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Register & Title a Motorcycle in Virginia


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

Learn more about motorcycle title transfers in Virginia.

Virginia Title & Inspection Requirements for Used Motorcycles

  • Does Virginia have an equipment/safety inspection?
    • Periodic safety inspection required.
  • Does Virginia require VIN Inspections for motorcycles bought out of state?
    • No VIN verification required.
  • Does Virginia require a title for old motorcycles?
    • Yes, all Virginia motorcycles are titled.

Title and Register a Motorcycle in Virginia

To register and title your bike in VA, you’ll need:

Find more information about Virginia motorcycle registration and registration renewal.

How to Register a Motorcycle with No Title in Virginia

If your used motorcycle doesn’t have a title, you can try to get it registered in one of the following ways:

Option 1: Motorcycles from Virginia

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

Learn how to replace a lost motorcycle title in Virginia.

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.

Virginia Street Legal Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

Virginia street legal motorcycles must have:

  • Rearview mirrors.
  • Fenders on both wheels.
  • Handlebar height no more than 15” above seat.

Learn more about street legal motorcycle requirements.

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

More Virginia Motorcycle Resources

11 thoughts on “Register & Title a Motorcycle in Virginia”

  1. I’m looking at a bike for sale and I’m confused at how I would get it registered due to it not having a title. The description states “ bike has no title clean vin but does come with a frame with clean title ”

    1. Your options will vary depending on your state, where the bike is coming from, and the specifics of the situation. If the sale includes a titled frame, you could swap into that if this is a project bike. Sometimes a Bill of Sale and a previous registration will suffice. Depending on the bike you’re looking at, it may be worth checking out our page about Vermont’s process for this. Good luck!

  2. i bought a motorcycle from Pittsburgh PA, and i have a tittle signed by a seller and i need to register and transfer the title to my name , do i still need to have bill of sale to transfer /register and get a license plate ?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      You should be OK without it. Be sure to complete the Source of Ownership section with the sale price on the Virginia title application.

  3. Has anyone successfully managed the titling process via mail through this pandemic? I purchased from a private seller who had it titled out of state. Was curious what the estimated time frame would be if I got all the paperwork and associated fees right all in one submission?

  4. I have the title for the motorcycle private sale from DE to register in VA. I have a signed Bill of Sale and i have the title but missing the sellers signature. Is the BOS enough to register the bike in VA.

    1. motorcyclezombies

      It’s more than likely that the VA DMV is going to give you trouble for not having the title completely filled out with the seller’s signature. You can always try to do it and explain the omission, but you may waste a trip to the DMV.

      If you can get in touch with the seller and get his signature on the title somehow, that would probably be your best bet.

      Good luck.

  5. I’m from Virginia and working out of state, and I bought a motorcycle from a dealer in Connecticut, would it be better to register it first in Connecticut then transfer it to Virginia after I get home or just wait till I’m home and do it just in Virginia???

    1. motorcyclezombies

      If you are going to be in CT long term and have already established residency in the state (i.e. got a Connecticut license), then you should probably register it there. If you are just a temporary resident and still have a Virginia address and driver’s license, it’s probably best to do it in VA.

  6. How am i suppose to get an inspection on the sports bike if they are asking me for registration? I have everything else on the list, besides the inspection sticker because i can’t ride without tags.

    1. motorcyclezombies

      You should be able to visit the DMV with your documents to start the registration process, and then get a safety inspection once you receive the tags.

      If not, you are able to apply for a trip permit, which would allow you to ride to get the bike inspected before finishing the registration application.

      I’d contact your local DMV office to clarify the order of operations.

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