Titling and registration, by state


Well-Known Member
Turn signals were not a requirement for motorcycles until about 1973. We did arm signals back then. The DMV should not give you any trouble over your 70 model bike not having turn signals.


New Member

Things have changed here a bit in the last few years, compared to what has been posted previously. The DOL (not DMV in this state) has tossed out all their microfiche. It used to be, if you didn't have a title and it wasn't in the computer they would research the microfiche and find the last owner of record. Then they required a certified letter be sent to that owner to get their release and if that letter was returned undeliverable then they would issue a NTI registration (No Title Issued - ownership in doubt) and a title could be issued after a 3 year wait. (if you sell it the next guy he picks up right where you left off)

Now the microfiche is gone. If you don't have the title you will be going straight to the NTI, registration only, 3 year wait thing. Skip the certified mail thing. I guess you don't even need a bill of sale, technically. But if your buddy gives you one would probably make it easier for you. This process does require a VIN inspection. Last I knew it had to be from the Washington State Patrol and that costs $100, and an appointment and only certain locations do them. So PITA and money. I wish I did this years ago when the WSP inspection was free. Perhaps a Law Officer from another jurisdiction can do this, but I think not. DOL used to require WSP inspections for all out of state vehicles. At that time the WSP only verified the VIN. I am not sure in this case, if you want a title for purpose of on-road registration, if WSP will be looking for turn signals, mirrors and horn, etc., or if they will be only confirming the VIN. I would expect the worst.

Vermont or similar Registration Only state may be an easier option.


Active Member
Good stuff Gscott! Nice update.
Fellow Washington resident so I feel your pain. The first 3 year registration I did in the late 90’s I was charged at the DOL for the state patrol inspection. IIRC they got $40 at the time. I have done at least 30 more over the years. Don’t think they ever did it for free.
The good news is Off road vehicles no longer require the WSP inspection. The one thing they made me do on a ATC70 was get scale weight to charge me a weight tax. I pulled up the weight in the factory service manual but they would not take that as fact. Oddly the greasy slip from a concrete recycler was more reputable.


New Member


1.) Bill of Sale-Ensure it's signed by previous owner and identifies the motorcycle by VIN number and also includes sale price.
2.) Previous Owners Statement of Facts Form-Stating when and from whom he or she purchased the motorcycle and why it had never been titled and registered previously.
3.) Vehicle Non-Operation Form-covering time it was residing but, not riden in California.
4.) New Owner Statement of Facts Form-Stating from whom the motorcycle was purchased and that you desire to attain a title and registration.
5.) Application for Title Form.
6.) VIN Verification Form
7.) Appointment and trip to California Highway Patrol-They verify VIN numbers and check stolen database.
8.) Proof of insurance
9.) Out of State Resident Form-Military Stationed in State but, legal resident of another State (waives all taxes-this is a big money saver)
10.) Lots of patients-many DMV representives have never delt with this and have to refer to the California Vehicle Code Manual (it's huge!) and/or ask other representives for help.

The Title, License Plate, and One Years Registration cost me $82.00 excluding tax. They will give you the License Plate, Stickers and Registration Paperwork at the DMV and mail the title to you in about 14 days time.
Pretty sure a brake & light inspection is required and it's not cheap.