You can purchase a motorcycle virtually anywhere. You can find them at dealerships, Craigslist, on the side of the road, and on the Facebook marketplace. You can also sell them using these methods. However, if you don’t have the title to the motorcycle, it can be difficult to find a buyer.
You don’t need the title to sell a motorcycle, but the buyer won’t be able to register it without requesting a new title from their local Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you plan to sell your motorcycle without the title, you will need to disclose that to the customer. You could also sell it as parts. There are a couple of ways that you can sell your motorcycle without a title. We’ll also provide you with some tips on how to ensure smooth transactions.
There are a couple of ways you can sell your motorcycle without a title. Some methods may be more difficult than others, but here they are:
- Sell to a private buyer
- Sell it as scrap or salvage
- Find a buyer who is willing to purchase it “as is”
If you absolutely need to sell your bike and don’t have the title, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. First, you can try to contact the previous owner if you purchased it from somebody else who may have misplaced the title. They may be able to find the title or get you a new one.
You could also try to get a bonded title. This document proves you own the motorcycle even if you don’t have a physical title. This can be done by filling out some paperwork at your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Lastly, try to get a replacement title. If you lost the title, you can get a replacement. You can do this at your local DMV.
Table of Contents
What Is A Title?
A title is a document that shows you own the motorcycle. It can be used to prove the bike isn’t stolen and it can be used to transfer ownership from one person to another. This is required for all vehicles that require registration.
What Is A Bonded Title?
A bonded title is a document, similar to a title, that shows the motorcycle isn’t stolen. You can get one from the DMV and it can be used to transfer ownership from one person to another. If you don’t have the title to your motorcycle, this may be your best option to sell the bike.
How To Get A Replacement Title
If you’ve lost the title for your motorcycle, you could be able to get a replacement from your local DMV office. You will need to fill out a special form and pay a fee. You may also need to provide proof of ownership such as previous registration or bill of sale. Once the DMV processes your request, you will receive a new title in the mail within a few weeks.
Where To Sell A Motorcycle Without A Title
There are a couple of ways you can sell a motorcycle without a title. Here are some of the more common methods:
The first way, which is probably the most common, is to use online classified websites such as Craigslist or eBay. These websites will allow you to list your motorcycle where potential purchasers can reach out to you personally.
When using this method, it’s important to disclose that you’re selling the motorcycle without a license. You can advertise it “as is” or for salvage. This will help buyers make an informed decision about whether or not they really want to buy the bike. It’s also important to ensure you’re honest about the bike and any issues it may have.
Put your bike on the side of the road with a “for sale” sign. Leave your phone number and a price on the sign. You can also opt to put “as is” on it or “without title”. This will keep potential buyers from getting their hopes up too soon. Once they contact you, you can inform them as to why there’s no title and whether or not they can get a replacement.
If you have no luck selling your motorcycle through online classifieds or private sales, consider an auction. These auctions are generally attended by purchasers who are looking for bikes they can resell for a profit. Even so, it’s important to ensure you include all relevant information in your listing, including the condition and title status.
If you live near a pawn shop, it’s worth a try to sell it there. These places deal in used goods and may be willing to purchase your bike, even if you lack the title. Before you sell it, obtain an appraisal beforehand. This will help determine how much the pawn shop may be willing to give you.
Trade It In
If you’re selling your bike because you want a new one, trading it in may be a good option. Many dealerships will offer a trade-in value, so you can get some of your money back even if you don’t have the title.
If your motorcycle is in poor condition or nobody is willing to purchase it without the title and you are unable to get a new one, the salvage yard may be your last stop. They deal in damaged or junk vehicles and may be willing to take your motorcycle off your hands, even without the title.
Titling Old Motorcycles and Barn Finds
In many states, titling motorcycles didn’t happen until a few decades ago. This means that there are only a few motorcycles around that have never had a title issued to them at all. These are generally called “barn finds”. A barn find is a motorcycle that has been sitting around for years without knowledge of who the owner is/was.
Since these motorcycles are so old, it almost becomes impossible to know who the original owner is. If you have a barn find, you will still need to do a VIN inspection before purchasing it. If nothing suspicious comes up, you can purchase it. The DMV will recognize that no title was available in the first place and will issue you one when you present the bill of sale.
Required Documents For Selling Your Motorcycle
In order to sell your motorcycle, you will need the following documents:
- Proof of ownership
If you don’t have the title, you can still sell the bike, but you have to let the buyer know you don’t have one. If this is the case, you may receive many phone calls or text messages asking for more information for them to get a replacement title. You can even try to get a replacement before you sell it if you think it may be an issue.
Making The Transaction As Smooth As Possible
If you are selling your motorcycle without a title, there are a couple of things you can do to make the transaction as smooth as possible for both parties. Here’s how:
- Be honest with the buyer about the title right off the bat. Let them know you don’t have it and why.
- If possible, give the buyer any documentation you have regarding the bike. This could be a bill of sale, previous registration, or even a photo of the bike.
- Agree on a price before any money changes hands to avoid confusion or disagreements later.
- Get everything in writing if possible. Have the buyer sign a contract stating they’re aware that there’s no title and that they’re agreeing to purchase the bike “as is”. This will protect you and the buyer in case there are issues down the road.
Why You Shouldn’t Sell A Motorcycle Without The Title
It can be quite difficult to prove ownership of the motorcycle if you don’t have the title. Many bikes that are stolen won’t have a title, and then the purchaser will be in possession of the stolen property, which is illegal. This is going to cause some major headaches.
Additionally, you may not be able to get full value for your motorcycle if you don’t have the title. A buyer will want some assurance that the bike is legal and legitimate. Having a title is one way to provide this assurance.
It can be challenging to sell a motorcycle without a title, but it’s not impossible. Using some of the methods above can really help you in this situation. As long as you advertise that it doesn’t have a title, potential buyers may still reach out to you.
Before you even list your bike, try to get a replacement title. This can be a huge help and will ultimately allow you to get the full asking price for your bike. Remember, it’s not illegal to sell your motorcycle without a title, it will just be impossible to register it.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.