In Buying A Motorcycle With No Title

When purchasing a motorcycle without a title, it’s important to document the transaction carefully. You should create a bill of sale that includes the details of the sale, such as the names and addresses of both the buyer and the seller, the description of the motorcycle (make, model, and VIN), the sales price, and any terms of the sale.

Both the buyer and the seller should sign the bill of sale, and the buyer should keep a copy for their records.

Ways to Obtain a Title for a Motorcycle with No Title

There are a few ways to obtain a title for a motorcycle that has no title, and the process may vary depending on the state you are in.

Some states may require certain paperwork and a VIN inspection, while others may not. For example, in Utah, you can order a replacement title online, while in Idaho, you may need to visit the DMV in person to complete the paperwork.

Option 1: Ask the Seller to Obtain a Replacement Title

Ask the seller to obtain a replacement title for the motorcycle before completing the transaction.

The seller may need to pay a fee and provide some information about the vehicle, such as the VIN, to order the replacement title.

Once the replacement title is obtained, the seller can sign it over to the buyer.

Option 2: Purchase the Motorcycle Without a Title and Apply for a New Title

Another option is to purchase the motorcycle without a title and apply for a new title in your name. 

This may require additional paperwork and fees, and the process may take some time. In some cases, you may need to provide evidence of ownership, such as a bill of sale, to obtain a new title.

Importance of the Motorcycle Title Document

You should understand that the title is the document that proves ownership of the vehicle, and without it, it may be difficult to legally transfer ownership of the motorcycle.

Proof of ownership

The title document is an important proof of ownership for the motorcycle. It includes the owner’s name, address, and other identifying information, as well as the make, model, and VIN of the motorcycle. This information is essential for legally transferring ownership of the motorcycle.

Legally transferring ownership

Without a title document, it may be difficult to legally transfer ownership of the motorcycle. This can lead to potential legal issues down the road, such as disputes over ownership or difficulties in obtaining registration or insurance for the motorcycle.

Protecting your investment

The title document is an important document to keep track of if you own a motorcycle. It can help protect your investment in the motorcycle by providing evidence of ownership and helping to prevent theft or fraud. If you are selling a motorcycle, providing a title document can also help establish trust with potential buyers and ensure a smoother transaction.

State requirements

Disclaimer: In many states, it is required by law to have a title document for a motorcycle. 

Failure to have a title document may result in fines or other penalties. Even if it is not required by law, having a title document can still be important for protecting your investment and ensuring a smooth transaction.

Caution When Purchasing a Motorcycle Without a Title

If you decide to purchase a motorcycle without a title, it’s important to be cautious and do your due diligence. Inspect the motorcycle carefully and check its history for any accidents or service records. You may also want to consider getting a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) check to ensure the motorcycle is not stolen.

Sample Scenario

For example, a buyer who did not exercise caution when purchasing a motorcycle without a title may find themselves facing legal issues down the road. 

  • The motorcycle thieves may have stolen the bike, or the seller may not have had the legal right to sell the motorcycle in the first place.
  • The buyer may be left with a motorcycle they cannot legally register or insure, and may even face fines or other legal penalties.

Titling Older Motorcycles or Barn Finds

Be aware that titling older motorcycles or barn finds may require additional steps or documentation. In some cases, you may need to provide proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale or a lien release from a previous lender.


In summary, while it’s possible to purchase a motorcycle without a title documents, it can be a complicated process. It’s important to do your research, be cautious, and document everything carefully to avoid any potential dilemmas, headaches, and problems down the road.