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Get a title with a Vermont Registration


If you purchase a vehicle that does not have a title, it can be a little tricky to get one. Fortunately, there is a legal loop-hole to eventually obtain one:

  • Vermont will issue you a registration and license plate regardless of if you live in VT or bought the vehicle in VT. So, this is sufficient to drive around legally in any state.
  • Once you have the VT registration, you can then transfer it into your state at an “auto tags” business, and apply for a title / registration in your state.
  • The reason this works is because VT only titles vehicles 15 years and newer. So, for an old motorcycle or old car, there would be no VT title at all… so your state will recognize this, and will issue you a new title for your state. It’s a big loop hole, but it works.
  • I’ve heard some states (such as NJ) can be a little finicky about transferring VT registrations into their state and applying for a title… but Pennsylvania obviously doesn’t care.

Steps to follow

  1. When you buy your vehicle, make sure you get a bill of sale with the seller, and have it notarized. Here is an example bill-of-sale you can fill out and use. If the actual seller is weird and won’t fill it out with you, or go to the notary… just fill out the bill of sale as if a friend sold it to you, and go to the notary with a friend. A notary surely doesn’t care or know who the real seller is… or when you bought the vehicle.
  2. After you have the bill of sale squared away, download and print out the Vermont Registration form and fill it out. FYI – Bikes over 300cc need the VIN certified by a cop, dmv, or auto inspection station to prove your vin matches up. Explanation is on page 2 of the VT registration paperwork. Section 7.
  3. On the VT reg form… the fee for a motorcycle is $44. Plus tax. To calculate tax on the price of the vehicle, it’s 6% of your purchase price, or 6% of NADA “good” value. Whichever is higher. Let’s assume NADA value is higher than what you actually paid. So, if NADA “good” value is $800. You pay VT 6% sales tax based on that. $800 x .06 = $48. So total fee you pay VT would be $44 + $48 = $92 total. So, write VT a personal check for $92. Make check payable to “Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles”.
  4. Ok. So, now you have the bill-of-sale and VT-registration forms both squared away. I like to print out a screenshot of the NADA good value. Also print out a photo of the motorcycle.
  5. In an envelope, mail Vermont the: bill-of-sale / VT reg / personal check / pic of NADA value / pic of bike. Address to mail stuff to is: VT DMV 120 State St. Montpelier, VT 05602.
  6. At this point – Make sure you get the bike insured.
  7. Drink a beer. In about 10-20 business days, you’ll receive a Vermont license plate and temporary registration. Be pumped, you can ride the bike legally now! In about 10 more business days you’ll receive the actual VT registration paper. This can be renewed once a year if you want. But it makes sense to transfer it into your state.
  8. Wait about a month, and then go to your local “auto tags” business (I’m in PA. Your state may call this something different or you need to go to a DMV?) The rest of the steps will assume you’re in PA.
  9. When you get to the auto tags place, tell them you want to “transfer a VT registration into PA, and apply for a PA title and registration”. They’ll say “sounds good. Can we see your PA license, auto insurance, VT registration and title”. You will reply with; “VT only titles vehicles 15 years and newer, so there is no VT title. Look it up.” They’ll say; “oh. okay”.
  10. The auto tags place will fill out the PA registration papers for you… applying for a new PA registration and title. They’ll give you a plate and temporary registration right there on the spot. Sweet.
  11. In about 5 weeks you’ll get your real PA registration, and then in another 8 weeks you’ll get your real PA title! Obviously put this somewhere safe.
  12. That’s all there is to it. Drink a beer. You just beat the system using a legal loophole.

We hope this helps you get your motorcycle back on the road. If you can help us out we would appreciate it!