Massachusetts Motorcycle Registration & Title Laws

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This page will cover the street legal requirements and registration and title process in Massachusetts and provide some tips on how to register if you bought the motorcycle without a title.

Massachusetts Title & Inspection Requirements for Used Motorcycles

  • Does Massachusetts have an equipment/safety inspection?
    • Periodic safety/equipment inspection required.
  • Does Massachusetts require VIN Inspections for motorcycles bought out of state?
    • No VIN Inspection required.
  • Does Massachusetts require a title for old motorcycles?
    • No titles required for motorcycles with a model year older than 1990.

Title and Register a Used Motorcycle in Massachusetts

To title and register your motorcycle in Massachusetts, you’ll need the following:

  • Original title
    • Bill of Sale and old registration if bought in a state that doesn’t issue titles or for exempt motorcycles.
  • Application for Registration and Title
  • Bill of Sale if there is no title or no sale price section on the title.
  • Title, registration, sales tax fees.

How to Register a Motorcycle without a Title in Massachusetts

If you purchased a used motorcycle with no title in MA, you can try the following options:

Option 1: Bill of Sale for Bikes older than 1990

No titles required for motorcycles older than 1990.

  • Use the bill of sale and old registration.

Option 2: Bikes from out of state

If the motorcycle was bought in a state that requires motorcycle 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.

Massachusetts Street Legal Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

Street legal motorcycles in Massachusetts must have:

  • Rearview mirror on left side.
  • Fenders on both wheels.
  • Passenger footrests when carrying passengers.
  • Turn signals for motorcycles manufactured after 1972.

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

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21 thoughts on “Massachusetts Motorcycle Registration & Title Laws”

  1. I have a 1978 KZ650, bought in NH, not title but have a bill of sale and an old registration from previous owner. Will be able to register at mass RMV? Or will I have to go the Vermont route?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      You may be able to go directly through RMV. I’d make copies of your documents and give them a call first. Otherwise, Vermont is a good back up.

  2. I have a motorcycle that I bought from a friend. He never registered the bike when he bought it and has now lost the title. Can I register it in MA with just the bill of sale?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      You may be able to register it in Massachusetts with just the Bill of Sale. However, the lack of any previous documents at all will make it more difficult. I’d contact the RMV and explain the situation to see if a Statement of Facts or something similar along with the Bill of Sale would work.

      Otherwise, if the bike is old enough or has a small enough engine, you can look at going the Vermont route.

  3. i have 2007 genuine 150cc scooter, i had insured last year but for winter i cancelled the registration, i have a title at my name (i paid for it last year) , do i have to request a new title? , i just need the new plates

    1. motorcyclezombies

      You do not need a new title for that transaction. You’ll just need to get your current registration paid and updated (removed from non-op/cancelled) and you should be good to go.

      1. so, can i do that online or do need the appoinment? my first step was buy the insurance yesterday and i have the application filled, should i have to request new plate? or they update the registration with my old plate… im confused

        1. motorcyclezombies

          After cancelling a registration in Massachusetts, old license plates should be discarded. You’ll need to file for a new registration in person at the DMV and they’ll provide you with new plates.

  4. I got a 2001 drz400 with no title and no certificate of origin, think I can register with just bill of sale and vin check?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      You can always try to do that directly with the MA RMV, if they won’t let you, you can always try the Vermont route. I’d give MA a call before visiting.

  5. Im looking to buy a 1999 Harley Sportster 883. The bike is in Rhode Island and I live in Massachusetts. He has Bill of sale and the Registration but no title. Which way would I got about registering the bike if I were to buy it?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      Rhode Island does not title vehicles older than model year 2000 – the RI Registration should serve as proof of ownership along with the Bill of Sale. MA RMV will be able to look that up when you go to register it with them.

  6. I have a 2002 Harley from Rhode Island no title but bill of sale and previous registration. Can I still go through Vermont ?

  7. Hi I did look into this would just like to be clear on a few things . Say I bought a motorcycle from Rhode Island I live in Massachusetts if older then 1990 I can register it in Vermont pay whatever I pay up there then just simply transfer it to Massachusetts? I’m in middle of a project bike and could use some help. One other thing is the motor is 250cc I thought I read under 300cc has different rules too is true

    1. Yup, that’s correct. The engine size determines whether or not you’ll need to provide a VIN Inspection/Verification form as part of the application. In your case, you will not.

      1. I have a 125cc motorcycle from Vermont there for it does not have a title. I need to register it in Massachusetts . I was told I don’t the title because it’s a 125cc and it dose not require a title because it from Vermont

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