Frequently Asked Questions

Delinquent Tax FAQ's

What is considered a Delinquent Real Estate Tax?


A tax is considered "delinquent" when the due date of a specific real estate tax assesment has passed and by statute any appeal rights have expired. Madison County real estate property tax notices are mailed out to all property owners in October and are payable to the County Sheriff's Office beginning November 1st. County taxes are maintained and collected in the County Sheriff's Office until April 15th each year. The Sheriff transfers all unpaid taxes to the Madison County Clerk's Office, accruing statutory penalties as well as interest at 1% per month until paid. Two additional notices are mailed by the County Attorney, the first week of May and the first week of June. The bills are advertised in the Richmond Register newspaper approximately 30 days before the scheduled tax sale date.




What are the Delinquent Tax payment Instructions?


Delinquent taxes may be paid in person by visiting the Madison County Clerk's Office, or by mail at 101 West Main St., Richmond, KY 40475. If you are unable to visit our office, full payment can be mailed to: Madison County Clerk 101 W. Main Street (PO Box 1270) Richmond, KY 40475




Forms of acceptable payment?


-Certified Check -Cashiers Check -Money Order -Cash -Debit Card ($2.50 processing fee) -Credit Card (3% processing fee) *payments can be made over the phone with a credit card




Can I pay my delinquent property taxes in installments at the Clerk's Office?


No. It is impprtant to note that if partial payments were allowed, a lien would remain on your property until payment is made in full. Additionally, as long as a balance remains on your delinquent tax account, a third party could purchase your tax bill without warning. The purchase could neither be anticipated nor prevented by the County Clerk. The County Attorney may be able to offer you an installment payment plan. Please call that office at 859-624-4777 for questions concerning payment plans. You can not set up payment plans until your tax bill becomes deliquent. Once your tax lien is purchased by a third party, they may also offer an installment plan. Contact the buyer directly for more information.




Who can lawfully purchase my Delinquent Tax bills?


Kentucky law allows any individual or company to purchase delinquent tax bills that are not flagged by the County Attorney as being on the protected list. Protected list bills include bills that are involved in Bankruptcy, pending Litigation, or are on a Payment Plan with the County Attorney. The sale of tax bills cannot be anticipated nor prevented by the County Clerk.




Is a lien placed on my property when my taxes become delinquent?


Yes. A lien is filed against the specified real property you own in Madison County. The lien is filed with the Madison County Clerk's Office and is a public record of the amount you owe. It could affect your ability to obtain credit or sell real estate. The cost of releasing the lien will be added to the delinquent tax account at the time the lien is filed.




What happens when someone buys my Delinquent Tax Bill?


The lien (Certificate of Delinquency) which is held by the County Clerk's Office is then assigned to the third party purchaser and the document is recorded in the land records of the County Clerk's Office. The third party purchaser then has 50 days to give notice that the tax bill has been purchased. Payment must be sent directly to the third party purchaser, along with the associated penalties and interest assessed by them after their purchase. There are statutory guidelines regulating what can be changed by a third party purchaser. Once you pay the third party purchaser, they will file a Release of Assignment of Certificate of Delinquency with the County Clerk's Office within 30 days of receipt of payment.




What do I do if I can't locate the buyer?


Some buyers change addresses without contacting the debtors. Contact the Madison County Clerk's Office at 859-624-4703 #2 to verify the mailing address on record for the third party purchaser.




Does the Madison County Clerk's Office report my Delinquent Taxex to a credit bureau?


No. However, the mortgage companies and other creditors contact the Madison County Clerk's Office to inquire about delinquent taxes. If your credit bureau reports an open tax lien, it probably is not for Delinquent Real Estate or Tangible taxes. Usually these liens are placed by the Commonwealth for income or other taxes. If your credit report shows that there is a Certificate of Delinquency or other tax liens on your property, you may obtain a copy of the lien and/or release from the Madison County Clerk's Office at 859-624-4703 #2.




How long do I have to pay the Clerk's Office if no Third Party buys my bill?


Tax bills are collectable by the County Clerk until the Statute of Limitations runs out at 11 years folowing the date of delinquency. However, the County Attorney can force a foreclosure action any time prior to the 11 years.




If I did not receive my tax notice and my taxes become Delinquent, will the tax penalties be exonerated?


That depends. In some cases, tax bills may be sent to the wrong address. If this is a governmental error, some penalties can be waived. However, property owners should expect to receive a yearly tax bill. According to the Kentucky Department of Tax Revenue, not receiving a tax bill or being unfamiliar with Kentucky tax laws are not reasons to waive a penalty and interest on a delinquent tax bill. Interest cannot be waived under any current statutes. If you do not receive a bill in November, you will need to follow up with the County Sheriff's Office at 859-624-4715.





