Boats - Rowan County Clerk
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Rowan County Clerk

Our mission is to be the most cost-efficient and customer focused clerk's office in the state of Kentucky.

Our office is open Monday - Friday 8 AM - 4 PM

Check our site Calendar for holiday closings.

Boats

All motorboat 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 for a boat you must have your registration certificate. Boat renewals and property tax payments may be processed by mail-in renewal or in-person.

Renewals

Beginning January 1, 2018 you will no longer be able to transfer your boat title or renew your boat without a valid HIN.

What do I need to renew my registration for my boat?

Boats are renewed annually starting April 1 of each year and are good for 13 months (April 1 to April 30 of the following year).

The Transportation Cabinet typically mails the tax notices for boats (in postcard format) after March 15. Any and all property taxes due for an individual on a boat must be collected before any renewal can be completed.

Boat Trailers are renewed at different times...

Trailers that are licensed are to be renewed in March

Trailers without a plate or title (trailers only) will receive notice from the Transportation Cabinet in June. The tax will be due by July 31st.

If you bring in your trailer registration from the previous year, the clerk can collect the tax due at the same time you renew your boat.

What you will need to pay taxes on Boats and/or Trailers...
  • Previous years boat registration
  • Renewal notice mailed from the Transportation Cabinet

If you have registered any other boat that may property taxes due, those taxes must be collected before any other boat transaction can be processed.

Transfers

Boats titled in your name...

You will need:

  • The Kentucky Certificate of Title signed by the seller
  • TC 96-184 (see download below)
  • Photo Identification: Driver’s License, State ID, Military ID, or passport
  • Social Security or Federal identification number is required on all individuals that are to be placed on a title (no more than two individuals may be placed on a title)
Boat Trailer

The state in which the boat trailer is currently titled determines whether the boat trailer has a title or registration card separate from the boat. The trailer title or registration card must be signed and notarized by the seller to register the trailer to a Kentucky title.

If you have purchased an out of state or Kentucky Titled boat and the seller has no title or registration, please contact the clerk’s office so that we can advise you of the steps to take to title and register the boat in Kentucky.

Fees

  • The transfer fee is $18.00
  • Lien fee (if applicable) is $22.00-$24.00

If you have registered any other boat that may have property taxes due, those taxes must be collected before any other boat transaction can be processed.

How to Title and Register a New Boat...

Kentucky requires all applications for titles be made within 15 days of purchase of any motor vehicle or boat. To title and register a boat, the following documentation is needed:

  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin
  • Application for Title and Registration Form (TC 96-184)
  • Purchase order from dealership
  • Proof of Sale/Use Tax paid to the dealer
  • Picture Identification
  • Social Security Number

A 6% Kentucky use tax is collected on the sale price of their boat. Credit is given for sales or use tax paid to a dealer.

Fees

  • The transfer fee is $18.00
  • Lien fee (if applicable) is $22.00-$24.00

Sales tax if applicable

If I purchased a boat with an out of state title, how do I get it registered in Kentucky?

You will need:

  • Out of state title (if applicable)
  • Application for Title and Registration (TC 96-184)
  • Proof of sales/use tax paid to the dealer
  • Picture Identification
  • Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number for each new owner(s) appearing on the title or Federal Tax ID Number for companies. There is a limit of two individuals or businesses.
  • How will Use Tax be Calculated? a 6% Kentucky usage tax is collected on the sale price if purchased from an out of state dealer only. Credit is given for sales or use tax paid to a dealer.

When purchased from an out of state dealer:

  • if sales tax has been collected by the dealer, customer must submit proof of taxes paid to receive credit.

Salvage/Rebuilt Titles on a Boat

How do I apply for a salvage/rebuilt boat title?

You will need:

  • Salvaged title from Kentucky or out of state must be signed and notarized where applicable
  • The seller will need to sign and notarize the bottom of the left hand side where the form states (seller’s signature) on the Kentucky application for title/registration (TC 96-184 form)
  • The buyer must complete, sign, and have notarized the TC 96-215 form
  • Whomever did the repair on the boat, if any, must complete, sign and have notarized the mechanical statement
  • All receipts, if any, will need to be provided with documentation to acquire approval from the state to title and register a rebuilt or salvaged boat
  • An inspection by the State Fish and Game Warden is required before your paperwork can be submitted to the Transportation Cabinet.

Upon completion of paperwork and inspection, you will submit your paperwork to the following address, via mail:

  1. Kentucky Transporation Cabinet
  2. Department of Vehicle Regulation
  3. Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing
  4. Rebuilt Section
  5. PO Box 2014
  6. Frankfort, Kentucky 40622

For faster authorization, you may also hand deliver your paperwork to:

  1. Rebuilt Section
  2. Kentucky Transporation Cabinet
  3. 200 Mero St.
  4. Frankfort, Kentucky 40622
  5. Phone: 1-502-564-5301
  6. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.