How to Register Vehicle in Kentucky?

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Those wanting to register their car or truck in the state of Kentucky will do so through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC). Drivers will register their vehicle’s title at the time of their car’s registration.

Vehicle requirements include:

  • Do not require inspections or emissions testing
  • Require a VIN inspection if they’ve yet to be registered
  • Must be covered by auto insurance

Registration is done in person at a KTC/DMV office.

This registration process isn’t difficult but can prove frustrating if it’s your first time. We’ve outlined the process, keeping it as simple as possible so you can get in, file, and be on your way.

Registering Your Car in Kentucky: Step-by-Step

We’ve divided the car registration process into two categories:

  • Private sales
  • Dealerships

Consider calling ahead to check potential wait times before going to the office. You may choose to download and pre-file some forms to make the process even easier.

Registration via Private Sales

Purchasing a vehicle through a private party includes a title transfer. The ownership transfer is quite easy when both parties are at the clerk’s office. Otherwise, gather details and prepare to take a trip to your nearest KTC office.

  1. Go to your clerk’s office
  2. Present your driver’s license
    1. Plus: Social security number
  3. Submit your vehicle information:
    1. Before February 2000: Title and Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title/Registration (TC 96-182)
    2. After February 2000: Filled and signed transaction form from the title
  4. Show your proof of auto insurance
  5. Pay your registration, taxes, and fees

Registration via Dealer Sales

Dealers typically submit paperwork on your behalf, but you may need to do the process.

  1. Go to your clerk’s office
  2. Show your driver’s license
    1. Plus: Social security number
  3. Show your vehicle information:
    1. Certificate of Title
    2. Vehicle inspection
    3. Lien statement (if applicable)
  4. Complete the Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title/Registration
  5. Pay your registration fees

Typical Kentucky Registration, Taxes, and Fees

Transactions are completed at your county clerk – including:

  • Title: $9
  • Transfer: $17
  • Registration: $25
  • Inspection: $5

You may pay up to 6% of the vehicle’s cost in taxes. The final taxes and fees depend on your vehicle and DMV needs – talk with the clerk or check the site for the full details.

Coming from Out of State?

Out-of-state drivers will register their vehicles within 15 days of their residency.

The private vehicle registration includes a vehicle inspection, filing your application, having insurance, showing vehicle paperwork, and paying the necessary fees. Leased vehicle registration is the same but requires a power of attorney and a statement declaring you’ve paid sales tax.

Set a Reminder for Registration Renewal

Kentucky’s registration renewal can vary when factoring in when and how you registered. You’ll want to mark your calendar or set a reminder when this time comes around. In the meantime, continue practicing safe driving and follow all road rules. Congratulations, you’ve registered your wheels.


Congratulations on completing the process of registering your vehicle in Kentucky. You can now legally operate it on public roads as long as you maintain proper maintenance and pay registration fees. Remember, if you move or change your car, update the state so that your registration is valid.  Good luck!  Enjoy driving safely and responsibly. Thank you