The laws pertaining to the transport and placement of a mobile home in Kentucky are overwhelming in the number of approvals, permits and certifications needed from the Federal Highway Administration down to the local code enforcement officer. It is advisable that unless you are experienced at hoisting houses and moving over-sized loads you should hire a company specializing in moving these manufactured monstrosities. You can't transport a mobile home or get a permit to transport it if there are any property taxes outstanding.
Mobile Doesn't Really Mean Mobile
Mobile homes are built with a steel undercarriage and steel beams for support and to allow axles and wheels to be attached for transport. But the idea behind them was to create a market for affordable housing, not moving the house around every few months or years. Once the wheels and tongue have been removed the home becomes stationary. Plan accordingly and find a location where you'd be happy to live for a considerable time.
Dimensions and Route
You will need to purchase an overweight-overdimensional permit to get your mobile home to its desired destination. Its route must be planned in advance and receive approval from the FHA and state and local authorities through whose jurisdiction the load will pass. Under no circumstances can the structure be more than 13.5 feet in height if traveling on an interstate to assure that it clears all bridges. In Kentucky there are weight restrictions for certain bridges and other prohibitions throughout the state. If a special length or width permit is needed, FHA requires two accompanying vehicles---one in front and one in back---with appropriate signage warning of the wide load.
From the Factory
If your mobile home is new, the manufacturer will deliver it for a fee or you can contract with an independent service. It will have a Housing and Urban Development sticker affixed to the structure in at least two places with a HUD number, much like your vehicle has a VIN number. Since it is mobile with axles and wheels, the Department of Motor Vehicles considers it an automobile and wants it registered to a specific address. This will come in handy later with code enforcement because it certifies the building was constructed to HUD standards. The carrier will have to be bonded and insured.
The Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings & Construction, Division of Fire Prevention, regulates the manufacture, sale, and installation of mobile homes in the state. It makes certain that the home is put in place by a certified installer and meets all state codes before a certificate of occupancy is issued. If the mobile home is new with the HUD sticker, it will be deemed acceptable. If you purchased the home used, it will receive a much more thorough safety inspection and be issued either a B-1 or B-2 seal, depending on the home's condition and age. The local building inspector has final say on any deficiencies that must be corrected before the connection of utilities will be permitted.
Chuck Ayers began writing professionally in 1982, breathing life into obituaries, becoming a political and investigative reporter at a major East Coast metropolitan newspaper. He now freelances and is a California communications and political consultant. He graduated from American University, Washington, D.C., with degrees in political science and economics.