If I Owe State Tax to the Department of Revenue Can I Register a Car in Kentucky?

You can forget registering a car in Kentucky if you owe state taxes.

You can forget registering a car in Kentucky if you owe state taxes.

If you owe taxes to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, your driver's license, your Kentucky license to practice a trade or profession such as plumbing or law, and your license tag are in jeopardy. Under Chapter 131.1817 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, the state can deny renewal or revoke your state-issued licenses. The commonwealth can also deny you the right to renew your vehicle registration or register a new vehicle until you pay the back taxes.

Delinquent Taxpayers Defined

According to the statute, a delinquent taxpayer is one who hasn't filed a state tax return in the 90 days following the return's due date, or who hasn't filed the return within 90 days of an extension. Delinquent taxpayers also include those who have exhausted all the tax appeals and protections under Kentucky law. These taxpayers become delinquent when they meet these conditions and receive notice from the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

What the State Must Do

The Department of Revenue must send you a notice by certified mail 20 days before taking action against you. The notice must include the reason the department is taking action and the amount of the tax -- plus interest and any penalties -- that's due. The notice must include a list of licenses and vehicle registrations subject to revocation and any circumstances you must satisfy to prevent the revocation. After 20 days, your name goes out to all licensing and registration agencies. If you're an attorney, the Kentucky Supreme Court is notified of the delinquency.

It's All a Mistake

You have the right to appeal to the licensing agency or to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet if your licenses or registrations are suspended, but the appeal must be based on factual errors. If the Department of Revenue gives your name to the Transportation Cabinet and your ability to register your car is revoked, you can appeal the decision if you have proof that the revocation was based on an error. A proper receipt for your paid taxes is an example of proof you can provide.

What You Must Do

Once you've paid your back taxes, your ability to register a vehicle isn't automatic. The Department of Revenue must send notice to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which will then remove your name from its list of delinquent taxpayers who can't register or renew the registration for a car. Once the licensing agency removes your name from its list, all is forgiven and you can register your car.

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.

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