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Thread: Odd license request in used bike transaction....

  1. #1
    Registered User webguydave's Avatar
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    Odd license request in used bike transaction....

    Hi All!

    Bought a nice 2004 R1150RT-P from a fellow in West Virginia last week; title looks good, is signed by the seller and the license tags are good for about a year. So, living in Virginia, normally I’d run right down and retitle/register it pronto. But with the virus, an appointment is required, which in my case is July 25th!

    So far so good…except the seller pm’s me to ask me to mail the plate back to him; failing that, he’ll report it as lost/stolen. He claims it’s to protect him from liability…
    This sounds kinda bogus, like maybe the plate belongs to another bike of his, esp since I didn’t get a paper registration with the bike.

    So…if I mail the plate back, I have no plate on the bike and therefor can’t ride it. If I don’t, he claims the plate is lost/stolen and I’m liable to get stopped for riding a stolen bike!

    I’ve never kept plates on any vehicle I’ve sold, nor had this kind of request….

    Comments? Is this indeed a West Virginia thing?
    Dave Johnson
    Esmont. VA.
    2004 BMW R1150RT-P

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webguydave View Post
    Hi All!

    Bought a nice 2004 R1150RT-P from a fellow in West Virginia last week; title looks good, is signed by the seller and the license tags are good for about a year. So, living in Virginia, normally I’d run right down and retitle/register it pronto. But with the virus, an appointment is required, which in my case is July 25th!

    So far so good…except the seller pm’s me to ask me to mail the plate back to him; failing that, he’ll report it as lost/stolen. He claims it’s to protect him from liability…
    This sounds kinda bogus, like maybe the plate belongs to another bike of his, esp since I didn’t get a paper registration with the bike.

    So…if I mail the plate back, I have no plate on the bike and therefor can’t ride it. If I don’t, he claims the plate is lost/stolen and I’m liable to get stopped for riding a stolen bike!

    I’ve never kept plates on any vehicle I’ve sold, nor had this kind of request….

    Comments? Is this indeed a West Virginia thing?
    If you are riding on his plate, you are a liability factor tied him. If anything happens, you rob a 7-11, the bike gets stolen, the bike gets in an accident- it’s on him as it’s his tag.
    It sounds like he was gracious enough to let you get the bike home on his tag........ riding more, I would say no.
    It’s too risky for him.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    It seems to me that he is threatening to commit a crime by making a report he knows is false. He knowingly gave you the plates. (not stolen) and he knows where they are (not lost). I would respond to him in writing with a copy furnished to the WV DMV indicating that although he willingly provided you the plates you will be happy to return them once the bike is registered in VA.
    Kevin Huddy
    Silver City, Montana
    MOA# 24,790 Ambassador

  4. #4
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    On the few bikes I have sold, I always remove the plate. My thoughts is it will incentivize the purchaser to follow through on title transfer. Have done that with other plated items such as trailers and vehicles. Nothing nefarious in my reasoning, just peace of mind.

    Just went to pick up a bike in NC, the seller said he had to turn in another states plate at sale of another bike. He took the NC tag, reinstalled a plate he used while stationed in Japan. I had signed title, sales receipt and insurance for return to TX. Never stopped with huge yellow plate in six states and will ride it to our recently opened tax office Friday to register it.

    I would take the route suggested, he let you ride away with it...you'll return it as soon as practical due to different situations these days.
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and past prez SABMWRA

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  5. #5
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    In Oregon, the plate goes with the vehicle. Your bill of sale is proof you no longer own the vehicle for liability purposes. There is also a tab on the title that you remove to report the sale to the state, then it's up to the buyer to re-title it in their name.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  6. #6
    Registered User webguydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    If you are riding on his plate, you are a liability factor tied him. If anything happens, you rob a 7-11, the bike gets stolen, the bike gets in an accident- it’s on him as it’s his tag.
    It sounds like he was gracious enough to let you get the bike home on his tag........ riding more, I would say no.
    It’s too risky for him.
    OM
    Being a recent retiree out of California, I've become aware of just how differently the various states treat transfers - part of the title ( the pink slip) in California is a tear off that is a release or transfer of liability - the seller mails it in, informing the state he no longer owns it ...the plate stays with the bike...

    ...and if the seller takes the plate at the time of sale, how does one legally ride it home, with no plates?

    Interesting....

    Dave
    Dave Johnson
    Esmont. VA.
    2004 BMW R1150RT-P

  7. #7
    Registered User webguydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powwow View Post
    In Oregon, the plate goes with the vehicle. Your bill of sale is proof you no longer own the vehicle for liability purposes. There is also a tab on the title that you remove to report the sale to the state, then it's up to the buyer to re-title it in their name.
    Yup, that's the route I'm used to... but .....

    Dave
    Dave Johnson
    Esmont. VA.
    2004 BMW R1150RT-P

  8. #8
    Laws vary by state. I have ridden home on a seller's plate. I have ridden or driven home with no plate. Once I was stopped out of state for no plate. The signed title was sufficient but the officer insisted to see proof of insurance. I have sold a bike and as a courtesy let the buyer ride home with it. Texas has a requirement that a purchased vehicle must be registered with xx days. I forget whether that is 21 days or 30 days. Texas also has a DMV form to send to them when a vehicle is sold providing the name and address of the buyer. That is the form that will relieve a seller of liability if the buyer fails to register the vehicle.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  9. #9
    Registered User REDC650GT's Avatar
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    Many States allow the seller to report the sale online.


