Selling a Car in Kentucky

When you’re selling a vehicle in Kentucky, you must meet some requirements that are specific to the state. We’ve collected the appropriate information here regarding these requirements so you can know exactly what you need to do in order to ensure a smooth vehicle sale.

1. Title Information

In Kentucky, you can only sell a vehicle if you have full ownership of the vehicle. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle.

Before you sell the vehicle, make certain that you have the actual title. In Kentucky, you may have one of two types of titles: the “long” title for vehicles 25 years old and newer and the “short” title for older vehicles. It is important to know which you have because you can put all the information you need to transfer the vehicle on the long title, whereas the short title will also require another form.

If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to request a replacement title from the Kentucky Department of Revenue. You will need the physical title so that you can fill out the necessary information for the buyer as proof of the transfer of the vehicle.

In Kentucky, all vehicles must be titled.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

Kentucky requires you to put together a Bill of Sale when you sell a vehicle. The Bill of Sale should include these elements:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The full address of the new owner
  • The seller’s name
  • The full address of the seller
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description, including the vehicle’s make, model, year, series number (if applicable) and body type (2-door, 4-door, sedan, etc.), plus the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signatures of the seller and new owner

It is important that you make certain to get all your information notarized, as the buyer will be paying sales tax on the vehicle. If you do not get the documents notarized, the buyer will pay 6 percent sales tax on the full value of the vehicle. If you do get everything notarized, they will only pay on one-half the value of the vehicle. It is also important that you keep a copy of the Bill of Sale for your records, as the vehicle is still considered your property until the end of the year in which you sell it and you will have to pay property tax.

3. Inspections

Kentucky has no formal inspection program for vehicles or any emissions testing requirements. Your vehicle must, however, be currently registered in order for you to be able to sell it.

4. License Plates

In Kentucky, when you sell your vehicle, the license plates do not stay with you but instead remain with the vehicle, unless the vehicle is being sold out of state or the license plates are customized (in which case the buyer must return them to the state).

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

Kentucky requires people to formally disclose the odometer reading when they sell their vehicle or whenever a new title is required on the vehicle for any reason, regardless of the vehicle’s age. This reading can be noted in the appropriate space on the long title or on the additional form for the short title.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details on vehicle selling, check out the website for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.