After taking the time to earn your motorcycle license, you are likely looking at the next big step: Buying a new motorcycle. Some people borrow a bike while they are securing the license or may use a lower-powered one during their learning phase. When you decide to buy your own or “power up” to the next model, you will need to register your new acquisition. This overview will guide you through Utah laws regarding motorcycle registration so you do not suffer tickets and fines by skipping this essential step.
Just like with cars, motorcycles must first be titled in Utah. If you just moved to the state, you will likely visit the DMV to take care of titling and registration in one step. The same is true if you are bringing home a bike you purchased out-of-state.
You will also need to submit a title application if the motorcycle is changing owners. If you purchase from a dealership, they will request that you sign a power of attorney so they can complete these steps for you. However, if you purchase from a private party, you need to complete the process yourself.
To change ownership or secure a Utah title for you bike, you need to:
- Be in possession of the original title
- Fill out Form TC-656, Utah Title Application
- Complete Form TC-661, Certificate of Inspection, if the bike has not been titled in Utah before
- Have at least one person who will be named on the title at the DMV to sign all the documents
Once you complete these steps, you will move to the registration requirements. Titling confirms ownership, however registration confirms that your bike is safe and street-legal. That is why you are required to finish both processes.
Registering your bike depends on successfully finishing the title process. Once there, you move on to these additional steps:
- Securing a Utah Safety Inspection Certificate, when required
- Paying a uniform fee based on the age of the vehicle
- Paying the registration fee
The uniform fee is imposed in-lieu of property tax and applies to all vehicles, cars, trucks, and motorcycles alike. Model years 2014 to 2016 are the most expensive at $95. If you choose a bike that was manufactured in 2004 or earlier, your uniform fee drops to $10. There are different scales based on type of vehicle and fortunately, motorcycles turn out to be less expensive than cars on this fee.
Registration fees are based on vehicle size. As of May 12, 2015, the registration fee for motorcycles is $44.50.
When You Need A Safety Inspection
Safety inspections come up on a statutory schedule. They are a fact of life if you drive anything in Utah and they apply to motorcycles as well as cars. If you bike comes up in the schedule, it is required to complete registration.
If your motorcycle is 10 years old or older, it will require an inspection every year. Any model year within 2013 to 2016 does not require this inspection. However, in 2016, your 2012 and 2008 models are due for inspection. That is because every year, vehicles that are four, eight and over 10 years old are scheduled for the inspection.
Basically, if you purchase a vehicle up for inspection this year that has not yet been inspected, you will need to take this step before you can finish registration. Ask about this if you are considering a purchase from a private party. While the inspection fee for motorcycles is only $7.00, it will take extra time that you may not have immediately available.
Once you finish registering your bike, it is time to enjoy it—especially with summer not being far away. Unfortunately, other motorists could be careless and put you in the unfortunate position of facing a motor vehicle accident.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
George Tait at Utah Bike Law, is dedicated to providing representation for motorcycle riders injured in accidents. If you require assistance, contact our office to arrange for a consultation.