Roane County Clerk’s Office

Roane Co. County Clerk – Beth G. Johnson

The County Clerk’s Office is located in the Roane County Courthouse at 200 East Race Street, Suite 2, Kingston, TN 37763.

Currently the satellite offices in Rockwood, Harriman and Oliver Springs, are closed temporarily.

The county clerk has many important functions within the county government. The county clerk serves as clerk of the county legislative body, keeps the records of the county legislative body, and sends required notices. The minutes of the county legislative body meetings are required to be promptly and fully recorded by the county clerk and are open to the public.

The county clerk issues business licenses, handles motor vehicle titling and registration, and issuance of Non-Commercial driver license duplicates and renewals. Also, the county clerk issues marriage licenses, collects the state and county privilege tax on marriages.

Since notaries public are elected by the county legislative body, the county clerk keeps a record of notaries public in the county and has duties involving coordination between the Secretary of State and the notary applications. County clerks have other miscellaneous licensing duties, including pawnbroker license, beer permits, hunting and fishing license and others.

NOTE:  The following paragraphs provide a limited overview of the main functions of the Clerk’s Office.  For more in-depth and detailed information please click on the LICENSES link in menu at the top of this webpage and then select the topic you want to review.

Business License – Minimal Activity or Standard

If your Roane County business location has annual gross receipts of more than $3,000 but less than $10,000, you must obtain a minimal activity license from your county clerk office by submitting this Business License Application and the $15 fee.

A standard business license is needed if your annual gross receipts are $10,000 or more.  In addition to applying for the County Business License above the standard business license also requires you to apply through the Tennessee Department of Revenue online here: Standard Business License – OnLine TNTap App.  You are not in compliance to operate until your required license is obtained and posted in your business’ location.

NOTE: if your business is located within the City Limits of Harriman, Kingston, Oliver Springs or Rockwood you must also obtain a City Business license in addition to a valid County Business License.   A $15 business license registration fee must be paid to both the county and city clerk for each new business. 

Vehicle Registration and Plate Renewals Online

On-line tag renewal is available at  – Choose Roane County and follow the instructions.  There is a convenience fee charged for on-line tag renewals. The county does not benefit from these fees.

You must renew your vehicle registration in the County where your legally reside.  If you have homes in multiple counties this would be the county where you are registered to vote, claim as your “home of record” for income tax or health records and the address that is shown on your driver license.  Keep in mind that some “city limits” span more than one county and just because your address is in a specific city your residence may be in a different county than the majority of that city.  This is true for Rockwood which covers Roane, Morgan and Cumberland Counties or Oliver Springs which covers Roane, Morgan and Anderson Counties and several other similar areas in most counties.

NOTE: if you have moved to Roane County and your current registration is from another county such as Knox or Anderson you will not be able to renew online.  You will have to renew in person and provide proof of your Roane County residence address either on your current TN driver license or with 2 pieces of mail with your name and residence address.  Vehicle records can’t be transferred from county to county online.  

Titling and Registering a New Vehicle or Transferring Ownership of a Vehicle

The State of Tennessee requires all motor driven vehicles, regardless of age, to be titled and registered upon purchase or transfer to a Tennessee resident. Tennessee does NOT allow for titling of motor vehicles with a bill of sale only.

There are several different types of vehicle title transactions but most routinely require the following:

  1. Original Certificate of Origin assigned by a licensed new vehicle dealer or a properly signed title from the previous registered owner or properly reassigned by a licensed used car dealer.
  2. Current mileage verified by signature of both seller and buyer on vehicle model years 2011 or newer.
  3. Payment of sales tax on price of vehicle or a properly signed gift affidavit, even-trade affidavit or affidavit of inheritance signed by BOTH the seller/gift-giver and buyer/gift-receiver.
  4. Bill of Sale or Dealer Invoice showing sales tax collected if purchased from a licensed vehicle dealer.

NOTE: If purchased from an Out-of-State dealer the dealership may or may not collect sales tax. If collected they will usually provide a check to the County Clerk transferring the amount collected or provide an affidavit confirming the amount of taxes kept in the dealer state so Tennessee can recognize that amount as tax credit. You will be responsible for paying any additional taxes due at time of title and registration.

  1. A copy of your current registration if transferring your existing license plate.
  2. Two proofs of your Roane County residence address if this is the first vehicle being titled or registered in your name in Roane County.

