Author Image

✔ Article reviewed by Ethan Orenstein. Bringing motorcycles back from the dead since 2013. Learn More.

Motorcycle VIN Check

⚠️ ATTENTION: Need to register or title your motorcycle?
Be prepared to satisfy any insurance requirements. Click below for a free insurance quote.

Please enter your ZIP to get started:

How to Check 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. 

If you’re looking for something more in-depth, here’s another VIN decoder to check out.

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:

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?

Motorcycle VIN Locations

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.
    • Or near the front 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.)
  • Under the seat.

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.

Learn more about motorcycle engine numbers.

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.

10 thoughts on “Motorcycle VIN Check”

  1. Hi, I have ‘79 Triumph Bonneville SE that I purchased out of state and brought into CA. I was told I need two labels: 1) Emissions Label, which have, and 2) Federal Certification Label, which I DON’T have.

    What is a Federal Certification label and how do I get one please?!

    1. motorcyclezombies

      The Federal Certification Label or DOT label should be there. It’s typically attached near the headstock of the frame, or, in some cases, under the tank.

      If it is actually missing, it might be worth a call to the CHP for some advice on next steps.

  2. Hi I have a Honda Cb550f that hasn’t been registered since 1991 I don’t have a title only a bill of sale how do I get a title.

  3. I have a question, I live in MA they don’t require VIN checks for any type of vehicle and I’m trying to register it in VT cause it doesn’t have a title, the bike is a 600cc, can I get a vin check in any state?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      Yes, you can get it completed in another state for VT registration. However, Vermont temporarily waived VIN Inspection requirements due to COVID – double check before you get one done.

  4. I have a question.
    I am trying to buy a 1982 Harley Sportster from FL and register it in CA.
    The Frame vin and Engine vin DO NOT MATCH. The bike does have a clean title. (frame # is used)
    Does it matter that the engine and frame vin do not match for registering it in california???

    1. motorcyclezombies

      Nope, that doesn’t matter. In most cases on most bikes these numbers do not match. You should be all set.

    1. That may vary from state to state – but in many states, yes, most public notaries who have been authorized by the DMV can do this too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author Image

Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

About Us