You need specific documents to legally register a motorcycle or any vehicle in the new owner’s name and transfer ownership by applying for a new title. Additionally, the following are some essential requirements that every motorcycle buyer must remember.
When buying a motorcycle, think about safety first. Motorcycle owners are required to have insurance coverage in 49 of the 50 states in the US, with the exception being Florida. Therefore, most new owners will need to add motorcycle insurance to their policy because it’s mandated by law.
However, motorcycle insurance is not just an obligation to follow when purchasing a vehicle. If a rider is held accountable for inflicting damage to property or injury to another person, the insurance offers a financial shield. Additionally, it can pay for medical expenses, theft, damages, and much more, depending on the policy.
The legally mandated insurance is liability coverage. This insurance protects the policyholder from financial responsibility if someone gets hurt or property gets damaged.
There are additional insurances that you may want to obtain after buying a motorcycle, including:
It is crucial to review these options carefully to ensure you are secured and covered in case something unfortunate occurs while riding your motorcycle.
Licenses are significant for legal reasons. Everyone must have a valid motorcycle license from the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Most jurisdictions won’t issue a license until a complete rider evaluation, including both a written and practical riding test, has been completed. A motorcycle endorsement is easily added to a conventional driver’s license if you already have one.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers a Basic Rider Course, which can be a good starting point for motorcyclists in the United States. The price and duration of this course vary from state to state. After completion, riders are given completion certificates to submit to the DMV, where they can convert them to a motorcycle license after additional testing.
The bill of sale is one of the most critical and often neglected documents. This simple document serves as legal proof for the purchase of a motorcycle. The agreement specifies that the buyer obtained the motorcycle legally and lists its specifications, the transaction price, the buyer, and the seller.
The title for the motorcycle certifies the buyer’s legal ownership. Obtaining the title is an essential step in proving that the buyer is the legal owner. The title is usually handed over upon signing of the bill of sale. To make this process easier, either party can create a legally-binding bill of sale document using a template, which can be ready to download and print in minutes.
Specific additional legal requirements regarding a bill of sale vary from state to state. In some states, such as Alabama, Connecticut, or Florida, a valid bill of sale is mandatory to register a motorcycle with the DMV after purchase. The bill of sale is not compulsory in states such as Delaware, California, or Indiana. However, this does not mean the agreement should be neglected since it is the only proof of purchase a buyer may have for a motorcycle transaction.