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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
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Experience:  19+ years of Legal Practice in Traffic law field.
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I am building a custom motorcycle from scratch with some boughten

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I am building a custom motorcycle from scratch with some boughten parts, but the engine, front wheel and horn are from a motorcycle that was given to me by a cousin. There was never a title transfer. I contacted him to see if he had a title, but he dosn't have it any more. I also threw away the frame without keeping the VIN number, so I can't apply for a lost title. The only number I have is the engine number, but I don't believe it is a match for the frame number. The bike I used for the engine, front wheel and horn is a 1979 Suzuki GS 425.

My question is: Is there any way I can get a new title and regristration for my finished motorcycle?
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing Traffic law for 19+ years and look forward to assisting you.

Hmm, interesting problem. Can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

South Dakota, Brown County.


 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is in South Dakota, Brown County.
.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, my computer is acting up, so if you didn't get this already, it's South Dakota, Brown County.

I got it, thank you. This may take much time, so thank you for your patience. You can go about your day and you should get an email when I have posted my answer or response. OK?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Ok, Thanks.

Hi, and thank you for your patience. With regard to your post:

I am building a custom motorcycle from scratch with some boughten parts, but the engine, front wheel and horn are from a motorcycle that was given to me by a cousin. There was never a title transfer. I contacted him to see if he had a title, but he dosn't have it any more. I also threw away the frame without keeping the VIN number, so I can't apply for a lost title. The only number I have is the engine number, but I don't believe it is a match for the frame number. The bike I used for the engine, front wheel and horn is a 1979 Suzuki GS 425.

My question is: Is there any way I can get a new title and regristration for my finished motorcycle?


I believe so and there may be two ways:

According to SD DMV, for a rebuilt vehicle (and I am thinking that would apply to all on the road machines):

"The vehicle must be in running order before the original forms may be submitted to our office.

[Gee, ya think?]

Complete an Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration. The application must be filed in the county of the new applicant's residence. The application must be signed by the record owner(s) or by an authorized agent for the record owner(s).

[You would consider yourself the record owner, because you will be providing record of your ownership - see below].

If the application is signed by an authorized agent, a power of attorney document must be attached to verify the appointment.

Complete the Affidavit for Rebuilt Vehicles (MV-950) and submit to the county treasurer.

Titles or bills of sale establishing ownership and receipts for parts must be attached.

[For this, I'd consider to things:

1) Your Cousin could seek the duplicate title, since he is the titled owner as of now of some other car, from which you only got a few parts, not you. If he does not have ANY records of the VIN, he may be able to get same from his then insurance carrier, or check old insurance cards he may have filed away. etc. He may also seek a history of his past registrations/titles from DMV, to see what VINs where assigned to him. If he won't get the title dupe and then properly transfer it, you may be able to get him to write you a receipt for the parts, indicating that he owned XYZ parts, has given you (or sold for $1), each part, so you have a bill of sale/receipts for all part of the vehicle, then use your own receipts for those other parts to complete that requirement.]

There is also a $25 special serial number fee (check is to be made out to the Division of Motor Vehicles). All forms, attachments, and fees must be submitted through the county treasurer's office.

Rebuilt vehicles are subject to inspection by the Highway Patrol or an employee of the Department of Revenue.

After inspection, the owner may take his copy of the certificate of inspection to the county treasurer, purchase license plates, and pay any tax owed. Once the Division of Motor Vehicles is notified that the inspection is complete and has verified that the correct amount of tax has been paid, a rebuilt title will be issued.

Motor vehicle titling and registration fees are done through your local county treasurers office. Click here for all applicable license fees that must be paid to the county treasurer."

Possibility 2:

Now, in a sense this is akin to a custom built machine from all parts, none of which have a VIN at all, rather than a rebuilding of an old one, possibly. And I'd consider it a NEW custom built machine, not a previously titled "custom built" machine. As such, when you prove where you got each part, receipts from the store, affidavit perhaps as to any parts you had in your home forever, and receipt from your cousin, you can contribute the affidavit attached above and explain those details.

I'm not sure which way will be easiest for you - but the above ways are how I'd move on this in SD. It is noted by many, that workers at DMVs (and certainly the Treausury Office, in your state don't tend to have a clear understanding of the whole process and purpose. If PARTs don't always have VINs, then clearly you wouldn't have a VIN, and if you only bought / were gifted, PARTS, you also wouldn't have a title transferred necessarily. So you may just have to DO IT, and jump the hoops and explain to them if issues arise. You are certainly not the first person to do this in SD, so it is definitely doable.









Already Tried:
The only thing I have tried was going to the Treasure office at our County Office and asking about it. They said I would need a title of the donor bike, receipts for the parts, and then getting it inspected by my state, and finally getting the new VIN. I live in South Dakota, Brown county.


I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.





Alexia Esq. and 4 other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, Got it. I just have one more question, if I were to just drive it without any title or regristration, and got stopped by an officer, could my motorcycle be taken away? Just trying to think of the worst case scenario.
Thank for all your help.
Hi again Troy,

Yes, that is certainly a risk. This is because you would also be charged with driving without liability insurance, which is a crime in SD, and authorities typically do not allow one to drive the vehicle home once it is determined that the vehicle lacks insurance. Hence, it would likely be towed and impounded. Storage fees for same rack up quickly. http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=32-35-113

It is a class 2 misdemeanor, allowing a 30 days jail sentence:
http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/DisplayStatute.aspx?Statute=22-6-2&Type=Statute

And, You can lose your license for up to 1 year:
http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=32-35-121


The criminal record that would likely remain with you for life, would then also likely prevent you from prospectively securing suitable employment because many employers today automatically require criminal background check and and remove from the applicant pool those with any kind of record. It can be quite an unexpected burden for decades to come, unfortunately.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, I do not want any of the above troubles. I didn't realize it could lead to that.


 


I will take your advice above, and do what I can to get a title and registration.


 


Thanks again for your help. It was very helpful.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alexia, I'm just getting back to this process. Just one more question (if permitted): After speaking with the DMV Dept. I believe I need to get a bill of sale for the donor bike, which is fine, but I destroyed the V.I.N. before I found out I needed it. As mentioned before, I don't have a title either. I do have the license plate from the bike as it was last licensed in 1985. Could a reverse license plate look up help with the V.I.N. Number?
Hi Troy - I don't know, unfortunately. That would depend, I believe, if the provider of the reverse look up services includes VIN in the result. I'd ask that service provider specifically.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks again for your help.

Welcome, have a great week Troy.