Kentucky Car Inspection

In Kentucky, you’ll need a VIN inspection when you register an out-of-state vehicle.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
If you move to Kentucky, you’ll need to have a VIN inspection done to complete your registration.
In 1977, the Clean Air Act was amended to require states to have a vehicle emissions inspection program if the air in their metropolitan areas didn’t meet federal air quality standards. The requirements for these inspections vary by state.
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What are the vehicle inspection requirements in Kentucky?

If you move to Kentucky from another state, you must get a one-time VIN inspection. A Sheriff deputy will compare the VIN to the number on the Title or Certificate of Origin to make sure they match. They’ll also check the mileage to see if it matches what was recorded on the Kentucky Application for Certificate of Title/Registration Form.
If you drive a motorcycle, the inspector will check to make sure that the VIN is stamped into the frame in addition to appearing on the VIN sticker.
If you’re registering a Salvage vehicle, the inspector will also check the following:
  • Brake lights
  • Glass
  • Horn
  • Lights
  • Turn Signals 
  • Wipers
Pro Tip You won’t receive your Kentucky license plate unless you bring the completed inspection form to the County Clerk.

Where to get a car inspection in Kentucky?

To get your VIN inspection, bring the vehicle and title to the Sheriff’s office in the county where you’re planning to license the car.
If you can’t bring the vehicle to your county Sheriff’s office, you may be able to call and make arrangements for them to come to you. There may be an additional charge for this convenience.
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What do I need to bring to my vehicle inspection?

When you go to the Sheriff’s office for your inspection, be sure to bring:
  • The vehicle
  • Your driver’s license (out of state is okay)
  • The original title to the vehicle
  • $5.00 inspection fee

How often do you need a car inspection?

In Kentucky, you only need to have your VIN inspection done once. Kentucky doesn’t require an annual emissions inspection.

How much does a car inspection cost in Kentucky?

The fee for a VIN inspection in Kentucky is $5.00. If you pay with a credit or debit card, there may be a small service charge added to the transaction.

Do I need car insurance to get an inspection in Kentucky?

No, but you will need to show a
car insurance
card to the County Clerk before they will register your vehicle.

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Once your car is inspected and registered, you’ll need car insurance to legally hit the road. Luckily, car insurance super-app
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No. In the state of Kentucky, you only need an inspection if you’re registering an out-of-state vehicle.
No. You only need a VIN inspection in Kentucky if you’re registering a vehicle from another state.
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