Transferring a Vehicle that is Titled and Registered in Another State

When moving to Tennessee new residents are required to transfer their vehicles upon establishing residency in Tennessee. There are 3 standard types of transactions for out of state transfers all of which will require you to provide either your new Tennessee driver license or 2 pieces of mail showing your Roane County residence address in addition to the following:

  • Valid Registration and currently active Lienholder: you will need to provide your most recent vehicle registration from the state your vehicle is register in along with the name and address of your lienholder so Nashville can request the title for transfer to Tennessee. If you are moving from a state that allows you to hold the title you will need to surrender the title at time of application.

NOTE: When providing the lienholder address it is advisable to actually phone your lienholder and explain you are moving to a new state and need the address where the new state should submit a request for your current title. Sometimes people provide the address where they send their payments but that is NOT the same agency or place that handles the actual title requests and this could delay the approval of your Tennessee title application.

  • Title from previous state if you own the vehicle: you will need to provide the paper title (Tennessee does not process electronic titles) from the state where your vehicle is currently titled.
  • Leased Vehicle: you will need to contact your Lessor to obtain either a letter of approval and Power of Attorney authorizing you to transfer the leased vehicle to Tennessee and/or the properly signed Tennessee form  Leased Vehicle – Owners Authorization to Lessee.

NOTE:  You are not required to get your Tennessee driver license prior to registering your vehicles; you do have to provide acceptable proof of residency in Tennessee.  However, Tennessee state law only allows 30 days for you to make BOTH your driver license and vehicle registrations “match”.  So whichever you do first, driver license or registration, you have 30 days to get the other one changed.  

Insurance Stop/Suspensions or VIN Verification Issues

If you have received a letter from the Department of Revenue stating there are issues with your insurance or your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) you should be sure to respond promptly to the letter to avoid suspension of your vehicle registration.  Contact information should be on the letter you received, however if you have misplaced the letter you may call this number:  888-871-3171 option 2 or you may go to the Department of Revenue website for helpful information here:  Insurance Verification Assistance

Marriage License and Marriage Certificates

If you are needing a marriage license both parties must appear in person and provide a photo id/driver license and proof of each social security number.  The fee is $102 unless you have completed Marriage Counseling and have the signed and notarized Certification of Completion and you will receive a $60 discount making the fee only $42.  The license is valid for 30 days and must be obtained BEFORE you have your marriage ceremony.  The license must be fully completed and signed by the person performing your ceremony no later than 3 business days after your ceremony is completed.

Note: the certified marriage certificate is not mailed out but may be picked up at the same time you return your completed license or anytime thereafter.

Notary Public Applications 

If you wish to become a Notary Public you need to submit the Notary Application with the fee of $14 before the next County Commission Meeting.  The Commission meets on the 2nd Monday of each month. Once your application is reviewed and approved by the Commission it will be sent to Nashville for issuance or your Notary Certificate and the official dates of your notary term which will be the dates required on your Surety Bond.

Note:  it is recommended that you do not obtain your bond until after the County Clerk’s Office contacts you with your official dates.  If you get your bond with the wrong dates you will have to request a “rider” with the correct dates from the company issuing your bond. 

Driver License Duplicates and Renewals*

The County Clerk office is now renewing and making duplicates for valid Tennessee driver license holders. The Clerk’s office will NOT be able to process anything except duplicates and renewals of non-commercial (Class D, M, ID) licenses.  All New Residents transferring their license to Tennessee and transactions for Commercial/CDL ( Class A, B or C) must still go to a State Driver Services Center such as the one in Rockwood, Oak Ridge, Crossville, Athens or Knoxville.  Also any changes to driving privileges such as dropping a motorcycle or For Hire endorsement or removing restrictions such as glasses must also be done at a Tennessee Driver Services Center.

Save time and avoid long lines by using the Department of Safety and Homeland Security “e-services” available on the TN.GOV website here: Online Driver Services -Renewals, Address Changes, Duplicates

Drivers needing to clear a license suspension and get their driving privileges back will have to visit one of the State’s Reinstatement Offices as shown in the link here:  Reinstatement Instructions and Offices

Real ID Driver Licenses*

Real ID Information Handout

The Roane County Clerk’s office is now authorized to issue the Real ID version of the Tennessee driver license upon duplicate or renewal as long as the applicant provides the original, certified documentation required by the Federal Regulations for Real ID. For a list of required documentation please visit the state website here:  Real ID Requirements

*PLEASE NOTE:  Driver License issuance is stopped at 4:00 PM daily.  Due to the amount of time involved with copying and scanning the documents and producing a new photo most driver license transactions take a minimum of 20 minutes.  In order to ensure we are able to complete your driver license we request you be here no later that 3:30 PM.  

