Buying and Selling a Motorcycle in New York

photo of a parked motorcycle

With over 350,000 registered motorcycles, the Empire State offers a unique riding experience. Rides can range from calm mountain routes to lively city streets. Though it experiences a limited riding window due to its cold winters, New York has much to offer with its diverse landscapes.

Buying and selling a motorcycle in New York has its own set of regulations and guidelines. It’s useful to be well-informed about the process and paperwork needed for a smooth experience.

Here’s our guide to moving through this process in New York State.

Bill of Sale

A Bill of Sale is required to transfer ownership when buying and selling a motorcycle in New York.

It’s typically the seller’s responsibility to print and bring the Bill of Sale (Form MV-912) to the transaction. Making a copy for the buyer is always a thoughtful and helpful gesture.

The document should include the motorcycle’s year, make, model, mileage, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It should also list the names and addresses of both parties, with space for signatures. Record the final sales price.

It’s essential to accurately disclose the mileage when selling your motorcycle in New York. Failure to do so may result in penalties. Both parties should double check to ensure all information is correct before signing and dating the Bill of Sale.

The form is not required to be notarized in New York.

The buyer is responsible for submitting the Bill of Sale to the DMV. Additionally, the buyer will need to submit a proper title before successfully transferring ownership. We will discuss how to complete this in the next section.

Both the buyer and seller should keep a copy of the Bill of Sale for their personal records.

Title Transfer

The next step is transferring the New York State Certificate of Title. This is the document that legally establishes motorcycle ownership. After the Bill of Sale has been completed and the seller has received payment, the title is then signed over to the buyer.

As the seller, write the name of the buyer and sign the transfer section of the title. Ensure that all motorcycle information, including the VIN, is correct. Document the transaction by taking a photo of the completed and signed title before handing it over to the buyer.

Form MV-103 includes both the Odometer Disclosure Statement and the Damage Disclosure Statement. The seller must complete the odometer portion if the motorcycle was manufactured in or after the 2011 model year. The damage section must be completed for all motorcycles regardless of age.

If the seller doesn’t have the title, they need to request a duplicate title by filling out Form MV-902. The buyer will need to complete the Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82) and submit it along with the signed title to the New York DMV.

In New York, it is possible to transfer a title with an existing lien. However, it’s important to accurately inform the buyer of the situation. Additional steps may apply depending on your lien.


After the title transfer is complete, the next step is to register the motorcycle. The buyer will need to present the following documents per the New York DMV website:

  • The signed Certificate of Title (or the name and address of the lienholder, if any exists).
  • A valid New York State Class M license.
  • Proof of valid motorcycle insurance.
  • Safety inspection sticker.
  • Payment for fees.

New York requires the following minimums for insurance coverage: $25,000 per injured person, up to $50,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $10,000 for property damage.

All registered vehicles in New York must receive a safety inspection at a DMV-licensed station when ownership of the vehicle is transferred. Motorcycles are exempt from the emissions inspection.


Expect to pay some general fees when registering a motorcycle in New York. The amount can vary based on some factors, including the weight of the motorcycle and county of residence. Common fees include:

  • Vehicle plate (or registration transfer) fee
  • Title certificate fee
  • Sales tax
  • Vehicle use tax (most counties)

New York’s DMV website allows you to calculate the amount you can expect to pay by entering your information. You may also be subject to additional fees, taxes, or surcharges depending on the specifics of the registration.


With these insights, we hope the process of buying or selling a motorcycle in New York becomes more attainable. For more tailored advice, consult your local DMV.

So, what kind of motorcycle are you contemplating buying or selling? Share your thoughts! 

For a more in-depth guide on this process, don’t forget to check out our detailed resources on how to buy a motorcycle and how to sell a motorcycle.

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