Election FAQ's

What is the Board of Elections?


The Board of Elections is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with overall responsibility for administration of the Election process in Madison County. The Board of Elections consists of the County Clerk, County Sheriff, one Republican member and one Democratic member. As Chairman of the Board of Elections, the County Clerk is responsible for making sure all election mandates of the Kentucky Constitution and the Kentucky Revised Statutes are met.




What is the difference between a Partisan Election and a Nonpartisan Election?


Partisan elections are associated with a particular party or political group or organization. Federal, State and County elections are parisan elections. Nonpartisan elections are not connected with any single political party or political group or organization. Mayoral, Comissiors, Councilman and School Board elections are nonpartisan.




How do I become an Election Officer?


To become an election officer you will need to fill out the Election Officer Application. You must be a registered Democrat Republican and live in Madison County. You CAN NOT have changed your party in the last year. Apply Here




What are the work hours for Election Officers on Election Day?


Election officers must arrive at their precint at 5:15 a.m. They remain in the precint until the last voter in line at 6:00 p.m. has voted and all end of Election Day procedures are complete. After the polls close, the two judges (one Democrat and one Republican) must return, in the same vehicle, with the election supplies, to the County Clerk's office.




Do I get paid for Being an Election Officer?


All officers are paid $125.00 for serving at the precinct on Election Day. Officers are paid an additional $25.00 for attending a required training session.




How do I become a Candidate?


Procedures for those qualifying and running for office are established by the Kentucky Constitution and Kentucky Statutes. For information on candidate filing procedures, applications for each office and sample forms you may download the "Declaring Your Candidacy" publication at http://www.sos.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx




Where do I get the filing papers I need to become a Candidate?


Local candidates can pick up filing papers at the Madison County Clerk's Office. Candidates wishing to run for federal, state, or judicial office must contact the Secretary of State's Office.





Marriage License FAQ's

Do I need to make an appointment to get a marriage license?


No. We are open in both Richmond and Berea, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.




Do you need a Kentucky ID to get a marriage license?


We accept any government-issued picture ID.




Do ministers need to be bonded in order to perform the wedding ceremony?


No. The law that required this was repealed in 1994.




If we are getting married in another state, where can we get the marriage license?


You need to get the license in the state where you are getting married. The license we issue must be used in the state of Kentucky, within 30 days.




We got married out of the country; do we need to register the marriage license in your office?


No. The country where you got married should send you it's official license. The Madison County Clerk's Office only records licenses that it issues.




How do I change my name after I get married?


You will need to take the certified marriage license that we mail to you to the Social Security Administration Office. The Richmond Office is located at 1060 Gibson Bay Dr.




How do I obtain a certified copy of my marriage license?


Come by the Clerk's Office and request a copy. A photocopy is $0.25 cents and a certified copy is $5.00. If you are out of town, please send a written request, including both names and maiden names. Attach a check for $5.00 along with the request.




Do I have to change my name?


No, but you still need to inform the Social Security Administration Office of your marital status.




Where do I obtain copies of divorce records?


At the Family Court Division of Circuit Court on 1st Street, located in Richmond. The phone number to Family Court is 859-625-5524.




Do I need to bring my divorce papers when applying for a marriage license?


No, just a picture ID.




Do both parties need to be present to obtain the marriage license?


Yes.





Motor Vehicle FAQ's

Will I need proof of insurance for the car I'm buying?


Yes. Proof of current Kentucky liability insurance is required at the time of transfer. The insurance card must reflect the VIN of the vehicle being transferred, show the new owner's name as the insured, and show the NAIC number or company code. The effective date of the insurance must be within 45 days of transfer as well.




Does the seller have to be with me when I transfer the title?


No. If the seller has completed their part of the title in its entirety including the signature and notary, then the buyer may come into our office to transfer the vehicle without the seller.




Do I have to let you know if I junk my vehicle?


Yes. You must surrender your title and license plate to the Madison County Clerk's Office in order to cancel the record. Not cancelling the record will result in future taxes on a vehicle you no longer own.




Why does my car need an inspection if it's new?


All vehicles coming into Kentucky from out of state whether new or used must have a VIN inspection to make sure the paperwork matches the vehicle being registered.




Why would I pay usage tax based on the book value instead of what I paid for it?


Kentucky House Bill 380 established a minimum taxable value for all motor vehicles. It provides that the value at a used motor vehicle for usage tax purposes would be based on the affidavit of total consideration ( TC 96-182) signed by the seller for the taxes to be based on purchase price. The taxable value cannot be less than 50% of its trade-in value as listed in the automotive price reference manuals.




