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In order to ride your scooter legally on public roads, you’ll need to make sure it’s properly titled, registered, and insured with your state Department of Motor Vehicles.
This page will provide you with an overview of the steps you’ll need to take to get it done right.
How to Get a Title for a Scooter
In most states, a scooter is treated just like a motorcycle for registration, title, and insurance purposes.
The title is what is used to provide proof of ownership. You’ll need it in order to register, insure, and sell your scooter.
The process for getting a scooter title in your name will vary slightly depending on whether you bought the scooter in a private sale or from a dealership. We’ll provide you with a quick overview of the process below.
The basic process to get a title for a scooter involves:
- Getting the properly signed-over and completed title from the previous owner or getting an MCO from the dealer.
- Completing a new title application.
- Getting a Bill of Sale.
- Completing a VIN Inspection, if applicable.
- Paying the applicable title fees and sales taxes.
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and fees, you’ll be able to visit your local DMV office and complete the transaction.
Some DMVs may even allow you to complete the process online.
Find more information about scooter title transfers here.
Scooters Purchased from a Dealer
If you’re buying a scooter from a dealership, they will typically take care of most of the DMV paperwork for you.
After you’ve completed the transaction and signed the necessary forms, you’ll usually receive the new scooter title in your name within a few weeks.
Scooters Purchased from a Private Seller
Buying a used scooter from a private seller will often allow you to get a better deal, but requires you to take care of more of the paperwork and transfer process.
When you buy a used scooter from a private seller, you’ll need to make sure to:
- Have the seller fill out and sign the existing title.
- Fill out and sign the title yourself.
- Complete and sign a Bill of Sale.
- Have the seller complete the odometer disclosure form, if applicable.
The signed over title and Bill of Sale are the key documents you need in order to register and title a scooter purchased from a private party.
How to Get a Title for a Scooter Without Title
Sometimes, you may be able to find a great deal on exactly the scooter you’re looking for, but with one problem – the seller doesn’t have the title.
While this situation may be a good reason for pause, it’s not a total dealbreaker.
First, it should be stated that any private transaction is going to be a lot easier if the seller has the title in hand.
However, you do have some options if the title is missing:
- First, you can ask the seller to apply for a duplicate title through the DMV before finishing the sale.
- Next, if the scooter is old enough, the DMV may not even require a title.
- Finally, you may be able to initially register the scooter in a state like Vermont, assuming it meets certain criteria. You can read more about Vermont scooter registration requirements here.
Before doing any of the above, you should first check the scooter VIN to confirm it is not stolen.
Check out this in depth guide for more tips on how to get a title for a scooter or motorcycle without a title.
How to Register a Scooter
Once you’ve got the title in your name, you’ll be able to register your scooter as well. Note that you can typically do both steps in a single transaction.
Again, for registration and titling purposes, you can think of a scooter the same as you would a motorcycle. (For more information, check out our pages about registering a scooter in each state).
To get license plates for your scooter and get it registered, you’ll need to:
- Present the title and bill of sale.
- Complete an application for a new registration.
- Get a scooter insurance policy, and be prepared to provide proof of insurance.
- Complete any necessary vehicle safety inspections.
- Pay the scooter registration fees.
In some cases, you’ll receive your license plates and stickers right away, other times, they may arrive in the mail within a few weeks.