  10. #10
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webguydave View Post
    Being a recent retiree out of California, I've become aware of just how differently the various states treat transfers - part of the title ( the pink slip) in California is a tear off that is a release or transfer of liability - the seller mails it in, informing the state he no longer owns it ...the plate stays with the bike...

    ...and if the seller takes the plate at the time of sale, how does one legally ride it home, with no plates?

    Interesting....

    Dave
    Everything is ok until it isn’t. While you were mainly concerned with the plate, I was more concerned with the insurance factor. If the seller has insurance, it’s connected to the plate so essentially you are riding on the sellers insurance. I’m not real interested in letting a stranger ride while I wonder if they are going to use my coverage.
    As you can see by the stories, when buying a used bike, there are a lot of ways to get it home. Sorta depends on your risk level.
    You could always call your insurance company and say “is there a problem when I sell my bike, letting the buyer use my plate/insurance until they can get it properly tagged and insured”?
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  11. #11
    Registered User REDC650GT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Texas also has a DMV form to send to them when a vehicle is sold providing the name and address of the buyer. That is the form that will relieve a seller of liability if the buyer fails to register the vehicle.
    Paul, Texas lets us do it online too.

    https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buyi...ling-a-vehicle

  12. #12
    #129265 rinkydink's Avatar
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    In Arkansas you do NOT send the tag with a sold vehicle. New owner would get a hefty fine for unregistered tags etc. The buyer has 20-30 days to register, pay sales tax if applicable, and tags. Dated bill of sale carried with bike is sufficient. The bigger factor is you better have proof of insurance or your vehicle will be impounded posthaste.
    Linc G.

    Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.

  13. #13
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    In Utah the plates stay with the original registrant, who is required to remove them before turning the vehicle over to a buyer. From the DMV website:

    What to Do if You Sell Your Car
    When you sell your vehicle:
    Remove your license plates from the vehicle. If you do not, you may be liable for any parking or traffic violations occurring while your plates remain on the car.
    Give the new owner the signed title, current registration certificate, and current safety and emission certificates. The new owner may obtain a temporary permit from any Motor Vehicle office by presenting the signed title, proof of insurance, and picture identification and paying all applicable fees
    Report the vehicle as sold to the Division of Motor Vehicles. This can be done by choosing one of these options:
    Online. Use Utah’s Motor Vehicle Portal—MVP.
    By mail or fax. The written notification must include the vehicle year, make, plate or vehicle identification number, and the owner’s signature. This notification can be sent to:
    Division of Motor Vehicles
    MVCC
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130
    Fax: (801) 297-3570
    By phone. Contact the DMV at 1-800-DMV-UTAH

    And since the plates are required to be removed, one can register a replacement vehicle to those same plates and their already-memorized alphanumeric. No more fumbling at the motel counter trying to remember or peek at the plate number of the vehicle you rode in on. ��

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rinkydink View Post
    In Arkansas you do NOT send the tag with a sold vehicle...
    Nor in VA.

    Webguydave: I’m a longtime resident of VA. I have bought and sold a fair number of used vehicles over the years, including motorcycles and mopeds. In no case did I give or receive a license plate with the sale or purchase. In VA, the plate is removed from the vehicle when sold, it doesn’t go with it.
    The new owner brings his/her own plates when picking it up, or trailers it home.

    Generally it’s not lawful to operate a vehicle on a prior owner’s plates. You must license/register in your name before operating it.

    If the seller in WV generously took the risk of letting you ride home on his plates, as soon as you pulled in your driveway they should have been removed and mailed back to him so he could dispense with them per his state’s requirements.

    I would get the plates back to him asap. Yes, that leaves you in a bind due to the corona virus delays at dmv, but that is not the sellers fault. It’s just one of the many inconveniences we face in the current environment.

  15. #15
    Registered User webguydave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Laws vary by state. I have ridden home on a seller's plate. I have ridden or driven home with no plate. Once I was stopped out of state for no plate. The signed title was sufficient but the officer insisted to see proof of insurance. I have sold a bike and as a courtesy let the buyer ride home with it. Texas has a requirement that a purchased vehicle must be registered with xx days. I forget whether that is 21 days or 30 days. Texas also has a DMV form to send to them when a vehicle is sold providing the name and address of the buyer. That is the form that will relieve a seller of liability if the buyer fails to register the vehicle.
    Well, that's kinda reassuring - you've actually had experience being stopped with no plate! I do have insurance and the title...so perhaps I'll ship the plate back , ride with no plate and see what happens.

    With all the DMV's being impacted, I imagine there's all kind of transactions that are complete but not 'recorded', if you will.

    And I'm not planning on a trip anytime soon; I've got my hands full with a house renovation ( and garage and ...SHOP!!!) but the riding around here is perfect for adjusting to this bike - 2 lane, low speed ( 45) swooping up and down hills on decent roads.... I'm coming back to riding after a number of years; gotta say that this is head and shoulders above ALL my previous rides///

    Dave
    Dave Johnson
    Esmont. VA.
    2004 BMW R1150RT-P

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