conveyance on streets and highways, or whose chassis and exterior shell are designed and constructed for use as a house trailer, but which is used instead for the advertising, sales, display or promotion of merchandise or services, or for any other commercial purpose except the transportation of property for hire or for distribution by a private carrier.

[Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 83 (Williams, § 5538.183); Acts 1953, ch. 167, § 17; 1955, ch. 10, § 1; 1955, ch. 52, §§ 6, 7; 1957, ch. 250, § 1; 1957, ch. 388, § 1; 1961, ch. 336, § 1; 1963, ch. 143, § 7; 1963, ch. 145, §§ 1, 3; 1965, ch. 48, § 1; 1965, ch. 269, § 1; 1965, ch. 283, § 1; 1967, ch. 218, § 1; 1973, ch. 234, § 4; 1974, ch. 735, § 1; 1978, ch. 786, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-421; Acts 1984, ch. 966, § 10; 1985, ch. 283, § 2; 1985, ch. 402, § 6; 1985, ch. 461, § 1; 1986, ch. 804, § 8; 1987, ch. 446, § 8; 1988, ch. 816, § 1; 1991, ch. 13, § 1; 1994, ch. 603, § 1; 1994, ch. 662, § 1; 1995, ch. 282, § 1; 1999, ch. 98, §§ 1, 2; 2001, ch. 4, § 1; 2002, ch. 620, § 1; 2002, ch. 747, § 4; 2002, ch. 856, § 8a; 2006, ch. 910, §§ 1, 2.]