Plating a dirt bike in the USA

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by malignity, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    I'm not sure where else to put this since the regional forums don't blanket the entire USA.

    The purpose of this post is not to start arguments, but to educate, and to keep track of all 50 states on whether you can at this point in time, plate a dirt bike that does NOT come street legal from factory, such as a WR450F. Even if you have "grandfathered in bikes" that information is helpful too, so we can get a clear picture of what can be done where, how it's done, etc.

    What I need from you is simply what state you live in, and whether you can plate a dirt bike or not. This isn't a discussion as to how you can get a title from another state and get it transferred over, or any other sort of sneakery. That's for another discussion. I'm trying to get a big picture as to exactly what states are still dirt bike friendly.

    If you don't know, or are not 100% positive, please refrain from posting. If you do know it's possible and have done it, please comment as to how you did it so we can help others, or know it cannot be done, please let me know here. I have added mine from Michigan. Please chime in and I'll add it to the list. The intent of this thread is not to break laws, bend laws, or sneak something in under the radar, but to follow them and to do things the "right way" in our state if we can.


    ALABAMA - NO, but will honor other states plates.
    ALASKA - NO, but may honor other states plates.
    ARIZONA - YES. (Unclear what is needed.)
    ARKANSAS - YES. hi/low beam, taillight, brake light, horn, mirror, speedo (maybe odometer), DOT tires. May need inspection.
    CALIFORNIA - NO As of 2004 you CANNOT plate a dirt bike even if the dirt bike is an older one.
    COLORADO - YES. VIN inspection by Certified VIN inspector (State Patrol) Required:
    DOT Tires, Horn (not a clown horn), Headlight/Tail lightBrake Light (operated by either front or back brake),Mirror, Proof of insurance, some reports of inspectors looking for reflectors as well, but that is not consistent. When you go to the DMV you will have to pay for plate/reg and back road taxes.
    CONNECTICUT - YES. CT dealers will plate new Huskys/KTM that are titled as "motorcycles". If titled as "off-road use only" or Certificate of Origin is marked "off-road use only", then the proper equipment must be installed and the bike goes through inspection at either the Wethersfield or Hamden DMV.
    http://www.ct.gov/dmv/lib/dmv/modified_checklist.pdf
    DELAWARE
    FLORIDA - NO. No plating of "off-road use only" bikes.
    GEORGIA
    HAWAII
    IDAHO - YES. Brake light, tail light, headlight, spark arrestor, mirror showing 200' behind, horn audible at 200', IDPR OHV Registration, DMV inspection.
    ILLINOIS - NO on new bikes, Grandfathered bikes are OK (Unsure on what year the cut off is)
    INDIANA - NO if the title says "off-road use only."
    IOWA - NO.
    KANSAS - NO.
    KENTUCKY - YES. Need all receipts of items you put on it. Need one mirror, tail light, brake light, headlight high low beams. The title would be rebuilt, and then have the sheriff inspect it.
    LOUISIANA
    MAINE - YES. (Unverified/Unsure what is needed.)
    MARYLAND - NO if the bike has the words "off road use only" on the title. If not, able to plate.
    MASSACHUSETTS - NO. Accepts transfers from other states however.
    MICHIGAN - YES. Bike must have headlight with high and low beam, DOT approved knobbies, horn, license plate light, brake light, and 1 mirror on left side or mounted to the helmet. A TR-54 inspection is done by police and is turned into the Secretary of State and they will issue a new title changing the title from "Off road only" to "motorcycle". This can be done on any bike past or present.
    MINNESOTA - YES, for peronal use, non-transferrable. First, the dirtbike needs to be registered with the DNR as an OHM. Then, if the necessary DOT safety equipment is installed on the bike - and the current owner has signed a sworn affidavit stating so - the owner can apply for "dual registration," and apply for a license plate for legal road use using essentially the same process as an auto or factory highway motorcycle. The fees for all this are very reasonable.
    MISSISSIPPI - YES. Bike must have lights.
    MISSOURI YES. bring the title and get it done. Bare minimum you need a horn and a rear view mirror for day time use ONLY.
    MONTANA - YES. Must fill out and sign form stating you have all required safety equipment. No inspection of equipment. If motorcycle has no title, VIN inspection required to file for a title. Bonded title required on vehicles valued over $500. Headlight, tail light, brake light, reflectors, horn, muffler, mirror.
    NEBRASKA - NO. Off road vin = No plate.
    NEVADA YES. (VP-254 form) Horn, Reflectors, Brake Light, Headlight, Taillight, Fenders, Turn Signals, Muffler, Mirrors, Frame, DOT Legal Tires, Brakes.
    VP-254 form Part I "Safety Inspection" must be completed by NV licensed dealer or motorcycle repair shop. Part II 'Vin Inspection' is completed by DMV. Part III is completed by owner and verified by DMV representative or notary public.
    NEW HAMPSHIRE YES. Front headlight, Brakelight/taillight,Squeeze bulb horn, One mirror.
    NEW JERSEY - NO. legally a vin check, no dirt bike state. Its not only gotta be 50 state, as coded in the vin, it needs to be on the specific NJ list of approved motorcycles.
    NEW MEXICO - NO. No an off road motorcycle or vehicle cannot be plated by statute. If it was plated in another state it may be brought in as plated.
    NEW YORK - NO. Provided the MSO does not have the words "for off road use only" anywhere on it, the bike can be plated. NY also allows for transfers from other states.
    NORTH CAROLINA - NO.
    NORTH DAKOTA
    OHIO - YES. Headlight, taillight, turn signals, mirror, horn. You just sign a body change affidavit. There is no inspection.
    OKLAHOMA - YES. Mirror, headlight, tail light, horn, odometer. DMV inspects.
    OREGON - NO. Some old bikes appear to be grandfathered in.
    PENNSYLVANIA YES. Inspection must be done, high and low beam, brake light, tail light, license plate light. DOT approved knobbies, horn and turn signals must be present.
    RHODE ISLAND
    SOUTH CAROLINA - YES provided the bike has a title. "Off Road Use Only" bikes are not sold with titles.
    SOUTH DAKOTA - YES.
    TENNESSEE YES. Walk into DMV, ask for a license plate.
    TEXAS - YES. It's pretty easy and straight forward. There is even a section written into the rules that explains how the title clerk is supposed to remove the "off road" notes from the title. (Unsure what the bike requires.)
    UTAH - YES. (Unclear what is needed.)
    VERMONT YES. After Safety inspection.
    VIRGINIA YES. Headlight with hi/lo, horn, tail light/brake light, license plate light, speedometer, dot tires and 1 mirror. Get it inspected at any station that does auto inspections.
    WASHINGTON YES. High/Low, Horn, tail light, brake light, license place light, blinkers, mirrors. Inspection is required and is done at an authorized Dealer. Usually $25-$50 for the inspection.
    WEST VIRGINIA
    WISCONSIN NO. You cannot plate anything without a title and Wisconsin does not title dirt bikes.
    WYOMING - NO
    #1
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  2. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

