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Kentucky Buying a Vehicle

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Getting a Title & Registration When Buying a Vehicle From a Dealership

It is quite easy to get a title and registration for a vehicle purchased from a dealer in Kentucky. Dealers will simply take care of the title and registration paperwork for you, including submitting the paperwork to the county clerk. This is true of both new and used car dealerships. You will have to fill out some documents at the dealership, but you will not have to actually go to the county clerk’s office yourself. The dealer will issue you a temporary plate, and your permanent plate will come in the mail in a few weeks.

If you financed the vehicle, the title will stay with the financing company until the loan is paid off. You will get the title from the financing company at that point. If you bought the vehicle outright, you will also receive the title a few weeks after the purchase, although not necessarily at the same time as you receive your plates.

Getting a Title & Registration When Buying a Vehicle From a Private Party

While getting a title and registration for a vehicle purchased by a Kentucky dealer is relatively simple, the process for getting a title and registration for a vehicle purchased from a private party is a bit more involved. Kentucky does not require that both parties be present when the buyer obtains their title and registration. However, a signed and notarized application is necessary if the seller is not going to be present. To get the title and registration, the buyer will have to submit the following documents:

  • Completed original Kentucky title
  • Original Kentucky registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • ID
  • SSN

If the title was printed after 3/1/2000 and both parties are present, you do not need to submit a separate application for the title.

Completing the Title

Completing the title in Kentucky is a similar process to that in many other states. A Kentucky title has a blank section on it specifically set aside for transferring the title. Both the buyer and seller have to sign this section. Various other details are also required, including the date of sale, the sale price, and the vehicle’s odometer reading at the time of the sale.

Registering the Vehicle

Once the paperwork has been completed, the process of registering the vehicle is quite simple. The buyer will receive a copy of the registration and a temporary plate. The permanent plate will arrive in the mail in a few weeks.

Submitting Payment

Kentucky charges relatively affordable titling and registration fees compared with many other states. The relevant fees in Kentucky include:

  • Lien filing fee if applicable: $22.00
  • Late lien filing penalty if applicable: $2.00
  • Title fee: $17.00
  • Clerk fee: $6.00
  • Plate fee: $21.00 (annual registration)

Payment is accepted in the form of cash, debit card, certified check, credit card, cashier’s check, and money order.

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Last Verified:
Oct 11, 2022