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Restoring a ‘71 Honda CL100 that came to me without a title. How hard is it to establish a new title, and does it add to the value?
Each State will have different ways to get a new title. In Utah, all you have to do is get a title form and fill it out. Then get a Cop to verify the numbers. Once that's done, the DMV will make sure it's not stolen and issue you a new title. I've done this 4/5 times with old 'Barn' finds.

As far as adding to the value? Probably not, but it will sure make it easier to sell.
 

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Not having a title can reduce a bike's value by a decent bit. It can be a massive headache without the right resources.

The replacement title process in Illinois is expensive and time consuming if you aren't the last registered owner and have no identifying information. That said, there is a workaround that I have used successfully:

- Get a bill of sale for the vehicle.
- Get the VIN checked for stolen or liens.
- Send the bill of sale, $75, and the VIN check to the Vermont DMV**
- They'll send you back a Vermont registration and license plate with the address of your current residence.
- Take your registration to your local DMV. If you're lucky, they'll accept the Vermont registration as proof of ownership and they'll transfer the registration to your state while getting you a title as well.

**Vermont is bizarre where you can register a vehicle in their state even though the vehicle physically is in another state. They don't care, it's basically free money for them.

It's far cheaper than a bonded title and if you just need to be legal to ride, it's the easiest and fastest way if you live in a state that's strict about titles.

I know a guy that just gets a registration and leaves it at that. Every couple years he sends VT the renewal fee (less than IL) and they send back a new sticker.

***Your mileage may vary, check to see if doing this in your state will work/is legal. This method is actually still widely used to get replacement titles for barn finds, obscure bikes, and Chinese bikes.***
 
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Ya, having one definitely adds to the value of the bike if you care about that. NH is pretty easy on older non-titled bikes, but I understand other states can be really difficult.

Amazing how much power a piece of paper can have.
 

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Three reasons that a title is critical: 1) Is it stolen? Without a title, you don't know, and you don't want to get caught in possession of stolen property; 2) Is there a lien? There may be a creditor out there with a valid claim against your bike; 3) What do you do if your bike is stolen from you? If you report to the police, and admit that you didn't title it, you've got a lot of 'splaining to do.

Bottom line is I would never take possession of any vehicle that is supposed to be titled unless the seller can show me a title or registration. Even vehicles that aren't street legal, like ATV's and motocross bikes, should be titled for the reasons listed above.

As for your current situation, I suggest you stop by your local law enforcement office and explain the situation. They might check the VIN for you for $10 or so. Your other option is to talk to the local tag office and get their advice. It should be as simple as getting a duplicate of the title in the name of the last registered owner and having him sign it over to you.

Good luck!
 

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Three reasons that a title is critical: 1) Is it stolen? Without a title, you don't know, and you don't want to get caught in possession of stolen property; 2) Is there a lien? There may be a creditor out there with a valid claim against your bike; 3) What do you do if your bike is stolen from you? If you report to the police, and admit that you didn't title it, you've got a lot of 'splaining to do.

Bottom line is I would never take possession of any vehicle that is supposed to be titled unless the seller can show me a title or registration. Even vehicles that aren't street legal, like ATV's and motocross bikes, should be titled for the reasons listed above.

As for your current situation, I suggest you stop by your local law enforcement office and explain the situation. They might check the VIN for you for $10 or so. Your other option is to talk to the local tag office and get their advice. It should be as simple as getting a duplicate of the title in the name of the last registered owner and having him sign it over to you.

Good luck!
This is actually a lot easier than it used to be..

Most (all?) states offer VIN checks that are usually free (many of which can be done in an instant, online) and check for status, if it's stolen, and if any liens exist. You're not just limited to states as the National Insurance Crime Bureau and other organizations can also do instant online VIN checks, too. A couple of my machines didn't have titles when I bought them. I ran their VINs through online checks, they came back clean, and I got both plates and titles for them within a month.

If you're not getting a title, always get some sort of documentation like a Bill of Sale. A Bill of Sale can be a critical document to getting a new title and registration after the original title has been lost. And in the unfortunate event that the bike is nicked before you got a new title for it, the police have some proof of ownership so you don't have any explaining to do.
 

