License Plates

KY issues over 150 different types of passenger and motorcycle license plates. License plates can be categorized into the following types: Regular (Standard Issue), Special, University, Independent College, Military, Military Motorcycle, Miscellaneous, Disabled, and Special Motorcycle Plates. To view all Kentucky License Plates, visit the Plate List application page.

Personalized Plates

 Effective July 17, 2017: The Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing has lifted the temporary moratorium on all new applications for personalized license plates. 

Standard issue passenger plates (Unbridled Spirit and In God We Trust), the standard issue motorcycle plate, military plates and special plates can be personalized. 

Personalized  plates are regulated by the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 186.174, KRS 186.164 (9) (c) thru (g) and Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR) 601 KAR 9:012.  

For a list and image of all plates, visit the Plate List application page.​

Application Process

All personalized plate requests must be pre-approved by the Cabinet’s Personalized Plate Review Committee prior to submitting an application to your County Clerk. To initiate the personalized plate application process, you must complete the following forms and take the necessary steps:

  1. Visit the Plate List application page to check the availability of the character combination/s of your request. You will do this by clicking on the image of the plate you are interested in and click on the “PERSONALIZE THIS PLATE”. 
  2. Once availability has been checked, submit your online request, click on the "REQUEST THIS PLATE" button.​

 Note: Your plate request is granted on a first come, first serve basis.There is a possibility that your plate request may become unavailable if the same request was received prior to your submission.You will be notified if this is the case.

Please review Requirements and Restrictions regarding personalized plate character combinations.

  If your plate request is PRE-APPROVED-​

  • Upon receipt of your pre-approval notification, take your pre-approval notification and a completed TC 96-342, Application for Personalized License Plate, to your County Clerk’s office in the county where you reside.
  • Pay the $25.00  personalized plate fee to your county clerk. This is in addition to the registration fee applied to each plate.                 *For a list of plates and their registration fees, visit the Plate List application page.
  • All pre-approval notifications will be emailed and/or mailed to the address referenced on the online request form and/or to your County Clerk’s office.
If your plate request is REJECTED-​

  • All rejection notifications will be emailed and/or mailed to the address referenced on the online request form.
  • Your notification will advise you of your next steps: reapply with a new request or appeal your current request.  
Appeal Process-
To appeal the rejection of your personalized plate request, please complete the online appeal form.

 Important​: Appeals are reviewed twice a month by the Personalized Plate Appeal Committee. This committee is separate from the initial Personalized Plate Review Committee. All appeal decisions are final. Decisions made by the Appeal Review Committee will be emailed and/or mailed to the address referenced on the appeal form.. 

Requirements & Restrictions

Personalized passenger plates may contain up to six alphas and/or numeric characters in addition to a space or dash. However, in some cases the characters may impede on the design of the plate. It is recommended to review the image of the plate to determine desirable spacing.

Personalized motorcycle plates may contain up to five alpha and/or numeric characters in addition to a space or dash.

Unique

A personalized plate character combination may only appear on one plate at any given time.​

What character combinations are reserved / unavailable?

To see available character combinations you may visit the Plate List application page click on the image of the plate you are interested in and click on the “PERSONALIZE THIS PLATE”. Customers may look up plate availability this way.​

Notification, Processing & Pickup

It takes approximately four to six weeks from the time the application is made for a personalized plate to be manufactured, processed and shipped to the County Clerk’s office for pick-up by the customer.

Renewals

Personalized plates must be renewed each year in the month of December; they expire on December 31st. Registration renewal fees vary. The renewal fees assessed for each plate can be found on the Plate List application page. Click on the image of the plate.

Once a personalized plate is issued, it is reserved for the recipient every year after. However, if a personalized plate registration is not renewed for an entire calendar year after its expiration, the personalized plate is no longer reserved.

Each year, at time of renewal, the customer will be given the option of either receiving a plate with decal or just a decal at the next year’s renewal. Note: If a customer chooses a new plate, they will not be able to renew on line. Therefore, upon completion of the renewal, the customer will receive either the plate with decal or only a decal depending on the previous year’s choice.

Replace a Lost or Stolen Plate

The County Clerk will issue a standard issue plate and submit a request to have the lost or stolen plate remade. Once a personalized plate is deemed lost or stolen, it cannot be re-issued until January of the following calendar year.

When a personalized plate is damaged, it must be returned to the County Clerk’s office in the customer’s county of residence. The County Clerk will issue the customer a standard issue plate and submit a request to have the damaged personalized plate remade. The customer will be notified when the new personalized plate has been made and is available to be picked up in the County Clerk’s office.

Selling or trading your vehicle that has a personalized Plate

Before you sell or trade your vehicle that has a personalized plate on it, you must first let your County Clerk know. The clerk must assign a new standard issue plate to the vehicle so that you may keep your personalized plate. A $6.00 plate and decal replacement fee will be assessed.

Moving a personalized plate to another vehicle

Should you wish to put your personalized plate on another vehicle, the Clerk will need to properly assign the personalized plate to the other vehicle. To transfer your personalized plate to another vehicle, a $3.00 re-issue fee will be assessed.

Taxes & Fees

Registration renewal fees are due at the time of registration renewal. Most property (ad valorem) taxes are due by the last day of your birth month. There are some exceptions to this such as historical vehicles, are due in December, and title-only vehicles, are due in July (this is a partial list of exceptions).

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