Within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, any vehicle operated must be covered by insurance. Kentucky legislation has established that motorists must have insurance in the required liability coverage amounts of:

Requirements in Alabama

Coverage Minimum
Bodily Injury Sustained by one Person $25,000
Bodily Injuries sustained in one accident $50,000
Property Damage Resulting from one accident $10,000

As an alternative, vehicle owners may purchase a single policy with a limit of $60,000. This policy must also include basic reparations benefits unless it is a motorcycle.

Ways Kentucky Insurance Requirements are Unique

Kentucky takes their automobile insurance requirement seriously – so you should, too

Proof of existing continuous insurance coverage must be provided at any time upon request by a police officer or your County Clerk’s office in Kentucky. Without this insurance in place and the proper proof of coverage, drivers can receive a penalty fine of between $500 and $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, or both. Additionally, Kentucky law has created a mandatory insurance initiative in order to prevent drivers from cancelling coverage once vehicles have been registered. This initiative states that any owner of a vehicle shown to have been without insurance at any time will be sent notices of registration cancellation on their vehicles if insurance is not obtained within the designated time period.

Keep your vehicle’s insurance policy current or turn in your license plates

Essentially, as long as you own a registered vehicle in Kentucky, it must be insured up to the mandatory policy requirements. If you wish to cancel your vehicle’s insurance, you must give your license plates to the County Clerk’s office. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing maintains records of registered vehicles reported for lack of insurance each month. In order to legally and properly cancel insurance on any vehicle, vehicle owners must surrender the license plates to the County Clerk’s office prior to cancellation

Don’t get flagged and penalized – take your plates in before cancelling your policy

If you cancel your vehicle’s insurance without properly surrendering your license plates, you will be flagged in the Kentucky Insurance System as having an uninsured vehicle, and you will be sent a notice requesting proof of insurance. If the letter is ignored, the County Clerk will automatically cancel your vehicle registration and any operation of the vehicle could result in the fines and other penalties previously mentioned.

Recreational, Seasonal and Historic vehicles must also turn in license plates prior to insurance cancellation

Insurance must be maintained year-round on a vehicle unless its license plate has been turned into the County Clerk’s office. Any vehicle of any type registered in Kentucky must surrender vehicle plates as such prior to insurance policy cancellation. If such cancellation occurs properly in this manner, owners will not be fined or penalized. Seasonal vehicles (such as RVs and motorcycles) must turn their license plates in to the County Clerk’s office prior to cancelling their vehicle insurance policy during the months their vehicles will not be in use. At the time drivers wish to use the vehicles again, insurance must be obtained prior to driving them and proof of insurance must be provided to the County Clerk’s office. After such proof of insurance is presented, the vehicle owner may re-register the vehicle and legally drive it in the state. Also, any vehicles with Historic license plates must do the same in order to avoid an uninsured notice being mailed to them.

New Kentucky residents and those temporarily living outside the state

Residents who move to the state of Kentucky must apply for vehicle registration on any owned vehicles within 15 days, according to KRS 186.020. This application must be made in the vehicle owner’s county of residence. Anyone temporarily living outside the state of Kentucky with a Kentucky-registered vehicle must maintain the proper insurance. Any insurance company approved to do business in Kentucky or the state of temporary residence must be the insurer of the vehicle, and temporary out-of-state residents should consult the state of temporary residence for their requirements as well.

Out-of state college students and active duty military exceptions

Out-of-state college students attending a Kentucky university, college or technical school may choose to maintain the registration and automobile insurance of their home state as long as they keep a valid, current student ID card on hand when driving which reflects their student status.

Kentucky allows active duty military personnel to use their out of state insurance to title and register their vehicle in Kentucky. However, due to complications within the insurance system, the vehicles may still end up flagged as uninsured and a letter of uninsured notice may be sent. If this occurs, military members may show proof of active military service to the County Clerk’s office to have the issue promptly resolved.

How does Kentucky measure up on automobile insurance rates nationally?

Kentucky rates around 26th in the nation on premium rates, so you can expect to pay around the average amount for car insurance here. For example, the average driver can expect to see a rate of $766 on a combined average premium where the national average is around $817. For more specificity, we compared drivers in the top 3 most populous Kentucky cities. By our research, a married 45-year-old homeowner female driver of a 2012 Honda Acura in Jefferson, Kentucky could expect to pay around $598 for an average 6-month policy. The same driver in Lexington, Kentucky could expect to pay around $625 for coverage on a 6-month policy. A similar policy for the same driver in Alexandria, Kentucky could expect to pay $525 for the full 6 months.

Ways to Lower Your Rates

There are ways to lower your rates in Kentucky as several possible discounts may apply to you or your household

Discounts may be given for a variety of reasons in Kentucky. Some of them include:

  • Driver’s education training discounts (for successful completion of an approved program)
  • Good driving discounts if all drivers in the household have remained accident-free with no moving violations for a certain number of years
  • Good student discounts for maintaining certain grades, usually a B/3.0 average or higher or being on the school’s Dean’s List
  • Senior discounts, generally for main policy drivers being 65 years of age or older (without drivers under age 25 on the policy)
  • Passive restraint discounts for safety devices being installed in the vehicle such as air bags (factory-installed)
  • Multi-car discounts or multiple policy discounts for one household.
  • Student-away-at-school discount, generally for students attending school at least 100 miles away who leave their cars at home while at school
  • Having an anti-theft device installed (other than manufacturer-provided devices)
  • Successful completion of an approved defensive driving course (as previous or current member of U.S. military)
  • Having a PayPal account (depending upon the carrier offering coverage)

In general, aside from applying discounts when possible, drivers who maintain a good driving record, remain sober, cautious and law-abiding and avoid texting at all times while driving, make sure their household members also remain responsible drivers, and keep their credit scores as high as possible can keep their premium rates low.

For more details, you may visit:

Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky – Mandatory Vehicle Licensing

Kentucky Mandatory Insurance Initiative – Notices of Uninsured Vehicle Status

Kentucky Department of Insurance Auto and Home Insurance Guide

1.855.283.2631