New Tennessee License Plates Unveiled Following Statewide Vote


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee unveiled the state’s next standard license plate design Tuesday chosen by Tennesseans through optional statewide participation. The new plate sports a navy blue background with white letters and numbers. In its center is the state’s iconic Tri-Star emblem with the words “The Volunteer State” in the top left corner.

According to the Governor’s Office, more than 300,000 Tennessee residents weighed in on the decision with 42% voting for the winning design.

“In our 225th year of statehood, we invited Tennesseans to cast their vote and help select the state’s next license plate,” Governor Lee said in a statement. “I’m proud to announce the winning design that will represent our unique grand divisions and take its place in Tennessee history.”

Governor Lee also shared a video message unveiling the new plate design on Twitter, saying, “Great choice, Tennessee – I look forward to seeing these [license plates] on the road soon.”

Optional, online voting for the new plate began on September 20th and concluded at 11:59pm central time Monday night, September 27th.

The new plates will be available online and in-person beginning January 3, 2022 as residents complete their annual tag renewal. Up to 100,000 plates per week will be produced to meet initial inventory demands.

The license plate design will replace the current plate that launched in 2006 with modifications in 2011, 2016 and 2017.

The Tennessee statute requires the display of “Tennessee,” “Volunteer State” and “” on the license plate, as well as county name and expiration year decal locations. Statute provides that Tennesseans may select an “In God We Trust” plate option.

Per Tennessee statute, the plate is redesigned every eight years if funds are approved in the General Assembly’s annual budget.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bill Lee” by Maryland GovPics. CC BY 2.0. Photo “Tennessee License Plates” by




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3 Thoughts to “New Tennessee License Plates Unveiled Following Statewide Vote”

  1. mike

    About 5% of the Tennessee population participated. Seems like there would be a lot of other items that would be a better use of the governor’s time.

  2. 83ragtop50

    This is undoubtedly one of Mr. Lee’s greatest accomplishments as governor. In fact, I cannot think of another accomplishment but I have a long list of his failures.

  3. RobertG

    I’m surprised Lee didn’t get the statue amended to include COVID vax stamp on the plate too.