Register a barn find


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You found it! The diamond in the rough, the owner (sometimes the original one!) knows the complete history of the scoot from purchase. Maybe it was Grandpa's, etc. yet they have no paperwork. The scoot languished in the garage or a shed for years, the paperwork drifted away. Many of these vintage vehicles never had titles or even registrations (used on private property, golf courses, colleges, the farm etc.)

These are the instructions for registering and, if needed, eventually titling a legitimately acquired barn find scooter that you are purchasing from the legitimate owner who has lost paperwork. This is only for such vehicles and these instructions are generally worthless for recent era scooters. Be reasonable, this is not a method to get stolen stuff paperwork, yes it may get you a piece of paper, but it will not be valid for long. YMMV.

These instructions are for rescuing scoot that have been neglected and lost to the ravages of time, when unreasonable paperwork demands are put on scoots that never needed them in the first place! This is geared toward the 1940's though 1970s era scooters.


Regulations by State


Note Sep 2010: AL DOR is showing "When a certificate of title is not required, only a registration is issued."and "Every 1975 and subsequent year model motor vehicle which is domiciled in Alabama and is required to be registered in Alabama is required to have an Alabama certificate of title." There was a law change effective January 1, 2010 that seems to have redefined title-less vehicles to pre-1975. Formerly this section read: "Does not require titles for motorcycles or scooters older than 15 years or under 300cc. A simple bill of sale will suffice to get a registration." Need to clarify/reconfirm.


DMV forms:

  • Application for Duplicate Title -
  • Statement of Facts -
  • Vin Verification - (Second Page of Application for Title)
  • REG226 - Application for Duplicate title - selecting "Lost".
    • Fill out section "G" on REG256 - Statement of Facts - with, for example, (paraphrasing here):
             "I purchased this Vespa, in 1994/1984/1974, for $500/$200/$100. After beginning a restoration long ago, I lost interest/ran out of time, deciding to finish the work recently, I finally put it back together  after 10/15/20 years non running and off the road.I have lost the paperwork."

Though many DMV officials mistakenly skip this part, the scooter needs to be inspected by a VIN Officer of the CHP (by appointment only) before DMV can register it. The inspector will inspect the scooter and either fill out parts of REG343 or provide a separate form from his/her office. You will complete the other parts of the REG343.

Fees run $55 or higher, depending on the stated value of the scooter, for the plates and tags; the title will be mailed to you.

Note: Scooters/Motorcycles seem to be stored in the records of CA system for at least 5 but most likely not more than 7 yrs, so a barn find scooter say 10 or more years since last registered will have no entries. (Barn finds can be 10 to 20 years since last on the road, some even longer!)

(Thanks greasy225) For reference:


According to the Tax Collector's office in Hillsborough county, vintage scoots without titles need to be registered as bikes built from parts (if it didn't come in parts, just say it did, and that you assembled it yourself, and save yourself any potential headaches). To do this, you need the bike inspected by the Florida DMV to establish road worthiness. They'll look it over and give you paperwork, certifying that the bike does exist and does run, to take back to the Tax Collector's office. No bill of sale is required, just that DMV paperwork. Pay $78 and you get a title. Plates will be more, if you're doing your registration at the same time. Antique vehicle plates are available, but don't apparently save you any money on scooters as they do with cars. Transferring an existing plate will save a bit of money, too.


Go with a titling service, the state approved way is very poorly documented and involves posting a cash bond they hold for three years.


Does not require titles for motorcycles or scooters newer than 15 years or under 300cc. A simple bill of sale will suffice to get a registraion.


Maryland has no procedures for registering an untitled vehicle, so you must use a Titling Service.


Procedure for purchasing an undocumented vehicle.

The SELLER must provide a signed and notarized bill of sale stating:


The SELLER and the BUYER must each attach a signed and notarized affidavit that:

  • Specifies the Year, Make, Model and VIN of the vehicle.
  • How and when the vehicle was acquired by the SELLER.
  • From whom the vehicle was acquired (meaning the owner prior to the SELLER).
  • The circumstances of where, and to what use the vehicle has been during the SELLER's ownership
  • and an explanation why there is no paperwork.

