How To Run a Motorcycle Title Search

Name Phone Number License Plate VIN
Name Phone Number License Plate VIN

How To Lookup A Motorcycle VIN

You can lookup a motorcycle VIN number the same way you would check any other registered vehicle, with a simple VIN decoder. You can also use the motorcycle vehicle identification number to run a vehicle history report, which is a good idea if you’re purchasing a used motorcycle. This is essentially the same as running a motorcycle title search. This will give you the lien holder, if a loan is out on the vehicle, how many previous owners of that motorcycle, accidents and recalls and safety issues. Another useful government website that will help you learn more about a motorcycle is This will show you all known safety and recall notices for your motorcycle, all you need to do is enter your 17 digit motorcycle VIN.

Where Is The VIN Number On A Motorcycle?

The VIN number on a motorcycle is located on the steering neck. If you turn the handlebars to the left and look on the right side of the motorcycle frame you should see the metal tag with the VIN number on it. If you cannot find it there then it might also be located on the motorcycle motor. The easiest way to find your motorcycle VIN number is to look on your registration card, motorcycle title or motorcycle insurance card. If all else fails then you can use a service, like, and lookup your 17 digit VIN by your license plate number.

Motorcycle Title SearchHow Do I Run A Title Search On A Motorcycle?

A motorcycle title search is the same as a running a vehicle title search, you will need the motorcycle VIN to begin. The motorcycle VIN should be 17 digits that are alpha-numeric, this can be easily found on your motorcycle registration card and neck of the motorcycle, as described in the section above. Then you will want to obtain a vehicle history report for the motorcycle, which will cost a few bucks but well worth it. This report will tell you if the vehicle title is clean, salvaged, junked, recalled and if there are any liens on the vehicle. If you’re purchasing a used motorcycle and the person selling it to you isn’t on the title, then the motorcycle might still have a bank owned lien on it. You can also contact the DMV and use their National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to run a motorcycle title search, and find out if a motorcycle title is clean.

Find Out If Your Motorcycle Has Any Recalls

You can find out if your motorcycle has any recalls or safety issues by using the free government resource, This free resources is federally run safety resources for the public to find out if their vehicle has any reported recalls or safety concerns. This can prove to be very useful when purchasing a used motorcycle, knowing this information before you make your purchase can save you a lot of frustration down the road. Another great government resource, that is not free but very informative, is This resource will provide you with the history of a motorcycle as well as a NMVTIS report which will protect you from fraud and buying a stolen vehicle.

Motorcycle Title Check By State

How to Get a Motorcycle Title With Only a Bill of Sale

  1. Go to your state’s DMV website and read the requirements to transfer a motorcycle title
  2. Download the vehicle transfer form and fill out as much information as possible
  3. Provide a bill of sale and any additional documentation you received from the seller
  4. Visit a DMV branch in person to expedite the motorcycle title transfer to your name

Motorcycle Title Search - FAQs

Can I run a motorcycle title search for free?

You can run a motorcycle vin search for free using resources like however, a motorcycle title search will cost a few bucks. A motorcycle title search is the same as running a vehicle history report and those are typically not free.

Where is the VIN number on my motorcycle?

On most motorcycles the VIN number, or vehicle identification number, can be found on the neck of the motorcycle under the handlebars. Turn your handlebars to one side and look for the VIN tag that is attached to neck.

How do I get a copy of my motorcycle title?

You can get a copy of your motorcycle title by contacting the DMV directly. You can order one through their website as long as none of your information has changed. The new motorcycle title will be mailed to the address listed on the original title.

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Responses to “How To Run a Motorcycle Title Search

  1. Peter Smith says:

    I am considering purchasing a Harley Davidson XL883C – the VIN number 5HD4CP2179K442158 indicates it was manufactured in Missouri USA in 2009 before being shipped to Europe at some stage although there is no history until 2015

    I am concerned it may have been written off prior to being sent to Europe and am hoping to discover information with regards the bike’s history while in the USA ?

    Anything you can do to assist would be very much appreciated – the bike seems too good to be true ! How would I go about contacting the DMV please?

  2. squarryadministrator says:

    Michael, you will need to reach out to your local DMV to inquire what is need to title and register this Honda motorcycle in your name. You can use our Free DMV Finder to locate a DMV office near you

  3. Stephanie Rubio says:

    hello my name is Stephanie, my dad bought a motorcycle went to the DMV and the vin number was alterated. how can i proceed with this situation.

