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For those who have wondered about buying a vehicle without a title, of for those who have and don't have a title yet, this is what I did. It was time consuming, but other than that it wasn't hard.

I picked up my first bike over the summer from Craigslist. It's a clean 07 Ninja 250. The dude was asking 1000obo for it because it didn't include a title. The guy he bought it from never coughed up the title. He only had it for 3 months, didn't want to jump through hoops trying to acquire a title. He ended up wanting to just cut his losses and sell it, let it be some other poor slob's problem.

I checked out the bike, wrote down the VIN and just gave it a quick look over. A quick test ride sold me on it. It seems like a good deal, but I didn't want to buy it yet.

I went home and checked the history of the vehicle for $5 I think. I don't remember what site I used, but all the feedback came up clean on the bike.

So I bought it for $800. I went to the Iowa DOT's website. (I'm registered in Iowa) and printed out their application for a bonded title. It required me to get the bill of sale notarized, so my bank was willing to oblige, for free. I mailed in the bill of sale and the application, and 2 weeks later was sent a Statuatory Surety Bond for Certificate of Title. Instructions say to take to your Insurance company or a bonding company.

This was the dumbest part of it all. I have Progressive for insurance, and they wouldn't help with the bond. At all. I called half a dozen insurance companies and found one that worked with me. They had only run 1 office: as local and personal of an insurance company as they come. They did the dirty work to get my surety bond filed for $100. Less than two weeks later I get it returned to me.

I immediately mailed in the bond back to the state. About a month later, they contacted me and wanted to verify the VIN. Once they made sure it matched the bond, they wrote up an verification email and sent it to the DOT I work with. I went down to the courthouse and they gave me a title then and there. $25 for the title, $20 to register the bike for a year.

The total is $145 I've spent to get the title for the vehicle. I have traded it in since for $1900 towards a beautiful 06 ZX6-R. :eek:nfloor

The whole process took about 8 weeks total. It would have been faster if I rushed it more.. Sometimes paperwork would sit around for a week before I mailed it in, so it could take other people less time than it took me.. plus, the State of Iowa sucks ass and they're slow as balls at doing anything.

I'm writing this to say it's doable. It can be a pain in the ass, that's for sure, but it's doable. Depending on the value of the vehicle, the only price others would find higher is the bond itself (or registration, titling in your state). My bond was worth $3,000. The insurance company charges $100 minimum or $15 for every $1,000 the bond is, so if you're bonding a $10,000 bike, it would only be $150 for the bond. I don't know if all bonding companies are the same. Yours may vary.

All in all, I spent $145 to get the title and $1 on stamps and envelopes. I sold the bike for over double what I paid for it. The process is well worth it.

I see bikes on the internet often that don't have the title. I might do this again with a bike just to flip it and make some ca$h, as long as the bike checks out to have a title that isn't salvaged, stolen, or has a lien. Otherwise, it's an easy, but time consuming, way to make some cash.. just be careful. You don't want to get screwed over.

Hope this helped.
 

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Interesting. Thanks for posting that. This question pops up quite a lot, especially during the winter months.
 

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I got really lucky. I got my bike with no title because the guy couldn't find it. He got the issuing state to
Send me a letter to take to my DMV. I took the letter fully expecting tons
Of red tape. I got the friendliest DMV worker ever and 10 minutes later I walked out of there with a brand new title. Whew. Luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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It's good to see things like this, but those reading need to remember that the process can, and likely will be different if you live in another state. A friend of mine went through this process in CA for an F4i he bought without a title. Not terribly expensive, but it took over 6 months to have the bike legally registered again.
 

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Each state has different rules on this, please check with your state before buying a bike with out a title.
 

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It's good to see things like this, but those reading need to remember that the process can, and likely will be different if you live in another state. A friend of mine went through this process in CA for an F4i he bought without a title. Not terribly expensive, but it took over 6 months to have the bike legally registered again.
I got my F4i without a title because my buddy couldn't find it. Can't remember how much it cost me, but all I needed to do was get a form filled out by the seller and a bill of sale with the miles on it and I got my title in about 6 weeks.
 
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