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  • Special Vehicles in Kentucky

    SUMMARY: How to Register Your Special Vehicle in Kentucky

    While most other vehicle types in Kentucky are registered just like your standard car or truck, you should expect to pay different fees depending on what you're trying to register. Some vehicles, such as custom-built cars, require inspection before registration, and others don't need to be registered at all; these include off-road vehicles and trailers.

    If you have a vehicle other than your standard car, pickup truck, or motorcycle, you may be wondering whether you need to have it titled or registered in Kentucky. Different vehicles have different requirements and procedures for titling and/or registration.

    Continue reading to learn more about registration and titling requirements for off-road vehicles and trailers.

    You may also want to visit some of our other pages:

    Off-Road Vehicles in Kentucky

    When it comes to off-road vehicles (ORV) in Kentucky, you don't need to worry about registering them, since they won't be operated on public roads and highways. Depending on the type of off-road vehicle, however, you may still need to have it titled.

    If you have an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), for example, you should make sure to get a title, regardless of whether you bought it from a dealer or from a private seller.

    Snowmobiles, on the other hand, don't need to be registered or titled. Of course, it's best to get a title from the dealer or individual if you ever plan to sell the snowmobile. In other words, it's best to make sure you can prove the snowmobile is yours.

    Guidelines for ATV Riders

    You must be 16 years old or older to operate an ATV with more than 90 ccs. If you are younger than 16 years old you may not operate an ATV unless you have parental supervision. You must be 12 years old or older to operate an ATV with more than 70 ccs.

    >You are not permitted to operate your ATV on a public highway unless:

    • You have a valid Kentucky driver's license.
    • Your ATV complies with all motor vehicle regulations.
      AND
    • You need to operate the ATV for work-related purposes.

    You can find more rules and regulations regarding ATVs in the Kentucky Driver Manual.

    Custom-Built Cars

    If you built a custom car in Kentucky, you'll need to apply for a vehicle identification number (VIN) before you can register it. Take the following to your local KY DMV office:

    • Receipts and invoices for all labor and parts purchased.
    • Certificates of title for any major components that came from a previous vehicle.
    • A notarized statement detailing what was done to the vehicle.
    • A completed Application for Vehicle Identification Number (Form TC 96-169).

    Once you've been issued a VIN, you'll need to have your custom car inspected at your local sheriff's office. Upon passing the inspection, the Kentucky DMV will send you an approval notice. Take this to your local county clerk's office who will verify the information and then organize for your certificate of title to be sent to you.

    Once you have your certificate of title, you're ready to register your car. Follow the instructions on our Kentucky Vehicle Registration page for more information.

    Kentucky Trailers

    In Kentucky, you don't have to register your utility trailer if you only plan to use it within the state. However, since not all states recognize Kentucky's laws, you will need to register your trailer if you plan to take it outside KY.

    You can't register anything without a title, so make sure you have one for your utility trailer. To apply for a title if it's been lost, stolen, or damaged, you'll follow a similar process to obtaining a duplicate title for your car. See our Replacing a Lost Title in Kentucky page for more information.

    Once you have your title on hand, simply head to your local Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing (DMV) office with the title and apply for it to be registered. Your registration fee will vary depending on the size of your trailer, so you may want to call ahead for details.

    The process to register a trailer is similar to that of registering a regular passenger vehicle, so there shouldn't be any surprises.

    Motorhomes and RVs

    If you have a motorhome or recreational vehicle (RV), you must have it registered before you can drive it legally in Kentucky. The process is the same as registering a regular vehicle. You should, however, be prepared for a higher registration fee, as your RV is much larger than regular trucks and cars.

    See our Kentucky Vehicle Registration page for more information, and contact your local DMV office to determine whether you will need to bring any extra paperwork for your RV.

    Scooters and Mopeds in Kentucky

    You MUST register a scooter, moped, or other motor-driven cycle in order to operate it on public roads in Kentucky.

    You'll register your scooter or moped just as you would register a motorcycle.

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