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Title Information

Duplicate Title

If you have lost your original title, you must apply for a duplicate title before any change of ownership; updates or lien recordings may be done. Application is made at your local county clerk’s office. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet prints the title the following workday and mails the title to the owner. Duplicate titles cannot be picked up on a walk-thru basis.

  • Application for title/registration 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 the County Clerk staff notarizes signatures, identification must be presented.
    Note: Titles that contain AND (instead of OR) between names of owners require the signature of all owners.
  • If the application is for the purpose of applying for a loan, the owner needs to indicate this on the application. A pending lien will be noted and the owner will be given a goldenrod copy of the registration to present to the lending institution. The lending institution will use the registration and a Title Lien Statement to record the lien.

Note: The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Title Branch will print the duplicate title the next business day and mail it to the owner. (If a pending lien is filed, the printing of the title is held for 30 days.)

First Time or Out-of-State Title and 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 lien holder 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 lien holder 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 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
  • Financing statement from lender
  • 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 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 application for title/registration 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.

Junked Vehicles

In order to junk a vehicle, the current license plate and title must be turned into your local County Clerk’s Office. The title must be clear of all liens and all property taxes must be paid or exonerated by the Property Valuation Administrator. There is a $1.00 fee to junk a vehicle.

If the title and/or plate have been lost, and the owner still has possession of the vehicle, Form #TC96-167 must be signed and notarized by the owner.

If the vehicle has been disposed of to a junkyard or another individual and the title is lost, a duplicate title must be applied for. Vehicles can be junked once the duplicate title is received.

Mobile Home – Conversion to Real Estate

Mobile homes permanently attached to real estate may now be converted to real estate. Once the Mobile Home has been converted, the title is surrendered and can never be obtained.

  • The Kentucky Certificate of Title (clear of all liens) must be surrendered to County Clerk
  • Affidavit of Conversion to Real Estate.pdf [PDF – 5KB] along with copy of Certificate of Title is filed in Real Estate section of County Clerk’s Office.

Mobile Homes

Generally, mobile homes are transferred in the same manner as vehicles, except proof of insurance is not required.

Currently, there are several types of Kentucky Titles that have been issued. The procedures followed are based on what type of title the seller was issued. Titles issued after February 2000 have the assignment portion and vehicle transaction record form combined on the back of the Certificate of Title. These titles would not require the VTR form # TC96-182  in order to transfer a vehicle or trailer.

Titles issued prior to February 2000 only have the assignment portion on the back of the Certificate of Title and would require the VTR form # TC96-182  submitted along with the Title.

The following documents & information are required:

  • Kentucky Certificate of Title clears of all liens, with assignment portion properly completed by buyer & the seller. Depending on what year your title was issued determines the procedure that you follow for a transfer.
  • Application for title/registration (VTR form # TC96-182): If title issued before February 2000 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 the 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.
  • Social Security Number for each party appearing on the title or Federal ID Number for companies
  • If Mobile Home has been moved, a Fire Marshal inspection is required.
  • If Mobile Home has NOT been moved, the Affidavit for Previously Owned Manufactured/Mobile Homes [PDF – 14KB] has to be signed and notarized.

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: 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
  • Social Security number for each party listed on title or federal ID number for companies.
  • Title lien statement, if applicable

Out-of-State Transfer of Kentucky Vehicle

Kentucky Certificate of Title with the assignment of title properly completed & notarized with a notary seal. The title is then presented to the out of state purchaser so they can title & register the vehicle in their state.

Affidavit of Non-Exchange Form #TC96-167 must be submitted for all vehicles sold out of state. The registered owner must sign this form and have their signature notarized. If the County Clerk staff notarizes signatures, identification must be presented.

Note: If the out of state transfer occurred after January 1st of the current tax year, the seller will be responsible for the taxes for that tax year. If the sale occurred before January 1st the tax can be exonerated. It is advised that the sellers make a copy of the front & back of the title to present to the Property Valuation Administrator so that the tax may be exonerated.

Salvaged Titles

Complete Form #TC96-215 Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Assembled from Wrecked or Salvaged Motor Vehicles.

Submit completed application for Title/Registration (VTR form # TC96-182); this form must be signed and notarized. The following must be completed in full: (1) Seller Section, (2) Vehicle Identification Section, (3) Owner-Buyer Section, and (4) Certified Inspector Section. The Certified Inspector Section must be completed by a certified inspector in accordance with the provision of KRS 186A.115. The application for Title/Registration must be accompanied by a properly assigned Certificate of Title. In those limited cases where a Certificate of Title does not exist, the person selling the vehicle must give a notarized statement fully explaining ownership of the vehicle.

Submit original receipts for all labor required to construct or reconstruct the vehicle. Whoever provided all labor, a descriptive notarized statement will be required stating what repairs were made.

