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May 26, 2016

Tennessee Vehicle Identification Numbers
How do I find a motor vehicle history in Tennessee?

In the state of Tennessee, there is a website called the “Interactive Vehicle, Title, and Registration” (IVTR) which allows you to search for vehicles which are registered in the state of Tennessee. This site requires that you be a member and that you abide by the rules of the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 2000 (DPA). There is also the Tennessee Department of Revenue Taxpayer and Vehicle Services Division which has a “Vehicle Information Request” form. This form is similar to those in other states in that you must either be the person whose information you are requesting or must have the permission of that person. These forms can be mailed to the:

Tennessee Department of Revenue

Special Investigation Section

44 Vantage Way

Suite 160

Nashville, TN 37243-8050

In 2017, the Tennessee Department of Revenue launched an insurance verification system to promote compliance with the state’s Financial Responsibility Law. This program will ensure that the VIN is correct on registration and insurance documents and more information can be found online.

The Tennessee County Clerk’s Website has a list of forms and information on both titling and registering vehicles. These include:

  • Application for Motor Vehicle Identification Certification;
  • Application for Noting of Lien
  • Application for Tennessee Salvage Certificate;
  • Certificate of Ownership Application – these applications are different because they are examined more stringently due to their potential for fraud. Most requests are rejected due to improper documentation or circumstances that make them believe that fraud is evident;
  • Discharge of Lien;
  • Leased Vehicle Authorization;
  • Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale;
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement;
  • Odometer Discrepancy Statement;
  • Power of Attorney for Vehicle Transfers
  • Request for Verification of Ownership on Vehicles Found Abandoned, Immobile, or Unattended;
  • Surety Bond Application; and
  • Vehicle Information Request.

While you may be able to get information from the state of Tennessee regarding a motor vehicle history, that information is subject to strict Federal penalty laws and will usually only be able to tell you information on the current title, such as:

  • Records about any title changes;
  • Facts about theft or full damage;
  • Reports about road accidents;
  • Any repairs that were registered; and
  • Other facts that were registered by DMV offices.

There are other widely used databases which are very helpful when it comes to researching the motor vehicle history of a vehicle. One of these is the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, which is a database for cars that have been in the possession of auto recyclers, junk yards, and salvage yards. Places like this are often easy prey for thieves to steal VIN numbers from cars which have been destroyed. Therefore, they are more heavily regulated by the government and the data to be reported is mandated, including:

  • The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity;
  • The VIN;
  • The date the automobile was obtained;
  • The name of the person or entity from whom the automobile was obtained;
  • A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, or offered for sale or other purposes; and
  • Whether the vehicle is to be exported out of the country.

The public doesn’t have access to the NMVTIS database, but they contract with other providers so that you can get the same information. Although none is specifically endorsed by the state of Tennessee, there are many places on the Internet to get a full National Motor Vehicle Title Information System report:

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is another free database and they recommend VINcheck as a way to check a VIN number. VINcheck will tell you if a car has been reported stolen and has not been recovered.

Finally, there is instaVIN®, which provides the most up-to-date vehicle records that you can either download or you can get by visiting your local DMV. Your instaVIN® vehicle history and title report should include the following information:

  • Current State of Title Information;
  • Historical Title Information;
  • Disclosure of Brand History on Title:
    • Flood;
    • Salvage;
    • Odometer Rollback
    • 61 Possible Problem Events.
  • Odometer Information – when a car registration is performed in Tennessee an odometer reading is taken. A vehicle history report includes this reading;
  • Information on Previous Accidents – an LA vehicle history check contains accident-related information. If a vehicle has been in an accident it may affect the life and/or the safety of a vehicle;
  • Open Lien/Loan Information Including: Issuing Financial Institution – if there are any liens or loans against the vehicle then upon purchasing the car you assume the responsibility for those liens. In some states, debts such as child support can also be tied to the car, therefore, it is imperative that you make sure there are no outstanding liens against the car that you are purchasing;
  • Impound & Towing Events; and
  • Active Theft Data.

