How to Search for a Motorcycle's Title History

by Morgan OwensUpdated July 13, 2023
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Motorcycles are frequently stolen and wrecked, so it is imperative to run a title history search to make sure that you are not purchasing a stolen or salvaged motorcycle. The American Crime Prevention Institute also advises that you perform a motorcycle title history search to ensure that the motorcycle was not previously titled as an “assembled vehicle.” If it was, this means it is probably a “cloned” motorcycle, meaning it was assembled with aftermarket parts so that it could be fraudulently sold to an unsuspecting buyer as a certain brand and model of motorcycle.

1. Obtain the vehicle identification number (VIN) for the motorcycle

Obtain the vehicle identification number (VIN) for the motorcycle. This number is clearly displayed on the title and on the motorcycle itself. If you obtain the number from the title, also check the VIN displayed on the motorcycle to ensure that they are the same. If they are not, then the title does not belong to that motorcycle. On the motorcycle, a metal plate containing the 17-digit VIN number is affixed to the steering head. You will need this number to search for the motorcycle’s title history.

2. Call your local police department or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Call your local police department or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and ask them to run a check on the title status of the motorcycle. This will alert you to any serious problems with the title (for example, if the vehicle has been reported stolen). For a small fee, the DMV in some states will be able to provide you with a title history of the motorcycle. Contact your local DMV office to find out if they offer this service.

3. Visit

Visit This is a title history search site sanctioned by the United States Department of Justice. Insert the motorcycle’s VIN number into the search bar and click “check vehicle history.” This will take you to a page from which you can purchase the motorcycle’s title history report.

4. Visit Carco’s website

Visit Carco’s website. From this site, you can purchase an expanded report that will contain the motorcycle’s title history. This site is also sanctioned by the Department of Justice.

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