In addition, either the SELLER or the BUYER will need to have a "Visual Inspection" (TV-7) form completed by a law enforcement agency. They will run a stolen vehicle report. They cannot run one without you presenting the bike.

Also a completed RMV-1 form.

All five documents, (RMV-1, TV-7, BOS, SELLER affidavit, BUYER affidavit) are submitted to: RMV Title division ATTN: Title Review Officer PO Box 55885 Boston, MA 02205


To title a barn find in Michigan you must do the following:

1) Go to the secretary of state's website and print out the TR-54 form ( ). You can fill out the form online and then just print it afterwards. Make sure you fill in the scooter make, model, year, FRAME VIN#, etc. Leave the license plate# area blank.

2) Call your local police office's non-emergency line. Tell them you need an officer to come over and have them do a VIN inspection. Some cities have a charge for this so make sure and ask if there is one. Royal Oak is free, Hazel Park is $10.00 a vehicle, etc. If a city DOES charge, you typically need to go to the city clerk, pay the fee, then have a receipt to show the officer when they show up.

3) Have the officer fill out PART 1 of the TR-54. All he/she needs to do is inspect the VIN# on the frame, verify that you have written it correctly on the TR-54, and sign his/her name. Parts A/B are for the road worthiness test - I've NEVER needed to have this filled out before. I've had a few clerks at the Secretary of State try to tell me I needed it filled out, but I usually just tell them that they've done it for me before without one. If they are really uppity, just come back at another time or go to a different secretary of state and get a different clerk who's less strict.

4) Take the TR-54 to the secretary of state. Tell them you bought a scooter at a garage sale or swap meet and need a title issued. They take your TR-54 and then go and run the VIN# against the state database of stolen vehicles.* This can take a couple hours for a response to come back, unfortunately, so plan on coming back later. Once it DOES come back, they make you fill out a little yellow paper stating where you got it and how much you paid. ( Garage Sale, $100 ) The more money you state that you paid for it, the higher the tax they charge you on it. Saying $100 makes the registration cost you $20 - $15 for the title cost and $5 for the taxes. The clerk enters in the information, makes you verify that they entered in all the information correctly on the Title before submission, and you sign off that it's all correct and pay your fee.

  • This is a recent change that the SOS made in October, 2006. They didn't need to run your VIN at the SOS previous to this new law.

5) The title will arrive at your mailing address in as little as a week.

New York

Take ALL of these things down to the DMV, wait in line and hand them all over.

  • Original Bill of Sale by New York state resident(needs to include price, year/make/model, odometer reading and VIN number and the names and signatures of the buyer and the seller.) A bill of sale from an out-of-state resident may need to be notarized and include additional details about ownership history.
  • Completed FORM DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction) -
  • Completed FORM MV-51B (Statement of Ownership) -
  • Completed FORM MV-82 (Vehicle Registration/Title Application) -
  • Verification of the VIN # (tracing/rubbing/clear photograph of VIN or signed statement from a police officer)
  • Proof of name and date of birth (NYS Driver's license or "six points of identification" found at the bottom of
  • Proof of insurance (original insurance card)

You walk out with a NON-TRANSFERRABLE registration and the TRANSFERRABLE one comes from Albany in 4-6 weeks. Also- it only cost someone $63.00 (and that included the tax they had to pay on the vehicle purchase price!).

If you want historical or vintage (scooter must be 25 years or older) license plates, you must mail or visit the Albany DMV directly. The local DMV office will not be able to handle this -

(Thanks Tom and Anna, via Stian) For reference:

[Giving credit where due: This was written and first posted by "Chonky" (Allison) on Gotham Rally board. - Rob S.]

North Carolina

Registering a barn find, with no title, in NC is about as hard as finding a good one. I finally succeeded today. Treat this as a work in progress, and feel free to help clean this section up as I'm new to wiki, and do not take this as fact of law, but this is what worked for me.

First off, vehicles 35 years old and older do not need a yearly inspection or an inspection to obtain a title.

A vintage tag can be displayed on vehicles 35 years old and older as long as a current tag and registration are with the vehicle.

