How To Run a Motorcycle Title Search

People Phone License Plate VIN
People Phone 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 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. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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

  2. 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.

    1. 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

  3. 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.

    1. 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

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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?

    1. 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.

  6. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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

Author: SQAdmin
Last Updated: September 5, 2020

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