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Old 09-19-2014, 06:48 AM   #1
MotoJ OP
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Question for Maryland bike-builders

Is there a way to get a VIN number or Title for a bike that's not yet built?

I recently rebuilt a Soviet M72 motorcycle/sidecar rig, and I've almost got enough spare parts to build a second bike. The first bike had a title and had been registered, so no problems.

For the second project, I have a line on a frame, but it has no numbers. I have a motor case with a stamped number, but no paperwork that has anything corresponding. All I might be able to generate a Bill of Sale, but it would basically be just a signed paper from the guys I bought the parts from..

The MVA site says that for remanufactured bikes, I have to take the bike to the State Police and have them inspect it and issue the VIN, but says the frame and motor numbers have to match, or there has to be a previously issued title.

I don't want to spend the time and money building a bike I can't title and register, obviously.
Also, I don't want to have a regular MD inspection- I'd prefer to register it as Historic, since all the parts will be at least 54 years old.

Someone must have gone through this here- what's the procedure?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:04 AM   #2
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Also, I don't want to have a regular MD inspection- I'd prefer to register it as Historic,
The only advantage we've had for historic plates (on cars) is the cheaper regististration fees. However, this little gem might make your situation undesirable:

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I/We certify under oath that the vehicle will only be maintained for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, occasional transportation and similar uses. I/We further certify that this vehicle will not be used for general daily transportation or primarily for the transportation of passengers or property on highways.
For the initial registration, you will still need the safety inspection. Maryland only requires the inspection once, not a a recurring/annual basis
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MotoJ View Post
Is there a way to get a VIN number or Title for a bike that's not yet built?

I recently rebuilt a Soviet M72 motorcycle/sidecar rig, and I've almost got enough spare parts to build a second bike. The first bike had a title and had been registered, so no problems.

For the second project, I have a line on a frame, but it has no numbers. I have a motor case with a stamped number, but no paperwork that has anything corresponding. All I might be able to generate a Bill of Sale, but it would basically be just a signed paper from the guys I bought the parts from..

The MVA site says that for remanufactured bikes, I have to take the bike to the State Police and have them inspect it and issue the VIN, but says the frame and motor numbers have to match, or there has to be a previously issued title.

I don't want to spend the time and money building a bike I can't title and register, obviously.
Also, I don't want to have a regular MD inspection- I'd prefer to register it as Historic, since all the parts will be at least 54 years old.

Someone must have gone through this here- what's the procedure?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Would you mind very much if I came over & had a look at what you've got over there? I dig your BMW hack.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:39 AM   #4
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build it and just swap tags when needed AB
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dorito View Post
The only advantage we've had for historic plates (on cars) is the cheaper regististration fees. However, this little gem might make your situation undesirable:



For the initial registration, you will still need the safety inspection. Maryland only requires the inspection once, not a a recurring/annual basis
Not true- I've registered Historic bikes before (two on the road now), and there is no inspection required. Occasional transport is legal too. If I had NO vehicles registered normally the state might look askance, but my historic bikes really are just Sunday drivers and take to show bikes.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:46 AM   #6
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build it and just swap tags when needed AB
Yeah, but if I want to ride one while a friend rides the other that won't work, plus I wouldn't be able to sell it. Not that I would ever, ever consider swapping tag anyway!
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:54 AM   #7
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Would you mind very much if I came over & had a look at what you've got over there? I dig your BMW hack.
Sure, drop me a note. Here's the first bike:


The sidecar won't be attached until I finish breaking the motor in.
The second project is just a pile of parts, but would be a similar bike, but solo.
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:15 AM   #8
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MotoJ View Post
Is there a way to get a VIN number or Title for a bike that's not yet built?
The short answer is "no".

I haven't built a bike, but I have built a trailer. In order to get a VIN & title, it had to be inspected first. They give you one of these that is to be permanently affixed to the vehicle.


Under "Make" on the title it says "Home Trl".

And you probably wouldn't be able to title it as a Historic Vehicle because it won't be one. Even if the parts you're building it from are 54 years old, the MVA will consider it a newly manufactured vehicle and they will title it that way.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:03 AM   #10
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Yeah, but if I want to ride one while a friend rides the other that won't work, plus I wouldn't be able to sell it. Not that I would ever, ever consider swapping tag anyway!
Then do like we would down here and put a farm tag on it! AB:-)
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:38 AM   #11
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Then do like we would down here and put a farm tag on it! AB:-)
It will be very tractor-like. Not much faster either.
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