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    Default How to: Get a Title

    This is my personal process to title a bike. It is all in Wyoming (which nobody lives in Wyoming) but the links and stuff will give you the idea of how it will work in your home state. I have done this a dozen times and never had much of a snag. Enjoy!


    Go here and scroll down. this is the official checklist from the State. (wyoming) You can find something similar in your state's DOT site http://www.dot.state.wy.us/files/con...0OWNERSHIP.pdf
    Start a file, you will have a stack of papers to keep track of! Make master copies of EVERYTHING and paperclip the copies together because most of the time the state has their head up their ass and will lose something, and if you don't have a copy your screwed and have to start over.


    1. An affidavit of ownership form (found below) is filled out in its entirety.

    http://www.dot.state.wy.us/files/con...0OWNERSHIP.pdf
    This step is easy. you just print out this form and fill it out. My suggestion is be vague. They really dont give a crap about the details. If you don't know something like previous owner and stuff just leave it blank.

    2. A vehicle identification number inspection is completed by law enforcement.

    This one is also super easy. On Wednesdays and only Wednesdays The Police Department (if you are in city limits) will send a crotchety-looking old man out to inspect the VIN. He is actually a pretty nice old dude. He will fill out this form for you and give it to you. (you dont need to print it off) http://www.dot.state.wy.us/files/con...VIN%20Form.pdf If you need it done any faster then you have to take the vehicle to the police station.

    3. A title search from the Wyoming Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Services is completed.

    This step is VERY important and you need to do this step as soon as possible. What you do here is you take the VIN inspection sheet that the community service officer gave you when he inspected and you the vehicle disclosure and privacy release http://www.dot.state.wy.us/files/con...%20RELEASE.pdf into an envelope along with a $5 dollar bill cash (it always works way faster for me to send cash) and send it to Marion. In my experience it takes Marion a full week to get back to you. She will not let you drop it off either. She only wants it in the mail. Send it to:
    Marian Scott
    WYDOT-Motor Vehicle Services
    5300 Bishop Boulevard
    Cheyenne WY 82009
    I have never sent it certified or anything, just regular ol mail. In a couple weeks you will get the paper back saying who owned it last and their last known address and also if there is or was a lien on it

    4. If applicable, contact any lien holders identified via certified letter to request liens be released.

    I have only had one come back with a lien on the Title search. It was a fairly new Harley so I called Harley Financial and they just sent me a Nevada Notarized Lien Release. Was pretty simple. They had wrote off the bike. Plus i fibbed a little and told them that I had the bike in storage for years and that I was owed (just said an amount that was a few bucks over the value of the bike) and they just said....screw it and sent me the release. If you get a lien release make like 5 copies of it and put them in different places! This is a VERY important piece of paper for you to have.

    5. If applicable, contact the previous owner via certified letter to request that a title be established and properly executed, transferring ownership to you.

    This is the most time consuming step of the process. When you get the title search back from Marion type a very vague letter to the previous owner (po). I always make it sound like a collections letter, because people hate getting collections letters and usually just throw them away, or refuse to take them in the first place. What you actually write in the letter actually has very little meaning to the process. What you are trying to do is establish to The State that you have attempted to make contact with the PO. So my letters usually say
    " Mr Bob,
    We request that title # (then just type the VIN out here) be established and
    properly executed, transferring ownership to said recipient.

    (then put my name and address at the bottom)

    Seal it up and send it Certified WITH delivery receipt. Now 1 of 2 things will happen. The PO will accept the letter and you will get the return receipt in the mail, or they will either not be there anymore or not accept it and you will get the whole letter back. Either way is just fine. In my experience I do not put a make or model or anything about a vehicle on there. I had one one time leave a motorcycle at an X girlfriends house 20 years ago and when I put in the letter something like.... "hey dude, remember that sweet RD400 Daytona Special Edition you left at that chicks house? Well, I have it and I want the title. " Or something along those dumb lines. Well, he remembered it, looked them up on ebay and saw $$$ and I had a hard time keeping a hold of that bike! If it was anything else I wouldn't have fought it, but this was a once in a lifetime find for me! In my experience this usually takes 3 weeks to get this letter back. The Post Office has a policy that they try to deliver it twice and then they hold onto it for 15 days waiting for the person to pick it up. Then they send it back to you. I had one sit in the Post Office in Ft. Collins for 2 months one time though. i had to go down there and chew some ass to get it back to me! If your sending a letter to somewhere far away that is not a possibility.