The easiest method is probably a mechanics lien, that is if you are a mechanic or close friends with one. This does require your scooter to be in "possession" of the mechanic for about 6 months.

The license plate agency wants you to go the route of 'lost title' and obtain a title by filing an indemnity bond, schedule an inspection and fill out an affidavit of facts. I'm not going to go through the steps on this, because it is not the path of least resistance, but should work. One problem with this method is a vintage Vespa or Lambretta is probably not on the 'value sheet', so you would need 2 separate appraisals from 2 North Carolina dealers. I'm not aware of any NC 'dealers' who know anything about vintage Lambrettas or Vespas.

After 3 separate visits to the license plate agency with a bill of sale and title application, I went through ITS Titles. It still took another 3 visits.

I took my ITS documentation to the first office and was told they do not title vehicles older than 30 years and they sent me to the DMV inspectors office. These guys are only open between 8am and 10am. They told me I needed to get my vehicle bonded and handed me the same paperwork as on previous attempts, even with my ITS documentation. I then proceeded across town to the other title agency, with ITS documentation in hand, and the nice smiling woman proceeded to process a new tag and title for me. $64 tag and title, plus $5 notary fee.

I even had trouble 3 years ago transferring a California Title to a NC title on a 1969 Vespa. The first clerk told me I did not need a title for a scooter. I should have said 'motorcycle' when asking for a title. After researching the laws in NC on what constitutes a motorcycle, the next visit I asked for a transfer of a motorcycle title and I was successful.

It seems to boil down to finding the right clerk on the right day in the right mood. So do not give up and try on a different day if necessary.

My reccomendation: ITS, then keep trying the license plate agency folks until you get a title.

--Biminyrd 21:17, 25 March 2008 (MDT)


Step 1: Call your local Department of Arbitration and Statutory Appeals and request the paperwork for a "Petition for Involuntary Transfer of Ownership of Vehicle by Court Order". (In Allegheny County the # is 412.350.5394) They'll mail a packet to you. Or, you can PM me for a scan of the paperwork.

Step 2: Fill out the paperwork. (You don't need an attorney/counsel so just leave that part blank.) Go dig up a bill-of-sale/receipt or some other piece of paper proving you paid money for the scooter.

Step 3: Take the filled out petition and your bill of sale to your local Court of Common Pleas. The Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas is located at 414 Grant Street, 15219:

  1. Go into the Civil/Family Courts record room on the lobby floor.
  2. Take your paperwork to the Cashier and pay them $128 in cash or money order. (They don't take credit cards or personal checks. There's a PNC ATM on the opposite corner of Grant Street.)
  3. After you pay the Cashier your petition will be issued a motion number. Take the petition to the records desk (marble counter on other side of room) and tell them your motion needs to be scanned so you can take it upstairs to the court.
  4. The records people will scan your petition and then place it into a records folder. Sign out the records folder and take it upstairs to 712 (Floor 7, courtroom 12).
  5. Walk into the courtroom and give the records folder to the clerk at the desk. After confirming that you have everything filled out correctly and have a sufficient bill of sale, the clerk will assign you a court date. Make two copies of the petition, bill of sale, and order of court.

Step 4: Mail a copy of the petition, bill of sale, and order of court to the former owner of the scooter, as well as any or all persons/entities that may have a lien on the title. Mail it certified mail, return receipt.

Step 5: Bring the green certified mail return receipt(s) and your copy of the petition/bill of sale/order of the court to your court date. In Allegheny County:

  1. Go to the Motions court (Floor 7, courtroom 7)
  2. Hand your return receipt(s) to the clerk at the desk, who will make a copy of it and assign you a time slot.
  3. Wait in the courtroom until you're called, tell your sob story to the judge, receive a signed court order.
  4. Go to the Civil/Family Courts room on the lobby floor, walk to the copy desk (last desk on right before exit door) and ask to get a certified copy and a non-certified copy of the signed court order
  5. Take the slip from the copy person to the Cashier and pay $10
  6. Pick up your copies from the copy desk

Step 6: Print out a copy of PennDot Form MV-41 (Application for Correction of Vehicle Record of Verification of Vehicle Identification Number). Take it and your scooter to an inspection mechanic and have the mechanic fill out Box B, recording the VIN.