Kingston Courthouse
200 E. Race Street
Phone: 865-376-5556
Hours:  8:30-4:30 (Mon-Fri)

Harriman City Municipal Bldg
609 N. Roane Street
Phone: 865-882-9414
Hours: 8:30-4:30 (Tuesday) closed 12-1 lunch (Temporarily Closed)

Rockwood City Hall
110 N. Chamberlain Ave.
Phone: 865-354-0611 ext 823
Hours: 8:30-4:30 (Wednesday) closed 12-1 lunch (Temporarily Closed)

Oliver Springs
104 Kingston Avenue
Hours: 8:30-4:30 (Thursday) closed 12-1 lunch (Temporarily Closed)

Click Here to Renew License Plate ONLINE

Click the License Plate above to access the ONLINE renewal website.

Click Here to Renew License Plate ONLINE

Click on the Driver License above to access the ONLINE renewal website.

Information Sidebar


  1. Renewals are required to be processed in the county where you legally reside because of wheel taxes in many counties.  The “city” of your address does not always determine the COUNTY were you live as many city limits cross into different counties.  For example Rockwood can be Cumberland, Morgan or Roane County; Oliver Springs can be Morgan, Anderson or Roane County depending on the property locations and county lines.
  2.  Gift/Even Trade affidavits are required if you received a vehicle from a relative or friend and NO MONEY exchanged hands.  Without this affidavit signed by the person you received the vehicle from you will have to declare a fair market value for the vehicle and pay sales tax.  If you have this affidavit signed no sales tax is required.
  3. Sales price on title can NOT be changed, marked through or scribbled over or this will require you to have an Affidavit verifying the sales price signed by the seller to submit with the title work.  Remember technically such alterations normally VOID the title completely however with the properly signed affidavit we are allowed to still accept the title.
  4. Some state titles required signatures to be NOTARIZED.  We are bound by the requirements of the state that issued the title and will not be able to accept the title if the required signatures are not notarized.  The states we are aware of requiring such notarization include:  Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.  Be sure to check the back of any out of state title to ensure that a notary seal is not required.
  5. Leased vehicles require a letter of Lease Authorization or power of attorney from the Lessor in order to transfer the vehicle from one state to another.  If you are moving to Tennessee and have a leased vehicle you need to contact the Lessor to obtain the paperwork necessary to get the vehicle registered here.


With the increasing popularity of buying and selling cars on Marketplace and other social media sites here are some reminders everyone should be aware of including:

  1. Never exchange money unless the person provides you with a title proving they have ownership of the vehicle they are selling. Without a title in their name they do not have the legal right to re-sale or trade the vehicle.  Even states that do not require titles on older vehicles still require the owner to have a registration/plate in their name as proof of ownership.
  2. The name on the front of the title should always be the name of the person you are buying the vehicle from unless it is being bought from a licensed automobile dealership.
  3. Only licensed dealerships can transfer ownership on the back of a title more than once.  Dealerships can transfer from one dealership to another but once it is assigned to a private individual that person is required to title and register the vehicle in their name.
  4. If the “Assignment of Title by Registered Owner” (top section of a TN title) is filled out to a private individual and not a dealership then that person shown as “buyer” must title the vehicle in their name before it can be re-sold. The buyer also can’t TRADE that vehicle legally to a dealership until they have obtained a title in their name.
  5. Again no one but licensed dealers can complete the 2nd or 3rd sections on the back of a title.
  6. Any erasures, white-outs, mark throughs or other alterations to information on a title VOIDS the title and the original owner would have to get a duplicate title before ownership can be properly transferred.

Find Links to the Most Commonly Needed Forms Below


Gift or Even Trade Affidavit
Affidavit of Inheritance
Power of Attorney for Vehicle Transactions
Leased Vehicle – Owners Authorization to Lessee
Duplicate Title and Multi-Purpose Form
General Affidavit for Corrections or Non-Use
Odometer Disclosure Form (for use to verify current vehicle mileage)
Odometer DISCREPANCY Form (for use to verify mileage ERRORS reported on prior title)
Sales Under Special Conditions Form (Repo Form)
Marine Bill of Sale for Boats and Jet Skis
Application for Disabled Person License Plate or Placard
Online Application for Personalized License Plate
Request to Cancel License Plate (Sold, Moved Out-of-State, Lost)
Samples of Insurance Request Letters or Notice of Suspension
Insurance Verification Affidavit
Certificate of Completion of Marriage Counseling
Business License / Business Tax Application
Occupancy Tax Form for Hotels, Motels or Campgrounds
Notary Public Application
Notary Public Personal Sureties Bond Application


For Additional Forms Please Click on the “Forms” link in the Menu Bar at the top of this Webpage


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