  4. Michael says:

    Hi I purchased the bike with only 10 digit Vin and only a bill of sale with no title on a barn find what can I do to register it? its a 1980s GL 1100 Honda I can’t find no information on it

  5. squarryadministrator says:

    Melissa, it is sometimes possible to obtain a VIN number with a license plate search. Then once you have the VIN, you can run a vehicle history report on the motorcycle to find out the status of the title

  6. MELISSA SMITH says:

    How do I run a title search on my father’s motorcycle without the vin number

  7. squarryadministrator says:

    William, you will need the full VIN in order to run a motorcycle title check

  8. William Lockhart says:

    My cycles vin is CL450-4113560

    It’s a 1970-1973 CL450 Honda

    Trying to ascertain it it was stolen

  9. squarryadministrator says:

    Rich, you will want to consult with the DMV directly about how to register a motorcycle from another state that hasn’t been registered in 20 years. You can use our Free DMV Finder to locate an office near you

  10. rich Shafer jr says:

    Bought a bike hasn’t been registered in 20 years and its from cali i live in pa

  11. squarryadministrator says:

    Robert, you can contact your local North Carolina DMV to inquire what you will need for this motorcycle purchase so you can change the title into your name.

  12. Robert Shelton says:

    HI, my son has just got into riding and i was gonna help him buy a bike. We responded to an ad on facebook, and went to look at the bike. My son loved the bike. We agreed on a price, but we didn’t have the money on us, we agreed to come back the next day. He then told us the previous owners name was on the title, not his. And that person is from another state. Like a dummy i gave him a hundred bucks as a deposit to hold it. We both signed a piece of paper stating that if i don’t pay for the bike in full he got to keep the deposit. We live in NC, and i don’t know what i should do. Any help would be appreciated.

  13. Mark Bruno says:

    I am trying to find out if it is ok to buy a 1971 Suzuki 250ts it only has 12 characters in the vin your search and others say nothing found

  14. squarryadministrator says:

    Nancy, you will need to rely on the police to find this motorcycle. Unless there is a GPS tracking device on the motorcycle it’s impossible to know where it is unless someone tries to register it

  15. Nancy Brown says:

    My daughter inherited her Father\’s Motorcycle. Just months after His passing, it was stolen. A report was made with local authorities however the case was dropped due to the thief having a copy of the bikes title signed by her Father. We still possess the title. Even though they knew she had a copy. They dropped the ball so many times. My question is how can I try to locate this bike?

  16. squarryadministrator says:

    Randy, you will need to contact your local Motor Vehicle Department to order a copy of your motorcycle title. You can do this online by downloading and mailing in the proper forms. If you let us know what state you live in we can send you a link

  17. Randy Blankenship says:

    need title for c CB 550-1011041

  18. squarryadministrator says:

    Scott, you might want to file an appeal with the FLHSMV in FLorida to see about getting the motorcycle registered but as far as the title goes, that is a good question. Our VIN search requires you to have 17 digits on your vehicle identification number and older vehicles have fewer than 17 digits which we do not have in our vehicle database resources. It would seem that the Arizona DOT would have a precedence for this situation as it’s not that uncommon for people to lose or misplace their motorcycle titles, especially on older bikes. The only advise we can offer is to keep trying to find some information to reference that you can give the Arizona DOT and try talking to a different person if your initial contact did not resolve this for you. It’s their specific job to manage all the vehicle titles and registrations for the state of Arizona so we can certainly understand your frustration. Best of luck Scott!

  19. Scott Barney says:

    My brother cannot find the title for his 1964 Harley Davidson. He knows the Identification Number butbit does not have 17 numbers and so no one seems to be able to help. It was last registered in Tucson, Arizona in 1982. We contacted the DMV in Tucson but they claim that in 1982 everything was paper only and not on any computer. Is there any other way to get this resolved? We now live in Florida and the bike has been repaired and is now ready to license.

  20. squarryadministrator says:

    Kalani, if you have the bill of sale you can transfer the motorcycle title without having the receiving he original motorcycle title. This is fairly common. If you don’t have the bill of sale then you will need to visit the DMV in person and inquire what steps you need to take in order to get the motorcycle title transferred to you. You most likely need to sign an affidavit stating everything you said is true, which is a legal binding document that the DMV typically requires in these situations where someone has lost or not received the motorcycle title

  21. Kalani Auhoon says:

    What if you bought the motorcycle with out the title and you cannot get in touch with the last owner.