How long will it take to receive my title?


Titles are processed by the Department of Transporation and are mailed to the customer within 4 to 6 weeks of application. Expedited "Speed" titles are available in some circumstances for an additional fee. Speed titles are mailed within 4 to 5 days of application.




Do I have to title and register my boat?


All trailers must be titled in Kentucky. Boats that are not operated on public waterways or do not have a motor do not require registration.




Do I have to title and register my trailer?


All trailers must be titled in Kentucky. Privately owned and operated trailers used for the transporation of boats, luggage, personal effects, farm products, farm suppliers, or farm equipment do not require registration. Trailers used for commercial purposes must be registered.




I received my renewal notice and it states "See Clerk/See PVA," what does that mean?


"See Clerk" usually means that registration is expired/cancelled. You must come to our office to renew. "See PVA" means that the Property Valuation Office needs more information to properly assess taxes. You must call Madison County Property Valuation Administration at 859-623-5410 before your renewal can be processed.




I received a tax bill for a car I no longer have. What do I do?


You need to request cancellation of the registration/title. If the vehicle has been junked, the title and plate must be surrendered to the Madison County Clerk's Office. If the vehicle has been sold, two affidavits must be completed: 1. Affidavit for Correction/Exoneration (62A044) 2. Affidavit of Incomplete Transfer (89FCC-266)




I just moved, how do I update the address on my registration?


Bring your registration and picture identification to the Motor Vehicle Office at the Madison County Clerk's Office to update your address. You are not required to update the address on the title.




Why do I have to pay taxes on a vehicle I'm not operating?


Property taxes for your vehicle, trailers and boats are assesed by the Property Valuation Administrator on January 1st of each year. You are responsible for property tax for any vehicle registered to you on January 1st. This tax is separate from your registration fee.




Will you accept a faxed termination?


Only if it is faxed from the secured party or another county clerk's office. If the fax does not have the secured party or county clerk's name as the header, we will need to have a cover sheet. All faxed terminations must also contain "Will Mail Original" on the termination or cover sheet.





Notary FAQ's

Who can post a surety bond?


A Madison County Property Owner may sign for a notary's bond. The notary's name cannot be on the same deed as the surety. Another option is for an insurance company to sign for the notary's bond. The dates on the bond must cover the entire period of the bond.




Can my spouse sign as surety for me?


No.




Can I sign for my own notary bond?


No. The notary cannot post his or her own bond.




What are the liabilities to being a surety?


If the notary does something illgal in regards to notarizing a document, the surety could be held responsible for up to $1,000.00 per occurence.




How do I renew my notary?


Four weeks prior to your commission expiration you will need to reapply with the Secretary of State. You will need to come in to the County Clerk's Office to get the renewal application that has been signed by the clerk. Please bring a picture ID with you.




Is the use of a seal necessary?


Only if the document notarized is going out of state.




How much will it cost to have my signature notarized.


$2.00 per signature. Effective January 1, 2020, there will be a $5.00 fee to verify idenitfication (required), and $2.00 per notarization (per person/per document).




Is there a notary handbook availble?


For further information and/or handbook, please go to the Secretary of State's website: https://www.sos.ky.gov/bus/businessrecords/notaries/Pages/default.aspx




Will I be notified when my commission is ready to expire?


No. The Secretary of State does not send any reminders when your four-year commision will expire.





Recordings FAQ's

Will you fax a copy to me?


Yes. It is $1.00 per page to fax a document.




Do you have marriage licenses for other counties?


No. Each county is responsible for their marriage records. You may want to contact the Vital Statistics Office, who keeps marriage records statewide. Their number is 502-564-4212.




How do I get a copy of a divorce decree?


Family Court will have divorce decree documentation. You may contact them at 859-625-5524.




Does the Madison County Clerk's Office have a list of foreclosures?


No. The Master Commissioner's Office is responsible for the properties that are going to be auctioned. Please contact the Master Commissioner, David Baird, at 859-623-8641.




Where/how do you transfer a mobile home?


Mobile homes are titled like vehicles. Mobile home transfers are completed in the Motor Vehicle Department of the Madison County Clerk's Office.




How do I find out how much I paid in real estate taxes last year?


The Madison County Sheriff collects the current year tax bills. Contact the Madison County Sheriff at 859-623-1511 or online at madisoncountyky.us/sheriff If the tax bill was delinquent (paid after April 16th), contact our office at 859-624-4703 (option 2).




Who do I contact for property value assessments or to apply for homestead exemption?


The Madison County Property Valuation Office is in charge of property assessments. Contact the PVA at 859-623-5410 for additional information.




Will your office help me prepare my documents or do you have blank forms?


