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County Clerk Bill Knowles was elected to an 13th term in 2022 -- 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 changes.

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 1996.
  • Marriage records were computerized, setting the stage in 2009 for citizens and genealogists to conduct marriage research and study online.


The County Clerk's philosophy to keep a healthy attitude toward change has added an extra dimension of service to taxpayers.


County Clerk Philosophy

The County Clerk’s philosophy of government business is captured in several sheets from the Deputy Clerk Handbook.

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