Coronavirus in Tennessee: TWRA to temporarily forgive sales tax on water vessels due to clerk office closures


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said Thursday it is temporarily directing its agents to temporarily forgive boaters who haven’t registered their vessels due to clerk office closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the TWRA said it is encouraging people to call their local county clerk’s office to ensure they’re open and if they would be able to assist in paying the sales tax on a vessel.

Several clerks offices throughout the state have closed in-person transactions due to the coronavirus spread.

“During this time of quarantine, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency understands the hardship individuals are experiencing due to many county offices offering limited services and/or closing,” a TWRA release stated. 

Be advised that the law states: “In order for your vessel to be legal for operation on Tennessee waterways, applicable Tennessee sales tax must be paid and application must be submitted to the TWRA for registration.”    

However, following the Governor’s Executive Order and any further direction given through future Executive Orders, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission said it has authorized agency personnel to temporarily forgive those who aren’t registered because of these closures.

The TWRA also advises that boaters keep a photocopy of their bill of sale in their vessel until such time that clerks reopen and taxes may be paid; as it will allow boaters to present proof of ownership to an officer should they be stopped.

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