Interactive Vehicle, Title, and Registration (IVTR)

Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 2000 (DPPA)

Driver’s Privacy Protection Act

Vehicle Information Request

Financial Responsibility Law article:

State will check auto VIN numbers to verify insurance

www.driveinsuredTN.com

Tennessee County Clerk

Application for Motor Vehicle Identification Certification

Application for Noting of Lien

Application for Tennessee Salvage Certificate

Certificate of Ownership Application

Discharge of Lien

Leased Vehicle Authorization

Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale

Odometer Disclosure Statement

Odometer Discrepancy Certification

Power of Attorney for Vehicle Transactions

Request for Verification of Ownership on Vehicles Found Abandoned, Immobile, or Unattended

Surety Bond Application

Vehicle Information Request

National Title Motor Vehicle Information System

Lemon Law in Tennessee

The Tennessee Lemon Law can be found in the Tenn. Code Ann. 55-24-101 through 5-24-112. It was designed to protect consumers from falling victim to faulty vehicles and to protect buyers who purchase or lease new or used vehicles which have substantial defects and/or are unsafe to be driven. It covers a passenger motor vehicle and motorcycle that is sold in Tennessee and is subject to registration and title in Tennessee or any other state.

It does NOT cover vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, garden tractors, off-road vehicles, nor does it cover motor homes which are used as a dwelling place or recreational vehicles.

The lemon law in Tennessee covers the following consumers:

  1. The buyer, other than for purposes of resale, of a motor vehicle;
  2. Any person to whom the motor vehicle is transferred during the duration of an express warranty which is applicable to the vehicle;
  3. Any other person who is entitled by the terms of the warranty to enforce its obligations.

Although the lemon law will cover a subsequent transferee, it does not cover any governmental entity or any business or commercial entity which registers three (3) or more vehicles.

The Tennessee lemon law covers any defect or condition that substantially impairs the use and the market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer. In Tennessee, “substantially impair” means to render a vehicle unreliable or unsafe for normal operation or to reduce its resale value below the average resale value for comparable vehicles.” Defects such as this are known as nonconformities. Be aware that the lemon law provides manufacturers with a defense if it can be shown that any nonconformity is due to abuse, neglect, an accident, or unauthorized modifications or alterations of the motor vehicle by a consumer who did not use the manufacturer’s agent or authorized dealer.

The lemon law in Tennessee defines the “term of protection” to mean the term of applicable express warranties or the period of one (1) year following the date of the original delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer, whichever comes first.

If the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer is unable to repair or correct any nonconformity after a reasonable number of repair attempts, then the manufacturer must either replace or repurchase said vehicle.

The Attorney General for the state of Tennessee defines a lemon to be a new vehicle with a defect that is significant enough to severely impair its use or market value. By the definition of the Attorney General of Tennessee, if your car fits the definition of a lemon and has:

  • Been through three (3) unsuccessful repair attempts; OR
  • Out of service for thirty (30) cumulative calendar days due to reasons of repair.

If this is the case with your vehicle then you have a possible lemon law case. You must send written notice to the manufacturer (certified mail with return receipt requested.) If you are unable to find the address of the manufacturer you can mail the notification to an authorized dealer who will then forward it to the manufacturer. Without the written notification, there is no lemon law claim. The written notification to the manufacturer allows them one more opportunity, not to exceed ten (10) days, to cure or repair the alleged defect or nonconformity.

If a manufacturer has established or participates in an informal dispute settlement procedure which complies with 16 C.F.R. Part 703 and the manufacturer causes the consumer to be notified of the procedure, then the manufacturer has no obligation to repurchase or replace unless the consumer has first gone through an informal dispute settlement procedure.

In most states the Arbitration or Informal Dispute Resolution Process is handled by the Better Business Bureau. In Tennessee, the following manufacturers have an Informal Dispute Resolution with the following manufacturers:

  • Audi, Bentley, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC Truck, Hyundai, Indian Motorcycle, Infiniti, Kia, Land Rover, Lincoln, Lotus, Mazda, Mercury, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, smart USA, and Volkswagen.

