Buying a Car in Kansas

Compared to other parts of the country, the state of Kansas has somewhat rigid regulations regarding vehicle purchasing. Fortunately, we’ve got the details for you here to help make your purchase as easy as possible.

1. Title Information

All vehicles in Kansas are required to have titles. If you are buying a vehicle from a dealer, you will need the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin. If you are buying a previously owned vehicle, you will need the title signed over to you.

You will also need proof of insurance for the vehicle you have bought; a Bill of Sale if the purchase price was not put on the title; sales tax for a used vehicle (or the receipt showing the sales tax paid for a new vehicle); and an inspection of the vehicle if not bought in Kansas (with a requisite form to turn in after the inspection).

Once you have all of these together, you then need to go to the county treasurer’s motor vehicle office. You have 30 days from the purchase to get the information to the office.

2. Insurance Information

Kansas has a very large mandatory insurance requirement for vehicle owners. It includes the following:

  • Liability coverage:
    • $25,000 per person for bodily injury ($50,000 per accident)
    • $10,000/accident for property damage
  • Personal injury protection coverage:
    • $4,500/person for medical expenses
    • $900/month for one year for disability/loss of income
    • $25/day for in-home services
    • $2,000 for funeral, burial or cremation expenses
    • $4,500 for rehabilitation expenses
    • Survivor benefits: disability/loss of income up to $900/month for one year
    • In-home services up to $25/day for one year
  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage:
    • $25,000/person
    • $50,000/accident

As you can see, Kansas takes its insurance very seriously. Insurance proof is required in vehicles at all times, and if you do not have it, you can incur large fines and driver’s license suspension. So make sure you carry this insurance and that you’ve gotten it from an agent who can legally sell insurance in Kansas.

3. Emission Information

Currently, Kansas has no vehicle emission testing or regulations.

4. Lemon Law Information

For a few different reasons, Kansas’ Lemon Law has a very limited ability to offer much serious help to people who buy new cars or lease cars in the state. First of all, the law only covers vehicles for one year or the manufacturer’s warranty period, whichever is shorter.

Secondly, before the law can apply to a particular vehicle, it requires either at least four attempts to fix a specific problem on the vehicle; that the vehicle be out of service for repairs for 30 days; or 10 different attempts to fix substantially dangerous defects in the vehicle.

Third, if one of the aforementioned conditions has been met, then the vehicle owner has to contact the dealer first, then the manufacturer separately, and only if neither of those entities has provided a satisfactory resolution can the owner retain legal counsel or file a complaint with the state. Moreover, the law allows the manufacturer to refuse a refund or replacement if it can prove that whatever defects are present in the vehicle do not substantially harm it or make it unsafe — meaning that very few items will fall into that category.

Nevertheless, you should be familiar with the law, which because of its limitations, means that you need to be that much more careful when you purchase a vehicle in Kansas.

5. Special Information

If you have a “lien” (a loan) on a vehicle you have purchased in Kansas, the state Department of Motor Vehicles will hold the vehicle’s title electronically until the lien is paid off. At that point, you must contact the lienholder directly and request that they release the title. Depending on how you paid the lien off, the lienholder can have anywhere from three to 10 days from receipt of the final payment to submit the release form.