Buying Motorcycle in New York

Motorcycles must be registered in the state of New York before they can be legally driven on the state’s roads and highways. A potential buyer has two main options to buy his/her next motorcycle from; private parties and licensed dealers. Both options have advantages and disadvantages.

Buying a motorcycle from a private party may be relatively cheaper than buying it from a dealer. However, the motorcycle may not have warranty coverage and the seller may hide or misrepresent the motorcycle’s history, especially accident history. People have however got great bargains on used motorcycles in great conditions from private parties.

Buying a motorcycle in New York State from a dealer may be relatively more expensive but the dealer will disclose the motorcycle’s history, including accident history. The dealer may further offer warranty on the motorcycle and will also be bound by law to have the motorcycle inspected before selling it.

Whether bought new or used, from a dealer or a private party, motorcycles also need to be registered. It is illegal to ride a motorcycle without registration in New York. Motorcycles are registered by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Registration is for one-year which means that annual renewal is required. As mentioned earlier, motorcycle inspection is mandatory. If a motorcycle is bought from a private party then the buyer has 10 days to have his/her motorcycle inspected from the date of registration. Furthermore, the motorcycle must be insured to be legally driven in the state. The insurance company must be licensed to do business in the state. At the minimum, the motorcycle must have liability insurance covering the following:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000/$50,000 for injury
  • $50,000/$100,000 for death

At the DMV, the following documents will be required for registration:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of sales tax payment or its exemption
  • Required fees
  • A completed Vehicle Registration/Title Application
  • Proof of identification and date of birth
  • New York State Identification Card
  • Odometer and damage disclosure statements

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