Step 7: Take the court order and completed MV-41 along with a copy of your insurance and bill of sale to an authorized agent of the PA Department of Motor Vehicles. (E.g. AAA or an actual DMV office.) There an official will fill out PennDot Form MV-1 (Application for Certificate of Title). They will mail the forms off to Harrisburg, you'll pay the sales tax, title and registration fees, and in 6 weeks you should receive a title, registration, and plates in the mail. In the meantime, keep the non-certified copy of the Court Order with your scooter as proof of title.

Total Cost:

  1. $128 – court filing fee
  2. $10 – certified copy of court order
  3. $3 – feeding parking meters near courthouse
  4. $? – sales tax on scooter purchase (depends on purchase price)
  5. $22.50 – title fee
  6. $18 – registration fee
  7. $44 – AAA service fee (+$5 if you want AAA membership)

= $225.50 + sales tax

Total Time:

  1. 1 week to receive paperwork in mail
  2. 1 hour at court to file paperwork and get assigned court date
  3. 15 minutes to mail copy of petition
  4. 1 month between filing paperwork and court date
  5. 1 hour at court pleading case to judge
  6. 30 minutes to get VIN verification from mechanic
  7. 1 hour at AAA filing paperwork
  8. 6 weeks to receive title, registration, and plate in the mail

So start to finish the whole process takes about 2.5 months, with about five hours of work running around filing paperwork, etc.

from Seema from Pburgh via the BBS, 4May2010


In Oregon I have found that for old scooters you can register them as vehicles you built from parts. This does not mean that you built a custom vehicle, rather it just means the vehicle was incomplete when you came upon it. To do this, you must first have a bill of sale. Oregon bills of sale are not very specific and basically only require two names and signatures with the date. Oregon has a standard half sheet form for this that is readily available at the DMV. To prove that the vehicle is yours, you must have some type of record of improvements on the vehicle. The best is a receipt for major parts or service performed. Perhaps bring a few receipts for common items (tires, engine rebuild, paintwork, etc.). This proves that you have a "vested interest" in your vehicle. Of course, Oregon also requires proof of insurance and a physical VIN inspection. Bring the scooter with you! Explain you bought a scooter frame and built it from parts into the lovely example of scootering perfection you rode here today. (If you rode it there, it helps if you had a trip permit first!). The DMV agent will write down your verbiage on an official affidavit and send it off to Salem. You will then be issued a pristine yellow plate and new tags. Wait about six weeks for your title to come in the mail.


Disclaimer: This will be a work in progress for a little while.

It is not possible to register an untitled vehicle in Texas, so in order to register a barn find, you need also to obtain a title. Registration also requires a state safety inspection and liability insurance.

You can get a bonded title or have a title hearing. To begin the process of getting a bonded title you need the following:

  • Bill of Sale
  • TxDOT form 130-U (title application)
  • TxDOT form 130-SOF (statement of fact)
  • DPS form VI-30A (identification certificate)
  • Two (2) letters of appraisal from vehicle dealers, written on their letterhead and including the VIN and description (required for bonded title but not for title hearing).

Here's a good ready-made form for the Bill of Sale (Thanks to Jefferson County, TX):
You can get forms 130-U and 130-SOF from the TxDOT web site at
Obtain the form VI-30A from a state inspection station (the station will verify the VIN on the vehicle and certify it with this form). The fee is $1.00.

Take all those items to your regional TxDOT VTR office. Find yours here:

Tell the clerk that you don't have a title and that you need to apply for a bonded title, or that you need to apply for a title hearing. The clerk will take your paperwork and look it over and if everything is in order you can walk out with a rejection letter 20 mins later, however, at times it may take up to two weeks to get the letter. The rejection letter says that you don't have enough evidence of ownership to be issued a title, and that qualifies you to get a title bond or apply for a hearing.