    6. Establish the retail value of the vehicle by one of the following methods: current national appraisal guide (for example, Kelley Blue Book or NADA), from a current or past registration, or a licensed Wyoming vehicle dealer.
    This step will determine the price of the Surety bond that you will have to buy. The cheapest you can get away with buying a bond is 100 bucks. That will cover you up to 10,000 dollars of value. I have never had to purchase a bond more then $100 bucks. If you can prove the vehicle is worth less then $500 then no bond is needed. Like one time I went to the yamaha dealer and had them write me a statement saying the bike is in very poor shape and they would offer me $250 bucks for it. Get that notarized and your good to go.


    7. A surety bond for twice the retail value shall be issued by an insurance provider.
    Call your vehicle insurance company and ask them if they sell Surety Bonds. Mine does not, so I found this insurance company over off Story called Burns Insurance. Im sure there are more places but that was the first place I found that did it, and have never had a problem working with them. Take your proof of what the vehicle is worth down to them (take your whole stack of paperwork too just in case) because what they are doing is telling The State, Hey, I am pretty sure this bike is legit, but in case its NOT, here is an insurance policy to protect the state in case a while from now the PO finds his way off that desert Island in the Pacific and comes back and says.. Hey! wheres my vehicle!?!

    8. Take a picture. nothing special. I just take a picture with my phone and print it off on my black and white printer on fast mode, just a normal 3x4 picture will do.

    NOW the fun part! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE COPIES OF EVERYTHING stashed away safely. Take that whole file of papers down to the title office at the courthouse. The office on the north side, not the one that always has the long line on the left side. Tell the Clerk what you have, give them your checklist (first link up there) and then let her do her thing. It'll take a few min and if you forgot anything or messed anything up you will have to leave and go fix it, but if you got everything right then she will print you up a fresh clean title!

    These are my tips and trick. Its time consuming, but it works.
    Good luck!

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    Dude, how timely. I was just wondering about this process in Texas. I found a dude who has an Ironhead frame that I'd love to have and it's super cheap, but no title.

    Speaking of this process, have you setup a title for that Sporty of yours so that I can trade it to you for my Honda Shadow yet? Waiting...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosebleed View Post
    Dude, how timely. I was just wondering about this process in Texas. I found a dude who has an Ironhead frame that I'd love to have and it's super cheap, but no title.

    Speaking of this process, have you setup a title for that Sporty of yours so that I can trade it to you for my Honda Shadow yet? Waiting...
    I sure have man! But...as life goes, I have liquidated all of my bikes. Life kinda threw us a curve ball with my wife semi-suddenly going blind, so a guy has to do what a guy has to do. On the otherhand..... It has been very easy to hid my littel 07 883 from my mostly blind wife! LOL! Its the only one I have now and I have to have atleast one! Let me know if you need any help. This Bonded Title Process is pretty universal state to state.

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    Ah, I remember you mentioning your wife's medical situation. Sounds as though it has worsened in the last year then; so sorry to hear that. It's a drag to have to liquidate bikes (I have the same problem with guns, never want to sell any) but totally understandable.

    I'm assuming that your considered move to Austin is now out of the question as well?

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    Went through this process in L.A. and it was the biggest pain in the ass. By the time I was done I had a stack of paperwork 1/2" thick, but it was well worth it since I was handed a bike for free cause someone didn't know how to align the front forks after he dumped it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bdehlin View Post
    Went through this process in L.A. and it was the biggest pain in the ass. By the time I was done I had a stack of paperwork 1/2" thick, but it was well worth it since I was handed a bike for free cause someone didn't know how to align the front forks after he dumped it.
    *Disclaimer. I do not assume responsibility or knowledge of anything California!

    Probably would have been easier and cheaper for you to strip the frame and ship it to me and have me get the title! LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosebleed View Post
    Ah, I remember you mentioning your wife's medical situation. Sounds as though it has worsened in the last year then; so sorry to hear that. It's a drag to have to liquidate bikes (I have the same problem with guns, never want to sell any) but totally understandable.

    I'm assuming that your considered move to Austin is now out of the question as well?
    Heck no. Its more on then ever now. A place that's nice most of the time and has a way better public transportation system is what we are looking for now that she lost her drivers license. Plus we don't really ahve to worry about her having a job and stuff since she was a shoe in for disability. She is getting together with a company that helps blind people aclimate to being blind and since she still has partial vision she can really be of some help for people with no vision, so disability will only last as long as it takes her to retain then she will be back in teh swing of things.

