On a recent net, the question arose about getting your amateur radio license plates in Tennessee. The process, while different from other states, is fairly simple.

The first thing you will need are the form, “Application for Special Amateur Radio License Plate.” The application is a form-fillable PDF file and can be found on the official state website here. I’ve also included a copy below. After filling it out you should print out the form and sign it.

The second thing you will need is an “Official Copy” of your FCC Amateur Radio License. I recommend printing out and signing the Official Copy as well.

Once you have printed and signed the aforementioned paperwork, scan or take a picture of both documents and email them to the state at: CountyClerk.Help@tn.gov

You should receive an automated confirmation email almost immediately, followed later by an email from the Vehicle Services Division, stating you were “approved” but should allow 30-45 business days for the plate to be produced and received by the local county tag office, and that they will collect any applicable fees when you pick it up.

A few things to note:

  • You can request more than one plate (presumably they append a number after the callsign on each subsequent plate)
  • You should bring your printed copy of your FCC license with you to pick it up from the county tag office (they asked for mine)
  • Do not try to submit the forms to your local county office, they must go through the state first
  • Double-check the registration sticker they give you before leaving the office (they gave me the wrong expiration initially and had to mail me the correct one)
  • The annual fee, per the tn.gov website, is $26.50 plus any applicable wheel taxes — there are no additional fees for having an amateur radio callsign plate, just the standard new plate fee if it’s the first time issued, and any local county wheel tax fees
  • The Amateur Radio plates are a highly reflective white with “EMERGENCY” at the bottom of the plate, just like those of other volunteers with public safety