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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
[Here's an update on my initial post - in Virginia, at least, they're going to hit you up for a "sales and use tax", as well as the $10 title fee. For me, it was $75+$10= $85 to the coffers of Virginia. So my total expenditure to get a Va. title will be $85 (Va.) + $74 (Vt.) = $159. Not cheap, certainly, but certainly cheaper than going through one of the "services" that do such things.]

The basic rule of thumb of buying an untitled motorcycle that you hope to put on the street is very simple: walk away! While it may be easier in some states than in others, typically titling an untitled bike involves a great deal of bureaucratic headaches and expense. In Virginia, for example, you've got a better chance of success in calling up the Vatican and telling them you'd like to speak to the Pope. Certainly there are companies out there that will get you a title for several hundred dollars, but that wasn't financially feasible for me.

However, for many of us on HondaTwins.net, THERE IS A WAY! That way is through the wonderful state of Vermont. Here's the caveat: your untitled bike must be over 15 years old and/or under 300cc's. As I noted, that's probably not a problem for most of us here.

Here's how it works, and I'll use Virginia as an example in this: In the state of Vermont, they do not title motorcycles that are over 15 years old, regardless of size. Further, they don't title motorcycles - regardless of age - that are under 300cc's. HOWEVER, they do register them!! Flip to Virginia for a second: in Virginia, if you don't have a title for your motorcycle (regardless of age, size, bill of sale, etc.), you're not going to get it titled in Virginia, period. It's just not going to happen. You don't have a title, you can't register it/put tags on it, and anyone you sell it to is in the same lousy boat. I recently bought an untitled c70 Passport with a bill of sale from a guy 40 miles away in TN. The VA DMV solution? Go back to TN and get the seller to title it there, then sign it over to me. Yeah, that's not going to happen.

But here's where you can navigate those troubled waters: State DMV's reference a NADA book to determine titling/registering/licensing requirements in other states. This is important! Vermont, as noted above, doesn't issue titles for such bikes, but they do register them. If your bike is registered in Vermont (and you won't have a title because VT doesn't issue them), then your state's DMV must recognize VT's registration, just as surely as if you'd moved there from Vermont with your vehicle! If they balk at that, have them look up Vermont's requirements in their NADA book. Here's where it gets even better: you don't have to live in Vermont - or even have a Vermont address - to register your bike there!!!

So here's what I did: I filled out the proper form for Vermont, I sent them a check for $74 ($44 for a one-year registration plus $30 minimum tax), I enclosed my original bill of sale, and I waited. Because of the age and size of the bike, I didn't even have to get my local LEO to do a VIN verification! About 3.5 weeks later, I received my temporary registration and my nice new and shiny VT license plate! My permanent registration will arrive in a separate mailing. When that arrives, I'll go down to my local DMV & get a new Va. title for the bike.:)

Here's the link to get you started:

http://dmv.vermont.gov/sites/dmv/files/pdf/DMV-VD119i-Registration_App_Instructions.pdf

The form you have to fill out is PDF-fillable, and you can always call VT DMV to answer any questions. (I did, as I just couldn't believe it was that easy. It was.)

I hope this helps!

Rob
 

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I wonder just how many bikes the Vermont DMV folks THINK are driving their roads? On the other hand, $74 for a few minutes paper work and an ounce of tin sounds pretty profitable.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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I wonder just how many bikes the Vermont DMV folks THINK are driving their roads? On the other hand, $74 for a few minutes paper work and an ounce of tin sounds pretty profitable.

Thanks for sharing.
I used my MA address to get a VT registration -- I'm guessing they're hip to our methods and aren't worried about all those bikes on their roads!
 

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There have been quite a few guys on the 750 site I visit from all over the country that have done the Vermont registration in order to get titles for their bikes and it worked.
 

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T Here's the caveat: your untitled bike must be over 15 years old and/or under 300cc's.
Your caveat should include "certain states may/will not accept this procedure "; as previously reported by other HT members in other posts/threads

So I have a 1975 CB360T. If I read this right because it is over 15 years old, this will work even though it is over 300cc?
yes, that's the way I read it also
 

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This is all said and good - right up to when someone turns up with a TITLE that says the bike is theirs and you lose it and all the work and money you spent because you used short cuts.