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    Well it sounds like you are both making the best out of a bad situation, at least.

    Hey, regarding frames and titles. If I were to consider buying a frame (really cheaply) with no title, would it be advisable for me to get the VIN and have the DMV run a check on it before buying (if the seller will wait)? Just wondering since I've never done this before.

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    Ive been told that in Alabama anything older than 76 only needs a bill of sale to get titled. If you got someone you trust living there you can "sell" them your bike, have them register it and then "buy it back" from them, and bring the title to your local DMV

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosebleed View Post
    Well it sounds like you are both making the best out of a bad situation, at least.

    Hey, regarding frames and titles. If I were to consider buying a frame (really cheaply) with no title, would it be advisable for me to get the VIN and have the DMV run a check on it before buying (if the seller will wait)? Just wondering since I've never done this before.
    I sure would, if possible. Problem I have always run into with that is a police officer will not run a VIN unless phisicly looking at the frame/bike. Even friends of mine will not run one for me because if it happens to pop up hot, then they are required to confiscate it. They cant take it into custody if its not there, so they get in trouble for searching a vin that is not there. Might be different in a different state, or maybe you could call the police station. Then there is the 2nd thing you want to know about a frame. Does it have a lien on it. That can be done by mail with your DMV but takes a few days. Maybe your DMV will let you go drop off and pick up papers, but here the old lady doesn't want that and have to converse through mail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muttblbc View Post
    Ive been told that in Alabama anything older than 76 only needs a bill of sale to get titled. If you got someone you trust living there you can "sell" them your bike, have them register it and then "buy it back" from them, and bring the title to your local DMV
    There are a couple states that have an easier process for older bikes. I know Colorado does. If you have a bike in Colorado older then 76 it takes about 2 hours at the DMV and your good to go.

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    Im having some issues in Pa. Any one have luck with titles in this state?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMFC View Post
    Im having some issues in Pa. Any one have luck with titles in this state?
    in my experience, when someone says they are having issues getting a title it that they have heard at the coffee shop that its hard to do and havent really seriously checked into it. What do you have and what have you tried? I might be able to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMFC View Post
    Im having some issues in Pa. Any one have luck with titles in this state?
    have you called and got the packet from the DMV? Looks like more of a PIA in PA but not impossible...... I have a buddy in colorado that Im going to get to title a couple of my old bikes....

    Pennsylvania
    Step 1: Call your local Department of Arbitration and Statutory Appeals and request the paperwork for a "Petition for Involuntary Transfer of Ownership of Vehicle by Court Order". (In Allegheny County the # is 412.350.5394) They'll mail a packet to you. Or, you can PM me for a scan of the paperwork.
    Step 2: Fill out the paperwork. (You don't need an attorney/counsel so just leave that part blank.) Go dig up a bill-of-sale/receipt or some other piece of paper proving you paid money for the scooter.
    Step 3: Take the filled out petition and your bill of sale to your local Court of Common Pleas. The Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas is located at 414 Grant Street, 15219:
    Go into the Civil/Family Courts record room on the lobby floor.
    Take your paperwork to the Cashier and pay them $128 in cash or money order. (They don't take credit cards or personal checks. There's a PNC ATM on the opposite corner of Grant Street.)
    After you pay the Cashier your petition will be issued a motion number. Take the petition to the records desk (marble counter on other side of room) and tell them your motion needs to be scanned so you can take it upstairs to the court.
    The records people will scan your petition and then place it into a records folder. Sign out the records folder and take it upstairs to 712 (Floor 7, courtroom 12).
    Walk into the courtroom and give the records folder to the clerk at the desk. After confirming that you have everything filled out correctly and have a sufficient bill of sale, the clerk will assign you a court date. Make two copies of the petition, bill of sale, and order of court.
    Step 4: Mail a copy of the petition, bill of sale, and order of court to the former owner of the scooter, as well as any or all persons/entities that may have a lien on the title. Mail it certified mail, return receipt.
    Step 5: Bring the green certified mail return receipt(s) and your copy of the petition/bill of sale/order of the court to your court date. In Allegheny County:
    Go to the Motions court (Floor 7, courtroom 7)
    Hand your return receipt(s) to the clerk at the desk, who will make a copy of it and assign you a time slot.
    Wait in the courtroom until you're called, tell your sob story to the judge, receive a signed court order.
    Go to the Civil/Family Courts room on the lobby floor, walk to the copy desk (last desk on right before exit door) and ask to get a certified copy and a non-certified copy of the signed court order
    Take the slip from the copy person to the Cashier and pay $10
    Pick up your copies from the copy desk
    Step 6: Print out a copy of PennDot Form MV-41 (Application for Correction of Vehicle Record of Verification of Vehicle Identification Number). Take it and your scooter to an inspection mechanic and have the mechanic fill out Box B, recording the VIN.
    Step 7: Take the court order and completed MV-41 along with a copy of your insurance and bill of sale to an authorized agent of the PA Department of Motor Vehicles. (E.g. AAA or an actual DMV office.) There an official will fill out PennDot Form MV-1 (Application for Certificate of Title). They will mail the forms off to Harrisburg, you'll pay the sales tax, title and registration fees, and in 6 weeks you should receive a title, registration, and plates in the mail. In the meantime, keep the non-certified copy of the Court Order with your scooter as proof of title.
    Total Cost:
    $128 court filing fee
    $10 certified copy of court order
    $3 feeding parking meters near courthouse
    $? sales tax on scooter purchase (depends on purchase price)
    $22.50 title fee
    $18 registration fee
    $44 AAA service fee (+$5 if you want AAA membership)
    = $225.50 + sales tax
    Total Time:
    1 week to receive paperwork in mail
    1 hour at court to file paperwork and get assigned court date
    15 minutes to mail copy of petition
    1 month between filing paperwork and court date
    1 hour at court pleading case to judge
    30 minutes to get VIN verification from mechanic
    1 hour at AAA filing paperwork
    6 weeks to receive title, registration, and plate in the mail
    So start to finish the whole process takes about 2.5 months, with about five hours of work running around filing paperwork, etc.
    from Seema from Pburgh via the BBS, 4May2010

