Kentucky

Kentucky state law requires Bodily Injury Liability limits of $25,000 minimum per injured person, and up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and Property Damage Liability coverage with a minimum of $10,000 in coverage.

Kentucky is a choice No-Fault state. You can choose to use the No-Fault system where insurance companies pay for damages up to a certain amount regardless of fault.


Kentucky Coverage: 25/50/10
Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000/$50,000 Limit
Property Damage Liability: $10,000 Limit

Q&A

I am moving to Kentucky from another state. What do I need to take with me when I go to my new county clerk's office?

If you own your car (not leased), have no liens on the vehicle, and have possession of the title you will need:

  • a certified inspection from the sheriff's office from the county of your new residence.

  • original out-of-state title

  • original registration receipt

  • original current proof of Kentucky insurance (copy not allowed)

  • proof of sales/usage/use tax paid to the previous state

  • picture ID or driver's license

  • money to pay applicable fees and taxes

If you own your car (not leased) and have liens on the vehicle you will need:

  • a letter from your new county clerk's office requesting the title from the previous state (if the lending institute held your title) OR the original out-of-state title with the lien listed on it

  • original registration receipt

  • original current proof of Kentucky insurance (copy not allowed)

  • proof of sales/usage/use tax paid to the previous state

  • a certified inspection from the sheriff's office from the county of your new residence

  • picture ID

  • money to pay applicable fees and taxes

If you lease your car you will need:

  • original out-of-state title

  • Power of Attorney from the Leasing Company stating the lessee's name as P.O.A. in order for the Lessee to sign any documentation for the Leasing Company.

  • original proof of Kentucky insurance

  • a statement from the Leasing Company on it's letterhead stating exactly how much sales tax the Leasing Company has currently paid (if your Leasing Company is registering your vehicle under Kentucky's U-Drive-It program you will not need to present this statement).

  • a certified inspection from the sheriff's office from the county of your new residence. (no inspection is required if your Leasing Company is registering your vehicle under Kentucky's U-Drive-It program).

  • picture ID

  • money to pay applicable fees and taxes

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Vehicle Transfers



I need to remove my ex-spouse from my title. What do I need to take to the county clerk's office?

You will need to take:

  • the original certificate of title

  • property settlement (signed by both parties)

  • final divorce decree (signed by the judge)

  • original current proof of Kentucky insurance

  • money to pay applicable fees and taxes

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I live in Kentucky. I want to transfer my vehicle to someone else that lives in Kentucky. What do I need to take to the county clerk's office?

You will need to bring the following:

  • Title free of any liens

  • Current original proof of Kentucky insurance from the buyer of the car being transferred

  • Application for title/registration TC96-182 OR the application on back of the new Kentucky title completed by both buyer and seller

  • Picture ID

  • Money for applicable fees and taxes (see county clerk for tax exemption information

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I am a Kentucky resident and I have sold my vehicle to a resident of another state. What steps need to be taken?

This is a multi-step process. The following steps should be taken:

  • The owner will sign the back of the Kentucky Title and have their signature notarized.

  • The buyer will sign the back of the Kentucky Title and have their signature notarized.

  • The owner will give the Kentucky Title and the vehicle registration receipt to the buyer.

  • The license plate currently on the vehicle remains with the vehicle - UNLESS the license plate is a specialty plate which includes collegiate plates, organization plates, etc. If the vehicle has a specialty plate, the owner removes the plate and takes it to the County Clerk's Office where the vehicle is titled/registered in Kentucky. The buyer will need to obtain a temporary tag or transport tag from their state of residence.

  • Once the buyer has transported the vehicle to their state of residence, the buyer will then need to title and register the vehicle according to the requirements in that state. Once this has been accomplished, the Kentucky Title will be cancelled by that state's DMV.

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What taxes are applicable if I am transferring my vehicle?

When transferring a vehicle you will need to pay usage tax at 6% of the retail value of the vehicle OR 6% of the purchase price if a completed Affidavit of Total Consideration is presented OR 6% of the purchase price if the back of the new Kentucky title is completed. Also property tax may be required to be paid if it is due or past due.

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General Questions



I paid off my vehicle. What do I need to take to the county clerk's office to get a clear title?

You will need to bring the title and a termination statement from the financial institute.

