The Jefferson County Clerk’s office provides numerous services for the citizens of Jefferson County such as automobile renewals, notary public applications, marriage applications, and issuance of business tax/licenses.
What do I need to register a vehicle in Jefferson County?
The title (and a bill of sale if the vehicle is new) to the vehicle in question. If you are moving from another state where the lienholder possesses the title, then you must provide us with current registration for your vehicle and the lienholder’s address where the title is being held.
If I have a current driver’s license in another state what do I need to get a driver’s license in Jefferson County?
How do I obtain a Jefferson County Business License?
You must fill out an application for a business license and remit a fee of $15.
What is a wheel tax?
The wheel tax is a decal which is sold by the clerk’s office along with automobile and motorcycle registrations and must be displayed on your license plate.
How much is it to renew license plates in Jefferson County?
The fee to renew a regular registration is $79.00. A motorcycle registration costs $52.00 to renew and specialty plates are $115.00.
What do I need to register a boat that I have purchased?
If the boat was previously registered in Tennessee you will need the registration card from TWRA and a bill of sale. Out-of-state boats require either the registration card and a bill of sale or the title and bill of sale. If you already have the boat registered in another state, you must show proof that sales tax was collected on the purchase and you may be required to pay additional taxes to Tennessee Dept. of Revenue.
How do I obtain a marriage license and what are the fees?
Both parties must be present to obtain a marriage license and must provide either a certified birth certificate or state-issued identification/driver’s license and a social security card. The cost for a marriage license is $100.00 unless you have completed four hours of premarital counseling and have the form completed by the counselor, in which the fee is reduced to $40.00.
Where can I get hunting and fishing licenses in Jefferson County?
The Jefferson County Clerk can process most hunting and fishing license except for lifetime sportsman license and other miscellaneous licenses. Also, the Clerk can renew boat registrations for those who receive a renewal notice from TWRA.
If I move from one county to another what documents do I need to change?
You have ten days to change the address on your Tennessee driver’s license. This can be done either through the state website or at any driver’s license station. Also, you should change the address on your vehicle registration and purchase a Jefferson County wheel tax.
How do I become a Notary Public?
First, submit an application for notary public with a fee of $14, then the County Commission votes to approve your application. Once you have been approved, the Secretary of State issues you a commission to become a notary. Once we have received this commission you are notified to surrender a bond from an insurance company or from personal sureties.
Does the county clerk process passport applications?
The Jefferson County Clerk is an agent for the State Department’s Passport office. To apply for a passport, you must submit an application in black ink only and provide a certified birth certificate, a 2X2 passport quality photos, and a driver’s license. The fee, paid to the US Department of State for applicants who are 16 years+ is $110, and the fee for younger than 16 is $180. The fee paid to the County Clerk is #35.
How do I calculate the sales tax on a new or used vehicle purchase?
Driver’s Licenses Information
The Jefferson County Clerk’s office is contracted with the State of Tennessee Department of Safety to renew and replace Tennessee State Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards, as well as renew Handgun Carry Permits. As an express location we are unable to do any driver’s testing, driver’s license transfers from other states (new residents or returning residents), renew any Tennessee Commercial Driver’s License, reinstate driver’s license, issue new identification cards, concealed carry permits, or print a driving record. Also, as a part of our contract, we are required to charge an additional $4.00 processing fee on all transactions. Renewals and reinstatement information.
Residents wishing to renew their driver’s license or identification cards must submit their renewal notice and their current license or ID. You will be required to complete an application provided by the state in the event you did not receive a notice from the state to renew.
If your driver’s license is lost or stolen you may apply for and receive a duplicate license at the Jefferson County Clerk’s office. You will need to bring a form of identification when applying for the duplicate (e.g. a birth certificate, social security card, or work/school ID card). Also, if you are a Tennessee resident who has a change in residency, the clerk’s office can change the address on your driver’s license. State law requires that upon a change of residency you must have the address changed on your license within ten days.