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I literally just got my tag in the mail today. It cost me $93.90 and it will vary depending on the "Good" NADA value. This was quite painless. Just google "Get A Title With A Vermont Registration' The link is from Chin On The Tank website. I'd post a link but I'm a newb and this site won't let me yet
 

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Getting a new title can be a pain, depending on where you live.
In New Jersey, it's damn near impossible.
I'll second that, I went through their insuffienct proof of ownership' procedure and all it got me was a notice stating that pending a title search, if no prior owner was found, it would have to go in front of a judge, with something like $750 in possible court costs. This was for a boat, not a bike but I suppose its the same deal.
As long as there's a titled owner on record, NJ makes it your problem to find that person and get the title from them, regardless of whether or not they want to be found or if they'll even bother replying to you. If it turns out that they held the title and lost the vehicle in repo, they'll likely want it back, and the court will award them the vehicle. They will NOT issue a new title so long as there's an existing title on record.
Most people here to out of state or part the thing out. There's a hand full of title services online but they're pricey.
I've also heard about a few people who had trouble here trying to register vehicles that they had registered with a bill of sale out of state since NJ still had a title on file under another name.

The Vermont idea sounds good but I'm not sure if it would get you a title here in the end.
 

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The Vermont idea sounds good but I'm not sure if it would get you a title here in the end.
With a notarized bill of sale, a police inspection and the correct paperwork filled out and the money, I guarantee Vermont will give you a tag and they don't title vehicles over 15 years old. After you get the tag, wait 30-60-90 days and go to the DMV and swap to an NJ plate. You'll then also get a NJ title in a few weeks. I've done over 20 bikes this way in Indiana and one now in FL so far with zero issues. I didn't believe it at first but it works. They don't care where you live, they just want your money. As long as the police inspection comes back that it's not stolen and no lien, there's not much they can do if it's registered in VT. Or, you could get a bonded title, they're pretty cheap but the title stays bonded for 3 years which sucks and is kind of a pita compared to VT. Just my $.02, good luck however you go about it and keep us posted.
 

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I literally just got my tag in the mail today. It cost me $93.90 and it will vary depending on the "Good" NADA value. This was quite painless. Just google "Get A Title With A Vermont Registration' The link is from Chin On The Tank website. I'd post a link but I'm a newb and this site won't let me yet
Here ya go! In my case, it was $75 for a plate and registration from VT, then you just transfer that to IL and you get a title out of the deal. Or, if you're my friend, you don't even bother with that and just keep it registered to VT because renewal fees are cheaper out there than they are out here. VT doesn't care because it's free money for them and IL doesn't care because the plate traces back to you.

How to get a motorcycle title - Chin on the Tank ? Motorcycle stuff in Philadelphia.

Of course, while getting a bike registered through the VT method is painless, getting a title out of it depends on how much your state is willing to play ball. So YMMV. :)
 

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This is one of those things that sounds too good to be true. Aren't y'all just a tad worried that somewhere along the line a law is being broken? It's like a slight of hands trick or something at the least. Hope it's not going to go south on y'all. Yeah, I'm a big chicken that doesn't like going to jail or paying big fines. It just sounds too good to be that easy and works to be true. Sorry, I'm skeptical.
 

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It's basically taking advantage of legal loopholes. One state will register anything with a clean VIN and Bill of Sale (Vermont) and another state will take that current registration in your name as proof of ownership and give you a title. It used to be that you could actually get plates and registration from Vermont with just a Bill of Sale and nothing else, but that loophole got closed after people used it to register stolen bikes. Now you have to submit a VIN check for anything over 300cc.

The people at the DMV don't seem to find anything wrong with it and I don't get bothered by the police, but that's just me.

It's not the only title/registration loophole out there. A popular one among Japanese and European car fans is to ship a car to the US that's been banned by the US feds (banned = younger than 25 years and doesn't have a gray market exception), somehow get around Customs, then title/register the car in Florida (as Florida's DMV apparently has enough loopholes to make that possible). Then you sell the car (usually a Land Rover Defender or Nissan Skyline) to someone in another state. This one is often legal on the state level, but illegal on the federal level. And if the feds catch you, they will seize the car then crush it.

Another popular one with really rich people is to avoid taxes on super expensive cars by opening up a LLC in Montana, then titling and registering them under that LLC. Like Vermont, Montana didn't really care and shipped you your title and plates to whatever state you really lived in. IIRC, that loophole was closed only recently.
 

