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Motor Vehicle Usage Tax is a tax on the privilege of using a motor vehicle upon the public highways of Kentucky and shall be separate and distinct from all other taxes imposed by the Commonwealth. It is levied at six percent and shall be paid on every motor vehicle used in Kentucky. The tax is collected by the county clerk or other officer with whom the vehicle is required to be registered. This tax is collected upon the transfer of ownership or when a vehicle is offered for registration for the first time in Kentucky. ​

A county clerk cannot register or issue license tags to the owner of any vehicle unless the owner or his agent pays the Motor Vehicle Usage Tax in addition to the transfer, registration,​ and license fees.

Motor Vehicle Usage Tax Laws are located in Kentucky Revised Statute: Chapter 138

Kentucky Vehicle​ License Registration​​​

Pay Motor Vehicle Usage Tax

If you just purchased a vehicle and need to pay Motor Vehicle Usage Tax, contact your County Clerk

If you received a bill from the Department of Revenue, please use one of the following options to pay:

Electronic payment:  Choose to pay directly from your bank account or by credit card.  Service provider fees may apply.

Mail a check or money order made payable to "KY State Treasurer" to
     KY Department of Revenue
     Frankfort, KY 40619

All tax payment and e-file options

Taxing Methods

New Vehicles

Used Vehicles

  • Selling price as attested to in completed and notarized Affidavit of Total Consideration Given for a Motor Vehicle - Form 71A100​ or Transportation Cabinet Form TC 96-182 provided that the selling price is not less than fifty percent (50%) of the difference between the Trade-in value of the motor vehicle offered for registration and the Trade-in value of any motor vehicle offered in trade.
  • Retail Value from the prescribed reference manual must be used when an “Affidavit of Total Consideration” is not made available at time of registration.

National Automotive Dealers Association is the prescribed reference manual used by the Department. The electronic version of this manual is utilized by the county clerk. When using the Retail Value for tax purposes, any vehicle given in trade must also be valued this way.

New Residents of Kentucky

When offering a vehicle for registration for the first time in Kentucky which was registered in another state that levied a tax substantially identical to Motor Vehicle Usage Tax, a credit against the Usage tax equal to the amount of tax paid to the other state will be granted. No credit shall be given for taxes paid in another state if that state does not grant similar credit to substantially identical taxes paid in Kentucky.

Proof of Tax Paid can be provided by one of the following:

  • Registration documentation from previous state.
  • Title document from previous state can be used if the tax amount paid to the other state is clearly identified.
  • Purchase Contracts can be used if the tax amount paid to the other state is clearly identified. The Purchase Contract must list the names of the buyer and seller, the amount of tax collected and paid, and the identity of the vehicle being registered. This form must accompany the completed TC 96-182. Finance Contracts are not accepted.​​​

Motor Vehicle Usage Tax

Download the Taxpayer Bill of Rights

The Kentucky Department of Revenue conducts work
under the authority of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

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