For a Bonded Title, take the rejection letter, along with the Bill of Sale and appraisal letters, to a bond agent. There are many but only a few are directly licensed by the state, so you may as well go to the source and save yourself middleman fees. The list of agents and surety companies can be found here:

I went through The Lovett Agency to get my bond. I paid a $35 application fee, and the bond cost me another $100 (that's the minimum bond fee by state law, but it buys a bond that covers up to about $3000 in value IIRC). I applied for the bond on the Friday before Independence Day, and I had my bond on the Tuesday following. Without the holiday, I think turnaround might have been overnight.

The Alamo Surety Bond Company in San Antonio will do the bond for simply the bond fee and no application fee. Turn around can be the same day on clear cut vehicles with no liens or a couple of days if there are some questions about the previous owners or leinholders.

For registration and title (Registration requires a safety inspection, recall; that means a running bike with lights and mirrors and good rubber and brakes etc; and remember you need insurance too [Turn signals not required in Texas, but if they are on the bike they are supposed to work]), Take the bond document along with your other paperwork (including the inspection certificate) to the County Tax Collector's office for your county of residence. Tell them that you have a Certificate of Title Surety Bond and that you need to apply for a bonded title and registration. At this point you'll need to present again all the paperwork that you had presented to the VTR agent (except the appraisals). They will process your paperwork, collect your money, and give you plates, and tell you that you should receive your bonded title in about 6 weeks (4 months later I am still waiting on mine).

For Title only you should be able to take the paperwork back to the TxDOT regional VTR office with your bond and advise them that you have been through the process of the rejection letter and show them that you have the bond in hand. They should take the bond document and process your application for title.

For a Title Hearing, This section will remain incomplete pending further research, however, please see for an outline of the process.


The exact process for titling that barn find in your name in the Commonwealth of Virginia depends on what the story is with the vehicle in question. But the process is free (except for standard fees and taxes), and does not require anything special except knowledge of your bike and the services of a notary public.

You will always need this form to title any vehicle....

VSA 17a Application for Registration:

Use this form to apply for the registration of your vehicle.

If the person who sold you your scooter didn't give you a title then you may be required to take one or more of the following forms to the DMV:

CRD 01: Request for Vehicle Information by a Prospective Purchaser

This is the form you need to check whether the bike you have purchased or are considering purchasing isn't stolen.

SUT 1 (A)Suppl. Info. for Procurement of Title (B) Seller's Statement...

A vehicle seller and the buyer use this form to serve as a formal billof sale when a vehicle has been purchased or sold with a questionable sales price.

SUT 1A Affidavit for Procurement of Title

Use this form for vehicles less than 5 years old, for which the customer disputes the NADA Trade-in value.

VSA 10 B Antique License Plate Applicant Certification

Owners of antique motor vehicles, antique trailers and antique motorcycles use this form to certify compliancewith Code of Virginia requirements for use of antique plates.

VSA 12 Affidavit in Lieu of Title Certificate

Use this form to file an affidavit with DMV certifying that the certificate of title is not in the applicant's possession when registering a motorvehicle, trailer or semi-trailer without a certificate of title.

VSA 14 I Registration Information Sheet

Use this information to complete the Application for Registration, VSA14.

VSA 24 Statement of Authority to Assign Title

Adult legal heirs use this form to obtain a title for a deceased person's vehicle.

VSA 40 Abandoned Motor Vehicles

Use this form is to record compliance with the Abandoned Motor VehicleAct.

VSA 41 Mechanics' or Storage Lien Title Application

Use this application to request vehicle information and to apply for atitle or non-repairable certificate as a result of a mechanic's or storage lien, as provided in VA Code §43-32, 43-33, and 43-34.

VSA 56 Application for Salvage Certificate

Use this form to apply for a salvage certificate.>

VSA 57 Application for Non-Repairable Certificate

Use this form to apply for a no fee non-repairable certificate.

VSA 59 Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle Disclosure Statement

Use this form to provide brand information when selling a rebuilt vehicle.

VSA 64 Required Evidence of Ownership

Use this form letter to return funds, evidence of ownership and/or additional information to DMV.

