Tennessee vehicle tags will be free for 1 year

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennessee residents will get a free ride on the government for a year after the state legislature passed a budget that waives vehicle tag renewal fees.

The $23.75 state portion of license renewals will be free from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. A transportation committee bill relating to vintage cars received a favorable amendment that pushed the fee waiver to a full budget hearing. It will cost approximately $121 million, which will then be replaced, mainly by the road fund, out of general fund surpluses.

Next year’s tag renewal will be a voluntary state compliment after lawmakers voted to waive vehicle tag renewals from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. (Photo WJHL)

State Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) said lawmakers are looking for workable ways to return money to consumers after a fiscal year that isn’t even over yet and produced a surplus of $3 billion over budgeted revenue.

“Because there are so many overcollects, in terms of one-time ways to return money to taxpayers, we thought this was a great way to do it,” Hawk said. “So the state’s share of your wheel tax will disappear from the next fiscal year in July.”

Hawk doesn’t know if vehicle owners will simply receive a sticker in the mail, but said it’s possible for people who have already received one of the new license plates by July.

The tax memo on the bill estimates five million ‘Class B’ vehicles will have their $23.75 fee waived, along with 170,000 ‘Class A’ (motorcycles) whose renewal won’t cost $16.75 .

“A lot of people will have to make the trip into town to get the new license plate, but you’re not going to have the pain of the money it costs right now,” Hawk said.

Charges will still apply in counties that have separate wheel taxes.

Christy J. Olson