Obtaining a motorcycle registration card is generally a mandatory step that must be completed by owners of motorbikes for the purposes of legally operating on state roads and highways. Riders who fail to finalize the procedure of registering motorcycle vehicles timely and properly may be penalized accordingly. To register motorbike vehicles, motorcyclists must address their state motor vehicle agency, which usually sets specific guidelines and requires certain documentation to finalize the process.

Note that the procedure of registering a motorcycle in most U.S. states is similar to obtaining a new vehicle registration, though some states may have additional requirements. Also, riders must note that they will be obliged to arrange payment for specific fees, in addition to submitting any documents, which typically vary depending on their state/county of residence. Find out more about how to register motorcycle vehicles and the methods to submit an application by reading the following sections:

  • How to get a new motorcycle registration.
  • Motorcycle registration requirements.
  • Fees to get a new motorcycle registration.

How to Get a New Motorcycle Registration

Initiating the procedure of registering a motorbike is generally required by state DMVs, regardless of whether you have recently purchased a motorbike from a dealership or a private seller. Though dealership agents are usually obliged to complete the motorcycle registration process on your behalf, it is your responsibility to register your vehicle upon purchasing it from a private seller.

To register your motorbike in such instances, you will need to personally visit a nearby DMV location and complete the steps as set by your vehicle department. Though it is highly unlikely that your state DMV will allow you to register motorcycle online, as new registration applications are usually submitted in person, you can still contact a local office to inquire about available application methods.

Note that specific motorcycle registration documents, including an application form, may be available on the official website of your state DMV for you to download and fill out beforehand, thus saving valuable time. Also, certain DMVs, such as the California Department of Motor Vehicles, may require you to first schedule an appointment in order to avoid long queues at the DMV office.

Motorcycle Registration Requirements

The process of registering motorcycles cannot be completed unless riders present the required paperwork and complete other criteria imposed by their state motor vehicle agency. Getting a motorbike registration in most U.S. states is similar to applying for an auto registry card, though some of the requirements pertaining to registering a four-wheel vehicle are not valid in these instances. For example, California riders wondering how to register their motorbike can easily finalize the procedure by following car registration guidelines.

In order to get this credential, CA motorcyclists will need to visit a DMV location and provide proof of ownership, such as a car title certificate, as well as proof of vehicle insurance. Motorbikes in these cases will not be subject to emissions testing, which is usually a requirement when registering a vehicle. Motorcyclists in Ohio applying to register their motorcycle will also need to submit a state certificate/memorandum or title and their driver license, motorcycle credential, ID card or Social Security number to prove their identity.

In addition to this, riders may also need to present a lease agreement and power of attorney paperwork (if applicable), an E-check certificate (if required) and proof of weight (if necessary). An indispensable part of the motorcycle registration procedure is arranging payment for the applicable fees. Therefore, riders registering their motorcycle will generally be obliged to show proof of ownership and pay the set fees, as well as submit additional documents which typically vary depending on their country of residence.

Fees to Get a New Motorcycle Registration

Submitting payment for the applicable motorcycle registration prices is usually the final step to obtaining a registration, thus staying in accordance with road rules and regulations. The fees to register a motorbike may also differ depending on several factors, such as your state/county of residence, your motorcycle’s value and date of purchase, among others.

An important factor to also consider when registering a motorcycle is the period of registration, though motorbikes in most states are usually registered for one, rather than two years. The base motorbike registration fee in Ohio, for instance, is currently set at $28.50 (annual price). Note that other fees, including vehicle taxes, may also apply.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.