How to Decode a Motorcycle VIN for Free
Use this free VIN decoder to look up information about any motorcycle.
Simply enter the bike’s VIN and the system will return the information it can find about the vehicle.
We’ll provide you with unique details about the motorcycle, such as:
- Year, make, model.
- Style, upgrades, and features.
- Engine type and engine size.
- And more!
Decoding the VIN is useful in a variety of situations, such as:
- Selling your motorcycle.
- Buying a used motorcycle.
- Ordering a vehicle history report.
- Finding parts for your bike.
- Checking recalls.
- Recovering stolen motorcycles.
In some states, a motorcycle VIN Inspection is part of the title transfer and registration process. Learn all about VIN inspections here.
Where is the VIN Number on a Motorcycle?
You’ll typically find your motorcycle’s VIN in the following locations:
- On the VIN sticker on the neck of the frame.
- Stamped into the neck of the frame.
- Stamped onto the engine case – engine VINs are typically different than frame VINs. (The frame VINs are what is typically used for VIN checks and verification.)
You can also find your VIN on the title and registration paperwork.
Motorcycle Frame VIN vs Engine VIN
On most bikes you’ll notice that the frame VIN and engine number are typically different.
For the purposed of your title and VIN inspection, the VIN that is stamped to the frame will be the primary VIN.
Many states do not include the engine VIN on the title at all.
State VIN Inspection Requirements
Below is a list of states that have some sort of VIN inspection requirement:
|State||Motorcycle VIN Inspection|
|Alabama||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Arkansas||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|California||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Colorado||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Connecticut||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Delaware||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Florida||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Georgia||Required if the motorcycle has no title.|
|Idaho||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Indiana||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Kansas||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Kentucky||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Maine||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Missouri||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Nebraska||Required to register out-of-state, rebuilt, or salvage title motorcycles.|
|Nevada||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|New Hampshire||Required for abandoned motorcycles, antique motorcycles, motorcycles from a state that only titles bikes less than 10 years old.|
|New Mexico||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Ohio||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Oklahoma||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Oregon||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Pennsylvania||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Rhode Island||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Texas||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Utah||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Vermont||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
|Washington||Required to register out-of-state or rebuilt motorcycles.|
|Wyoming||Required to register out-of-state motorcycles.|
What is a VIN Inspection/VIN Verification?
A VIN Inspection is not a vehicle history report or a stolen vehicle/salvage title VIN check.
For the purposes of registering and titling used, out-of-state vehicles, a VIN verification is essentially to make sure the physical state of the vehicle matches the information contained in the VIN.
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A VIN inspections is a physical inspection of the motorcycle’s:
- Body type.
- Weight, if applicable.
- Federal Certification Label.
- Emissions label, if applicable.
- VIN locations.
- VIN stamps on the frame.
- VIN stamps on the engine cases, in some states.
VIN verification are conducted by:
- a certified employee at the DMV.
- highway patrol.
- a licensed VIN verification company.
The DMV and the highway patrol do not typically charge a fee for a VIN inspection, you’ll just need to bring them the bike.
If you need to get a VIN verification for your motorcycle as part of the registration process, you’ll either need to bring the bike to the DMV or highway patrol station or find and pay a VIN verification company to come to you.
The certified inspector will fill out, sign, and hand you the VIN inspection form, which you’ll need to submit as part of the registration application.
Sometimes, you may be asked to provide the title, previous registration papers, or the Bill of Sale as part of the inspection.
How to Check if a Motorcycle is Stolen
Buying a stolen motorcycle is not a situation you want to find yourself in.
Luckily, the motorcycle VIN can be used to check if a bike is stolen.
The DMV and highway patrol can check a motorcycle’s VIN to see if the bike has been reported stolen.
You can also check a VIN yourself using the NICB VIN Check.
However, you don’t always need to run a VIN to spot a stolen bike for sale. Here are some instances where you may encounter a stolen motorcycle:
- The VIN on the frame has been obviously tampered with.
- The seller is acting shady or trying to complete the deal quickly.
- The seller won’t be able to provide good information about the bike’s history.
- The deal is too good to be true.
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