We cannot help you prepare any documents nor do we have blank forms. The documents that are brought here for recording must be completley filled out prior to recording.




Do you record a health care power of attorney or living will?


No. There is no statutory authority for us to record either of those documents and there is an Attorney General's opinion that instructs us not to record them.




When will you hold the annual tax sale?


The 2019 Annualy Tax Sale will be on August 22, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at the Madison County Courthouse, Fiscal Courtroom.





Voter FAQ's

Why does voter registration need my social security number?


Social security numbers aren't required but they allow our office to access the correct information when address and party changes are needed.




If I have a driver's license, am I automatically registered to vote?


Not necesarily. You have the opportunity to register to vote when you visit the driver's license office, but you will only be registered if you fill out and sign a voter registration card.




Will I receive a voter registration ID card when I register to vote?


We do not issue voter registration ID cards. You will receive a confirmation post card in the mail shortly after you register or change your address. This card will confim your new precinct information and list your voting location.




Do I need to take anything with me when I go to the polls?


You wil need to show identification before voting. Kentucky law requires one of the following forms of identification: -Driver's License -Social Secuirty Card -Credit Card -ID Card with picture and signature of voter -Personal acquaintance with an election officer.




I am a student. Do I vote here or in my home county?


Students have the choice to stay registered in their home county or to register in the county where they are attending school.




How often do I need to re-register?


You do not need to re-register unless you move out of the county/state and then return. Voting regularly will keep your registration active.




What should I do if I change my name?


You will have to fill out and sign a new voter registration card. You may do this by mail or in person at either the county clerk's office or the driver's license office. If you are granted a legal name change by the courts, you may have to provide a copy of the name change document.




Are seventeen year olds eligible to vote?


Seventeen year olds may register and vote in Primary Elections as long as they will be eighteen by the date of the General Election.




I previously had a felony conviction. Can I still register to vote?


Convicted felons must have their voting rights restored before they can register to vote. You may contact your local parole office or go to www.corrections.ky.gov to obtain an application for restoration of Civil Rights.




What should I do if I move?


Moves within Madison County: Update your address with the county clerk in person or in writing, or change your address at the driver's license office. If you have not done this before Election Day you may still cast your ballot. However, you must go to the voting precinct that serves your new address on Election Day to vote and update registration address at that time. Moves outside of Madison County: Registration books close 28 days before each election. If you move to another Kentucky county you must register in your new county before the books close in order to be eligible to vote. If you move during the 28-day period that the books are closed, you may return to your previous county to vote in that one election only. You will need to change your registration to your new county as soon as the registration books reopen.




How do I change my party affiliation?


You may change your party affiliation at any time; however, you must change your affiliation between the Primary Election and December 31st of the current year in order to be eligible to vote in your new party's next Primary Election. If you change your affiliation between January 1st and the Primary Election, you will only be able to vote in the Nonpartisan Primary races.




May I vote for any Democrat or Republican candidates of my choice in the primary election?


If you are registered with a political group or organization, or as an Independent, you cannot vote in any of the partisan races. The nonpartisan offices include Richmond and Berea Mayoral, City Commissioners and Councilmen, School Board, Soil and Water Conservation, and all judicial offices. In the general election in November you may vote for any candidates of you choice regardless of party affiliation.




What hours are the polls open? Can I go to a precint near my office instead of the where I live?


The polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You must be in line by 6:00 p.m. in order to vote. All voters must vote in the precinct that serves their current residential address.




Is voter registration proof of residency?


No.




When I register in Madison County does that automatically remove me from voter registration elsewhere?


If you were registered in another county in Kentucky, you will automatically be deleted from your previous county. If you were registered in another state, you will need to contact that state to be deleted from their voter registration.




How can I be removed from the voter registration in Madison County?


Make your request to be removed from the Madison County voter registration, in writing to the county clerk's office.




What if I need assistance at the polls?


Voters who qualify for assistance at the polls may be assisted by anyone of their choice; except their employer, agent of their employer, union head, or agent of their union. If the voter does not bring anyone with them, two election officers (one from each party) must assist the voter. The following people may receive assitance at the polls: 1. Voters who cannot operate the machine due to a physical disablity. 2. Voters who are blind or visually impaired. 3. Voters who are unable to read English.




What if I can't get to the polls on election day?


Some voters qualify to vote by absentee ballot either in person at the county clerk's office or by mail. You may review the absentee voting requirements on this website or call the voter registration office for more information 624-4703 (option 2).





Richmond Office

101 W. Main St. 

Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 624-4703

8:00a.m. - 4:30p.m.

Berea Office

304 Chestnut St. 

Berea, KY 40403

(859) 986-1460

8:00a.m. - 4:30p.m.