California Registration, no paper work, plates...

Not sure about California Registration? Just purchased a nice ped but the seller does have plates or a title? Or maybe it's already got plates and is not in your name? No biggie, I had this problem too. Here is my story. Hopefully this will help...

California Registration, no paper work, plates or Bill of Sale!!!

So here is the deal, I purchased a moped a couple of months back. I bought it off a young high school kid who didn't seem to know anything about California motor vehicle laws. On top of that, all he could really tell me about the history of this ped was that he bought it from "a friend of a friend" who no longer lived in California. I know, I know, sounds shady right?

Well, it had no plates, so I figured there was a good chance that it had not been registered. So, I wrote down the VIN and the engine number and took it down to the California DMV near my home. Come to find out, it had been registered! The registered owner lived in West Covina, some 20 miles east of Los Angeles (I am San Diego) about 11 years ago and other than that, the DMV office told me I was not authorized to have any more of the registered owners information. Beyond this, they also told me that without the registered owners consent I couldn't get the vehicle registered in my name. Catch 22? Need to contact original owner but cannot have original owners information? I know, daunting!

After all of this I decided to contact a friend of mine who worked for the DMV. She told me that she honestly did not know about mopeds but with cars and motorcycles, if I were to get a bill of sale from the seller, regardless if the seller I purchased it from was the registered/original owner or not, I could get it registered. However, she told me the DMV expects for you to have prior knowledge of the seller you purchased it from and should not believe or expect that the vehicle is stolen before you are issued a title in your name. Since I did not know any of this information, I was still left weary and unsure what to do.

So I started researching more. After doing so, I found out that the State of California does not consider a moped the same as a motorcycle or an automobile. Meaning that the same stipulations with a motorcycle or car do not apply to mopeds. For example, you only have to register a moped once, there is no annual fee or registration you have to pay on a yearly basis. Along with this I found out that you DO NOT need a Bill of Sale when purchasing a moped. This is because you do not receive and official title with a moped. Further, I found out the only paperwork needed to register a moped in the state of California is the Motorized Bicycle Instructions/Application form (which is located on the wiki). This form is key.

With this form you can do all the various registrations needed for a moped in the State of California, be it a new registration or a transfer registration (you sell it or purchase it already registered). This form also facilitates specific situations such as a loss of the registered plate or identification card. So after I figured this out, I contacted the seller I purchased the bike from, had him fill out this information with me and sent this in directly to the DMV via postage with the stated fees listed on the form. I did it this way because I figured the DMV office seems to have no real knowledge when it comes to these mopeds and I wanted it to be done right.

The outcome? After waiting a few weeks (about 3 and half weeks to be specific) I received a package from the DMV with a new plate and an "Identification Card" which basically has the vehicle information as well as my name and information as the registered owner. Again, you do not receive a title so this card acts as the title or "pink slip" or transfer document if you are ever to sell the moped yourself.

So in the end, I was able to register my moped without any prior paperwork, title or bill of sale. The key to all of this was going to the wiki and filling out the Motorized Bicycle Instructions/Applications form. However, it is pretty vague when trying to figure out how all this works, so I documented my situation just incase anyone else has to do the same. Hopefully this will help?

Key Points To Remember


-The Wiki and the DMV form located there are key to registering your moped


-The form is used for everything from new registrations to prior registered bikes

-The DMV office near you may not have full knowledge of mopeds and may confuse their knowledge of automobiles and motorcycles with them (they are different than cars or motorcycles) because of this, mailing in the form is suggested

-You do not need a Bill of Sale, just the signature of the seller on the DMV form listed above

-You do not need to purchase the moped from the original seller/registered owner nor do you need their information

-Mopeds do not have a Title or "Pink Slip" but simply an "Identification Card"

-The ID card is a piece of paper with your info on it as the "registered owner"

-There is a fee of 19 dollars when a new plate or ID card must be made

-It takes 2-4 weeks to get a new plate or id card

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

Rob @t ATTN! Burrito /

nice! baller status with that plate hhaha california rules alot harder than pennsylvania.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

dude for a second i thought you were MAC 10! Gangsta!

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

hahaha! thats how i felt when i opened up the mail and i knew i did it right. its just nice to know that it isnt impossible to register these old bikes. you dont have to be worried if you come across some old classy bike in some guys barn or something just because it has plates on them already. no need to fear!

California Registration, no paper work, plates...

Tom Rainwater /

You just shined a light on part of that form I never understood; I got one of those cases in my garage and now I know how to plate it. Thanks.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

no problem, i am stoked that i could help someone else out. that was my point in posting. yeah, that one single form is pretty much all the DMV has for peds. so, it basically takes care of everything. no matter what you are trying to do or issue you may have, the form has a feature for it!!!! good luck.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

awesome! this is exactly the information that I needed to know... I just got a new moped this week....

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates


Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates


on section A of the form what do I write for registered owner's name and address? The bike is not from California.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

Fill out sections A & D. Put your name and info in section A. Sign in section D and put your phone #. Mail. Get plates in a few weeks. BLAST!

