County Clerk Bill Knowles was elected to an 11th term in 2014 -- a record for an
elected official in this office. Through his years in leadership, the office has
been cited numerous times by The National Association of Counties for innovative
The County Officials Association of Tennessee (COAT) elected him as the
Outstanding Official of the Year for 2006. He was cited for keeping his office
on the cutting-edge of technology.
After winning election in 1974 the problem of long tag lines was tackled by
starting a program making it possible to order vehicle registration renewals by
mail. This initiative played a role in the Tennessee Legislature making
tags-by-mail mandatory in each of the 95 Tennessee counties.
In 2001 Knowles offered an option permitting motorists to renew a tag by
internet—a first for the State of Tennessee. He also contracted with the State
to issue driver license renewals and to process most vehicle titles locally.
With a dedicated staff and splendid assistance from the County’s IT department
other functions have been streamlined.
Below are several other milestones:
- Preparation of County Commission minutes advanced from a steno pad to become
the first in the State totally computerized.
- A recorded title and registration
info line available 24/7 was created.
- The Mayor and County Commission approved
his vision to open Hamilton County’s first Tag and Title Branch location in
- Marriage records were computerized, setting the stage in 2009 for
citizens and genealogists to conduct marriage research and study online.
County Clerk's philosophy to keep a healthy attitude toward change has added an
extra dimension of service to taxpayers.
County Clerk Philosophy
Clerk’s philosophy of government business is captured in several sheets from the
Deputy Clerk Handbook.