Register & Title a Motorcycle in California

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This page will cover the used motorcycle registration and title process in California and provide some tips on how to register if you bought the motorcycle with no title.

California Title & Inspection Requirements for Used Motorcycles

  • Does California have an equipment/safety inspection?
    • No, though a safety inspections may be performed randomly.
  • Does California require VIN Inspections for motorcycles bought out of state?
    • Yes, a Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form will need to be completed by a DMV VIN Checker, law enforcement office, or licensed verifier.
  • Does California require a title for old motorcycles?
    • Yes, all motorcycle are titled in California.

Title and Register an Old Motorcycle in California

To title and register your motorcycle in CA, you’ll need:

How to Register a Motorcycle with No Title in California

Option 1: Bikes from CA

Before sale is complete, ask previous owner to get a duplicate title:

Option 2: Bikes from Out of State

If the bike was purchased out of state from a state that requires titles:

Option 3: Register in a No-Title State

Register the bike in a non-title, no residency requirement, mail-in registration application state, such as Vermont.

California Street Legal Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

Motorcycles in California must have:

  • Rearview mirrors.
  • Handlebar height maximum of 6” above shoulders.
  • Passenger footrest is carrying a passenger.
  • Turn signals required for motorcycles manufactured after 1972.
  • Daytime headlights required for motorcycles manufactured after 1977.
  • Brakes lights may flash no more than 4 times within 4 seconds. when applying the brakes.

This information was correct at the time of writing it, but state laws are subject to change.

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