Imagine if fate smiled upon you, finding an abandoned motorbike for which you find no owner, or discovering a barn find with no title, or simply someone is selling theirs at a very cheap rate, but without title: what do you do? How do you register a bike with no title?
If you do think that that vehicle is not worth your time since it doesn’t have a title, then you are wrong, as there are procedures due to which, you can legally own this bike along with a title under your ownership. There are a few simple steps through which barn finds, abandoned vehicles, or a for-sale bike can be yours.
How to register a barn find or title-less bike
Firstly, you have to be sure (utterly sure) that the bike that you want to purchase or you found is not a stolen good, and if it is a barn find make sure that it is not an illegal find that you’ve come around. When you are 100% sure about it, then you can move towards the next step.
The second step is to make sure that the bike is not owned by anyone in particular, or that the owner does not wish to own the bike any more, or it is not in possession by any individual legally.
That will make the process hindrance free, for the application of the title for the bike.
Also, if it is owned by any individual- it is of utmost priority that that owner is not returning back or claiming that bike.
The laws and the rules relative to the bike or any kinds of vehicles are subjected to change from country to country.
That said- the next step is to make sure you’re not eligible for a bonded title. A bonded title, also known as a “Certificate of Title Surety”, is a document that proves a person’s ownership of a motor vehicle.
When you’re certain that you’re not eligible for the bonded title- the next step would be to get the VIN of the bike and run a detailed VIN check using a service like InstaVIN.
The VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is the identifying code for a specific automobile. The VIN basically, serves as a car’s fingerprints. It is composed of 17 characters. This is to make sure there are no liens on the bike.
Getting a title for an old motorcycle
As said earlier, every state has its different laws regarding the vehicles, so pick a friendly state to register a title for your vehicle. Although there are some states that do not issue title for motorcycles older than 15 years. They only issue registrations.
Vermont could be the best choice, since everything and every process is dealt via email and you do not even need be a resident.
Basically, if the motorcycle is more than 15 years old, the city of Vermont will accept a basic bill of sale (from anyone; doesn’t even have to be prior legal owner) to transfer ownership to your name.
Since everything can be done via mail- all you have to do is register your bike through mail in Vermont. Print out the proper forms from the Vermont DMV website, fill them and mail it to them, along with the bill of sale.
After submitting all of your required forms, Vermont will issue you a registration form of ownership along with Vermont plates and 1 year transferable registration.
Since that is their version of a title, you can obtain it with just a bill of sale (it will most likely take 10 days for you to receive it in your mail after you send your correct forms) and then present it to your state DMV who are then required to issue you a legal title in your name, in your state.
You will need a VIN inspection for a bike over 500cc, but this can be done by anyone authorized to do one in your home state. This, of course, includes a police officer, the DMV, but in many states like Florida, they also include a notary. I suggest a mobile notary like Notarize.com.
For the notary, just make sure to also get a letter on the notary’s letterhead identifying them. A mobile notary is a notary public who is mobile and travels to clients.
Typically, a mobile notary goes to anywhere from one to eight places per day and notarize a single signature, or do a loan signing at any particular stop.
Again, getting a signed off title is always my first priority and would advise you to do the same.
I hope this research and steps are useful to you.