How to Register a Car In Kentucky

Depending on the Kentucky license plate you have, you may be able to renew your registration online. Here’s what else you need to know about KY registration.
Written by Natalie Todoroff
If you’re a new Kentucky resident, you have 90 days to register your vehicle at your local County Clerk’s Office. And, if you purchased your car out of state, you’ll also need to pass a Sheriff's inspection. 
Or, if you’re a longtime Kentuckian just looking to get your yearly vehicle registration out of the way, you may be able to renew it online—depending on the kind of license plate you’ve got.
, the
trustworthy insurance comparison app
, is here with a guide on what you need to know about registering your car in the Bluegrass State. We’ll even give you some bonus tips on how to lower
Kentucky insurance costs
Find out if you can reduce your monthly car payments in minutes
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score
Check your rate
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score

How to register a car in Kentucky 

Exactly what it costs to register your vehicle in Kentucky will change based on both the weight of your vehicle and the county you register it in. But, generally speaking, you’ll pay $21 for vehicle registration, $9 for the title fee (or $25 for the speed title fee), and $5 for the vehicle inspection (if you need one). If you have a
car loan
on your vehicle, you will also need to pay an additional $22 fee.  
The registration process looks different for longtime Kentucky residents than it does for those who have just settled in the state. Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process on how to register your vehicle for both scenarios. 

If you just moved to Kentucky 

First things first, if you’ve just moved to Kentucky you’ve got just 30 days to get to a Kentucky driver’s license at a
Driver Licensing Regional Office
. The window for vehicle registration is much longer at 90 days; and for that, you’ll need to head to your local
County Clerk Office
with the following documents on hand: 
  • Proof KY insurance (issue date with 45 days)
  • Photo ID 
  • Form TC 96-182
    and signed-over KY title. Signatures on the title must be notarized. If you are bringing your vehicle from a state that only issues bills of sale, bring your bill of sale in place of a title. Signatures for this form must also be notarized. 
  • If the name on your ID is different from the one on your title, bring documentation proving your name change (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.)
You will also need to schedule and pass a
Sheriff's inspection
if you purchased your vehicle out of state. During the inspection, a sheriff’s department employee will verify your VIN number and that your vehicle is “roadworthy” and up to KY code. When you pass, you will be given form
Form TC 96-229
, which you must also bring with you to register your vehicle.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary paperwork, head on down to your local County Clerk’s office. But, before you go, check its website to see what kind of payment they accept for the fees. Generally, cash, money order, certified check, cashier’s check, and personal checks are accepted, but certain credit cards may be subject to a processing fee. Once you’ve submitted your payments and documents, they’ll print you your registration sticker right on the spot. 

If you just bought a car 

If you purchased your vehicle out of state, the process looks pretty similar as the one for new Kentucky residents. If you opted to go to an Ohio or Indiana dealership to get your new set of wheels, you will need to
transfer the title to Kentucky
and get a Sheriff’s inspection as well. 

How much insurance coverage do you need in Kentucky?

In order to register your vehicle in Kentucky, you will need to provide
proof of insurance
that meets the state’s minimum legal requirements:
The insurance must be issued within 45 days of registration in order to qualify. And, keep in mind that the requirements above are just the absolute legal minimum. It’s a good idea to add extra liability,
collision insurance
comprehensive coverage
to your policy for both added peace of mind and added financial protection. 

How to renew your Kentucky vehicle registration 

Your Kentucky vehicle registration must be renewed every year. Conveniently, Kentucky registration usually expires on the last day of your birth month (unless it’s a historical or title-only vehicle), making it easier to remember. 
You can renew your registration either in person or online:

In-person renewal 

Just like your initial registration, you can go to your local County Clerk's Office to renew your registration. And, thankfully, renewal requires much less paperwork. All you need to bring is your driver’s license, your current registration, and original copy of your insurance policy. And, just like the first time, your vehicle must be insured for at least 45 days. 
You’ll also need to pay any renewal fees: $21 for standard non-commercial vehicles, $18.50 for motorcycles, and $31.50 for farm vehicles. Be sure to take a look at the County Clerk’s website and bring an acceptable form of payment! 
Although going in person may eat up a good chunk (if not all) of your afternoon when you take into account the drive time and waiting around for your number to be called, you know that you’ll walk out of the office with your new registration sticker. 

Online renewal

Only certain plates can be renewed online, so before you commit, first check and see if you’re eligible! If you are, head to the
online renewal portal
. Keep in mind that leased vehicles cannot be renewed online, and vehicles that are registered in different counties to the same owner must be registered separately. 
You can only renew online before your current registration expires, you cannot have any overdue property taxes on this or any other vehicle you own. Just like any other Kentucky registration, your vehicle must be insured for at least 45 days. 
If you qualify for online registration, you’ll need your title number, plate number, and a debit or credit card to pay any fees. Be aware that there’s an additional $2 fee to cover the cost of mailing. Your renewal will be processed in five to seven business days, and your new sticker will be mailed to you. 

How to replace a lost sticker or license plate 

To replace a lost sticker or plate, go to the County Clerk’s office. A new sticker will cost you $3, and license plate is $6. To apply for a new license plate, you will have to fill out form
TC 96-167
and pay $3 to get it notarized. 

How to save on auto insurance in Kentucky

As we mentioned earlier, purchasing
car insurance
is an essential step in registering your vehicle. But don’t spend hours online or on hold with insurance agents shopping: download
for a simplified and money-saving shopping experience!  
Jerry is a
licensed insurance broker app
that uses the power of comparison shopping to find drivers across the country great deals on their car insurance policies. Jerry partners with over 50 premium insurance providers; and once you take less than a minute to download and answer some basic questions, Jerry will pull you customized, real-time quotes. 
Adjusting your coverage needs is just as easy. Whether you’re looking for a robust, end-to-end insurance plan or just something that meets Kentucky's state minimum, Jerry’s team of friendly insurance agents are always just a text message away to help. Download today to see how much you could save on
Kentucky insurance costs
: on average, Jerry saves drivers over $800 a year!   
was helpful every step of the way. They saved me over $100 a month for insurance in Kentucky.” —Jim F.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
Find insurance savings


To register your vehicle in Kentucky, you must bring photo ID, proof of Kentucky insurance, notarized Kentucky title (or notarized bill of sale if it’s an out-of-state vehicle that only does bills of sale),
Form TC 96-182
, and complete a Sheriff’s inspection (if purchased out of state).
Vehicles that are owned by nonresidents of Kentucky and primarily operated and registered in other states, owned by the United States, vehicle regularly transporting people or property that are titled in another state, vehicles moved by animal power, exclusively used for agricultural purposes, special mobile equipment, self-propelled wheelchairs and invalid tricycles, mopeds, and electric low-speed scooters.
Statute 186A.080
has an exhaustive list of which vehicles are exempt from Kentucky registration.
Reduce your monthly car payments in minutes?
Find out if Jerry can reduce your payments by an average of $150/month
Check your rate!

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings