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Licensing Your Vehicle
When to License
You need to go in person to the Butler County Motor Vehicle Office to get your license plate or to transfer a plate. If you intend to register the vehicle jointly (listing it as Jane and John Doe, instead of Jane or John Doe), then all owners need to be present, or you will need to bring a Power of Attorney from the other owners. This applies to the names as they appear on the ownership documents. Alterations may void those documents.

Any vehicle that is garaged in Butler County may owe property tax, even if the vehicle belongs to a company that has headquarters out of state.

New Residents
Registration is required within 90 days of the date of establishing a Kansas residence. Some examples that may make you a Kansas resident for purposes of registration are:
  • Own, lease, or rent a place of residence for more than 90 days
  • Have a place of residence and accept employment
  • Register to vote
  • Enroll child(ren) in the school district, unless you are paying out-of-state tuition

Established Residents
You should license any vehicle within 60 days of purchase, which is the assigned date on the certificate of origin / title, to avoid possible penalties. While waiting to get your license plate, you must display on your vehicle the 60-day permit that you have obtained from Kansas motor vehicle dealer or from the Butler County Motor Vehicle Office.

After you license your vehicle for the first time in Butler County, you are responsible for the annual renewals prior to expiration. If you do not receive the courtesy renewal notice from the Kansas Department of Revenue by the 5th of your expiration month, contact the Butler County Motor Vehicle Office for assistance. The renewal month is determined by the first letter of an individual's last name or the first letter of a company's name. For more information on this process, see Renewing Your License Plate.

What to Bring
Proof of Ownership
If you are a new resident who is licensing a vehicle that you have brought from another state, you need the vehicle's title. If the title is being held by a lender, you need to call the Motor Vehicle Department office at (316) 322-4200 for additional information.

If you are an established resident who is registering a vehicle that you have just acquired, you need a properly assigned Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin if it is a new vehicle or a properly assigned title from the previous owner if it is a used vehicle.

Proof of Insurance
Everyone will be required to show proof of insurance on all motor vehicle transactions. State law requires that each vehicle carry an insurance card with the following elements as proof of insurance:
  • Name of insurer
  • Name of insured
  • Policy number
  • Effective date and expiration date to include current date
  • Vehicle description including VIN

Kansas law requires that you carry no-fault liability insurance on any vehicle except a motorized bicycle so that, in case of an accident, the other vehicle and its passengers are protected. The insurance company must be a Kansas Approved Insurance Company.

Odometer Disclosure Statement
Vehicles less than 10 years old require the Odometer Disclosure Statement completed by the seller and buyer. On most titles, the odometer statement is incorporated on the reassignment section.

Kansas Highway Patrol ID Verification
A Kansas Highway Patrol ID Verification (MVE-1) is required of vehicles with out-of-state titles. The inspection shows that the identification number on your vehicle matches the one on its title. This procedure is done to make sure the vehicle is not stolen.

This state-required inspection is available for a $20 cash fee ($25 for salvage vehicles) Mondays 8:30 am to 12:00 noon at the Western Office and Wednesdays 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Courthouse.

Sales Tax Receipt
A sales tax receipt is required if you have purchased the vehicle from a Kansas motor vehicle dealer. Effective July 1, 2002, if the vehicle is purchased in a taxing jurisdiction that has a lower sales tax rate than the jurisdiction where the person lives, the additional sales tax will be collected at the Butler County Motor Vehicle Office. (Usually this will be 1% or 2%.)

If you purchased the vehicle from an individual or out of state dealer, you will need to bring in a bill of sale. You must pay sales tax at the current rate where you reside.

Payment
Payment may be by cash, one check, or credit card for the state registration fee and your property taxes. If you are licensing more than one vehicle, you can combine the registration fees and the property taxes on one check for all vehicles.

The title fee is $10 per vehicle, while the registration fee usually depends on the weight of the vehicle. Car tags cost $39 or $49, while trucks weighing under 12,000 pounds cost $49 to register. Moped tags cost $20, and motorcycle tags cost $25.

The property tax can run from a minimum of $24 for a full year to several hundred dollars for a new vehicle. For your convenience we have a Property Tax Estimator you may use to calculate the property taxes. You will need to have the year, make, ID number, and date of sale for the most accurate estimate.