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Disabled Parking Permits



What is required to get a disabled parking permit?

You will need a TC96-204 form completed by the applicant and signed by their physician.

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Vehicle Renewals



What do I need to take with me to the county clerk's office to renew my vehicle?

You will need to bring:

  • Kentucky certificate of registration

  • current original (not a copy) of proof of Kentucky insurance

  • money for fees and applicable taxes

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What do I need to take with me to the county clerk's office to renew my boat?

You will need to bring your Kentucky certificate of registration and money to pay the fees and applicable taxes.

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What do I need to take with me to the county clerk's office to obtain a duplicate registration receipt?

To obtain a duplicate registration receipt the owner of the vehicle needs to present the following to the county clerk (the following apply if the registration is current):

  • a completed TC96-167 form

  • current original (not a copy) of proof of Kentucky insurance

  • picture ID

  • money for fees and applicable taxes

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Can I renew my vehicle or boat by mail?

You can renew your vehicle or boat by mail. You will need to mail in your certificate of registration, current original proof of Kentucky insurance and money for fees and applicable taxes. You can view your county clerk's address information by clicking here. Once you have sent the above documents in your decal/license plate should arrive in 5-7 working days.

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Internet Renewals



What information will I need to request a vehicle's registration renewal over the Internet?

You will be asked to enter your license plate number, title number and your VISA or MasterCard number. Your license plate number can be found on your registration notice you received in the mail or on the actual plate on your vehicle. Your title number can be found on last year's registration renewal certificate or on the title to your vehicle.

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What types of vehicle registrations can be renewed through the Internet?

Only vehicles currently registered with standard issue passenger car plates can be renewed through the Internet.

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Can I request the renewal of my boat registration over the Internet?

You cannot request the renewal of the registration for your boat over the Internet.

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Can I request the renewal of my vehicle through the Internet if it is registered with a personalized or other specialty license plate?

Vehicles currently registered with personalized or other specialty issue license plates cannot be renewed through the Internet.

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Can I change my address while requesting an Internet renewal?

If your address is incorrect, you will not be allowed to request the renewal of your registration over the Internet. You will be required to contact or visit your county clerk to correct your address and renew your registration.

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How do I prove I have insurance on my vehicle?

Your insurance will be verified through the Internet if you have insurance with one of the participating companies. If you have obtained insurance within the last 45 days your information may not be in our database. This could prohibit you from renewing your vehicle from this site. Please visit your County Clerk and provide proof of Kentucky insurance at that time.

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What if my registration is expired or past due?

If your registration is expired or past due you cannot request your registration renewal through the Internet and will be required to visit your county clerk's office to renew your vehicle registration.

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What if the registration on my vehicle has been cancelled for any reason?

If the registration on your vehicle has been cancelled for any reason, such as non-compliance for insurance or vehicle inspection reasons, you will be required to visit your county clerk to renew your registration.

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Is there an additional fee charged for requesting my registration renewal through the Internet?

A convenience fee of $5 is charged for each vehicle registration renewal requested through the Internet to cover the cost of processing and mailing of renewal materials.

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What types of credit cards are accepted for payment of my renewal request over the Internet?

VISA or MasterCard are accepted for payment of registration renewal requests through the Internet.

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How will I get my registration renewal certificate and decal?

Your local county clerk will process your renewal and you should receive your registration renewal certificate and decal through the mail within 3-5 working days.

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Can I make a contribution to the Child Care Assistance Fund or the Veterans' Assistance Fund while requesting the registration renewal of my vehicle?

You will be given the opportunity to make contributions to the Child Care Fund and/or the Veterans' Assistance Fund as part of your vehicle registration renewal request.

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Vehicle Registration Cancellations



I have sold my vehicle to an out-of-state resident. What do I do?

You will need to notify your county clerk with the name and state of the new owner. You will also need to return the Kentucky license plate to your Kentucky county clerk's office. If you were a resident of Kentucky and owner of the vehicle January 1st you may have property taxes due on that vehicle.

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I have moved out-of-state. What do I need to do concerning my vehicle?

If you were a resident of Kentucky on January 1st and owner of record taxes may be due on your vehicle. You will need to send a copy of your title or registration receipt to your former county clerk. You will also need to send the Kentucky license plate.