Our office can only renew and replace identification cards. Anyone wishing to apply for an identification card for the first time or changing from a driver’s license to an identification card must go to the main examining station.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
The County Clerk’s Office can issue duplicate CDLs and make address changes to existing CDLs. To renew a CDL, you must visit a full-service examining station.
Driver License Downgrades
The County Clerk’s Office has been approved to downgrade CDL’s to Class D and Class D to ID at the request for the customer. To upgrade you must visit a full-service examining station.
We can no longer process new resident applications for a driver’s license or returning resident applications. You must now go to the main examining station to process your applications.
Titles and Registration
Anyone wishing to title a vehicle must provide proof of Tennessee residency in order to receive Tennessee title and registration. Applicants with Tennessee driver’s license or identification cards can simply provide those when making an application for a title. New residents who have not obtained Tennessee driver’s license or identification must furnish two proofs of Tennessee residency with their out-of-state driver’s license in order to register and title a vehicle in Tennessee.
Motor Vehicle Registrations
All vehicles must be registered at the time of making an application for title. You cannot apply for a title only.
All residents of Jefferson County must renew their vehicle registrations at the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office. In order to renew vehicle registration, submit either a renewal notice or a copy of current registration. The fee to renew a regular automobile plate in Jefferson County is $79.00, and the fee for a regular motorcycle plate is $52.00. If you are mailing your renewal notice, please add the $2.00 mailing fee to your bill. Information on specialty or personalized plates.
Self-Service Renewal Kiosks
The County Clerk has two self-service renewal kiosks in Jefferson County for the convenience of residents. The first is located in the Jefferson City Community Center and is open Monday-Friday 5 AM – 9 PM, Saturday 8 AM – 9 PM and Sunday 1 PM – 6 PM.
A second kiosk has been placed in the foyer of the White Pine Police Department and is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers must scan the barcode on their registration renewal or the barcode on their current registration card. Payment may only be made by credit/debit card and the renewal prints immediately.
Online Registration Renewal
Jefferson County residents may now renew their vehicle registrations online through our partnership with Business Information Systems.
Motor Vehicle Titles
New Vehicles – Titling new vehicles is usually handled by the dealership where the vehicle is purchased. The dealership may title the vehicle in the county where the purchase took place or send the title work to the Jefferson County Clerk to process. If we receive the title application, we will either notify you by phone, mail or simply process the application if the appropriate fees are provided and mail the completed work to you. If the dealership gives the title work to the customer for them to process, bring all documents provided by the dealership to the clerk’s office for processing. All vehicles must be registered at the time the title application is submitted. The fees for titling and registering are as follows:
- Transfer plates and title – $14.50
- Transfer plates with title and noting of lien – $25.50
- New regular license plate and title – $90.00
- New regular license plate with title and noting of lien – $101.00
- New motorcycle license and title – $63.00
- New motorcycle license with title and noting of lien – $74.00
When titling a used vehicle purchased from an individual, make sure you receive a signed Certificate of Title from the previous owner. The signature should appear under the Assignment of Title by Registered Owner heading. Only dealerships may pass ownership without titling the vehicle in their names.
MAKE SURE THAT THE PERSON’S NAME YOU ARE PURCHASING THE VEHICLE FROM APPEARS ON THE FRONT OF THE TITLE AND THEY HAVE SIGNED EXACTLY HOW THEIR NAME(S) APPEAR ON THE FACE OF THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE. If the title has two owners on the front with the conjunction AND connecting the two names, both signatures must appear. Upon receipt of the Certificate of Title, you should sign to accept ownership of the vehicle and bring the title to the clerk’s office.
