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How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in Kentucky

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Like most other motor vehicles, custom-built and antique vehicles must be properly registered and titled in the state of Kentucky. However, the process of registering an antique or custom-built vehicle is different from registering a regular vehicle. If you have brought an antique or custom-built vehicle into Kentucky for a first time registration, or if you have custom-assembled a vehicle in the State, you will be referred to a Transportation Cabinet County Clerk Office near you.


  • In Kentucky, an antique/historic vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle that was manufactured at least twenty-five years ago. A Street Rod is any motor vehicle weighing less than 10,000 pounds and either manufactured before 1949 or assembled or completely reconstructed using new or used parts to look like a vehicle from that period.
  • The State defines a custom-built vehicle as any motor vehicle that has been assembled or completely reconstructed using new or used parts or from parts of junked vehicles. Custom vehicles are registered with the make as "custom-built" or "rebuilt." The model year will be the year in which the vehicle was built.


You will have to visit a Transportation Cabinet County Clerk near you to register your antique or custom-built vehicle. When registering a custom-built or antique vehicle, you will need to bring the following materials to the office:

  1. A completed and notarized Title Application, when obtaining a title for a new, custom-built vehicle.
  2. The Certificate of Title or manufacturer's certificate of origin, for antique or custom vehicles that have already been titled.
  3. A completed Builder's Affidavit, for custom-built vehicles.
  4. A completed Application for Vehicle Identification Number and current odometer disclosure statement.
  5. An Inspector's Report, certifying that the vehicle is safe to take on the road. A Transportation Cabinet Certified Motor Vehicle Inspector or the Sheriff's Office will provide the report for a fee of $5, following the vehicle inspection.
  6. A Bill of Sale for all components and labor or the vehicle as applicable.


When registering an antique or custom-built (street rod) vehicle you will be required to pay the appropriate titling fees. In addition, when registering for the first time you will normally need to pay a one time 6% Usage Tax, but when transferring a title, tax credit for the amount paid earlier as usage/ use/ sales tax will be given. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet accepts cash, money orders or checks.


A historic vehicle's registration is permanent and does not have to be renewed. Your custom-built vehicle's registration will clearly indicate when it will expire. The process for renewing the registration on a custom vehicle is the same as renewing the registration on a regular motor vehicle.


  • Auto Insurance is required for all custom vehicles operated in Kentucky.
  • See also Title Transfers and Registering a Non-Custom Vehicle.
  • You may have to provide photographs of your custom built vehicle.
  • A classic motor vehicle can only be run on highways when travelling for safety inspection. A Historic motor vehicle cannot be used for general transportation but can be used for parades, exhibitions, tours etc.

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