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How to Register a Vehicle in Kentucky

Vehicle Registration Online Services Guide

Kentucky law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new Kentucky residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in Kentucky. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, and registration renewals must be done annually, either in person, online or by mail.

If you have bought a vehicle from a dealer or a person or if you wish to transfer ownership, you have 15 days in which you must register it. If you are new resident, you must do this within 10 days.


If you are registering a motor vehicle in Kentucky for the first time, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Kentucky ended its emission testing program in 2005. However, if your vehicle does not have a Kentucky title, you will need to get your vehicle inspected at the local sheriff's office. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you will be issued an inspection certification.
  2. Complete a vehicle title/registration form.
  3. Provide the following documents
  4. Social security number.
  5. Title lien statement if applicable.
  6. Manufacturer's certificate of origin.
  7. New residents will have to provide the original out of state title.
  8. Visit your County Clerk's office, and bring the completed title/registration form with you, along with the inspection certification. In addition, you will need to provide proof of insurance, and the odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
  9. For vehicles that have been registered in another state, you must also bring the original, out-of-state title. If the title is unavailable, bring the registration document, along with proof of sales tax payment.


When registering your vehicle at the county clerk's office, you will be required to pay certain fees, typically as follows:

  1. The registration fee, which varies depending on the manufacturer's model year or the vehicle's total weight. Generally, the registration fee will be $21.
  2. Title application fee which is $6.

There may be additional fees when you register, depending on your county. Contact the County Clerk's office for the specific requirements.


Owners of motor vehicles in Kentucky are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.


Submitted by abc12312355 (not verified) on 21st Apr 2013

What if a non-citizen as a

What if a non-citizen as a F-1 VISA and have no SSN and ITIN, how to do with the vehicle registration?

Submitted by TrbnSrgn15B (not verified) on 21st Mar 2013

does Kentucky have Historic

does Kentucky have Historic Plates such as Maryland does?

Submitted by darla5010 (not verified) on 21st Mar 2013

Can I license my car from

Can I license my car from another state to KY if I am not a resident of KY? I live in KY 4 months and in another state the remainder.

Submitted by VAbound (not verified) on 25th Jun 2011

If I renew my Kentucky

If I renew my Kentucky vehicle registration in July and move Virginia in August, will I get a refund from Kentucky?

Submitted by artlab (not verified) on 28th May 2011

Due to difficult financial

Due to difficult financial situation, I would like to give my sister my car. I live in NJ and need to turn in my tags when I sell the car. How do I go about transferring ownership? We (her family) are trying to fund a trip for her to come and visit. How would she go about registering the car and having tags so that she could drive it home?

Submitted by Glopez1 (not verified) on 23rd Jan 2012

Most states,have a 14 day in

Most states,have a 14 day in transit plate, in which she can legally drive it home, she must prove the car has insurance in her state, to obtain the plate in N.J. This plate is about $15-$20.

Then when she gets home, she must apply for a real plate in her name

Submitted by Anonymous on 23rd Feb 2011

what do i need to on an out

what do i need to on an out of state title?