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Vehicle Titling



What do I need to take to the county clerk's office to get a duplicate Kentucky title?

To get a duplicate title you will need the following:

  • Form TC96-182 properly completed including the owner section and the vehicle identification section.

  • Title number OR license plate number

  • $6.00 (US) plus cost of a notary

  • Picture ID or driver's license

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What is a speed title and how can I get one?

A speed title is processed overnight for an additional fee of $25.00. It can be mailed to the customer or picked up in Frankfort based on which option you choose at the time you are applying for the speed title. If the speed title is mailed to you it should be received in 3-5 working days. Otherwise, it can be picked up in Frankfort the following work day. If you choose to pick up your speed title in Frankfort, please allow 24 hours before any further transactions with your new title. If you want to pick it up in Frankfort it is strongly suggested that you call first (502) 564-2737. Some applications are not eligible for speed titles. They are listed below:

  • Creditor in possession

  • Towing & Storage

  • Ownership affidavit or bill of sale

  • Corrections (application for corrections)

  • Restored title (one that is no longer active)

  • Out of country applications

  • Court order

  • Kentucky Identification VIN plate issuance

  • Salvage title from junk or unrebuildable titles

  • Kit vehicles

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Personalized Plates



When do you renew the registration for a vehicle with personalized plate?

Personalized Plate registrations are renewed in December and expire December 31st of each year.

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Can you have the same personalized plate on a motorcycle and car?

No, a personalized plate character combination may only appear on one plate at any given time.

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Do I get a new personalized plate every year?

Each year, upon renewal of a Personalized Plate registration, the customer shall select the option of either receiving a plate with decal or a decal only for the next renewal. Periodically, typically once every five years, because the plate design changes, all customers will receive a new plate with decal.

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Renewal of personalized plates cost $46 per year; does a decal only option cost less?

No, whether a plate with decal or a decal only is received at renewal, the fee is still $46($25 personalized fee + $21 registration fee).

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Do I still have to apply for a personalized plate each year?

No, once a personalized plate is issued, it is reserved for the recipient each year. However, if a personalized plate registration is not renewed for the calendar year following the year in which it expires, the personalized plate is no longer reserved.

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What happens, if my personalized plate gets lost/stolen?

The customer may not request the same personalized plate number for the calendar year in which it was lost/stolen. However, application for the Personalized Plate number for the following calendar year will be accepted. Hence, in the calendar year in which the personalized plate was reported lost/stolen, the customer may elect to apply for a new Personalized Plate character combination or for some other type of plate.

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How do I renew a personalized plate registration?

Personalized plates are renewed each year in the month of December. The registration fee for a personalize plate renewal is $46.00. Upon completion of a renewal, the customer will receive a plate with decal or a decal only depending on the renewal option selected during the previous registration.

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What do I do if my personalized plate is damaged?

The customer shall return the damaged personalized plate to the county clerk's office in the their county of residence. The county clerk will issue the customer a standard passenger car or 6,000 pound truck tag and submit a request to have the damaged personalized plate remade. The customer will be notified when the new personalized plate has been made and is available to be picked up in the county clerk's office.

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What types of plates can be personalized?

The standard passenger car plate, standard motorcycle plate and the military issue plates may be personalized.

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What types of vehicles can have a personalized plate?

Personalized passenger plates may be issued to cars, vans, SUVs and pickup trucks while motorcycle plates may only be issued to motorcycles.

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How can I transfer a vehicle with personalized plate?

The customer shall return the personalized plate to the county clerk. Depending on the type of personalized plate returned (passenger or motorcycle) the county clerk will issue a standard passenger or motorcycle replacement plate. Subsequently, the customer may reclaim the returned personalized plate when requesting a personalized registration for another vehicle.

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How long does it take to get a personalized plate?

Typically, it takes four to six weeks from the time application is made in the county clerk's office for a personalized plate

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What character/Number combinations can be used on a personalized plate?

Personalized passenger plates may contain up to six alpha and/or numeric characters in addition to a space or a dash. Personalized motorcycle plates may contain up to five alphabetic and/or numeric characters in addition to a space or a dash or six alphabetic and/or numeric characters without a space or a dash. Character/number combinations, which could potentially duplicate an existing plate number, will be rejected.

