How to Get a Lost Title For a Motorcycle

If you or a seller lose the motorcycle title, you can get a replacement title. The title is essential, and you should know how to get a lost title for a motorcycle.

Do not buy a motorcycle without a title, except you need it for the parts. If a private seller or a dealership claims they lost the motorcycle title, tell them to get a replacement title and sign it over to you.


Without the title, you can’t sell your motorcycle because it tells the buyer that the bike belongs to you.

how to get a lost title for a motorcycle

How hard is it to get a title for a motorcycle?

It is not hard to replace a lost motorcycle title, especially when you request the replacement online. If a seller says getting a duplicate title for a lost title is challenging, do not buy the motorcycle. It is a sign that the motorcycle was stolen, and the seller wants to get rid of it without a title.



  • A completed duplicate title application form
  • Year and make of motorcycle
  • VIN
  • Proof of ID (photo ID, photocopy of drivers license, etc.)
  • A receipt or notarized bill of sale
  • License plate number
  • Processing fee

How to Get a Lost Title For a Motorcycle

Below are the steps to get a lost title for a motorcycle:

  1. Contact the Seller

If you are purchasing the motorcycle from a private seller, and they have no title, tell them to request a replacement title and transfer ownership to you.

You also need the bill of sale, which should contain the information and signature of the buyer and yours.

If, for some circumstances beyond your power, the seller can’t get a replacement title, you can get the court ordered title or the bonded title.


If you are buying a financed motorcycle, the lender has the title. It could be that the seller is attempting to avoid repossession since a motorcycle can be repossessed.

  1. Visit Your Department of Motorcycle Website

The next step to get a lost title for a motorcycle is to visit your department of motor vehicle website. Key in the name of your state and the organization responsible for titling.

On the website, enter “request duplicate title” or “replacement” in the search field. You will be presented with a link to the title application form in your state.

  1. Provide Relevant Information

On the form, provide the relevant information, including name, city, address, and state. Additional information includes the vehicle identification number, license plate number, and the year and make of your motorcycle.

  1. Get a Photocopy of Your ID

Get photo proof such as a photocopy of your photo ID, drivers license, etc.

  1. Submit the Application

Finally, submit the documents and pay the registration fee, which varies by state. You would have seen the duplicate title cost on your local motor vehicle agency website.

Read: Flipping a motorcycle for profit

Ways You Can Request Replacement Title for Motorcycle

Below are the various ways to request a replacement title for your lost motorcycle title:

  1. Online

From your local department of motor vehicle’s site, you can get a lost title for your motorcycle online.

However, you can’t request a duplicate title online if the motorcycle title is not processed within the last 15 days.

Other criteria that prevent you from requesting a replacement title online are if:

  • You’re requesting a replacement title for lien removal
  • Requesting an amended title certificate or an original
  • Requesting replacement title in the name of a deceased owner
  • You are ordering title using a Power of Attorney
  1. By Mail

You can replace a lost title for a motorcycle by mail. When you apply for a duplicate title by mail, the motor vehicle department will not give a new title immediately.

A motorcycle title certificate is printed in secure facilities and is mailed to you at a specified time.

Make sure to mail in the documents stated on the website to avoid delays. Also, check the mailing times applicable in your state.

Replacement titles are mailed to your current address on the title record. If the motorcycle is in your name, you can change your address online first and request the title.

If the motorcycle title is in another person’s name, you can’t change the address on your title record online. Meanwhile, when you file a title request with the postal service to forward mail, they may not forward the documents to your new address. So, make sure you enter the right contact information.

Replacing a lost motorcycle title by mail may take longer. However, you can request express mail, which costs extra.

Mail Order Requirements

  • Proof of ID (photo ID, photocopy of drivers license, etc.)
  • Duplicate title application form
  • Money order or a personal check
  1. At the Office

You can replace a lost motorcycle title at the office.


  • ID proof
  • A completed replacement title application form
  • Replacement fee
  • VIN
  • Notarized bill of sale
  • Motorcycle

You will not be given the replacement title for your lost title immediately at the office.

A motorcycle title is printed in a secure facility, and you will receive it by mail. Typically, the fastest means is to request a replacement motorcycle title online but check eligibility first.

Read: Are heavy motorcycles harder to ride?

What’s the cost of replacing a lost motorcycle title?

The average cost of replacing a lost motorcycle title is $25. It can be lower or higher depending on your state.

Final Thoughts

If the previous owner of the lost title is deceased, contact your local motor vehicle department for steps to follow to claim and put the motorcycle in your name.

You can check your local motor vehicle agency’s website for the steps to follow. It’s a bit tedious and requires several other documents, including a death certificate, to transfer the lost title and register it in your name.

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