VSA 69 Verification of Vehicle Identification Number

A DMV representative uses this form when inspecting a vehicle to verify that the vehicle identification number (VIN) entered on the form matches the VIN plate attached to the vehicle.

VSA 70 Power of Attorney

A vehicle owner uses this form to appoint an individual power of attorney to sign for the owner when registering and/or transferring ownership of a motor vehicle.

The VSA 12 will be most commonly used form for a bike that was either never issued a title or for which the title is lost. However, make sure you note all of the forms as the VSA 12 may not be appropriate for all occurrences or may require additional forms to document the bike's history.

The form(s) you need should be fairly self-explanatory depending on how you obtained your bike (if you have a doubt about a form, take it along). Just complete the appropriate ones and take 'em down to the DMV with your completed VSA 14. They should issue you title and plates on the spot. However if they have a question, you should be able to walk out of the DMV with at least temp plates in hand and a referral to the DMV's Richmond headquarters for the actual title and hard plates.

For example, I once picked up and paid for a 1975 Vespa Primavera for a friend, since I actually paid for the bike (and was paid in full upon the delivery), I could give my friend a notarized Bill of Sales. He wrote the following story on his VSA 12 and signed it in front of a notary (all names and detail have been changed for privacy's sake).

Pursuant to Virginia Law, I (we), James Roe, duly sworn, make the following statements:
That I (we) submit this affidavit in support of my (our) application for a certificate of title for a 1975 Vespa Primavera VMA2T089045. <p>That I am (we are) unable to present a certificate of title with respect to the above described vehicle because the previous owner, John M. Stafford, of 123 My Street, Arlington VA 703-555-1234 did not have a title for the vehicle. Furthermore Mr. Stafford states that he purchased the bike from Michael Norris, 123 Old Back Road, Bowling Green, VA 804-555-2345 and Mr. Norris did not have a title. And Mr. Norris said that he purchased the bike again without a title from Express Tire & Auto, 18031 Blue Rd, Oak Glen, VA 804-555-9876 where apparently the bike had sat in the garage for over 20 years, unused and unregistered.


That additional facts pertinent to my (our) acquisition of the above described vehicle are on Monday, August 16, 2004 I executed a CRD 01: Request for Vehicle Information by a Prospective Purchaser at the Arlington DMV office and no record of my vehicle was found.

That, if the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles issues a certificate of title pursuant to my (our) application for same, herein above described, I (we) hereby bind myself (ourselves), my (our) heirs, assigns and personal representatives to indemnify and save harmless the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or his successor in office, individually and officially, for any loss or damage which may be asserted against him or which he may sustain as a result thereof.


Since the clerk at the DMV in question had never dealt with a VSA 12 before my friend was given temp plates and was referred to Richmond for final disposition. The titling officer in Richmond told my friend that he should have been issued the plates at the DMV, and the plate and title were mailed within a week. Note that we knew the history of the bike stretching back 20 years. If you have purchased a bike without a title you should know as much as possible about the bikes last 20 years as well too. For a legitimate bike this info should be easy to come by. A stolen vehicle, will have a dodgy history and will raise lot's of red flags in both your and the DMV clerk's head.

Titling Services

If your state isn't listed then there are two national titling services that you can use to get your bike titled:

Please note that these companies don't actually give you a title, taking advantage of lax titling regulations for older vehicles in their state they give you a registration in your name, a bill of sale, a copy of their local state's regulations, and depending on the year plates from Maine, Vermont, or Alabama. You then take the paperwork to your local DMV/MVA/DPS/CoC/etc, along with proof of insurance, a completed version of your your local state's title form, appropriate payment, and you should walk away with a local title, plates, and registration.

                Pre-1975 1975-80 1981-92 1992-*
Broadway Price: $100     $200    $200    $300
ITS Price:      $125     $140    $165    $200
*Please note that vehicles less than 15 years old must be under 300cc

Neither Broadway nor ITS is particularly fast. It will take either 6-8 weeks to process your paperwork, if you are in a hurry you should either see if your state has process for bypassing a service or go to a local titling service.

Neither Broadway nor ITS is particularly cheap, many states have free processes, why pay when you can do free?

If all else fails:

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