Paperwork When Buying a Car in Kentucky

Paperwork Required to Buy a Car in Kentucky

When you buy a car in Kentucky, the seller must provide certain paperwork, including the vehicle title.

You will need the title and other documents in order to register your vehicle with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC).

Read below for more information about the paperwork you need when you buy a car in Kentucky.

Paperwork Needed to Buy a Car in KY

When you purchase a used car, whether it is from a dealer or private seller, one of the first forms you will need to receive is the vehicle title.

To transfer the title to your name, both you and the seller will need to fill out information on the title itself or on an accompanying form. See “KY Title and Registration Transfer" below for more information.

If the title is lost, the seller should first apply for a duplicate title.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale serves as a purchase receipt. It is not required for title transfer or vehicle registration, but it is an important document for both you and the seller to have in case any misunderstandings or disputes arise.

KY Title and Registration Transfer

To transfer ownership of the vehicle, its title and registration must be transferred to you.

First, you and the seller must EITHER:

To finish the transfer process, you and the seller need to go in person together to a Kentucky county clerk office with:

NOTE: If the registration is expired or needs to be renewed, you will also need to pay a $25 renewal fee.

For more details, see our pages Title Transfers in Kentucky or Register Car in Kentucky.

Vehicle History Reports

A vehicle history report is an important asset for anyone looking to purchase a used car. Stored in a database is every vehicle's vehicle identification number (VIN) along with vital information about the vehicle, including:

  • Odometer readings.
  • Accident reports.
  • Vehicle damage from accidents, floods, or other events.

With a vehicle history report, you can guard against odometer fraud or other deceitful information about a vehicle's history.

Odometer Rollback in Kentucky

It is against the law to change or tamper with the odometer of a vehicle, also called odometer rollback, but some sellers still try to do this to make a used car more attractive to buyers.

If you are concerned about odometer fraud, read the odometer rollback advice and information provided by the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General to learn more about the warning signs.

If you suspect odometer tampering or other forms of fraud, you can contact the Office of Consumer Protection:

  • Online via a contact form.
  • By telephone at (888) 432-9257.

NOTE: Kentucky has a lemon law, but it does not cover used cars.


TC 96-182
Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title or Registration
Application for an original, transferred, updated, OR replacement Kentucky vehicle title.
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