Motorcycle Salvage Title Registration Process

It is possible to obtain a salvage title for a damaged motorcycle.

After a serious accident, most insurance companies “total out” a motorcycle when projected repairs exceed half of the bike’s current market value. If you wish to retain the damaged bike for sentimental reasons or hope to repair it independently, re-register the bike with a salvage title. Hobbyists also purchase salvage bikes at auction for parts. A title classified as “salvage” records ownership, but does not make the bike street legal. Visit the local Department of Motor Vehicles or Office of the Secretary of State, depending on which department handles vehicle records for your area.


1. Locate the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN. Check the existing title or paperwork, if available. The VIN appears on the prior title and proof of insurance papers.

2. Look for an engine VIN on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Inspect the frame for the VIN in the absence of documentation. Many motorcycle manufacturers, such as Harley Davidson, place the VIN on both the frame and the engine. Honda often places the VIN on the safety certification sticker.

3. Carefully copy the Vehicle Identification Number.

Carefully write the number down, taking care to not transpose numbers or letters.

4. Wait in line or go online for the proper forms.

Visit your DMV or Secretary of State Office to request an Application for a Salvage Title. Some states have online forms to download and print. Check the website of your local department.

5. Return the form to the clerk or send by mail with the applicable fees.