Vehicle registration about to change

By Bobbie Poynter


The Knox County Clerk’s Office will soon implement what the Commonwealth calls a time- and cost-saving change in the vehicle registration system.

The new vehicle registration system is changing to “print on demand” decals for license plate renewals. Rather than stocking booklets of preprinted decals, the new decals will be printed at the time of registration.

“I’ve seen it, and the only thing it does is replace the books of stickers,” said Knox County Clerk Mike Corey. “We already have the equipment, but nothing has been set up yet. We understand it’s supposed to be up and running by the end of April.”

For the public, the most noticeable change is that decals will no longer be color-coded by year. The new decals will have black lettering on a white background. The year and month of registration expiration will be in bold numbers, with the license plate number associated with the registered vehicle printed on the bottom. The decals are printed on the registration receipt with a special feature that allows them to be peeled off and applied to a license plate.

Both Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith and Barbourville Police Chief Winston Tye, up until now, say that as far as they know, law enforcement is as yet unaware of the change taking effect.

“We’ll adapt and do our best,” said Sheriff Smith. “The color coded tags were a dead giveaway. Now, we’ll have to depend on what we find when we have reason to run a tag.”

The registration receipt also is changing appearance. Gone is the traditional blue and white paper. Certificates now will be on 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch white paper. Although the look is different, information on the certificate is the same.

The new decals and registration receipts are already in use in several counties, with full implementation in all 120 counties expected by the end of April. Customers with the old registration decals will keep them until they expire.

“From the customer standpoint, there will be no difference,” said Corey. People will not have to pay any more or any less. There will be no extra fees. The assessment on the car will not change.

The change to print-on-demand decals and registrations is part of a comprehensive overhaul and eventual replacement of Kentucky’s 30-year-old vehicle registration system, known as AVIS (Automated Vehicle Information System).

The replacement system will bear a slightly different name – KAVIS (Kentucky Automatic Vehicle Information System). Once fully developed, KAVIS will combine titling and registration for boats as well as motor vehicles, creating what the state says will be a more efficient registration process for customers.