Motor Vehicle Registration

First Time or Out-of-State Title & Registration

A person who purchases a vehicle or brings a vehicle from another state is required to title the vehicle(s) within 15 days. If the owner of a motor vehicle does not reside in Kentucky, the vehicle shall be registered with the County Clerk of the county in which the motor vehicle is principally operated (KRS 186.020).

New residents titling vehicles in Kentucky must present the current out-of-state title. In some states, if the money were borrowed to purchase the vehicle, the lienholder would keep the title. In those cases, the County Clerk’s office must contact the lien holder and have the title sent directly to the County Clerk. Information concerning the lienholder must be submitted to the Clerk. While waiting for the title to be sent, a temporary one-time (30 day) license plate may be issued. The owner must provide proof of insurance and current out-of-state registration before the temporary ‘tag’ may be issued. The insurance policy effective date cannot be older than 45 days from the date of the transaction.

The following documents & information are required:

  • Out of state title -a photocopy is not acceptable.
  • If purchasing from out of state dealer or individual, assignment portion of title must be properly completed. Kentucky Affidavit of Consideration must be completed.
  • Proof of sales tax paid in another state. A credit equal to the amount paid in the other state will be applied to amount owed in Kentucky.
  • The proof must identify taxpayer, type of tax paid, dollar amount paid and serial number of vehicle.
  • The following types of proof are acceptable:
    • Tax shown on certificate of title
    • Dealer purchase contract
    • Receipt or letter from tax agency
    • If proof of sales tax paid is not available, presumed credit can be given on vehicles that are being titled in the same name. The owner must show proof of current registration from the other state. The credit is the same percentage charged in the other state and is applied toward the amount owed in Kentucky, which is 6% of the current trade-in value as listed in the NADA (National Auto Dealers Assoc.) Official Used Car Guide.
  • Application for title/registration (VTR form # TC96-182) must be completed, signed by all registered owners and notarized. Persons that have power of attorney for the owner(s) may sign, but a copy of the power of attorney must be submitted with the application. If County Clerk staff notarizes signatures, identification must be presented. Note-Titles that contain AND (instead of OR) between the names of owners requires the signature of all owners.
  • Certified Sheriff’s inspection of serial number (Sheriff’s inspection section is on the VTR form # TC96-182. The Sheriff will not do the inspection until the VTR is signed and notarized.)
  • Proof of insurance on the vehicle being titled and registered
  • Social Security Number of each individual listed on title or Federal ID number for companies.
  • Title Lien Statement, if applicable.

New Vehicle Titling & Registration

The following documents and information are required:

  • Manufacturers’ certificate of origin properly assigned to the buyer by the selling dealer
  • Application for vehicle title/registration (VTR form # TC96-182): If using total consideration as usage tax value, Total Consideration portion must be completed. If County Clerk staff notarizes signature(s), identification must be presented.
  • Window sticker or dealer invoice showing MSRP plus options & destination charges if not using Total Consideration as usage tax value.
  • Certified Sheriff inspection of serial number if purchased out of state: The sheriff will not do inspection without VTR signed & notarized.
  • Proof of insurance, Insurance Policy effective date cannot be older than 45 days from the date of the transaction.
  • Social Security number for each party listed on title or federal ID number for companies.
  • Title lien statement, if applicable

Kentucky Registration Renewal

Your vehicle license plate/decal must be renewed each year. Generally, most plates expire in the birth month of the owner. The Kentucky Revenue Cabinet mails each vehicle owner a renewal notice-listing amount of property taxes and license fees due. It is the owner’s responsibility to renew, even if a reminder is not received. The notice is not needed to renew the plate/decal.

There are some plates that expire in months other than the owner’s birth month.

Vehicles or trailers that have March expirations:

  • Farm trucks
  • Motor Homes/Recreational Vehicles
  • Trailers
  • Weighted Trucks (10,000-80,000 lbs.)
  • Vehicles that have handicap plates expire in July and personalized plates expire in December.

The following documents are required:

  • Certificate of registration
  • Proof of Insurance,Insurance Policy effective date cannot be older than 45 days from the date of the transaction.
  • Payment of registration fees & property tax
  • Vehicles Registration slip & proof of insurance on vehicle to be renewed must be presented to the county clerk.
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