You will be required to pay sales tax on the vehicle, a registration fee, and a title fee. You cannot apply for a title only; the vehicle must be registered at the time when you make an application for title. The fees for titling and registering are as follows:
1. Transfer plates and title – $14.50
2. Transfer plates with title and noting of lien – $25.50
3. New regular license plate and title – $90.00
4. New regular license plate with title and noting of lien – $101.00
5. New motorcycle license and title – $63.00
6. New motorcycle license with title and noting of lien – $74.00
- Affidavit (General–i.e. Name change or correction)
- Affidavit of Affixation for Manufactured or Mobile Home
- Affidavit of Inheritance
- Affidavit of Seller in Cases of Bankruptcy, Insolvency, Attachment, Replevin or other Judicial Sale
- Application for Certificate of Trailer Inspection
- Application for Disabled Plate/Placard
- Application for Duplicate License Plate/Replacement Plate or Decal
- Application for Noting of Lien, Duplicate Title, or Multipurpose Use
- Application for Personalized Plate
- Application for Salvage/Non-repairable Certificate
- Application for Special Amateur Radio License Plate
- Application for Temporary Operating Permit
- Certificate of Ownership
- Certification for Antique Registration
- Certification of Sales Under Special Conditions
- Emergency License Plate Authorization Form
- Gift Affidavit
- Leased Vehicle – Owner’s Authorization to Lessee
- Low and Medium Speed Vehicle Affidavits
- Multi-County Zone Authorization
- Notice of Discharge of Lien
- Odometer Disclosure Statement
- Odometer Discrepancy Certification
- Power of Attorney for vehicle transactions
- Rebuilt Vehicle Component List
- Request for Verification of Ownership on Abandoned/Immobile or Unattended
- Surety Bond Application
- Vehicle Information Request
- VIN Verification Form
Anyone who wishes to register a boat in Tennessee must apply for registration in the county clerk’s office unless the boat is purchased from a dealer.
When purchasing a boat in Tennessee from a dealership, make sure that you are provided with a completed application for Boat Certificate of Number. Furthermore, if they process the paperwork, make sure you receive the yellow copy of the application because it is your temporary registration. Should the dealership give you both the white and the yellow copy, mail the white copy with the appropriate fee to
PO Box 41729
Nashville, TN 37204-1729.
When purchasing a boat from an individual, you should receive the registration card to the watercraft and a bill of sale. Once you have obtained the required documentation you must come into a county clerk’s office to make an application for your boat registration. You will be required at that time to remit taxes on the purchase price and a fee of $5.00. At that time, you will be given a receipt for sales tax paid and an application for Boat Certificate of Number. The white copy of this application should be mailed with the appropriate fees to the address provided and the yellow copy retained as a temporary registration.
You may renew your Tennessee boat registration at the Jefferson County Clerk’s office during normal business hours. In order to renew, we must have either the renewal notice or previous boat registration and the owner’s birth date. You will receive a temporary registration until the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency mails you your new registration card and decal. Online renewals.
New residents to Tennessee who wish to register their watercraft in Tennessee must provide proof of ownership (current registration card or title) and proof that taxes were collected (bill of sale). You may be required when registering to pay additional sales tax on the watercraft. Otherwise, the process is the same for new residents as for new purchases.
Effective, January 1, 2010, payment of all Business Tax will be made to the Tennessee Department of Revenue. Those wishing to obtain a business license will still make initial applications through the Jefferson County Clerk.
Each business has up to 20 days after it opens to apply for a county business license. The initial license fee is $15.00. If a business is located within the city limits of a municipality, the business is also required to hold a city license, which can be obtained at city hall. If the business has gross receipts totaling $3,000.00 or less, the business is not subject to hold a business license. However, they must have an exemption statement on file. A business planning to gross between $3,000.00 and $10,000.00 per year may apply for a Minimal Activity License, which is renewable yearly at the clerk’s office for a fee of $15.00 and not tax payments are made to the Department of Revenue.
There are 5 classifications based on the activities of the business. The business will need to file a tax return and pay taxes based on the total gross receipts for its fiscal year. Examples of the activities associated with each classification are listed below.
- CLASS 1 — Gas stations, grocery stores, lumber & building supplies
- CLASS 2 — Restaurants, car dealers, clothing stores
- CLASS 3 — Body shops, beauty shops, janitorial services, general services
- CLASS 4 — Contractors, sub-contractors, exterminators
- CLASS 5 — Industrial loan and thrift companies, natural gas marketers
At the end of the business’s fiscal year, tax payments should be made online to the Tennessee Department of Revenue. To be directed to the Tennessee State website, please click here. A business, unless exempt, operating without a current business license is violating state laws.