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Well is sounds like they at least starting to close these loopholes. So at some point this will come to a screeching halt if too many start doing it. Ones and twos probably isn't worth their time but they may have enough interns to do the legwork then, gone. Okay, sounds cool for as long as it works. Just hope publishing here doesn't accelerate it(closing loophole) though.
 

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Indiana has an Affidavit Of Ownership form for vehicles whose value is under $5000. You get a law enforcement inspection (VIN check to see if it's stolen), Bill of Sale, and fill out the affidavit. If the BMV can find the previous owner's info based on the vin, they'll get you a title. If they can't, you can file some extra paperwork with the court and pay a fee (under $100 when I did it). You're essentially "sueing" for a title. You'll get a court date. Once it was my turn it took ~3 minutes in front of the magistrate/judge.

The VT "mail order" is probably easier, but at least in Indiana the Affidavit/court issued is probably more "kosher."

This was also all about 10 years ago (2010-ish) so it may have changed since then also.
 

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Indiana has an Affidavit Of Ownership form for vehicles whose value is under $5000. You get a law enforcement inspection (VIN check to see if it's stolen), Bill of Sale, and fill out the affidavit. If the BMV can find the previous owner's info based on the vin, they'll get you a title. If they can't, you can file some extra paperwork with the court and pay a fee (under $100 when I did it). You're essentially "sueing" for a title. You'll get a court date. Once it was my turn it took ~3 minutes in front of the magistrate/judge.

The VT "mail order" is probably easier, but at least in Indiana the Affidavit/court issued is probably more "kosher."

This was also all about 10 years ago (2010-ish) so it may have changed since then also.
NJ is similar but so long as there's an existing title in NJ or any surrounding states that they check, you simply can't get a title. I've had a judge tell me its not the responsibility of the state to provide proof of ownership, it falls with the selling owner.
He reminded everyone that it is illegal in this state to transfer ownership of any motor vehicle without a title or legal proof of ownership, and that its illegal to possess a vehicle without such proof of ownership. You can't buy it, you can't own it, and you can't register it.
I do know they put out a notice stating that they won't accept registrations from out of state provided by any of the 'known' title agencies who advertise they can get you a title. So far I've not seen Vermont mentioned, or any other state other than NV so far. I was behind a guy in line a few years ago who had gotten a title for a boat that way, he bought a boat hull and built a boat from it, it had no papers and no history, yet NJ wouldn't issue a title. Years ago they would simply do a state police inspection and title search and if nothing turned up, they would issue you a new vin number but that stopped about 15 years ago.

I even had trouble transferring a boat I bought myself from PA to NJ. The boat was older, I had bought it new in PA years ago when I lived there and when I brought it to NJ, NJ had a new computer system that refused to recognize the old 6 digit hull number. It took me three years to get that boat registered here, and I had the original bill of sale from the dealer, the Certificate of origin, and the PA registration for the boat. NJ wanted a title with 17 digits for the hull number or nothing. I finally found a woman who realized how ridiculous the whole thing was and she simply issued me a new hull ID number and a decal with the new number to put beneath the old one and charged me $15 for the process. (That was after two years of numerous trips to the marine police, state police headquarters, the state capital, and five different DMV offices, and four trips back to PA where I bought the boat and two to the PA fish and Game office where I registered it at in PA. (Luckily PA kept renewing the registration there with my NJ address while all this went on). To make matters worse, I moved back to PA for a few years for work in the 90's, and had to register the same boat in PA again, after I had gotten a NJ title for it, and PA refused to recognize the NJ title and registration because it had an 'altered' hull number their computers didn't recognize. PA also refused to transfer my homemade NJ registration to PA saying that NJ trailer reg. isn't in compliance with PA law.
I gave up and left it registered and tagged in NJ at a PO box for 8 years and dealt with the home owners association there complaining about the NJ registered boat in my driveway. I finally made up a temporary fake PA boat number with my old PA boat number on it to tape over the NJ numbers to shut them up.
 

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I think that's why the Indiana thing has a value cap. Basically if it's not a high dollar item they don't get to worked up over it - applying a level of reasonableness not normally found in the halls of governance. Basically a "who cares, it's only worth like...$1200" type of thing. The story with mine was pretty typical. He'd bought it a couple years prior and never titled/registered it under his name then lost the paperwork and could get in contact with who he'd bought it from. (Yeah, technically "jumped" the title, but it was a 1983 Honda 500 so WTF-ever.)
 
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