How do I complete a title transfer in Kentucky? Kentucky

In the state of Kentucky, a title transfer must be completed within 30 days of vehicle ownership changing hands. Common reasons for a title transfer include:
  • Vehicle purchase.
  • Lien removal.
  • Vehicle gifting.
  • Family transfer. 
  • Vehicle inheritance.
  • Legal name change.

Sell Car

If you are selling a car, complete the following steps in order to transfer the car title successfully:

  1. Sign and date the title, and have the new owner do the same.
  2. Complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
  3. Complete an official Bill of Sale.
  4. Have all documents notarized.
  5. Instruct the buyer to present all paperwork within 30 days to the Motor Vehicle Licensing (MVL) division of the County Clerk’s office.
  6. Follow-up with the MVL to ensure title transfer completion.

Buy Car

If you are buying a car from a dealer, the dealer will complete the title transfer for you. If you are purchasing a used car from a private party, you can complete the title transfer by presenting the following to your county’s MVL office:

  • Notarized title, indicating you as the new owner.
  • Notarized Bill of Sale.
  • A completed Odometer Disclosure Statement, also notarized.
  • $9 Title fee.

The MVL website provides a complete list of County Clerk locations. You can also contact MVL headquarters directly, at the following address:

Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing

P.O. Box 2014

Frankfort, KY 40602-2014

(502) 564-5301

Vehicle History Report

When purchasing used cars, it is advisable to obtain a vehicle history report (VHR) for the car you are considering. You can obtain a VHR online through the Unofficial DMV Guide, as well as other online sources.

Lien Removal

You can remove a lien by presenting the following to your County Clerk’s office:

  • Termination statement, signed by the previous lienholder.
  • Completed Application for Kentucky Title/Registration.

There is no fee for removing a lien in Kentucky State.

Family Transfer vs. Vehicle Gifting

A family transfer differs from vehicle gifting, in that vehicle ownership can be transferred without accruing additional taxes. Vehicles can only be transferred among immediate family members, to include parents, grandparents, spouses, children and siblings. When transferring or gifting a vehicle, complete the following steps in order to place the title in another name:

  1. Sign and date the title.
  2. Have the new owner sign and date the title.
  3. Complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
  4. Have the title and disclosure statement notarized.
  5. Present the title, disclosure statement, proof of insurance, and picture I.D. to your County Clerk’s office within 30 days.

Vehicle Inheritance

The procedure for transferring a title when inheriting a vehicle depends on several varying factors. For this reason, it best to enlist the aid of a probate attorney, prior to taking any preliminary steps.

Legal Name Change

If your legal name has changed, submit the following to your local MVL division:

  • Proof of your legal name, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or certificate of adoption.
  • Original car title.
  • Proof of vehicle insurance.
  • Picture I.D.

You can also add or remove a name from the car title if necessary. Contact your MVL office ahead of time to inquire about fees, and the necessary presence of added or removed parties.

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