How to Claim the Diminished Value of a Car in Kentucky

by Mike Rodriguez ; Updated July 27, 2017
Kentucky determines the reduction in your car's market value.

Items you will need

  • Vehicle Condition Refund Application
  • Copy of the your Kentucky Registration Receipt
  • Copy of your completed Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title/Registration
  • Two vehicle-condition verification documents, which include repair estimates, repair receipts, receipts of parts purchased or photographs showing the damage to the vehicle

After your car has been damaged in an accident and repaired, you can request a refund for its diminished value in Kentucky. The state determines the reduction in your car's market value based on documents you submit. You can request a refund for the part of the usage tax you paid in excess of your car’s market value if its condition has declined because of the wreck.

Step 1

Gather the documents for verifying the condition of your vehicle, ensuring that estimates and repair receipts contain the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the date the estimate was prepared or when services were rendered. You will also need the name, address and telephone number of the estimate preparer or the vehicle repairer.

Step 2

Submit all of the documents gathered for your usage tax refund to the Kentucky Department of Revenue. The department will determine your refund by calculating the difference between the tax you paid and the "adjusted retail price" of your car at the time the refund application is submitted. The Vehicle Condition Refund Application must accompany all of the requested documents and must be filed by the vehicle's registered owner. Mail the documents to the Motor Vehicle Usage Tax Section, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 1303, Station 64, Frankfort, KY 40602-1303.

Step 3

Contact the Motor Vehicle Usage Tax Section at (502) 564-4455 if you have questions regarding the refund process. The Kentucky Department of Revenue estimates refunds are processed within 30 days of receipt of the application. Refunds are either transferred electronically to your bank account or mailed to your mailing address.


  • If you're submitting proof of parts purchased for repairing your car, these receipts must contain the name of parts purchased; the price of the parts; and the name, address and telephone number of the business where the parts were bought, along with the date of purchase.

    Photos used as part of your documentation must be of the vehicle's damage and the VIN plate of your car. Photos can be taken by you or Department of Revenue personnel at select locations.


  • Refund claims must be filed within four years from the date the tax was paid.

About the Author

Mike Rodriguez is an accounting and finance professional with more than 12 years of experience in government, public utilities and retail. He is currently the director of product marketing and financial analysis for a large tire retailer, overseeing product development and profitability. With an M.B.A. in finance, Rodriguez also serves as an adjunct faculty member for DeVry University and the University of Phoenix.

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