Motorcycles offer many benefits over traditional vehicles. They are smaller, easier to control, and much cheaper to maintain. If you’re thinking about purchasing a bike, a used one could be a great option. All those interested in the purchase of a used motor vehicle should be aware of the bill of sale’s legitimacy and the condition of the motorcycle in question.

Each purchase of a motorcycle should include a title, but sometimes the seller doesn’t provide one for the buyer. In these cases, there are exceptions that buyers should be aware of. If you found the dream motorcycle and are ready to buy it, read on to learn what to do if the vehicle comes without a title.

Why a Seller Might Not Have a Title

Not all circumstances are the same, and not all of them indicate fraud. There are many reasons why owners might not have a title when creating a bill of sale document for their motorcycle. A few of such include:

  • It was lost
  • The current owner never received a title
  • It was damaged
  • The motorcycle in question was stolen

While a few of the cases mentioned above leave no room for panic, one does. That is if the motorcycle is stolen. This is the biggest concern when purchasing a used vehicle and one of the common reasons why the title, an important document, may be missing. If the motorcycle is stolen, you don’t want to wind up in the middle of a big mess.

Making Sure It Is Not Stolen

If you are suspicious of the motorcycle deal, do not sign any documents, including a bill of sale, until you are sure otherwise. A few ways to make sure the vehicle is not stolen is to check out the vehicle identification number (VIN), check if the price is too low, and request any records dealing with the service. These can help you put together clues and ensure you are purchasing the bike legally without any doubts about its origin.

Purchasing a Motorcycle Without a Title

If you find yourself in a situation where the motorcycle you’re interested in has no title, you need to take a few steps first to make sure you’re not getting yourself into deep trouble. It’s fine to buy it; but to prove your ownership, you need to restore the lost title by visiting your local DMV and completing the lost title documentation pursuant to the procedure of your state.

The proof of ownership is done by presenting the bill of sale completed by your seller at the time of purchasing the vehicle from the previous owner before the seller. In this way, the chain of ownership is established to ensure that the motorcycle is not stolen or involved in some crime. After the lost title documents are submitted, the local DMV inspector checks the motorcycle’s VIN to establish its conformity to the data indicated in the bill of sale and re-issues the new title.

As you can see, a bill of sale is an essential document legitimizing the transaction even when some other critical papers, like the title, are missing. Once you know that everything is legit, you and the seller should create a bill of sale, using it as a receipt for your purchase. This will also count toward securing a title so that you could sell the vehicle in the future. A title can help you prove legal ownership and make life much easier when hunting for a new motorcycle.

Interested in Buying a Motorcycle with No Title? Read This

While it is not recommended, sometimes motorcycles just don’t come with a title. It doesn’t mean you should take it out of your mind, just making sure to be careful before spending money on a pig in a poke. Here is the procedure of getting the title for your new acquisition:

  1. Check to see if the motorcycle is clean and not reported lost or stolen. You can do this by checking the VIN and other records.
  2. Make sure you complete a bill of sale with the motorcycle’s seller to have legal proof of the transaction.
  3. Take your motorcycle to the DMV and have it inspected for a VIN check.
  4. Be ready to pay some fees and wait for some time (the fees and waiting times differ depending on the state).
  5. Complete the lost title form by indicating your place of residence and personal details.
  6. Pay the title generation fee.
  7. Wait for the new title to be mailed to your physical address indicated in the title restoration documents.

Creating a Motorcycle Bill of Sale

If you’ve found the motorcycle you want to purchase and are ready to get the deal done, you should look into creating a motorcycle bill of sale. Using a template, you can quickly fill in a form and provide all of the necessary information needed to secure your purchase. This includes details of yourself (the buyer), the current owner (seller), and the motorcycle in question.

Once all this information is gathered and entered into a bill of sale form, all parties should sign and date according to the state laws. Some require the presence of witnesses or notary public when adding a signature. After everything is signed correctly, all parties should obtain their own copy, showing that ownership was legally passed over from one party to the other and for the price agreed upon after negotiations.

After that, the document is considered legally binding, and the sale is complete. Ownership can now be passed over to the new owner through the DMV.

Published: May 19, 2022