How to Get a Title for a Motorcycle in California

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When you buy a motorcycle or move from another state, you’ll need to transfer the title within the California DMV’s specified time frame in order to stay compliant and avoid any penalties. 

This page will provide you with the details and requirements for getting a motorcycle title in California.

After that, you’ll be ready to get your California motorcycle registration and license plate

How do I transfer ownership of a motorcycle in California?

The most important step in transferring ownership when you buy or sell a motorcycle is completing the title transfer. 

In order to transfer ownership of a motorcycle, both the buyer and the seller will need to fill out and sign the title. 

The seller should also create a Bill of Sale that both parties should sign and retain a copy of. 

After that, the buyer will need to take their application documents, including the signed motorcycle title, to their local DMV in order to complete the title transfer process. 

The seller may need to notify the DMV of the sale by submitting a notice of transfer and release of liability form. 

How to Fill Out a California Motorcycle Title

The first step in any title transfer is having the existing title filled out and signed by both the buyer and the seller. 

Before you start to fill out your California motorcycle title, be sure to:

  • Use blue or black ink only. 
  • Avoid crossing out or whiting out any items on the title as this can void it. 
  • Have taken care of any name changes beforehand. 
  • Have removed any old lienholder information, if applicable. 
  • Have both registered owners present to sign the title if the names are joined by “and.”

Always be sure to follow the instructions on your specific title and refer to your state’s official DMV for any questions. 

To fill out a California motorcycle title:

  • On the front of the title, the seller should record their information, their signature, and the details of the sale in the release of interest section. 
  • Record the odometer reading, if applicable. 
  • On the back of the title, the buyer’s information should be recorded.
  • The buyer should sign the title in the “new registered owner” section. 

California Motorcycle Title Transfers

A motorcycle title transfer proceeds like any other vehicle title transfer in California.

Here is what you need to transfer a California motorcycle title into your name:

  1. Visit your local DMV office or go online. 
  2. Be prepared to submit the signed and released title or a completed Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/application-for-duplicate-or-transfer-of-title-reg-227/ 
  3. Upload the necessary documents when completing the transaction online. 
  4. Have your driver’s license number and personal information. 
  5. Have the VIN, make, model, year, purchase price, and date of sale. 
  6. Complete the odometer disclosure statement, if applicable. 

To process a motorcycle title transfer online, please visit the CA DMV virtual office link: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv-virtual-office/title-transfers/ 

If you’ve just purchased a motorcycle, you’ll need to transfer the title within 10 days. 

How much does it cost to transfer a motorcycle title in California?

The fees for California motorcycle title transfers include:

  • Title transfer fee: $15. 

For more information about motorcycle title transfers in California, check out the official DMV website at: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/ 

Need more information? Check out our overview of the requirements for motorcycle titles and registrations in California.