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    In Florida if the title says "Off Road Only", you'll never be able to get a plate. Also any such wording on a title from a different state will get you the same denial.
    #2
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  3. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    Edited/removed. not relevent
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  4. baldman1

    baldman1 Long timer

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    As of 2004 you CANNOT plate a dirtbike even if the dirtbike is an older one. People have done it but it is illegal and just a matter of time before those plates are pulled.
    #4
  5. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

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    I live here & have had many dealings with the DMV. It's NOT speculation.
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  6. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    I edited my original post. You're speaking then specifically to Florida, and are not stating that "off road only" will bar you in every other state as I originally interpreted then, correct?
    #6
  7. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    Yep, pretty sure I misread that and read it incorrectly when you posted it. I apologize @Huzband . Didn't mean to start an argument. Lol.

    So to clarify, if the title states "off road" in florida, regardless of state, it's going to be a denial. I thought you were speculating that in other states, but I think I'm just dumb. It's my last day before christmas vacation. Sorry man. :rofl
    #7
  8. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    Virginia is a yes but like Michigan you need headlight with hi/lo, horn, tail light/brake light, license plate light, speedometer, dot tires and 1 mirror. Get it inspected at any station that does auto inspections, (basically any gas station)

    Do not need turn signals.

    Then submit paperwork to dmv title and wait for your revised title.

    Took me about a month.
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  9. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    Washington is fairly easy. I have a few friends with brand new KTM/Husky 300s with plates. I think you need a hi/low light, horn tail light, blinkers, and at least one mirror. I'm not sure if there is an inspection though. I also wouldn't be surprised if King county has different regulations than the rest of the state.

    Oregon is a no go on new bikes, there are some older dirt bikes floating around with plates, I have heard that the OR DMV will pull a plate if they figure out that it is on something that they don't like and several people have lost a plate for their dirt bike because of this. When I got the title for my 300 the lady was handing me a plate with current tabs when she double checked the title and took it back. I was so close, like inches, and then nope. Oh well probably would have lost it anyway when they figured it out and I don't really ride my 300 on the road anyway.
    #9
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  10. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    Arizona - No problem, did one Dec, 2017. California title presented at DMV, no inspection, plate and title issued at time of registration.