Submit all original receipts for parts purchased. If the parts you buy are from individuals and not businesses, have the person who sold you the parts write a notarized statement giving his name, address and telephone number, the part or parts sold, and the vehicle identification number of the vehicle that the parts were taken from

If the vehicle has a license plate, regardless of decal expiration date, remove it and submit it with this application.

Any vehicle with a lien against it will be rejected. A lien termination statement from the lienholder must be submitted to the county clerk where the lien is recorded.

If you are rebuilding a motorcycle, turn in pencil tracings of both the engine and frame identification numbers. If you used a replacement engine, try to obtain the frame number of the motorcycle that the engine was taken from.

You will have 60 days from the date of approval to apply for the title and register your vehicle. After 60 days, the application will be canceled and you will need to reapply.

Transfer of a Kentucky Titled Vehicle

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).

Currently, there are several types of Kentucky Titles that have been issued. The procedures followed are based on what type of title the seller was issued. Titles issued after February 2000 have the assignment portion and vehicle transaction record form combined on the back of the Certificate of Title. These titles would not require the VTR form # TC96-182 in order to transfer a vehicle.

Titles issued prior to February 2000 only have the assignment portion on back of the Certificate of Title and would require the VTR form # TC96-182 submitted along with the Title.

The following documents and information are required:

  • Kentucky Certificate of Title clear of all liens, with assignment portion properly completed by buyer & seller. Depending on what year your title was issued determines the procedure that you follow for a transfer.
  • Application for title/registration: If title issued before February 2000 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 and/or requires both to sign & notarize.
  • Buyer Proof of Insurance (in their name) for vehicle purchasing. Title Only transfers may be done if insurance is not available or if vehicle is inoperable, but license plate must be surrendered.
  • Social Security Number for each party appearing on the title or Federal ID Number for companies.

Notes


Property tax: The owner of a vehicle as of January 1st of each tax year is responsible for the tax for that year. If at the time of transfer, the property tax has not been paid, the seller will be responsible for the tax. To avoid delinquent tax, it is recommended that the seller pay taxes at the time of transfer. If not, the seller will be sent notification by the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet of the tax due. This does not relinquished responsibility to pay property tax timely.

Usage Tax


A six percent (6%) motor vehicle usage tax is levied upon the “retail price” of vehicles transferred in Kentucky. On used vehicles, the usage tax is 6% of the current average retail as listed in the NADA Used Car Guide or 6% of total consideration paid. On used vehicles, total consideration paid is the total given less any trade-in allowance, if applicable. Trade- in allowance applies to used vehicles only and the vehicle being traded must be previously registered in Kentucky.

Usage Tax Exemptions are on the following types of Kentucky transfers:

 

Charitable/Education Organization Corporation/Proprietorship (LLC)*
Corporation/Subsidiary (LLC)* Court Order/Will*
Dealer Registration Grandparent/Grandchild
Husband/Wife Local Government
Military Exempt* Name Change
Parent/Child Repossession*
State Government Stepparent/Stepchild
US Government

*Documentation must be provided

Corrected or Updated Titles

The following documents & information are required:

  • Application for title/registration 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 the County Clerk staff notarizes signatures, identification must be presented.
    Note: Titles that contain AND (instead of OR) between names of owners require the signature of all owners.
  • The current vehicle title must be submitted with the application for an updated title.
  • If the application is for the purpose of applying for a loan, the owner needs to indicate this on the application. A pending lien will be noted and the owner will be given a goldenrod copy of the registration to present to the lending institution. The lending institution will use the registration and a Title Lien Statement to record the lien.

Note: The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Title Branch will mail the updated title within 10-14 business days of application.
(If a pending lien is filed, the printing of the title is held for 30 days.)

Registration

First Time or Out-of-State Title and 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 lien holder 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 lien holder 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 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
  • Financing statement from lender
  • 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 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 application for title/registration 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.

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 the 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
  • Payment of registration fees and property tax

Vehicles Registration slip & proof of insurance on vehicle to be renewedmust be presented to the county clerk.

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: 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
  • Social Security number for each party listed on title or federal ID number for companies.
  • Title lien statement, if applicable

Taxes & Fees

Transfer of a Kentucky Titled Vehicle

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).

Currently, there are several types of Kentucky Titles that have been issued. The procedures followed are based on what type of title the seller was issued. Titles issued after February 2000 have the assignment portion and vehicle transaction record form combined on the back of the Certificate of Title. These titles would not require the VTR form # TC96-182 in order to transfer a vehicle.

Titles issued prior to February 2000 only have the assignment portion on back of the Certificate of Title and would require the VTR form # TC96-182 submitted along with the Title.

