IMPORTANT INFORMATION! In order to transition to our new Automated Vehicle Information System, all County Clerk offices will temporarily pause in-person and online motor and vessel-related services in early January. Vehicle owners due to renew in December are encouraged to do so early before holiday closures. For more information, click HERE
Kentucky 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.
Standard-issue passenger plates (Team Kentucky, Standard, 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.
Plate List application page for a list and image of all plates.
All personalized plate requests must be pre-approved by the Cabinet’s Personalized Plate Review Committee before applying with your County Clerk. To initiate the personalized plate application process, you must complete the following forms and take the necessary steps:
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 clicking on “PERSONALIZE THIS PLATE.”
Once availability has been checked, submit your online request, and click on the "REQUEST THIS PLATE" button.
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 before your submission was processed by your County Clerk.
If your plate request is PRE-APPROVED-
Upon receipt of your pre-approval notification, take your pre-approval Email notification (and any other necessary documents) 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.
All pre-approval notifications will be emailed to the address referenced on the online request form. *The email will most likely go to your spam/junk folder instead of your primary inbox.
If your plate request is REJECTED-
All rejection notifications will be emailed 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.
Please complete the
online appeal form to appeal the rejection of your personalized plate request. If you have additional questions or concerns, you may email these to KYTC.PersonalizedPlates@ky.gov for further assistance.
Appeals are reviewed once a month by the Personalized Plate Appeal 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 the plate's design. 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.
A personalized plate character combination may only appear on one plate at any given time.
You may visit the Plate List application page to see available character combinations, click on the image of the plate you are interested in, and click on “PERSONALIZE THIS PLATE.” Customers may look up plate availability this way.
As of July 19, 2023, the letters “I”, “Q” and “U” have been eliminated from all new personalized plate applications. This will be consistent with the visibility rules already in place for standard plates.
It takes approximately four to six weeks from when 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.
When a personalized plate is damaged, the plate 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 can be picked up in the County Clerk's office.
Before you sell or trade your vehicle with a personalized plate, 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.
Should you wish to put your personalized plate on another vehicle, the Clerk will need to 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.
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.
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, which are due in December, and title-only vehicles, which are due in July (this is a partial list of exceptions).
CREATING A SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE
Any non-profit organization that is based in Kentucky or has a chapter located in Kentucky may apply for a special license plate under KRS 186.164.
Send an email request to KYTC.SpecialLicensePlate@ky.gov, and we will send you a packet containing the documents that you need to apply.
Complete and return the documents listed below to KYTC.SpecialLicensePlate@ky.gov, or mail them to the
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing, Special License Plates
P.O. Box 1014
Frankfort, KY 40622
A letter of request, which should include the mission or vision of the organization, a list of all chapters within Kentucky, and any other pertinent information about your organization that you would like to share with the Committee.
Form TC 96-333, Organization Application for a Special License Plate.
Proof of non-profit status from the IRS or Articles of Incorporation from the Kentucky Secretary of State.
Plate image, designed per enclosed specifications. Included in the packet is an Adobe Illustrator file (*.ai), and an editable Adobe Document file (*.pdf). You may use either format to submit your design.
Once we receive your completed application, the Special License Plate Committee will review it at the next scheduled quarterly meeting.
Submissions must be received at least 10 business days in advance. Any later submissions will be reviewed at the following meeting.
We will send you a notice of approval/denial within 30 days after the Committee makes its determination.
Once the committee approves the plate design, we will invoice you for the pre-production costs before the plate goes into production.
The current cost is $2,500, although that may change without notice. We will remit the $10 mandatory contribution to you on an annual basis at the start of the next calendar year as soon as we receive your audit attestation. We do require five hundred (500) yearly registrations to keep the plate in active production.
There will be one probationary year if the number of registrations falls below 500. If you should have questions concerning any of this, please do not hesitate to contact KYTC.SpecialLicensePlate@ky.gov.