  22. squarryadministrator says:

    Clarence, unfortunately that motorcycle vehicle information does not show up in our vehicle record database. Your best chance to get a duplicate title is to reach out to the DMV where you originally had the motorcycle titled under your name and make your request with them. If the motorcycle title has been changed to another person then there might not be much you can do to reconcile the situation. Best of luck

  23. Clarence Scott says:

    I purchase a new 1964 Hd 175 2 cycle in Laporte Ind in the year 1964. I went through a divorce and while I was at work my x wife took everything and moved to Kittanning, PA. She took the bike and title which was in my name and hid it said I never get it. She passed away about 8 years ago and I had no knowledge where she had it. It surface on Ebay by a grandson who took it out of basement. I need a title to get it. The only numbers on it are 64 BT 2449, Which the Kittanning police gave me. Title would be Laporte Ind. Could you please tell me what I need to do to get a title.

  24. squarryadministrator says:

    Typically you will need at least a bill of sale if you did not have the motorcycle title signed over to you. Since it does not sound like this is something you have then there might be another option. You can report the motorcycle as being abandoned and you may need to sign an affidavit stating that you attempted to get a hold of the previous owner to no avail. You may want to contact legal counsel in your state to find out what your vehicle abandonment laws are. You can lookup what qualifies as an abandoned vehicle by visiting your state’s DMV website

  25. Alejandro Terrones says:

    Good evening, I have a motor cycle that has been in my keep for some time. The original owner is still the title owner on the title & sold it to a customer & the customer sold it to another customer. All of this done w/o a new owner on the title. I have been sitting on this bike for 10 years and I have been keeping it tuned up & is a very nice bike. I would like to know how to obtain a title so I can claim it. My sister is a Chicago cop & I gave her the VIN # & she gave me the ladies name but the lady doesn’t live at the address when she purchased the bike. I need to know the easiest way to obtain the title so I can legally put in my name. I went to the DMV & they weren’t of any help at all. Thank you for your assistance. Its a 2002 Honda Savaage, 650cc.

  26. squarryadministrator says:

    B. Ackers, in order to get a duplicate title for your ex-husband and then transfer the motorcycle title over to your son, you will need to visit your state DMV website and download and fill out the forms for a duplicate vehicle title. Then after you receive the duplicate motorcycle title you can petition to have it transferred to your name, and since it sounds like the “last will” states that his son gets the motorcycle, it should be a relatively simple process.

  27. B. Ackers says:

    My ex husband passed away in last July. His R.V and motorcycle go to my son who is his only heir. The vehicles were purchased in California 2013/2014. They were with him when he died and was living in Nevada. We cannot find the titles and have no idea if he re-registered in Nevada or left them still registered in California. We need to sell them. We live in another state and can not get answers on how to get the titles. Any help or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  28. squarryadministrator says:

    Ryan, you should start by contacting the DMV in your state as to the procedure of transferring the motorcycle title into your name since it was never transferred by the current owner, before you. There is most likely a precedence for this situation where you can transfer the vehicle title to your name. As long as you have a current bill of sale and the motorcycle title in your possession you might only need to sign an affidavit that this vehicle was sold to you legitimately. In any case, the DMV in your state will give you concise instructions on how to proceed.

  29. Ryan Kelly says:

    I purchased a used motorcycle from someone who bought it from the original owner, but the person that I purchased it from, lost the title before he transferred the title into his name, so the motorcycle is still legally in the name of the original owner in which the person I purchased it from,bought it from, how could I find out what the original owners name is so that I can make contact with him and see if he will file for a lost/duplicate title for me so that I can get the bike transferred into my name, since I\’m no longer in contact with the person I purchased it from, and have no way of making contact with him either, the original owner lives in Florida and I live in Alabama?

  30. squarryadministrator says:

    Unfortunately a title won’t do much good unless the dirt bike is found or if someone tries to change the title or register it. You should make sure to file a police report and make note of the stolen motorcycle or dirt bike with the DMV directly in case anyone tries to register it or sell it to someone else.

  31. Dakota says:

    What if my dirt bike was stolen and I still have the title??? What happens if a dirt bike is taken from someone without the title?? Just wondering if it’s possible to ever get my bike back.. thanks

  32. squarryadministrator says:

    Paul, you will want to contact the DMV in your state and make an address change so that it’s reflected on both your motorcycle title and motorcycle registration. You can do both of these online, download the relevant forms and mail them into the DMV. Processing may take several weeks and a new copy of your motorcycle title and registration will be mailed to you

  33. Paul Christopher Hatley says:

    What if I have moved and need copy to be mailed to my new address?

Author: squarryadministrator
Last Updated: 2020-02-24

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