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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There has been a lot of discussion on this topic, and nobody has spelled it out, so I thought I might do so.

I have registered at least a dozen bikes through Vermont, COMPLETELY LEGALLY.



You must have a valid Bill Of Sale to start with, and it MUST include: Date of sale, Seller's name and address, bike's serial number, bike year, make, model & displacement, amount paid, and odometer reading. Or, use the VT form.

I have also used TWO Bills of Sale, one for the frame, and one for the engine, in the case of a Triton.

VT registration application - http://dmv.vermont.gov/sites/dmv/files/documents/VD-119-Vehicle_Reg_Tax_Title_App.pdf
Instructions - http://dmv.vermont.gov/sites/dmv/files/documents/VD-119i-Registration_App_Instructions.pdf
Bill Of Sale - http://dmv.vermont.gov/sites/dmv/files/documents/VT-005-Bill_Of_Sale_Odometer_Cert_0.pdf

Take a clear photo of the bike from the side, as close as you can to get the whole bike in the shot, and rotate the camera frame horizontal so there's not a lot of background above or below. USE THE "BEFORE" PHOTO(S) IF BASKET CASE!

Go to NADA website, select the year & model, find the bike's value, and print out the sheet - Research New Motorcycles Prices & Powersports

I have at times included a detailed statement challenging the NADA value, based on the fact that certain bikes were obtained as rough basket cases or incomplete, rusty rollers. I was successful by simply extrapolating the lower value based on NADA's values for "Average", Good", and "Excellent", and keeping that number reasonably close to the lowest NADA price if there was a big gap from purchase price to NADA value.

Take the bike to whichever of these will perform the VIN check and sign the VT form, and can provide you with the inspector's statement on their letterhead - state vehicle safety inspection station, police department, highway patrol station, DMV, County Tax Assessor's office, etc.

I have a local State vehicle inspection station that has done dozens of inspections for me over the years; I provide their "letterhead" that I made myself with their shop's logo and address info at the top, a single-sentence statement, and a signature line. Took me 5 minutes to produce with MS Word.

Calculate the tax, add it to the registration fee, and include that amount in a check or money order with the forms, photo, and print-outs, and mail it off WITH CORRECT POSTAGE!

Done.

In about 2 weeks, you get the registration receipt, sometimes same time you get the plate. In a couple more days you get the registration card and a little sticker to put on the plate (not sure why they don't send the whole mess at once, they just don't)

Never worry about buying an untitled motorcycle again, as long as you know the seller is legit, and you can come back to him in a pinch. I've found life is easier if I simply never worry.
 

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While the process you describe is legal to obtain a Vermont registration and plate, you as a Texas resident are breaking the law by riding it in Texas with a Vermont plate. Texas law says that you must get Texas plates and registration for every vehicle within 30 days of moving to Texas and since you are already here you don't even get the 30 days. And don't give me the argument that no cop has ever stopped you before. All you need is one gungho rule stickler to fine you. Texas has a bonded title procedure for missing titles. Yes it is more of a hassle and costs more but it works and you end up with a true Texas title and plate. Other states likely have the same resident requirement. Otherwise people would register vehicles in what ever state was the cheapest and not their home state. I moved to Texas from Louisiana and after I got my Texas driver license I had to get Texas registration and plates for my vehicles within the 30 days. Texas wants your fee's and tax money.
 

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once you have the out-of-state title and registration, you have everything necessary to go to your local DMV and get local registration.

i went through it in california with a car that had plates from chihuahua.
 

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Late to this, and just hoping to help for folks in Texas. Is a weird time and probably won't, but here goes: I had to register and transfer a title on a bike I bought just as COVID-19 broke out ('69 TR25W). While they have drive-through locations available here in Austin, title transfers all are through the mail. I provided my title, title transfer application, application for antique plates and checks. I received a call from Travis County a few days later (less than a week) from my county asking for payment details because I missed a small amount due (not the $2.50 transfer fee, but I have not received a receipt specifying the additional charge of $20 or $30 that was missed and exactly what that was for). They said that I would have my temporary plates within a week and permanent ones in three weeks to a month, as well as the new title.
 

