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Motor Vehicles & Watercraft

Motor Vehicle Licensing is the most frequently visited department at the clerk's office. Motor vehicle licenses must be renewed annually. Any sale of a motor vehicle must be processed within 15 days of purchase.

Buyer Beware!
Before purchasing any motor vehicle, make certain that the current owner can provide a valid title for the vehicle. Be sure to verify that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) matches the number reflected on the title. This number is typically located on the dashbord on the driver's side and is usually visible through the windshield. If these numbers do not match, insist that the discrepancy be corrected or do not complete the transaction.

Within Kentucky, motor vehicles (most often) are registered/renewed in the owner's birth month. Truck, motorcycle, and boat licenses are also issued. The vehicle registration certificate, proof of insurance, and payment are required for renewal. Payment may be made by cash, check, money order, credit or debit cards. See the General Information page for specifics on credit/debit card payments. As a reminder, it is required by Kentucky statute that your vehicle registration and proof of insurance be carried in your motor vehicle at all times.

Property Taxes on Motor Vehicles:
The County Clerk is the tax collector and has no authority to exonerate taxes or change assessments. Questions concerning assessments should be directed to the Property Valuation Administrator at (859) 234-7133. The office is located in the same building as the county clerk (111 S. Main Street, Suite 102). Please discuss your vehicle tax questions with them before you come to the county clerk's office.

Internet Renewals:
If your vehicle is currently insured with a company that has elected to provide information to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, then you might be eligible to renew your registration over the internet. To learn about online registration eligibility, visit The Motor Vehicle Licensing Website.

Mail-In Services:
Vehicle registrations may be renewed by mail. Your tax notice is mailed by the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet several weeks prior to the renewal period and provides instructions for the renewal process.

       Note: Expired registrations cannot be renewed by mail as you will probably have delinquent taxes due on the vehicle. These taxes will automatically have additional fees added daily.

Payment may be submitted by check or money order form. A $2.00 fee is added to cover postage and handling. Simply send the vehicle registration certificate or renewal notice, proof of insurance and payment to:

            Harrison County Clerk
            111 S. Main Street, Suite 102
            Cynthiana KY 41031

Interstate Transfers:
When a vehicle is sold or is coming into the Commonwealth of Kentucky, services are provided to enable:

     1. Transfer of ownership involving vehicles sold within Kentucky
     2. Title and registration for out-of-state vehicles coming into Kentucky
     3. Title and registration for the change of ownership on new motor vehicles.

Proof of usage tax and Commonwealth of Kentucky proof of insurance dated within the last forty-five days is required at the time of registration. If the motor vehicle title is being held by a lien holder, the County Clerk's office must submit a request to that party for the title. Additional time for processing is required when this is necessary.

Forms and Special Plates:
Follow the links listed to the right for detailed information on forms to print, view special license plates and their requirements, and registrations requirements.

Kentucky law requires all boats having motors to be registered. Boat registrations are due by April 30th each year. Motor boat certificate and tax payment are required for renewal. Boat renewals or property tax payments can be processed through the mail or at the clerk's office. Transfers require the previous owner's certificate of registration and title along with a properly executed (by both buyer and seller) Boat Transfer Record form (BRT). The form is available at the clerk's office.

Mobile Homes
Mobile homes are usually handled in the same manner as motor vehicles, although no proof of insurance is required. Mobile homes permanently attached to real estate can be converted to real estate.

Disabled Parking Permits
Persons whose mobility, flexibility, coordination, respiration, or perceptiveness is significantly reduced by a permanent or temporary disability may obtain a permit which will allow them to use special disabled parking spaces. Applications for permits are available at the County Clerk's office. The disabled person requesting the permit must sign the permit and have the signature notarized. A doctor must sign the permit and indicate whether the permit is to be temporary or permanent.

Junk Title
Titles remain active in AVIS regardless of registration inactivity. Active titles are liable for yearly personal property tax. Owners of vehicles that will NEVER be on the road again should surrender the title, registration and license plate. This process prevents future property tax assessments for that vehicle. Any property taxes due on the vehicle must be paid or exonerated by the PVA. The fee for "junking" a title is $1.00.

Sheriff Inspections
Prior to registering an out of state vehicle with the county clerk the Sheriff or a deputy must complete an inspection of the vehicle identification number. You must have the original title with the vehicle when the inspection is performed. You may take the vehicle to the sheriff's office during regular office hours or you may make arrangements to have an inspection performed at another location. Please call the sheriff's office at (859) 234-7135 for more details.

Inspection fee is $5.00 if done at the sheriff's office. Additional charges for on site inspections.
Insurance Requirements
Must be Commonwealth of KY insurance card, or Declarations page of KY issued ins policy, or Binder - must be dated and indicate that the coverage is bound
Click for more information


Special Plates

Downloadable Forms

You will need Adobe's Free, Acrobat Reader to view Adobe .pdf documents. Download from Adobe


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