Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicle licensing is the most widely used service of the Franklin County Clerk’s office. When renewing your motor vehicle you have 3 options:

  1. Renew online: You can renew your registration online through the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Licensing System. Visit their website to get started. RENEW NOWYou will receive your completed renewal by mail in 3 – 5 business days.
  2. Mail-In Renewal Service: A $2.00 fee is added to cover postage and handling. Send registration certificate, current KY insurance card, and payment (plus a $2.00 mail-in fee) to Franklin County Clerk, PO Box 338 , Frankfort, KY 40602. You will receive your completed renewal by mail in 3 – 5 business days.
  3. Renew in Person:

County Clerk’s Office
315 W Main St.
Frankfort, KY 40602-0338

When renewing your motor vehicle remember these important items:

  • Proof of current Kentucky liability insurance is required for all vehicles.
  • You may also provide the current registration and/or renewal notice received in the mail
  • All titling transactions require odometer disclosure.
  • Kentucky law requires a person purchasing a vehicle or moving an out-of-state vehicle into Kentucky to make application for title within 15 days.
  • Vehicles coming from another state must have a Vehicle Identification Number inspection before titling in Kentucky.
  • Motor vehicle license plates are renewed in the owners birth month with the exception of  personalized and specialty plates
  • Special Plates are available for additional fees. Click here to see our special plates.

Frequently Asked Questions – Motor Vehicle Liens

Q:  What is required to file a lien?

A:  The secured party (the lender) must submit the current KY title, a Title Lien Statement, and payment of $22.00.  If the title has been misplaced, a duplicated title must be ordered.  Ordering a title generates a form called a “goldenrod” that can be used in place of the title for 30 days.  This form looks like the registration to the vehicle but has a red stamp to indicate “for lien filing purposes only” and will also have an embossed county seal on the page.

Note:  If you are a lender and need access to the Title Lien Statement, please contact our office at

(502) 875-8702 and ask for the Lien Supervisor.  We can fax or email the form with instructions to you.

Q:  What does it cost to file a lien?

A:  The standard filing fee for a Title Lien Statement dated within 30 days of the date we receive it is $22.00.  If the date on the TLS is dated more than 30 days old when we receive it, there is a $2.00 late fee making the total $24.00.  If there is no date at all on the TLS there is a $2.00 late fee making the total $24.00

Q:  What does it cost to release a lien?

A:  The lien release fee was collected with the lien was originally filed, so there is no payment due at the time of the release.  However, if we need to fax a lien release to another county, there is a $3.00 fee for the fax.

Q:  What forms of payment do you accept?

A:  We accept cash, checks or money orders to file a lien or to send a fax.

Q:  What forms do you accept to release a lien?

A:  The Kentucky Clerk’s Association voted to only accept one of the following forms to release vehicle liens:  Original Clerk’s Filing Receipt, Title Lien Statement (Form TC96-187), or a UCC-3 Financing Statement Amendment.  The KCCA also voted NOT to accept terminations on company letterhead.

Note:  If you are a lender and need access to the Title Lien Statement, please contact our office at (502) 875-8702 and ask for the Lien Department.  We can fax or e-mail the form with instructions to you.

Q:  My lienholder mailed a lien release to me.  Do I need to send this to your office?

A:  If your lien is filed in Franklin County, you may mail or bring the release into our office along with your title.  We will release the lien in the computer, remove the lien from the title, and return it to you.

If your lien is filed in another county, you should mail the original lien release to the county where it is filed.  You may also bring it to our office to faxed to the correct county for a $3.00 fee.

Q:  My lien has been released in our computer system.  When will I receive the new title?

A:  A new title is not automatically generated when a lien is released.  If you still have the original title showing the lien, you may mail it to our office or bring it to us in person to be signed off and returned to you.  If you do not have the original title or would simply prefer to have a new one issued, you may order a duplicate title.

Q:  I have a letter from by bank showing my loan is paid in full, and it is signed and notarized.  Isn’t this the best form to accept for a lien release?

A:  No.  All liens filed in Kentucky have a specific file number and file date that are not referenced in a letter from your bank.  The Clerk’s office will only accept one of the following forms to release vehicle liens:  Original Clerk’s Filing Receipt, Title Lien Statement (Form TC96-187), or a UCC-3 Financing Statement Amendment.  The KCCA also voted NOT to accept terminations on company letterhead.

Q:  Will you accept a faxed termination?

A:  Yes, as long as it is faxed directly from the secured party or another county clerk’s office and must have a cover letter attached stating “The original will be mailed.”  If the fax does not have the secured party or county clerk’s name as the header, we will need to have a cover sheet also.  We do not accept faxes from a third party, such as mytitlesupport.com.

Q:  I live in Franklin County now, but my lien is filed in another county.  Can you release this lien for me?

A:  The lien can only be released in the county where it was originally filed, but we can fax the release to that county clerk for a $3.00 fee.

Q:  My lienholder has gone out of business, but the lien hasn’t been released.  What do I do now?

A:  If your lienholder was a financial institution (such as a bank or credit union), they may have been bought out by or merged with another financial institution.  If this is the case, we can accept a lien release from the new entity, but we require proof of the relationship between the two entities.

If your lienholder was a dealership, you can contact the Motor Vehicle Commission in Frankfort at (502) 573-1000 to get information about who may have taken over the accounts for the dealership.  You may also check the Business Filings information on the Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.ky.gov) to determine who may be handling the paperwork now. 

If for some reason, these options do not work, you may petition the Circuit Court and file a lawsuit.

For further title lien information, please see Removing a Lien in Kentucky | DMV.ORG

Motor Boat Renewals

PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT HULL NUMBERS!

All motor boat registrations and transfers are handled by the County Clerk’s Office. Kentucky law requires all boats having motors to be registered if operated on public waters. To register a boat you must have your registration certificate. Boat renewals and property tax payments may be processed in the same ways that you renew a motor vehicle (see above) except by the internet.

To correspond with us in writing, please write to:

Franklin County Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 338
Frankfort, KY 40602.

To contact our Motor Vehicle department please phone:  502-875-8715 or  email:  [email protected]

BUYER BEWARE! – TITLE AND SERIAL NUMBER CHECK 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 dashboard 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.

CLICK HERE FOR SPANISH TRANSLATION
Skip to content