Sales Tax Certificate & Number
All sales tax matters are directed to the Tennessee Department of Revenue – Taxpayer Services in Knoxville, 865-594-6100. An application form with the address and phone numbers is available at the County Clerk’s office.
Personal Property Taxes
Personal property taxes are credited when filing your business license. The Assessor of Property assesses these taxes. All questions regarding Personal Property Tax should be directed to 865-397-3326. A brochure is available at the Assessor of Property’s Office.
All county residents are required to pay a wheel tax for each vehicle. If the vehicle is titled in another county by a dealer or yourself, you are responsible for coming in to the Clerk’s office to comply with county law. Fees are $50.00 for cars and trucks and $30.00 for motorcycles. The wheel tax is included in the above rates.
New residents wishing to title and register in Tennessee must surrender their out-of-state title if it is in their possession. If you have a lien on your vehicle and do not possess the title you should bring in your current vehicle registration and the full address of the lienholder. Make sure that the address you provide is the location where the title is being held and not just where you send payments.
All ATVs should be titled in Tennessee. All new ATVs have a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) or a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) which is the title provided by the manufacturer to the dealer.
All new mobile homes have a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin which is the title the manufacturer provides to the dealer for reassignment. When purchasing a new mobile home, you must provide the clerk’s office with the MCO/MSO and a bill of sale or dealer’s invoice showing that sales tax has been collected. All mobile homes should be titled unless the lienholder requires that you submit an Affidavit of Affixation and relinquish your title.
The State of Tennessee does not require that all trailers be titled and registered. Check with the clerk’s office for specific information on your trailer.
In order to receive a duplicate title, the owner must submit an Application for Replacement Certificate Title to the clerk’s office and a fee of $11.00. Most duplicate titles are handed that day.
Noting of Liens
To note a lien, you must submit the Tennessee Certificate of Title, an Application for Noting of Lien on Certificate of Title form, and a security agreement which identifies the vehicle and is signed. The fee is $11.00 to note a lien in addition to $11.00 for a new title yielding a total cost of $22.00.
Tennessee residents and out-of-state residents may apply for a marriage license at the Jefferson County Clerk’s office. Both applicants must be present in order to apply for a marriage license unless incarcerated or disabled. Incarcerated or disabled applicants must submit a notarized affidavit provided by the clerk’s office. Applicants must provide identification in the form of a valid state driver’s license, valid state identification card, or certified birth certificate and a social security card. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will need a passport or other documentation that proves you are legally in the United States. Applicants will also be required to fill out a written application for the marriage license.
Applicants who are under 18 years of age must have both parents, the guardian, or next of kin appear and sign their application. If either applicant is under 18 years of age there is a three-day waiting period before the marriage can be solemnized. If either applicant is under 16 years of age the judge must consent to the marriage before the application can be taken.
The fee for applying for a marriage license in Jefferson County is $100 unless participants have taken a Premarital Counseling Course. If the four hours of counseling has been completed, the counselor must fill out the Premarital Counseling form, and then the marriage license fee is $40.00.
All notaries must be 18 years of age (8-18-101). United States citizenship is not a requirement for a person to hold the office of a notary public (8-16-101). Notaries are elected by the county legislative body in the county in which they reside or have their principal place of business (8-18-101) and are commissioned by the governor (8-16-102). A person with a principal place of business in a Tennessee county may be elected a notary in that county even though that person’s residence is in another state (18-16-101). The same basic disqualifications exist for notaries as for other county offices (8-18-101). A notary may be removed from office just as any other county official. The notary’s term is 4 years, beginning on the date of issuance of the commission by the governor (8-16-103). Renewal is by the same method as the original procedure. For more information, reach out to our office at 865-397-2935, or by email.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
The Jefferson County Clerk’s Office can issue hunting and fishing licenses to residents and non-residents. When applying, you must bring a state driver’s license, state identification card, or certified certificate of birth and social security card. If you currently hold hunting or fishing license in Tennessee you may provide that instead of the above documentation.
