Keep Your License Plate


Building on the state's plans to migrate from an outdated vehicle registration database to a modern, more efficient system, beginning in January, Kentuckians will now keep their license plates when transferring vehicle ownership- a move that will improve convenience and save money for some Kentuckians (KRS 186.1​90​).

Currently, when a vehicle with an unexpired registration is transferred, a standard issue plate and registration are transferred with the vehicle to the new owner. Once the new Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System (KAVIS) is available statewide in mid-January, when a vehicle is transferred with unexpired registration, the seller retains the plate. Additionally, the seller can apply the plate and unexpired registration, including standard-issue plates, to any other vehicle they own of the same class, including a newly purchased vehicle.  


  • There will be a one-time fee of $11 to transfer the registration to another vehicle. The fee will apply for special license plates, standard issue license plates, commercial weighted plates, historic plates and all personalized license plates on trade-ins at auto dealerships and private sales between individuals. 


  • All vehicles purchased in Kentucky will need a new license plate and registration to be used on the roads. That registration can be from a temporary license plate issued by a licensed automobile dealer or county clerk, a license plate with unexpired registration previously owned by the purchaser, or a new license plate purchased from a County Clerk's office


  • If the registration is due to expire at the end of the month in which the transfer of ownership is processed, the seller will be required to renew that registration if they wish to use that plate on another vehicle or turn the plate into their local County Clerk


  • If the registration has already expired at the time of the vehicle transfer of ownership, the plate must be returned to the county clerk's office, except for personalized license plates. The rights to a personalized license plate are retained for one year following the expiration of registration.

  • All purchases that include registration will require a temporary tag for use until the county clerk processes the registration and the registration receipt is delivered to the customer.