Can You Sell a Motorcycle Without Registration? Expired Registration?

Do you have a motorcycle to sell but no registration? Or, did the registration and inspection expire? Well, I had a 1984 Yamaha motorcycle for sale with an expired registration, and I let it sit idle for too long. My mistake was not filling a non-operational status in Texas, though.

can you sell a motorcycle without registration
Fast sell, no registration!

When I decided to sell the bike, I thought of selling it “As Is” because I had no active registration. Unfortunately, selling a motorcycle “As Is” is not valuable.


So, I held a conversation with a clerk at the tax office regarding selling a motorcycle with expired registration. I also enquired about selling a motorcycle without registration. In this article, I reveal whether you can sell a motorcycle without registration.

Can You Sell a Motorcycle Without Registration?

Yes. You can sell a motorcycle without registration. The fastest way to sell your bike without registration is to jump title, but that makes you a curbstoner, which is illegal. Not having a registration also gives the impression that you are attempting to get rid of a stolen motorcycle. However, if you are selling a motorcycle that is out of the registration, you must pay back the registration if you admit that the motorcycle has been operational on the road. Depending on your state, they may request your non-operational status to prove that the bike has been out of the road.


According to the clerk I met, if you have been ticketed for using the motorcycle as a non-registered vehicle, it mars your chance of getting a new registration.

Additional paperwork, including the motorcycle title and a bill of sale, makes it possible to sell a motorbike without registration. Of course, most persons can buy the bike without registration if the title is intact. The buyer will insure, get the bike inspected, and submit the proof to the tax office to complete the title transfer.

Title transfer is different, and you must file a transfer of title within 20-30 days to sell your motorcycle. Meanwhile, you can sell your motorcycle without a title. Suppose you are using the motorcycle, do registration and title transfer at the same time with proof of inspection and insurance.

If you are not using the motorcycle on public roads (such as with the purchase of a non-operational motorbike), file a different form that is for title transfer only. It does not require inspection or insurance. This process should be completed within 30 days, and pay the late filing fee.


Sell It on Craigslist

Craigslist is a decent avenue to sell a motorcycle without registration if you have the title and bill of sale. It saves the stress and additional stress of getting your registration replaced, but you won’t sell the motorcycle at its true market value.

I find Craigslist to be one of the best options for getting rid of an unregistered motorcycle even without a title.

Get a Temporary Permit

Without registration, you can get a 30-day permit with your insurance. If you have no insurance, research the best quote or get temporary insurance. It is not every state that issues the 30-day permit; it ranges between 7-day, 14-day, and up to 60-day permits. This process is legal, and it may be limited to 4 applications per year, depending on your state.

What to do after selling your motorcycle without registration

Contact your local DMV and report the sale of the bike. It prevents a ticket in the mail if the buyer is neglectful to completing the title transfer.

Always Get a Non-Op for a Non-Operational Motorcycle Renewed

Before you leave your motorbike idle next time, file a Non-Operational Status. California, for instance, allows you to file a non-operational status at $21 a year. You will pay the current year’s fees only to put the bike on the road.

Suppose you have an active non-operational status, do not leave it idle for too long. My 79 GS750 went without non-operational renewal for about 6 years while was raising my kids. When I went to register it, the bill totaled $600, and I left the office pissed.

A few years later, I returned to pay the bill, but the clerk said it was no longer on their system, which means I have to re-title the motorcycle before registration. My happiness was not having to pay about $800 to $1,000 in the past due fees and penalties.

To avoid repossession, you can sell a motorcycle to pay off your debt, but with registration, because the lender has the title, except you have no plates.

Meanwhile, can you register your motorcycle without a license?

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