To obtain a new passport, applicants must complete form DS-11 (black ink only), obtain a 2X2 two identical 2×2 passport quality photo able to withstand 225 degrees Fahrenheit, provide a certified birth certificate (not a hospital copy), and a driver’s license or state identification card.
Minors under the age of sixteen must have both parents or their legal guardian present when applying for a passport. The average turnaround time is usually four to six weeks. Anyone who needs a passport before four to six weeks should expedite. An expedite service is available for an extra $60.00 with a turnaround time of 3 weeks. Passport photos are available at the County Clerk’s Office.
Fees payable to the U.S. Department of State by check or money order.
Adults: 16 and over (10-year passport):
- Passport Fee = $110.00
- Expedite Fee (if requested) = $60.00
- Optional Overnight Mailing from Department of State = $15.89
Children: 15 and under (5-year passport):
- Passport Fee = $80.00
- Expedite Fee (if requested) = $60.00
- Optional Overnight Mailing from Department of State = $15.89
Fees payable to the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office by cash, check, money order, or credit card.
- Passport Agent Fee = $35.00
- Photo Fee (if requested) = $10.00
Please bring two separate checks when applying, as part of these fees are remitted directly to the Jefferson County Clerk as agent fees.
If you currently have a valid passport or a passport which was issued within the past 15 years and you were over 16 years old at the time the passport was issued you can renew the passport yourself. Simply download form DS-82 and submit your passport with the appropriate fees (see instructions with form DS-82). For more information, visit the website of the U.S. Department of State regarding U.S. Passports.
- Application for US Passport – Form DS-11 (revised 6-2016)
- Application for US Passport Renewal – Form DS-82 (revised 1-2017)
- Application for US Passport Name Change/Data Correction – Form DS-5504
- Statement Regarding A Lost or Stolen U.S. Passport – Form DS-64
- Statement of Consent for Non-Applying Parent for Minor Under Age 16 – Form DS-3053
- Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances for a Minor Under Age 16 – Form DS-5525
The Probate Court provides procedures for wills and inheritance questions.
Probate Court Procedures for Jefferson County, Tennessee
- Each county Probate Judge establishes the rules for their court. In Jefferson County, anyone wanting to probate an estate must file with the clerk a prepared petition and order for entry 30-1-117. We do not use standard forms, and the Clerk’s office cannot prepare them for you. You should contact an attorney to assist you in becoming a personal representative for an estate.
- After you have filed with the clerk, the will (if one is available), the petition to probate and the order of your appointment will be reviewed by the Judge to determine if all documents are in order. The Judge will then approve the appointment to open the estate.
- Once approved, the clerk will issue to you “Letters” testamentary which authorizes you to administer, with full power, all matters concerning the estate.
- A bond for the personal representative is required unless excused in the will or waived pursuant to 30-1-201.
- The personal representative (hereafter referred to as PR) must file within sixty days a complete and accurate inventory of the probate estate to the clerk and verify by oath. The inventory shall include but not be limited to both real and personal property, such as checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, automobiles, insurance policies payable to the estate, household furnishings, jewelry, etc. The requirement for an inventory may be waived by the will or by certain provisions pursuant to 30-2-301.
- Within sixty days after entering the administration, the PR shall notify all beneficiaries by sending them a complete copy of the will. If there is no will present, the PR must send to each intestate heir a copy of the letters of administration. The PR shall also file, within the sixty-day period, an affidavit the required copies have been mailed to the beneficiaries or distributes, or an explanation of efforts to identify and locate if not yet sent. 30-2-301
- The clerk will publish a “notice to creditors” in The Jefferson County Standard Banner for 2 consecutive weeks. In addition, it shall be the duty of the PR to mail a copy of the published notice to all creditors of the decedent of whom the PR has actual knowledge or reasonably ascertained at such creditors’ last known address. 30-2-306
- If for any reason an estate checking account is needed, the bank will require that the estate be assigned an Employee Identification Number (EIN) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can apply by phone at 866-816-2065. Application forms are also available in the County Clerk’s office or with your bank.
