Motorcycle Registration in Kentucky

Before you can ride a motorcycle in Kentucky, you'll need to register it with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC). Whether you're new to Kentucky or have just purchased a motorcycle, use this guide to make the process as fast and simple as possible!

New to Kentucky

After establishing Kentucky residency, you'll have 15 days to register your motorcycle or autocycle at your local county clerk's office.

BEFORE registering your vehicle, you'll FIRST need:

  • A Kentucky title on your motorcycle. Often, titling and registration can be completed at the same time—check with your county clerk before your visit.
  • Proof of a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection.
    • Inspections are done either at your county clerk or by your county sheriff's office. Visit our guide to KY vehicle inspections for details.
  • Leasing documents, if applicable—these include:
    • A power of attorney from the leasing company.
    • The leasing company's contact information.
    • A paid sales tax statement from your lessor.

Submit the above documents to your local KY county clerk's office, as well as:

  • A completed Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title/Registration (Form TC 96-182).
  • Your out-of-state title and registration.
  • A photo ID.
  • Proof of:
    • Sales or usage tax paid in your previous state.
    • Kentucky motorcycle insurance.
      • Proof is required when KY insurance has been issued within the last 45 days. After this, you'll maintain insurance year-round and the KYTC will have it recorded in their database.
  • Payment for the $18.50 registration fee. 
  • Payment of $60 if you have an electric motorcycle.
  • Other applicable fees and taxes.

KY Motorcycle Registration

Following the purchase of a motorcycle or autocycle in Kentucky, you'll need to register and title it at your local county clerk's office.

Steps for registration vary depending on if you bought your motorcycle:

  • Through a dealership.
  • From a private seller.

Dealership Purchases

After buying a new motorcycle from a dealership, the dealer will issue temporary tags valid for 30 days, along with the vehicle's title or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO). You can either:

  • Give the dealer permission to title your new motorcycle with the county clerk.
  • Title and register the motorcycle yourself.

If you choose to handle the paperwork on your own, see the steps below for private transfers.

Private Motorcycle Sales

When buying a motorcycle from another private party, the seller must FIRST:

  • Fill out the title and assign it to you (the buyer).
  • Sign the title in front of a notary.

If the motorcycle's title was originally issued before the year 2000, you may also need to complete an Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title/Registration (Form TC 96-182).

Once you've received the notarized title, you're ready to register. Visit your local county clerk's office and hand in:

  • Proof of ownership—either:
    • The signed and notarized title.
    • Ensure that the odometer mileage is disclosed.
    • A Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO).
  • A completed application form, if necessary.
  • Proof of:
    • Identification.
    • Kentucky motorcycle insurance if it was issued within the last 45 days.
      • Longer-standing policies should already be recorded in the KYTC's database.
  • Payment for the $18.50 motorcycle registration fee, plus any other applicable fees and taxes.

Motorcycle Registration Fees & Taxes

The exact fees due when registering your motorcycle or autocycle in Kentucky may vary according to your county of residence. Below are some basic fees you may pay:

  • Motorcycle registration: $18.50, $60 if the motorcycle is electric.
  • Title: $9.
    • Speed title: $25—allows you to receive the title the next day.
  • VIN inspection: $15.
  • Sales/usage tax: 6% of the purchase price.
  • Other county taxes and fees: Varies according to your residence.


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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