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When can I apply for a personalized plate for current calendar year?

Application for a personalized plate for use in the current year may be made in the county clerk's office from January through September. A personalized plate applied for after September must be for use in the next calendar year.

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When can I apply for a personalized plate for next calendar year?

Application for a personalized plate for the next calendar year may be made in the county clerk's office from January through December.

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Where do I apply for a personalized plate?

Application for personalized plates may be made at the county clerk's office in the customer's county of residence.

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When do I have to pay money to order a personalized plate?

The application fee is paid when the personalized plate is applied for. The registration fee is paid when the customer returns to the clerk's office to pick up the plate.

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What are the fees associated with personalized plate?

$25 personal plate application fee and $21 registration fee

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If I have a personalized plate, when is the property tax due?

Either at renewal, December, or at the time a vehicle is transferred.

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How do I transfer a personalized plate to another vehicle owned by me?

The customer shall return the personalized plate assigned to the first vehicle to the county clerk. Depending on the type of personalized plate returned (passenger or motorcycle) the county clerk will issue a standard passenger or motorcycle replacement plate. The customer may then exchange the regular plate assigned to the second vehicle for the returned personalized plate.

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What are the reserved plate formats currently unavailable for personalized plate selections?

The following license plate combinations conflict with existing and projected plate formats. A Personalized Plate cannot be issued matching any of the following combinations. # = Any Number, 1 through 9
@ = Any Letter, A through Z.

#####T, ####@@, ####KT, ####KW, ###@@@, 1H@###, CD@###, CE####, CK####, CK@###, CK@@##, CL####, CL@###, CL@@##, CM####, CN####, CR####, CS####, CW####, D@####, E#####, E@####, F@####, F@@###, HC####, HCM###, HE####, HF####, HG####, HH####, HI####, HI@###, HJ####, HP@###, HS@###, HT@###, HV####, K@####, L#####, L@####, M#####, MC####, MIL###, MOH###, NG####, NP####, NR####, O####@, O@####, POW@##, S#####, SC@###, SF@###, SGH###, SGH##A, SGS###, SGS##A, SH@###, SM@###, SP####, SP@###, SS@###, SUH###, SUS###, SZ####, SZZ###, TT####, V#####, WX###,  WX###@, X####,  X####@, XM###,  XM###@

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Advalorem (Property) Tax



What is advalorem tax?

The Motor Vehicle Property Tax is a constitutional advalorem (in proportion to the value) tax levied on personal property.

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Who is responsible for assessing the value of my vehicle?

The Property Valuation Administrator of the county in which the vehicle is located is responsible for the assessment of the value.

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How is the value of my vehicle determined?

The standard value of motor vehicles is the average trade-in value established by industry standard guides, provided to Property Valuation Administrators by the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

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What if my vehicle is not "average" and therefore the value assessed is not correct?

To adjust the value you will need to contact your local Property Valuation Administrator. Some reasons the value may need to be adjusted are: excessive mileage, damage, and identification.

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What if I sell my vehicle in February? Do I only owe taxes for January and February?

The value is assessed as of January 1st and the "owner of record" at that time is responsible for that entire year's taxes.

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When are my advalorem taxes due?

Most advalorem taxes are due by the last day of your birth month. There are some exceptions to this such as historical vehicles, are due in December, and title-only vehicles, are due in July (This is a partial list of exceptions).

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Do I owe advalorem tax on my boat?

Yes, boats are assessed and taxed in a similar manner to vehicles, except boat taxes are all due by April 30th.

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Are the boat and motor assessed separately?

The boat, motor, and trailer values may be assessed as a unit or separately.

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If I dock my boat at a marina in another county does this affect my taxes?

The tax rates are based on the location of the boat, so if the boat stays at a marina then the boat is subject to all property tax rates levied at that location.

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Who sets the tax rates for the districts?

The taxing districts set the rates based on limits that are stated in the statutes. The PVA is not responsible for setting property tax rates.

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Who is responsible for correcting a tax district or exoneration of taxes?

The Property Valuation Administrator is responsible for the tax districts, tax status on vehicles, and exoneration of tax.

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Who collects my advalorem taxes?

The County Clerk in your county has the responsibility of collecting advalorem taxes on motor vehicles and boats, and maintaining current addresses.