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    I think in Tennessee no title and your f'd not a bill of sale state

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    Add Illinois to the list of "Your Fucked" states. Long drawn out, and expensive process, that can leave you with no bike, and no refund on your money in the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EbolaMonkey View Post
    Add Illinois to the list of "Your Fucked" states. Long drawn out, and expensive process, that can leave you with no bike, and no refund on your money in the end.
    I have heard that a lot, and actually researching a few of them I find that most are just a bonded title process with a couple extra steps. The states people post up I will try and take some time and research them. one good way to know if your screwed or not is to look at some ripoff company like ITS or Broadway Title and see what states they say they will not service.

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    what about az? i see cheeeap frames out here all day long, but only bill of sale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cwest View Post
    what about az? i see cheeeap frames out here all day long, but only bill of sale.
    I ahve looked up AZ. Its almost identical to the Wyoming process. Just be weary of stolen frames. the gamble/payoff to this game is getting a frame that is neither stolen nor has a lien on it! a month ago I found a 2005 Gsxr1000 frame at the scrap yard int eh aluminum pile to be sheared and dropped in the bin. I took a gamble and saved it from the shear. scrap aluminum is expensive. i ended up giving scrap price for it at about 50 bucks! So first step was to take it to my dad's house who has no other bikes and have the cops VIN check it. It came back clean!! My experiance is if you have 20 bikes at your house and you get a vin inspection that comes up stolen then all of a sudden they want to look at everything. notht at I have anything to hid, just fucking hate cops and dont want them crawling all over my shit.
    So, back to my house I sent a letter off to my DMV to get a title search and lien search. holy shit! This frame has no lien and is not stolen! So I wrote the letters, found a picture of a trashed but complete 05 gsxr1000 on google, ponied up the dough to get the bond, got the title! I put it in ebay for 3000 dollars in 10 min I got an offer of 1800 bucks! SOLD!!!!! But before I could fiddle around with how to accept the offer someone hit my buy it now on 3000!!! fuck yeah. Sport bike frames are like buying gold. So It took me a couple hours work over a couple days in a span of about a month and I made about 2500 bucks profit after leg work, insurance and shipping.


    I go to junk yards and buy junked frames. its good side business while keeping in the realm of of what you know and love.

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    But i have had one frame that came back stolen. They made me write a statement where I found it, and luckily I take pictures of everything just cuz I like to share stuff. they checked my other couple bikes and then wanted to know if I had anything else with a serial or VIN, I was like, you mean bicycles? They said exactly!
    so I lead them to my back yard... Oh man. I have like....400 bicycles back there. They stopped in their tracks and said....uh nevermind.....
    and that was the end of that. I lost the frame, but oh well. win some, lose some!

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