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This page will cover the street legal requirements and registration and title process in Tennessee and provide some tips on how to register if you bought the motorcycle without a title.
Learn more about motorcycle title transfers in Tennessee.
Tennessee Title & Inspection Requirements for Used Motorcycles
- Does Tennessee have an equipment/safety inspection?
- Not required.
- Does Tennessee require VIN Inspections for motorcycles bought out of state?
- VIN Inspection not required.
- Does Tennessee require a title for old motorcycles?
- Required for all motorcycles.
Title and Register a Motorcycle in Tennessee
You’ll need to provide the following:
- Signed over title.
- Bill of sale and old registration if bought in a state that doesn’t issue titles.
- Registration and title fees.
- Proof of ID and residency.
- Affidavit of Non-Dealer Transfer may be required.
Notarization Required on the following documents in Tennessee:
- Bill of sale.
Find more information about Tennessee motorcycle registration and registration renewal.
Registering a Motorcycle in Tennessee without a Title
Here are some of your options for registering a motorcycle without a title.
Option 1: Bikes from Tennessee
Before sale is complete, ask previous owner to get a duplicate title:
Learn how to replace a lost motorcycle title in Tennessee.
Option 2: Bikes from out of state
If the motorcycle was bought in a state that requires motorcycle titles:
- Have the previous owner request a duplicate title in that state.
- Find motorcycle registration and title details for all states here.
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.
- Follow the registration requirements in Vermont.
- Transfer your registration to your own state.
Tennessee Street Legal Motorcycle Equipment Requirements
Tennessee requires street legal motorcycle to have:
- Rearview mirrors.
- Passenger footrest when riding with a passenger.
- Daytime headlights.
- Brake light flash regulations.
Learn more about street legal motorcycle requirements.
This information was correct at the time of writing it, but state laws are subject to change.
5 thoughts on “Register & Title a Motorcycle in Tennessee”
If I bought a scooter frame from a junk yard with no title how would I or can I apply for a lost title?
How does one register a scratch built custom motorcycle? Assuming it utilized DOT approved components, such as brakes, lights, wheels and tires, but had a custom frame and electric drivetrain. Where could one find the specific requirements for say min/max heights of lighting, license plates, rider location, that sort of thing?
I’d suggest this forum thread as a starting point: http://dfkitcar.com/forum/index.php?threads/tennessee-legislation.175/ Good luck.
Bought a junked old Honda Dream motorcycle. It was in a broken down shed and the owner of the shed had no idea where it came from or how it got there, other than it had been there for many many years. Terrible shape. I bought it. After a lot of time, money, and effort, it now runs. Runs pretty good actually. It is structurally sound. All safety stuff works, lights, brakes, horn, etc. I don’t have a title. The man at the shed I mentioned has no idea of the last owner or where the bike was last registered and titled. I live in Tennessee. I bought the bike in another state. I want to ride this thing. How do I get a Title (rebuilt, salvage, or whatever it is called)?
Hi Samuel – that sounds like a great project. Tennessee does have a procedure for abandoned vehicles (https://www.tn.gov/revenue/title-and-registration/vehicle-titling—registration/vehicle-titling/abandoned–immobile-or-unattended-vehicles.html), however, it doesn’t seem like that’s exactly what you need/want in this situation. Check out the titling & registration procedure for Vermont to see if that could work for you. You can mail in your VT application and transfer it to Tennessee at a later date.
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