The following documents and information are required:

  • Kentucky Certificate of Title clear of all liens, with assignment portion properly completed by buyer & seller. Depending on what year your title was issued determines the procedure that you follow for a transfer.
  • Application for title/registration: If title issued before February 2000 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 and/or requires both to sign & notarize.
  • Buyer Proof of Insurance (in their name) for vehicle purchasing. Title Only transfers may be done if insurance is not available or if vehicle is inoperable, but license plate must be surrendered.
  • Social Security Number for each party appearing on the title or Federal ID Number for companies.

Notes


Property tax: The owner of a vehicle as of January 1st of each tax year is responsible for the tax for that year. If at the time of transfer, the property tax has not been paid, the seller will be responsible for the tax. To avoid delinquent tax, it is recommended that the seller pay taxes at the time of transfer. If not, the seller will be sent a notification by the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet of the tax due. This does not relinquish the responsibility to pay property tax timely.

Usage Tax & Fees

A motor vehicle usage tax of six percent (6%) is levied upon the “retail price” of vehicles registered for the first time in Kentucky. In the case of new vehicles, the “retail price” is the total consideration given (The consideration is the total of the cash or amount financed and the value of any vehicle traded in) or 90% of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), including all additional equipment and destination charges. On any vehicles purchased out of state the “retail price” is based on the total consideration given (the Total Consideration Statement on VTR form must be completed and VTR signed by out of state dealer or individual and must be notarized) or average retail value as listed in NADA (National Auto Dealers Association) Official Used Car Guide. An out of state purchase of a used vehicle now allows for the trade-in credit.

In the case of vehicles brought into Kentucky by new residents, the taxable value is the average trade-in value as listed in the NADA Official Used Car Guide.

If a vehicle is given as a “gift” then the taxable value is the average trade-in value as listed in the NADA Official Used Car Guide.

Note: Penalty provisions for any person who willfully and fraudulently gives a false statement as to total and actual consideration paid for a motor vehicle shall be guilty of a Class D felony and shall be fined not less than $2,000 per offense.

Usage Tax

A six percent (6%) motor vehicle usage tax is levied upon the “retail price” of vehicles transferred in Kentucky. On used vehicles, the usage tax is 6% of the current average retail as listed in the NADA Used Car Guide or 6% of total consideration paid. On used vehicles, total consideration paid is the total given less any trade-in allowance, if applicable. Trade- in allowance applies to used vehicles only and the vehicle being traded must be previously registered in Kentucky.

Usage Tax Exemptions are on the following types of Kentucky transfers:

 

Charitable/Education Organization Corporation/Proprietorship (LLC)*
Corporation/Subsidiary (LLC)* Court Order/Will*
Dealer Registration Grandparent/Grandchild
Husband/Wife Local Government
Military Exempt* Name Change
Parent/Child Repossession*
State Government Stepparent/Stepchild
US Government

*Documentation must be provided

License Plates

For more information on the individual license plate options, visit the Department of Motor Vehicle Licensing – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet web page (then choose License Plates from the left-hand navigation).

Permits & Tags

As used in KRS365.655 to 365.695 unless the context requires otherwise:

“Transient merchant” means any person, firm, corporation, partnership or other entity which engages in, does or transacts any temporary or transient business in the state, either in one (1) locality or in traveling from place to place in the state, offering for sale or selling goods, wares, merchandise or commodities of any kind, and includes those merchants who, for the purpose of carrying on such business, hire, lease, use or occupy any building, structure, motor vehicle or real estate, and

“Temporary or transient business” means any business conducted for the sale or offer for sale of goods, wares or merchandise which is carried on in any building, structure, motor vehicle or real estate in one (1) locality for a period of less than six (6) months in a year.

The provision of KRS365.650 to 365.695 shall not apply to:

  • Sales at wholesale to retail merchants by commercial selling agents in the usual course of business;
  • Wholesale trade shows or conventions;
  • Sale of goods, wares or merchandise by sample catalog or brochure for future delivery;
  • Participants in fairs, and convention center activities when the participants’ businesses are conducted primarily for amusement or entertainment;
  • Any general sale, fair, auction or bazaar sponsored by any religious, educational, public service or charitable organization;
  • Garage sales held on premises devoted to residential use;
  • Sales of crafts or items made by hand and sold or offered for sale by the person making such crafts or homemade items;
  • Sales of locally grown agricultural products;
    Sales made by a seller at residential premises pursuant to an invitation issued by the owner or legal occupant of such premises;
  • Sheriffs, constables, or other public or court officers, or any other person or persons acting under the direction or authority of any court, state or federal, selling goods, wares or merchandise in the course of official duties;
  • Flea market vendors who can demonstrate compliance with KRS139.550;
  • Professions and occupations, licensed and regulated by the state, when the activities are performed within the scope of their respective statutory and regulatory authority; and
  • Temporary sales at another location by businesses with a permanent business location within the state of Kentucky
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