Buying and Selling a Motorcycle in Ohio

With over 400,000 registered motorcycles, the Buckeye State presents a dynamic scene for motorcycle riders. Ohio features diverse landscapes and distinct seasons, which help offer unique riding experiences all year long.

Buying and selling a motorcycle in Ohio is very manageable. It’s important to understand that each state has specific rules surrounding the transfer of motorcycle ownership. Familiarizing yourself with the steps and the necessary documents in advance can help expedite a smooth transaction.

Here’s our guide to steering through this process in the industrious state of Ohio.

Bill of Sale

In Ohio, a Bill of Sale is strongly recommended but not required by law when transferring motorcycle ownership. It’s wise to create one for both the buyer and seller’s record keeping. They may serve as evidence in the event of any future disagreement.

Not all states demand a Bill of Sale, but filling one out may save you from trouble later on. It’s common for the seller to provide and draft the Bill of Sale. It’s also a kind gesture to make a copy for the buyer. 

The Bill of Sale should include the motorcycle’s year, make, model, color, mileage, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It should also display the full names and addresses of both the buyer and seller alongside their signatures. Record the final sales price as well.

Ensuring the mileage is accurately disclosed on the Bill of Sale is important for both the buyer’s protection and the integrity of the sale in Ohio. Failure to do so or providing false information may result in fines or jail time.

Once completed and signed, both the buyer and seller should keep a copy of the Bill of Sale for their records.

Title Transfer

The Certificate of Title is a document that proves legal motorcycle ownership. After the Bill of Sale is signed and the seller has been paid, the title must be transferred to the buyer.

The seller must complete the transfer section on the back of the title. Double check that all information on the title is correct, then hand it over to the buyer. It’s smart for the seller to retain a copy or photo of the title after filling out the transfer section.

If the original title is missing, the seller will need to apply for a duplicate title. This must be done through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) before the sale can move forward. Duplicate titles may be obtained through the mail or in person.

The buyer will submit the original signed title to the BMV and will need to complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement if the motorcycle is less than ten years old. The title must be transferred to the buyer within 30 days of the sale date to avoid late fees.

Ohio supports electronic titles. If the title is held electronically, both the buyer and seller should complete the transfer at a local title office together for a smooth transaction. To learn more about the electronic and duplicate title processes, visit the Ohio BMV titles page.

Selling a motorcycle with an outstanding lien is prohibited in Ohio. The only way to sell in this situation is if the lien is satisfied at the time of sale.


After the title has been transferred, the buyer must register the motorcycle with the state of Ohio. The buyer will need to present the following to the BMV:

  • The signed Certificate of Title.
  • Valid Ohio driver’s license.
  • Proof of motorcycle insurance.
  • Payment for title and registration fees.

Ohio requires the following minimums for motorcycle insurance coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.


Title and registration fees in Ohio may vary based on your district of residence, type of motorcycle and other factors. Expect to pay at least the following when titling and registering your motorcycle:

  • Title application fee
  • Registration fee
  • Sales tax based on the motorcycle’s purchase price

Additional taxes and fees may apply depending on your specific situation. Consult the Ohio BMV fees page for the most current structure.


Making your way through the motorcycle buying or selling process in Ohio requires the understanding of the state’s procedures and requirements. We hope this guide helps lessen the stress that can come from these tasks. For more personalized assistance, it’s best to consult your local BMV office.

When purchasing a motorcycle through a private sale, diligence is key. Conduct research on the motorcycle you’re eyeing. Look for any outstanding recalls and inspect the motorcycle. Using the VIN for a thorough check from a respected platform can also help prevent future issues.

For sellers, being honest about the motorcycle’s history and complete condition not only builds trust, but ensures a simpler sale.

Are you buying or selling a motorcycle in Ohio soon? Share your thoughts with us! For a deeper dive into each process, check out our comprehensive guides on buying and selling a motorcycle.

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