The Kentucky Legislature has mandated a crackdown on uninsured motorists across the Commonwealth. Owners of personal vehicles shown to have been without insurance will receive notices that registrations for their personal vehicles will be canceled if they do not obtain the required insurance or show proof of existing insurance. The mandatory insurance initiative aims to plug an enforcement gap that enables drivers to skirt the law by dropping coverage once their vehicles have been registered.
You Must Have Insurance
An owner may not operate a vehicle in Kentucky until insurance has been obtained. According to the statute, an owner who fails to maintain insurance on his vehicle shall have his vehicle registration revoked. In addition, the vehicle owner, as well as the vehicle driver, are subject to a fine of $500.00 to $1,000.00, up to 90 days in jail, or both. All owners of motor vehicles in Kentucky are required to carry minimum liability coverage. This means liability coverage of $25,000.00 for all claims for bodily injury damages sustained by any one person and not less than $50,000.00 for all bodily injury damages sustained by all persons as a result of an accident, as well as $25,000.00 for all property damage as a result of any one accident. Alternatively, a policy with a single limit of $60,000.00 is acceptable. In addition, the policy must provide basic reparations benefits unless the insured vehicle is a motorcycle.
Per KRS 304.39-087, KRS 186A.040
, and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet rules, the Department of Vehicle Regulation will not accept the use of a surplus lines carrier for auto liability coverage (commercial or personal) to complete the required registration of vehicles. Brokers should utilize the admitted market for auto liability coverage and procure excess and additional coverage types for commercial and personal auto using surplus lines.
Moving to Kentucky?
KRS 186.020 states that a person who brings a motor vehicle into the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall make an application for registration within fifteen (15) days in the county in which the person resides.
Regulation and Requirement
If your vehicle has a current, active registration, you must maintain insurance on that vehicle. If you do not plan to keep your registration current, you must turn in your license plate to the County Clerk's office and cancel your insurance without penalty.
Some owners of seasonal vehicles such as motorcycles or RVs are accustomed to dropping the insurance on these vehicles during the months they are not being driven. To avoid penalties for lack of insurance, the owners of these vehicles must turn in their license plate to the County Clerk's office before canceling their insurance policy when it is time to put the vehicle back on the road, secure proof of insurance, and present the proof to the County Clerk. At that time, the clerk's office will allow the registration of the vehicle.
Much the same as seasonal vehicles, owners of vehicles with Historic license plates sometimes drop the insurance while the vehicle is not being driven but fail to surrender the license plate to the County Clerk's office. This will cause an uninsured notice to be mailed because the Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing has a record of a registered vehicle without an insurance policy being reported each month. To avoid any penalties for lack of insurance, turn in the license plate to the County Clerk's office before canceling the insurance policy. When the time comes to get the vehicle back on the road, present proof of insurance to the County Clerk's office, and the vehicle can be registered.
Attending college inside OR outside Kentucky
KRS 186.430 states that a student can keep home-state registration and insurance as long as they keep a current student identification card from a Kentucky college, university, or technical college in their possession at all times when driving in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
If you (or your child) are attending a school outside the state of Kentucky, you should check with that state to verify that state's registration requirements.
Active duty military
Active duty military personnel can use out-of-state insurance to title and register any vehicle titled in their name here in Kentucky. When registering a vehicle, if it is recorded as a standard personal policy at the County Clerk's office rather than a military personal policy, it will cause the vehicle to be flagged as being possibly uninsured. This is due to the insurance company not being required to send the Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing a report of insured VIN
s each month. The Insurance System will not find a match because Kentucky does not require active duty military insurance policies to be reported each month. If you are currently on active military duty and receive an uninsured notice letter, show proof of your active military service (pay stub, I.D.) to the County Clerk's office to resolve the issue.
Temporarily living outside of Kentucky
If a vehicle is registered in Kentucky, it must be insured by an insurance company authorized to do business in Kentucky, and you must maintain insurance on that vehicle.