Tuesday, November 19, 2019

General Information

Whether you've just moved to Geary County, or you're a long time resident with a new car or truck, congratulations!

One of your first tasks is to get a new Kansas license plate or to transfer a plate from your old to your new vehicle so that you can drive legally. To do that, you need to register your vehicle with the state for a fee and pay your property taxes at the Geary County Treasurer's Motor Vehicle Department.

To help you through this sometimes complex task, the Motor Vehicle department has outlined the steps you need to follow.

When to License

You need to go in person to the Motor Vehicle Department 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 GEARY 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 domicile.

Some examples that may make you a Kansas resident for purposes of registration are:

  1. Own, lease or rent a place of domicile for more than 90 days.
  2. Have a place of domicile and accept employment.

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 a Kansas motor vehicle dealer or from a Motor Vehicle Department office.

After you license your car for the first time in GEARY County, you are responsible for the annual renewals prior to expiration. If you do not receive the courtesy renewal notice from the state by the 5th of your expiration month, contact the GEARY 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.

What to Bring

To license a truck weighing under 12,000 pounds, a car, motorcycle, or motorized bicycle,  you need to bring the following with you to the Motor Vehicle Department Office:

Proof of Insurance

Everyone will be required to show proof of insurance on all motor vehicle transactions. Renewals done by mail will need to include a copy of the proof of insurance on each vehicle along with the renewal notice.

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.

Proof of Ownership

New residents
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 for additional information.

Established residents
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.

Odometer Disclosure Statement

Vehicles less than 10 years old require the Odometer Disclosure Statement completed by the seller and buyer.

A Kansas Highway Patrol Inspection Slip

You will need a Kansas Vehicle Identification Number Verification slip if the vehicle has an out-of-state title. An inspection is not necessary if the car has a manufacturer's CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN.  The inspection shows that your vehicle's identification number has been checked to make sure the vehicle is not stolen.

This state-required inspection is available for a $20  fee (cash only accepted).They are located in the Treasurer's Office. They will conduct inspections Monday - Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm.  

A Sales Tax Receipt

A Sales Tax Receipt from a Kansas motor vehicle dealer is needed, if you have just bought the vehicle that you are licensing. Per Kansas state law, additional sales tax may be collected if the amount collected is lower than the Geary County tax of 9.4%.

If you bought the vehicle from someone other than a Kansas dealer, you need to bring a  bill of sale for sales tax purposesYou must pay sales tax which can be as much as  9.4% of the purchase price, depending on the area in which you live.. 


Payments may be in cash, one check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover Card, or American Express for the state registration fee, property taxes and sales tax. If a Credit or Debit Card is used, a fee is charged by the processing company.

If you are licensing more than one vehicle, you may combine all fees on one check for all vehicles. The person signing the check must provide a driver's license number and daytime phone number.

The registration fee is $35.00 for cars up to 4500 pounds and $45.00 for cars over 4500 pounds or trucks weighing under 12,000 pounds. Motorized bicycle tags cost $16.00 and motorcycle tags cost $21.00.  The property tax can run from a minimum of $24.00 for a full year to several hundred dollars for a new vehicle. DMV Modernization fee $4.00 is addition to regular fees.

You can obtain an estimate of  the property tax due by clicking the link below or calling the office at 785 238 8109 and giving them the vehicle year, make and model.

 Motor Vehicle Property Tax and Fee Estimator