How to Get a New Car Title in Kentucky
A Kentucky car title is a legal document that establishes a person or business as a vehicle’s legal owner. Vehicle owners must obtain a new or used car title on all motor vehicles before they may operate the vehicle on public roadways. As such, car owners must obtain a KY auto title whenever they purchase or acquire a new or used vehicle from a private seller, family member or car dealer.
However, the car title application process is the same regardless of whether vehicle owners purchase a vehicle from a dealership or private party. To get car title documentation, vehicle owners must submit a titling application to their local County Clerk’s office within 15 days of acquiring a vehicle. To learn more about how to get car title certificates and to learn about the ways in which vehicle titles relate to registration documents, review the sections below.
Where to Apply for a Car Title in Kentucky
Car owners may get a car title certificate by completing a titling and registration application and submitting it in person at the County Clerk’s office through the county in which they live, or the primary county in which the driver plans to operate the motor vehicle. Drivers may obtain a KY car title application online if they wish to complete the application ahead of time, or they may request a form in person. State auto dealerships do not complete and submit auto title paperwork on behalf of car buyers.
In order to get your Kentucky car title in a shorter amount of time, you may apply for a speed title. To do so, you must visit your County Clerk’s office to apply and pay the speed titling fees. After applying for an expedited vehicle title, you may obtain your speed title at a One Stop Shop after the third business day, or you may wait to receive the title by mail.
The Kentucky Auto Title Application
As part of the new car title application process, vehicle owners must complete an Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title or Registration (Form TC-96-182). Drivers may complete the tile for car ownership application to title and register a vehicle simultaneously, or they may title a vehicle without registering it at the same time.
However, car owners cannot drive their new or used vehicle on public roads until they complete the registration process. To apply for a DMV vehicle title (also known as a pink slip), motorists must provide the following information:
- The application type (specify whether the application is for a vehicle title only or first-time title/registration).
- The vehicles sale price and transaction date.
- The vehicles odometer reading, make, year, car title number and vehicle identification number (VIN).
- The name, address, phone number and telephone number of all vehicle owner(s) or lessees.
- The name and address of any lienholders, if applicable.
In addition to completing the certificate of KY car title application, the vehicle must undergo a VIN inspection if drivers purchase the vehicle from out-of-state. Upon completion, the inspector must fill out the applicable information and sign his or her name under the VIN section of the application.
Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in Kentucky
When getting car title certificates, motorists must submit an application along with supporting documentation such as proof of auto insurance. To obtain a title for a car, vehicle owners must submit the following documentation:
- Photo identification.
- The current car title (the seller must sign the title over to the buyer).
- Proof of auto insurance (a driver must obtain state auto insurance within 45 days of applying for a new title).
- A marriage license or divorce decree, if the name on the certificate of car title differs from the name on the photo ID.
- An Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form TC-96-5).
- Payment for titling taxes and fees.
Note: If obtaining a KY car title on an out-of-state vehicle that does not issue titles, car owners may submit the vehicle’s bill of sale or current registration card in place of a title.
What is a Kentucky car registration?
Drivers need to obtain both a title and car registration certificate before they may operate their new or used vehicles on public roads. While a title displays proof of car ownership, vehicle registration materials show that a vehicle meets all prerequisites for DMV car registration in Kentucky, including auto insurance requirements and the payment of registration taxes and fees.
Drivers may apply for a new car registration and title certificate at the same time using the Application for Certificate of Title or KY Car Registration (Form TC-96-182), or they may register their vehicle after obtaining a new title. However, drivers cannot apply for a motor vehicle registration certificate until they apply for a title, and they cannot drive their new vehicles until they obtain a title and registration card.
What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in Kentucky?
The main difference between auto registration documentation and title certificates is that a title serves as legal proof of vehicle ownership, while new DMV registration materials show that drivers can legally operate a vehicle throughout the state.
When drivers get car registration documents, the state allows vehicle owners to operate their motor vehicles on state roadways without penalty. For this reason, drivers must present their new KY car registration documents to law enforcement officials if a police officer stops them on the road for any reason.
After drivers get a car registration certificate and the license plates that come with it, they must renew their registration materials during the vehicle registration renewal period. However, vehicle owners do not renew title certificates. Instead, drivers must apply for a new title whenever a vehicle changes ownership.
Car Title Costs in Kentucky
The car title costs in Kentucky include a speed title fee of $25 for applicants who request this credential in person.
New Car Title Forms
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Vehicle Titling from KY.gov