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How do I benefit from the advalorem tax?

Approximately 65% of the advalorem property tax on motor vehicles is returned to the local community, funding your local government, your public schools, your fire departments, your ambulance services, your libraries, etc. The remainder goes to the Kentucky General Fund.

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What is an apportioned vehicle?

Apportioned vehicles are those interstate motor carriers that operate commerce partially within Kentucky.

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Who has the responsibility to administer the advalorem taxes on apportioned vehicles?

All billing and collecting of advalorem taxes on apportioned vehicles is handled through the Department of Revenue in Frankfort.

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Can I report someone that I know has been driving on out-of-state license plates for some time?

Kentucky law requires the registration of vehicles within 15 days from the date they are brought into Kentucky for use. To report someone abusing the system call 1-800-882-8990, or write Freeroaders, Kentucky Department of Revenue, PO Box 1190, Frankfort, KY 40602-1190. You need not identify yourself when calling or writing.

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Usage Tax



I will be moving into Kentucky. What tax will be due?

The 6% usage tax is due upon initial registration into Kentucky. If your vehicle was properly registered to you in the previous state, you will be given tax credit for what you paid to the other state on sales/usage/use tax.

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I used to live in Kentucky before I moved to another state. Now I'm moving back to Kentucky and I still own the same vehicle. Will I have to pay the Motor Vehicle Usage Tax again?

You will not have to pay the usage tax again provided the ownership of the vehicle has not changed during that time. For example, if you owned the vehicle and sold it to a different owner in the other state and then bought it back again, you will be required to pay the usage tax to Kentucky.

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Can I add my spouse/parent/child's name to my vehicle registration/title without paying tax?

If the vehicle is properly registered to you in KY and you want to add your spouse/parent or child, the transaction would be exempt. Documentation is required.

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I want to add my friend's name to my vehicle title/registration. Since I've already paid the usage tax, does it have to be paid again?

Yes, if a non relative’s name is added, full tax will be due. All transfers are fully taxable regardless of how many names are on the title.

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How are motor vehicle usage taxes figured if I buy a new car?

The tax can be based on either 90% of the total Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) which includes all options and destination fees, or it can be based on the Affidavit of Total Consideration. The rate is 6%. If you buy a used vehicle, the tax can be based on the value from a prescribed price reference manual, or it can be based on the value shown on the Affidavit of Total Consideration. The Affidavit can be obtained from any County Clerk office, car dealership, or print it directly from this website.

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What is the Affidavit of Total Consideration?

This Affidavit is a form which requires the signature of both the buyer and the seller; it requires vehicle information, price paid and signatures must be notarized. Other forms are not accepted. If the Affidavit is not available, tax will be based on the "retail" value from the prescribed price reference manual. Vehicles received as "gifts" or for a nominal consideration will be taxed on the trade-in value from the price reference manual.

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Can I get trade-in credit?

If both vehicles involved in the trade have been previously registered, trade credit can be given. Trade in allowance will be allowed on new vehicles sold on or after July 1, 2014. New vehicles purchased prior to July 1, 2014, but titled/registered after July 1, 2014, are not eligible for the trade in allowance.

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How is the amount of trade credit determined?

The Affidavit of Total Consideration may be used or, if it is not available, values will be based on values from the price reference manuals.

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I want to trade a boat/trailer/ATV/farm equipment for a motor vehicle. Will I be given trade-in credit?

No, only vehicles which have been plated for use on the highway pay usage tax so only those vehicles qualify for trade credit. Any tax charged on trailers, boats, farm equipment, ATVs etc. would not be usage tax. The tax collected on those items would have been Sales/Use Tax.

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I paid a similar tax in another state. Will I be allowed credit for that amount?

In most cases, yes. When you register your vehicle in Kentucky, the County Clerk will examine your documents and determine if credit is due and, if so, how much is due. Tax credit applies only to tax you paid on the vehicle you are registering in Kentucky. In some cases, no additional tax is due Kentucky.

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Where do I get further information about vehicle taxes?

For registration information contact the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Registration at (502) 564-5301. For usage tax information contact the Kentucky Department of Revenue at (502) 564-4455.

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I'm leasing a vehicle. How do I pay my usage taxes?