If the Arbitrators agree with the consumer then the matter is considered finished and the manufacturer is required to either give the consumer a vehicle of comparable value (usually the same model and features) or give the consumer a refund. If the manufacturer prevails, then the consumer has the option of taking the manufacturer to court for a second chance at winning the case.

If you would like to file a complaint then you can contact the Office of Consumer Affairs, or contact the Attorney General of Tennessee:

Attorney General & Reporter

Herbert H. Slatery III

P.O. Box 20207

Nashville, TN 37202

Tennessee Department of Revenue “What is the Lemon Law?”

Better Business Bureau Tennessee Summary

List of the Better Business Bureaus in Tennessee

Complaint Form for the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance

Complaint Form for the Attorney General of Tennesse

State of Tennessee Office of Consumer Affairs

When is it time to hire a Lemon Law Attorney?

Although the lemon laws appear to be clear, the procedures and timelines can get confusing. When you are dealing with corporations and manufacturers it is beneficial to have an attorney on your side. You are dealing with professional negotiators and many find it helpful to have an attorney or a professional on your side.

Lemon Law lawyers are also helpful because:

  • Knowledge of the law – Experienced lemon law lawyers not only know they law, but they can also make educated decisions about your case;
  • Experience – Attorneys who have experience with lemon law cases in the past will be able to handle your case better;
  • Negotiating Power – Although it sounds unfair, having an attorney will help the process go faster and smoother and will help compel the manufacturer to comply; and
  • Trusted Advice – your attorney can provide you with advice and can provide you the best ways to move forward.

To search for an attorney in Tennessee you can always search the Tennessee State Bar Association for a reputable attorney to handle your case.

Tennessee State Bar Association: Finding an Attorney

Tennessee Bar Association Member Search

Tennessee Titling & Registration
Department of Motor Vehicles
44 Vantage Way #160
1 615-741-3101

Drivers License Station
Department of Motor Vehicles
100 Benchmark Pl
1 731-423-6622

Department of Safety & Homeland Security
Department of Motor Vehicles
4110 Thornton Taylor Pkwy
1 931-438-1915

Tennessee Driver Testing Center
Department of Motor Vehicles
3200 E Shelby Dr
1 901-367-3639

The Centennial Driver Services Center
Driver’s License Office
5216 Hickory Hollow Pkwy
1 615-770-5701

Tennessee DMV
Department of Motor Vehicles
1220 Graduate Dr
1 865-429-7016

Tennessee State Government
Department of Motor Vehicles
704 N Charles G Seivers Blvd
1 865-457-3958

Oakland DMV
Department of Motor Vehicles
160 Beau Tisdale Dr
1 901-465-6576

Tennessee Driver Testing Center
Driver’s License Office
6340 Summer Ave
1 901-543-7920

Tennessee State Government: Drivers License Testing Center
Driver’s License Office
855 N Blue Jay Way
1 615-230-2995

Drivers Service Center
Department of Public Safety
150 Plaza Cir
1 423-744-2812

Knox County DMV
Driver’s License Office
1028 Old Cedar Bluff Rd
1 865-215-8500

Bonny Oaks Driver Services Center
Driver’s License Office
6502 Bonny Oaks Dr
1 866-849-3548

Driver License Testing Center
Driver’s License Office
1035 Samsonite Blvd
1 615-898-8036

Driver’s License Department
Department of Motor Vehicles
4717 Lake Park Dr
1 423-926-4911

Drivers License Center
Department of Motor Vehicles
318 Home Ave
1 865-981-2359

Driver License Testing Center
Department of Motor Vehicles
136 Dooley St
1 931-484-1360

Driver License Testing
Driver’s License Office
4600 S Jefferson Ave
1 931-528-5669

Morristown Driver Services Center
Department of Motor Vehicles
2567 Buffalo Trail
1 423-587-7044

Safety Department-Drivers License
Department of Motor Vehicles
114 W Christi Dr
1 615-441-6218