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Michigan is easy, too. Just have a bill of sale and fill out a form. They run the VIN and if it doesn’t come back stolen they issue you a new title. You pay title transfer and sales tax and receive a new title in the mail within a month.
 

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Interesting discussion and timely as I have a T140 project here in CA I'll be trying to get papers for. A couple of questions come up...

First, DUC96cr said MI is easy. I have friends there with a real address so that's an attractive route. What form do I need to fill out to use their process? (I couldn't find anything useful on their website). Since the bike is a basket case and I don't currently have a truck, avoiding the in-person VIN inspection is a big plus if I can use it.

With GrandPaulZ's approach, what does TX consider a "valid" Bill of Sale. I only have a hand-scrawled note from the seller.

Be safe out there and enjoy the upcoming Summer!

Thanks

-Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hand-scrawled notes are acceptable if they include the seller's full name and address, date of sale, correct description of the vehicle with complete serial number, and dollar value of sale.

Can't just say "I, Billy Bob, sell this here old bike to Joe Shmoe for a hunderd dollers" (at least it won't fly in Texas).

I have successfully registered several bikes with hand-written Bills of Sale.
 

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Thanks.
The Bill of Sale is just about the one you describe, except that it does cite the VIN. No address or value.
Maybe I'll take my chances...

Best,

-Danny
 

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I am about to test the VT registration process and had a couple of questions for anyone familiar wit it:

  • Address where you live (Box 1) does that need to be a VT address ( the separately ask for a mailing address)
  • I can see no reference on the VT DMV site to mailing of plates or postage fees associated with this. Does anyone know if they still do this and a rough cost so I can send a check.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I sent every application (more than a dozen) in with my Texas address.

I have also sent in applications with me as the seller (TX address) and my clients as the buyers (various states), with their address; zero issues.

They pay the postage.
 

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Hi Reltub,

Let us know what happens!

I decided to go the Straight-and-Narrow route here in CA (always a mistake) only to be met with misinformation, lies and demands for the impossible (they want a 17 digit VIN) and the usual litany of stupid bureaucratic responses. I'm back to the drawing board so VT looks attractive.

Thanks.

-Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I decided to go the Straight-and-Narrow route here in CA (always a mistake) only to be met with misinformation, lies and demands for the impossible (they want a 17 digit VIN) and the usual litany of stupid bureaucratic responses.
The good thing about CA is (from what I have come to understand) if you are persistent, and go up the chain of command, you will eventually reach an actual knowledgeable upper-level minion who has seen it all before. Unless the bike is stolen, they will not harass you (unlike NC that will impound the bike just for lack of what they consider a proper Bill Of Sale).

To me, it would still be a coin toss (in CA)
 

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Its advisable to check the VIN before doing the Vermont paperwork.

To check the national insurance company database of stolen vehicles:
VINCheck® | National Insurance Crime Bureau

Also check the national vehicle registry: Research Vehicle History
That site links to several companies that provide the data.
I’ve used this one: TitleCheck.us
If the bike isn’t in the database, then it’s been a long time since it was last titled.
If it’s there, they charge $4.95 for the info that includes the state+date where it was last titled.
 

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Hi,

I decided to break down and try that but didn't have much luck. I went to TitleCheck.us and found...
a. The price is now $9.95
b. They gave me a report for some agricultural vehicle registered in 2006 in Indiana, NOT my Triumph.
c. I can't reach them by phone or e-mail to re-check the data or refund my money.

The joys of 5 digit VINs in a 17digit world...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Part of the VT process is having the VIN physically/visually inspected by your local authorized inspection station who are supposed to run the stolen vehicle search and sign the affidavit verifying it's not stolen. It's all right there in the paperwork.
 

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Would be interesting to see what the national vehicle registry ends up with after Vermont updates the database for your info.
The database might reject your info as an input error, drop the entry for the agricultural vehicle & use your info, accept that you are latest owner of the agricultural vehicle, recognize that two different vehicles have the same VIN, or etc?

If you try it, give Vermont some time to enter the info. (Might take extra long because the clerk ends up confused by the dup VIN.)
 
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