Kentucky provides two methods for paying taxes on leased vehicles. The tax can be paid in full when the vehicle is registered at the County Clerk, or the owner can contact the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, U-Drive-It Section, at (502) 564-5301 to make arrangements to obtain a permit which will allow payments to be made on a monthly basis.

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I bought a vehicle but returned it to the dealer within 60 days or to the manufacturer within 90 days. Can I get a refund of the Motor Vehicle Usage Tax?

In most cases, yes; however, the returned vehicle cannot be "replaced" with another one and tax paid on only the difference in the value. The process must start with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at (502) 564-5301. The title and registration will be cancelled, and Transportation will notify the County Clerk and the Revenue Cabinet. The Department of Revenue will then determine if circumstances call for a refund. If a refund is authorized, the County Clerk will contact the taxpayer and issue the refund from the County Clerk office.

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I wrecked my vehicle soon after I bought it. Can I get a refund of the usage tax?

No, time is not a factor. The usage tax is a tax for the right or privilege of using the highways, and is not based on actual use of the highways.

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When I buy a vehicle and get ready to register it, can I deduct for mileage, wear and tear, rust, etc.?

No. The actual price can be used if the Affidavit of Total Consideration is provided. If the Affidavit of Total Consideration is not used, tax will be based on the retail book value.

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Do I pay Motor Vehicle Usage Tax every year?

No, Motor Vehicle Usage Tax is a one-time only tax as long as you own the vehicle. If ownership is transferred to a different person, tax is due unless there is an applicable exemption under KRS 138.470.

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Our business is located in the Enterprise Zone; how do we obtain an exemption certificate or number?

The Economic Development Cabinet administers the Enterprise Zone program; they can be reached at (502) 564-7670.

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How does the exemption for Enterprise Zone work?

If the vehicle is a commercial vehicle and the company is exempt, no tax is due. If the vehicle is considered a non-commercial vehicle, only the first $20,000 is exempt.

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Are dealers exempt from Motor Vehicle Usage Tax?

No; if the vehicle is new, dealers are not exempt. If the vehicle is used (previously registered), dealers can claim a dealership exemption for vehicles which are being held on the lot for resale or being driven for demonstration purposes by a customer. Business or personal use of the vehicle invalidates the exemption. The vehicle should not be rented, leased, or loaned to any person.

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What are the statutory exemptions?

KRS 138.470 lists the exemption. Your county Clerk can assist you in this, or you may contact the Motor Vehicle Usage Tax Section of the Kentucky Department of Revenue at (502) 564-4455.

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How do I determine the book value of a vehicle?

Specific information will need to be supplied: Is it new or used? Year, make, VIN, title number or plate number for a used vehicle. Also, has the vehicle been modified (dump, flatbed, tank, wrecker, tow truck, etc.)?

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If I have to install a lift to my vehicle to accommodate a handicap, do I pay taxes on the equipment?

No. If the equipment is on the vehicle when it is registered and the Affidavit of Total Consideration is used for tax purposes, indicate the portion of the total cost that is for the equipment. It will be deducted from the total amount. For example: If $20,000 is paid for the vehicle including the accessibility equipment, which is valued at $5,000, the tax would be due on the difference, or a value of $15,000. If the Affidavit of Total Consideration is not used, tax will be based on the retail value from the prescribed reference manual.

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If I trade "even", how much tax do I pay?

If the Affidavit of Total Consideration says "trade even", the tax must will be based on the on the retail value from the prescribed reference manual and additional tax may be due.

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If a vehicle is not listed in the prescribed reference manual and an Affidavit of Total Consideration is not available, how is tax assessed?

The County Clerks do not have access to all manuals. Contact the Motor Vehicle Usage Tax Section at (502) 564-4455.

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I'm moving to Kentucky soon and I've owned an old car for several years. The County Clerk says the car is not listed in his/her books. How much usage tax will I have to pay?

If the vehicle is legally registered to you in the other state and it is no longer listed in the older car guide used by the Kentucky Department of Revenue, the tax will be based on a value of $100. Tax would be $6.00.

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Our church was given a van/car/truck, or we're buying a vehicle…we have a sales tax number. Do we have to pay Motor Vehicle Usage Tax?

Churches are not exempt from usage tax. The Sales/Use number does not apply to motor vehicles.