Kentucky Vehicle Registration (A Complete 2024 Guide)

Kentucky Vehicle Registration (A Complete Guide)

Registering your car for the first time? 

Maybe it’s time to renew your registration.

Or maybe you want to know about the vehicle registration laws in Kentucky?

Whatever the case, all you need to know about Kentucky vehicle registration is right here. We’ll look at:

  • How to register your car in Kentucky
  • The different channels to renew your registration
  • Car registration laws in Kentucky
  • Car registration penalties in Kentucky
  • FAQs

So welcome to your complete guide to Kentucky vehicle registration!

How to Register My Car in Kentucky

It doesn’t matter whether you bought your car in Kentucky or another state — the process of registering it is all the same. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Prepare the following documents:
    • Valid photo ID or driver’s license
    • Certificate of Title for Kentucky-bought vehicles
    • Bill of Sale for other states that don’t give vehicle titles
    • Proof of vehicle insurance 
  • For vehicles bought outside of Kentucky, complete a Sheriff Vehicle Inspection in your county.
  • Go to your County Clerk’s Office and bring the required documents. 
  • Submit all the documents and the application form. 
  • Pay the necessary registration and titling fees (prices will depend on your vehicle’s weight)

Once you complete the process, just wait for the County Clerk to give your vehicle registration. This is usually completed within a day. 

How to Renew My Car Registration in Kentucky

Your car’s registration expires in a year. 

Most of the time, you will receive a renewal notice for your car registration. If you don’t receive any, you should go ahead and renew your registration anyway. 

In Kentucky, there are two ways to renew a car’s registration – in person and online. 

How to Renew Your Car Registration In Person

If you’re renewing in person, you need to locate your County Clerk’s Office and renew your registration there. 

Follow these steps for a fast renewal process: 

  • Prepare these documents beforehand:
    • Valid photo ID or driver’s license
    • Kentucky Certificate of Vehicle Registration
    • Original copy of insurance policy
  • Go to your County Clerk’s Office and submit the documents. 
  • Pay the fees for renewal. 
  • Receive the decal to be placed on your license plate. 

Renewing in person may take longer because of the queues and the traffic going to the Clerk’s office. However, unlike online renewal, your car registration will be printed on-site. 

How to Renew Your Car Registration Online

The easiest way to renew your car registration is online. The Kentucky government offers an online portal for vehicle registrations. However, you can only use this if your vehicle’s details are found. 

To know if you’re eligible for online renewal, go to the online portal and input your car’s plate number and the title number. Check if the vehicle is verified. 

Note: there are many third-party websites offering to renew your car’s registration, but always renew at the Kentucky Government website to avoid scams and excessive fees. 

If you’re verified, follow these steps for online renewal: 

  • Fill up the address and contact detail fields
  • Pay the appropriate fees using a credit card or debit card
  • Wait for the County Clerk’s Office to process your renewal

You won’t be able to get your renewed vehicle registration right away. The County Clerk’s Office will process your renewal in 5 business days. 

Once it’s processed, the renewal decal will be mailed to you. 

Vehicle Registration Laws in Kentucky

Registration is required for all vehicles operated in Kentucky. 

By law, you are required to register your newly bought car within 15 days from the sale. This is required whether you bought a new car or a second-hand one. 

For new Kentucky residents, vehicles are required to be registered within 10 days. 

Kentucky Car Insurance Laws

Like most states, Kentucky requires that every vehicle must have minimum insurance coverage. Without any insurance to the vehicle’s name, operation and registration will not be given.

Here are the minimum insurance requirements: 

  • Liability coverage of $25,000 per person
  • Liability coverage of $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage of $25,000
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) of $10,000 per accident

Car Registration Penalty in Kentucky

If you are unable to register or renew your car registration within the time period, you will face these penalties: 

  • Cannot operate your vehicle. If you do, then you will be operating it illegally. 
  •  $2 lien filing fee
  • 3% of the registration fee for the first 30 days of delayed renewal
  • 10% of the registration fee for late renewal beyond 30 days

Frequently Asked Questions

Got some questions about Kentucky vehicle registration? These FAQs might help.

How much does it cost to register a vehicle in Kentucky?

Fees can vary per county, but the base fees are as follows: 

  • Vehicle registration fee: $21
  • Title fee: $9
  • Speed title fee: $25
  • Vehicle inspection: $5

How do I register an out-of-state vehicle in Kentucky?

If you bought your vehicle outside Kentucky, you need to fill up this form and submit your vehicle insurance and your photo ID. You also need to submit a signed title or a bill of sale, depending on what the state issues for vehicles bought there.

Can you register a car in Kentucky without a driver’s license?

Yes, you can register your car without a valid Kentucky driver’s license. However, the licensing office will need a valid photo ID for registration. 

Is there a grace period for car registration in Kentucky?

Yes. On March 6, 2020, the Kentucky government made changes due to COVID-19. Now, there is a 90-day grace period given to all vehicle registrations. 


And that was everything you needed to know about Kentucky vehicle registration. 

It’s so easy to register and renew your vehicle. 

So what are you waiting for?

If you just bought a car or brought it from out of state, then go and register it right away. 

Or, if you see that your registration is about to expire, then go and renew it. It’s so convenient thanks to the online portal. 

You should do it before you have to face the penalties!

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