Drivers License Department
Department of Motor Vehicles
1304 Railroad Ave
1 931-680-2540

Department of Safety
Department of Public Safety
301 James Asbury Dr NW
1 423-478-0346

Knoxville/Strawberry Plains Driver Services Center
Government Office
7320 Region Ln
1 865-594-6399

Drivers License Center
Department of Motor Vehicles
8598 TN-22
1 866-849-3548

Department of Motor Vehicles – Memphis Reinstatement
Department of Motor Vehicles
Hickory Ridge Mall
3200 E Shelby Dr
1 901-367-3639

Polk County DMV
Department of Motor Vehicles
6239 US-411 #102
1 423-338-4526

Carroll County Clerk
Department of Motor Vehicles
625 High St #103
1 731-986-1960

Clarksville Driver Services Center
Driver’s License Office
220 W Dunbar Cave Rd
1 931-648-5596

Department of Motor Vehicles
2211 TN-5
1 731-855-7826

McMinnville Driver Services Center
Department of Transportation
594 Vervilla Rd
1 931-668-9304

Cumberland County Clerk
Department of Motor Vehicles
2 N Main St #206
1 931-484-6442

Franklin Driver Services Center
Department of Public Safety
3830 Carothers Pkwy
1 615-790-5515

DMV Elizabethton
Department of Motor Vehicles
206 Cherokee Park Dr
1 423-547-5886

Whiteville DOS Driver License Station
Driver’s License Office
200 Harris Street
1 731-254-2253

Drivers License Station
Driver’s License Office
1120 Tyson Ave
1 731-641-8863

Lebanon Driver Services Center
Driver’s License Office
204 Maddox-Simpson Pkwy
1 615-443-2757

Williamson County Clerk
County Government Office
1320 W Main St #135
1 615-790-5712

County Clerk
Department of Motor Vehicles
1 W Bockman Way # 115
1 931-836-3712

County Clerk
Department of Motor Vehicles
200 E Main St #2
1 615-374-2906

Clarksville Vehicle Registration
Department of Motor Vehicles
350 Pageant Ln #502
1 931-648-5711

Driver Services Center
Government
4873 Dayton Blvd
1 423-875-4896

Tullahoma Driver Services Center
Driver’s License Office
307 Industrial Blvd
1 931-461-7850

Hamblen County Mall Office
County Government Office
2550 E Morris Blvd Suite 19
1 423-318-1536

Hancock County Clerk
Department of Motor Vehicles
418 Harrison St #96
1 423-733-2519

Monroe County: County Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
103 College St S #1
1 423-442-2220

Decatur County Chancery Clerk
Department of Motor Vehicles
22 Main St
1 731-852-3417

Sequatchie County Clerk
County Government Office
22 Cherry St
1 423-949-2522

Marshall County Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
1107 Courthouse Annex
1 931-359-1072

Rutherford County Clerk Office
City Clerk’s Office
205 I St
1 615-459-9692

Davidson County Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
700 2nd Ave S
1 615-862-6251

Henderson County License
Department of Motor Vehicles
17 Monroe St #2
1 731-968-2856

Sumner County Clerk MV Services
County Government Office
114 Dunn St
1 615-452-4063

Department of Safety
Department of Motor Vehicles
1210 Hal Henard Rd
1 423-638-3285

Knox County Drivers License
Department of Motor Vehicles
300 W Main St #219
1 865-215-2695

Greeneville/Greene County Driver License Reinstatement Center
Driver’s License Office
1210 Hal Henard Rd
1 423-638-3285

Knox County Government: Driver’s License
Department of Motor Vehicles
7028 Maynardville Pike
1 865-922-5210

Rockwood Driver Services Center
Driver’s License Office
1070 N Gateway Ave
1 865-717-7609

Wilson County Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
65 E Hill Dr
1 615-754-5025

Knox County Clerk
Department of Motor Vehicles
3010 S Mall Rd
1 865-215-2385

Crockett County Clerk
County Government Office
1 S Bells St #1
1 731-696-5452

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