If your state has a process to apply for a title where the original has been lost over time - do it.
That will be a bullet proof title that will hold up no matter what.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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This is all said and good - right up to when someone turns up with a TITLE that says the bike is theirs and you lose it and all the work and money you spent because you used short cuts.

If your state has a process to apply for a title where the original has been lost over time - do it.
That will be a bullet proof title that will hold up no matter what.

Just my 2 cents.
Absolutely "sage advise" since Vermont does not issue a title.. just a registration.
 

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This is all said and good - right up to when someone turns up with a TITLE that says the bike is theirs and you lose it and all the work and money you spent because you used short cuts.
Absolutely "sage advise" since Vermont does not issue a title.. just a registration.
Right, they mail you a temporary registration and one of these:



...and then mail you a permanent registration (10 days?) later.

They'll do a search for information on the VIN number just like any DMV would, AtaIK - so, yes, if there is a title in the region that they check, be it VT, a few surrounding states, or the country, they won't issue you a registration and plate. Maybe VT only checks a relatively small region and the person's state checks the nation? IDK.

If your state has a process to apply for a title where the original has been lost over time - do it.
That will be a bullet proof title that will hold up no matter what.
Agreed, that's always best. Apparently, in some states it is more of a hassle - or more expensive, maybe - to apply for and receive a valid title and new plate than it is to order one through VT (admittedly easy) and then apply for a new one in your state as one does when one moves there. I don't think I'd want to ride all that long on a VT plate... Maybe if it was a college town or big city, lol. I believe WV gives a person 30 days to transfer them when moving here and I assume I could get by that long in this case (even though when he looked at my driver license, he'd see that I wasn't a recent resident, lol). Some might try and succeed at riding until the registration expired, I suppose. IDK what their insurance carrier would say if one that was in technical violation of the registration requirements of the state they were licensed and resided in....

Regards,
 

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I almost had a mess with my recently acquired 72 cb350, it had a legit title however the signature of the last registered owner had faded so bad you could barely tell it had been signed at all. My local license branch office as they call them here in Indiana wouldn't take it and said it needed to re-signed. I was half tempted to sign it myself but figured I'd get into a bunch of trouble if it went wrong so I did some internet searching and found the last registered owner was still alive and living at the same address that was on the title I even spotted him on Facebook I just didn't have a phone number and he wouldn't respond to my PM's however he did post on FB where he worked so I gave him a call at work. The bad part is that he lives about 2 and 1/2 hrs from here so that meant an all day ride for me and my wife on my GL1100, oh well it was a beautiful day and perfect riding weather so off we went. I got his signature and we both exchanged a bill of sale just in case my license branch gave me any more grief.
 

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I titled 2 untitled bikes recently in California. Bill of Sale paperwork completely filled out, this is important because it has the sellers CA drivers license and phone number. DMV started the paperwork and did their VIN inspection, then referred me to CHP to do a VIN inspection where they actually run the numbers through a stolen data base, then back to DMV to finish the paperwork. A few things to note in this process
1) immediately after buying and untitled bike/engine go to CHP and ask them nicely to run the numbers through their data base, DMV has no access and locals don't/won't do it.
2) Be sure that all the blanks on the Bill of Sale are completed.
3) Be sure DMV is not trying to set up the paperwork for a "Salvage Title". They generally try that because it's old and out of the system but when you ask them why they are doing that since there is no paperwork involving anything salvage and it was bought from a private party they will change it. If they argue ask for the supervisor, don't leave thinking you can fix it latter because CHP has different forms for VIN inspection and Salvage inspection. Wrong form equals wrong title. If you buy the frame in particular from a salvage yard you will get a Salvage Title. If you buy an engine from a salvage yard install it in the bike first and make no mention to anyone where it came from, it may exist in the CHP data base or not.
4) CHP inspections are on an appointment basis only, you have to contact them to set a date/time which could be anywhere from 1-6 weeks depending on your location. It might be worthwhile to call around looking at more remote places for faster timing.
I went through all of this because with only CA Bills of Sale w/o titles I figured was going to be a major problem. Washington Dep't of Licensing confirmed it when asked,
 
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