    South Dakota - technically no conversions but they will issue a plate for an off road bike if it was previously street registered in another state.
    #10
  11. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    Colorado: Yes Two or 4 stroke ok. No ATV/UTV plates in CO.

    Used to be super easy, fill out a form, go to DMV pay for plate.

    Now: CO requires the following

    VIN inspection by Certified VIN inspector (State Patrol)
    Complinance inspection looking for the following

    DOT Tires
    Horn (not a clown horn)
    Headlight/Tail light
    Brake Light (operated by either front or back brake)
    Mirror
    Proof of insurance

    *some reports of inspectors looking for reflectors as well, but that is not consistent

    When you go to the DMV you will have to pay for plate/reg and back road taxes (yes Uncle Sam gets his pound of flesh)
    #11
  12. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

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    Some new bikes that most of us would think of as dirt bikes come new with the paperwork necessary to register it as a motorcycle. I think those are somewhat unique circumstances. Certificate of Origin that isn't branded with something like 'off road use only'. Uncertain if it needs to be in original buyers name.

    Massachusetts, used dirtbike - no title, no prior registration, no certificate of origin, no deal. The problem isn't whether or not it's considered for off-road use only or not, but that there is no way to meet the requirements for the registry (RMV) to register it. This problem affects regular street motorcycles as well. They do not title off-road vehicles. There is an off-road vehicle registration that is different from road registration, obtained from a group separate from the RMV. It has no value and no conversion potential at the RMV desk. I think there is a venue for registering a 'custom' vehicle, like someone's garage project, but I've never heard of it being done with an already existing factory motorcycle.
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  13. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    Alaska- NO. If the machine had an "Off road use only" designation on the title or original paperwork there seems to be no way to get the DMV to pass it.

    However, the DMV was honoring bikes which had been made street legal in other states- my XR650R was plated in CA when that was still possible and now has an Alaska plate.
    #13
  14. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork Ol Two Flags Supporter

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    That seems to be the trick with a lot of states, get it plated in another, more lenient state, and then bring it to your home state.
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  15. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    I believe there is a legal requirement to honor a title if it has been issued by another state. Otherwise legal ownership would be location dependent. That said, i haven't tried to get another dirt bike past our DMV and I've owned the XR for a while now...... its possible, I suppose, that AK could honor the TITLE bit not issue a plate. My XR now wears "permanent" tags so it seems to be a non issue for me.
    #15
  16. shinyribs

    shinyribs doesn't care

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    Just posting to agree with what Dolly Sod posted above.

    For sake of conversation, I bought my XR 400 from a man in North Carolina. It was already street titled. He told me that North Carolina was starting to pull street titles on dirt bikes. He'd seen a few people receive letters telling them that their titles had been revoked, so he was selling his plated bike while it still had some value. Virgina didn't look twice at the title when I brought the bike home.

    A close friend of mine got a full on flat track racer titled by simply hanging some temporary lights on the bike powered by a dry cell lantern battery. No ignition key. That bike has a hand built chassis that never had a VIN. He submitted an "Abandoned Vehicle" form and got his title that way. The DMV just asked him for the information (year, make, model, VIN). He told them it was a:
    Year:1974
    Make: Champ
    Model: FT
    VIN: used the engine number off the cases.

    A State Policeman came to his shop to inspect the lights and check for (temporary) DOT tires. A couple weeks later they mailed him a title with the information he supplied them. Iirc, the whole process cost him $100.

    If you can't get your dirt bike plated in VA under the normal avenues, you can go with a " Special Construction" or "Homemade Vehicle". There's a couple different options here.
    #16
  17. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

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    Correct. What I meant, but wasn't clear on, was that if I were to buy a bike from another state that had an off Road Only title, I would not be able to change it to a regular title & get a plate for it here in Florida. My apologies for not being clear.
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  18. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    So this is a no unless issued by another state, correct? As in, I can't get a 2018 WR450F and plate it unless it was previously plated somewhere else?
    #18
  19. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    PA is pretty much the same a Michigan. All bikes made since 1974 must have turn signals, so those are required. There is a annual state inspection in PA and your bike must pass that every year. Headlight/taillight, hi/lo beams, non-modified exhaust system, street legal knobbies, and at least one mirror. If my 1974 TY250 still had it headlight and taillight it would be ok without turn signals, because it goes by the age of the vehicle.
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  20. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    If they're added by you, does it matter? As in, can you plate a YZ250 with a Baja Designs DS kit? Trying to get clarification to put it on the list.
    #20