- Copies of all claims filed against the estate are forwarded to the personal representative(s) and the attorney of record. Any disputed claims shall be excepted by filing a written exception with the Clerk’s office. If no jury is demanded, the Clerk shall, within 10 days after the filing of the exception to claim, fix a date for the hearing by the court. 30-2-315
- All bills owed by the estate should be paid unless contested, and if so, then by priority set forth in 30-2-317.
- An Inheritance Tax Return is required to be filed with the Tennessee Department of Revenue by the PR within 9 months after the date of the decedent’s death. The short form can be filed if the gross estate is less than the single allowable exemption of $700,000 in 2002 & 2003. 67-8-316. This return may be waived by the court if the estate qualifies to provisions set forth in 67-8-409(g)(1). For assistance contact Taxpayer Services Division of TN Dept. of Revenue toll-free 800-342-1003. It is also suggested that a return be filed if there is a possibility of liability for federal estate taxes.
- Within fifteen months from the date of qualification, the PR shall make an accounting with the clerk. After the first accounting and until the estate is fully administered, the PR shall make further accounting annually from the date of the first accounting. The accounting shall state all receipts, disbursements, and distribution of principal and income for the accounting period and remaining assets held in the estate. The final accounting shall state that the PR has mailed notice of the requirement to file claims, pursuant to 30-2-306(e), to the creditors of the deceased. Detailed accounting of solvent estates may be waived if so stated in the will or if all of the distributees of the residue file with the clerk waivers of such accounting.
- If any PR fails to settle the accounts as prescribed above, the clerk shall cite the PR to appear and settle on a given day and if the citation is disobeyed, the PR shall be found in contempt of court and punishable as such. 30-2-602
- No account shall be taken until the clerk, or the PR, or the PR’s attorney has served the parties interested with notice of taking the account at least 5 days before the time fixed. 30-2-603
- If all court accountings are waived, the PR shall file a statement with the clerk at any time after the period for creditors to file claims against the estate has expired (four months from the date of the first publication in the newspaper), to state substantially as follows:
- That the PR has properly administered the estate,
- has paid or settled all claims which were lawfully presented,
- has paid all expenses of administration,
- has mailed notice to creditors to file claims,
- has filed the final receipt and release from the TN Dept. of Revenue evidencing payment of all inheritance or estate taxes due from the estate,
- has filed a release from the Bureau of TennCare evidencing payment of all medical assistance benefits, premiums, or other such costs due from the estate under the law if the decedent was fifty-five years of age or older,
- has distributed the estate according to the will and obtained and filed receipts for specific bequests or has distributed the estate according to the laws of intestate succession,
- and that the distributees of the residue acknowledge that the estate has been properly distributed to them.
The filing of such statement along with the order to close the estate shall relieve the PR to file a detailed statement or accounting and that the PR shall be excused from any further duties as PR of the estate and be discharged from bond (if applicable).
- Small Estate, 30-4-101, means the estate of a decedent in which the value of the property does not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). After the expiration of forty-five days from the date of the decedent’s death, provided no petition for the appointment of a PR for the decedent’s estate has been filed, certain individuals shall file with the clerk an affidavit as set forth in 30-3-103. The court may, in its discretion for good cause shown, reduce the forty-five-day period. The affiant shall make a bond equal to the value of the decedent’s estate to be administered. However, the bond shall not be required if the provisions of 30-1-201 would not so require. These estates will automatically close after 2 years from the date of the original filing with the clerk or the court may enter an order to close the estate provided a receipt evidencing payment of the inheritance tax paid or none due and an affidavit that each debt of the decedent has been paid.
Filing a claim = $11.00
Opening an Estate = $380.00
Closing an estate = $40.00
Conservatorship = $185.00
Small Estates = $85.00
Muniment Title = $276.50