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Titles, how to get one

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  • #16
    Originally posted by D.A.Bagin View Post
    I have done a 5-6 in NY starting about 35 yrs ago and learned a few things along the way. I will be doing one in the near future and will follow the last process that worked well. It cost a few extra bucks but was WELL worth it. What has changed recently is you need a "Bill of Sale" from the previous owner stating the price paid. After that I have found the following to work well on PRE-70 bikes.

    1. Go to local DMV and pay the sales tax. You will need the bill of sale for this. This is the last time you want to see the locals as around here they are not very helpful or knowledgeable. You will need to send the sales tax receipt later. Make a copy.

    2. Find a "Year of manufacture" plate." meaning a real plate the same year as the bike. I know, it costs but saves ALOT of hassle.

    3. Have local P.D. verify the vin and supply a document on their letterhead.

    4. Take pics of vin AND license plate. You will need to sign an affidavit that the plate is UNRESTORED. All paperwork is online.

    5. Purchase HISTORICAL insurance from your choice of companies.

    6. Send everything including the sales tax receipt to "THE SPECIAL PLATE DIVISION" in Albany NY. They are VERY helpful and nice to deal with. They even answer the phone.

    Check online for using vintage plates or historical plates. Make sure to do all they ask for. This makes it very easy. ANY other way is a nightmare. After sending everything you should get a Transferable Registration in a short time. With the virus issue who knows.

    I read your response with great interest. I live on Long Island and am restoring a '53 panhead (Registration - no Title) for which I'll be starting the registration process quite soon.

    I purchased the left motor case through EBay without any paperwork about 12 years ago and I no longer have any record of the sale. I was told by the seller that it was of Wisconsin P.D. origin and the VIN and belly numbers look totally unmolested. Over the years, I built the complete motor and it now sits in a clear plastic bag as a bench ornament and It's a beauty! Now I'm finally pre-assembling the bike with all the other parts that I've acquired and lovingly repaired and otherwise restored -and at GREAT expense, as we all know.

    I've knowingly had my 'head in the sand' concerning the registration process. While I have no rational reason to think that the motor case was stolen, many of us were in the Harley business through the 1960's and '70's when stolen machines were not very UNcommon. If I walk into the 2nd Precinct and ask for a NCIS run on the VIN and for some reason it turns up as a hit, I stand the chance of loosing the left motor case, the motor, or possibly the entire bike. I'm even thinking of speaking with an attorney (they have access to NCIS) hoping that he/she may know of a level of protection just in case the worst actually happens.

    At this juncture, I see no way of protecting myself from this possibility, other than first disassembling the motor in anticipation of giving up the left case should the VIN show up as a hit. But in doing so, I'm exposed to a criminal act by simply having possession of the motor case without being able to prove how I legally received it. In this case, I believe that by N.Y State law, I would be 'guilty until proven innocent'.

    As you've been through he N.Y. process, your thoughts would be most appreciated.

    Last edited by Bill Pedalino; 11-26-2020, 07:06 AM.
    Bill Pedalino
    Huntington, New York
    AMCA 6755