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

yeah, it seems sort of misleading. like you need to have the registered owners name and address but no! believe it or not the "registered owner" is you. its just asking "who is the new registered owner GOING TO BE?" (again meaning you). its basically the information that will be on your "id card" which is like the title. if its never been registered in california you should be set with A and D but remember to also send your fees for the plates, 19 bucks! good luck!!!

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

thanks dude, now i can get it out of impound after i get out of jail since i ride mine on suspended license with no moped owner cards, but i do have an unregistered plate. no stickers on the plate right? just a smaller than normal plate? a buddy of mine who has a honda "No-Ped" had to get a motorcycle license/plate for his, im guessing because it didn't have pedals, i dunno, ryan tell em. For most of you, im guessing you realize if you cant pedal your moped when it was stock, you can not call it a moped, its a scooter.

To ride any moped in california, you must have a M2/or M1 license. to get M1 u just need to do the dmv course on a 250cc or bigger MC. M1 means u can ride anything over 250cc, and M2 means u can ride anything under 250cc. if you show up on your moped, you'll get an M2 license. i used a 500 cc honda, and stood up on the pegs at all times, making it easier to navigate the course. my dad, a seasoned harley vet, tried on his harley and failed 2x cuz it was just too bulky for thier bullsnap course. fail and they make u wait 2 weeks, fail 3 times wait a month or something.

anyways thanks for the post, i'll be mailing mine in, DMV can kiss my lug nuts.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

hahaha nice! yeah, if you are over 18 i dont think it even matters if you dont have an m2 or at least the cops dont really know anything. i would really only suggest worrying about m1/m2 is you are a younger kid or if you want to be riding around much more frequently, especially on a full size motorcycle.

i believe you can get an m2 simply by passing the written test. the m1, which is for full size motorcycles, you have to take the written test as well as pass a drive test or take a motorcycle safety course. if you are under 21 it is required that you take the motorcycle safety course for the m1. and its funny you bring up the engine size because i believe some 10 or so years ago when i took the course, the cc requirement was 150cc and actually i talked my instructor into letting me do the entire course on my vespa 150 scooter! hehehehe

as far as the classifications go, its the pedals but its also the speed. "technically speaking" of course, your ped should not exceed 30 mph in addition to having pedals. any performance tuning or upgrades made to your setup is technically for off road (race track) use but again, cops dont really know the laws anyway. really, if you got the ability to go about 40 or above though, i suggest not doing it in front of the popo. and for the classification of your friends bike, again it all depends on the information your dmv has. they tried to convince me to setup my honda ped the same way, as a motorcycle. i think its the brand name. if i had set it up that way then i would have had to do yearly registration and so forth, like a car or motorcycle. california dmv offices ahahaha what do they know?!

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

Pilipo Kauai /

Would you know how to get paper work to do similar to what you have done here on converting over a Tomos Senior Pro with a pedal start engine which originally came with a "OFF ROAD" only VIN Number? I know that it is possible, particularly since you differintiate here the catagory of moped being other than status used by cars and motorcycles. First one to get me concise information on allowing me to do so gets a cash prize. Am not kidding! Thanx!


Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

now, i may be wrong about this but i believe that as of the end of january 2004, you cannot register off highway motorcycles for on road use. it is no longer possible to register these bikes at all in california other than with an off road title.

it use to be in california, as it is in most other states, is you do any conversions to your bike needed, such as adding lights, mirrors or changing the tires or emissions components to make it on road compatible, you then sign an approved affidavit certifying that the vehicle meets state standards. you would then bring the bike into the dmv for inspection and continue the paperwork. after it passed the inspection you were golden.

today, that is not the case, again as far as i know. there is one minor way you can get around this but still... i am not sure if its even worth a shot. while california will not register an off road motorcycle what you can try is doing all the conversions and then have the bike registered and plated in another state to someone else like a family member or so forth. that way, if you get pulled over, you are still registered in another state and california honors out of state registrations for temporary use, so you would not be ticked. the only set back is if they are able to find out the bike currently resides to you in a california address you could be fined.

this kind of sucks but as far as i know, is the only way to get by with a known off road motorcycle vin on the street. i believe this law applies more to dirt bikes rather than mopeds though, so you never know. how do you even know your vin is off road only anyway? i would suggest, and again i may be wrong but it is worth a shot, is fill out the reg230 form checking off "yes" for all the portions in "section a". then fill out the rest of the paperwork, send it the fees and see what happens. if you get registered, do the conversions and you are set!

key points to try

-register bike in other states under relatives address (temporary fix but may help if you are pulled over)

-fill out the reg230 form stating that your vehicle follows the classifications (mark "yes" in section a)

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

So i filled out a reg 230 to get registration in my name, by just trying to say it had never been registered because i know that the real registered owner is impossible to track down. It didn't work out though and instead sent me it back highlighting the part about transferring. So i kinda just gave up , knowing i will never get his info to fill it out. But are you saying that i put my information in that area for transfers?

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

I bought a junk Urban last week just for the CA papers. I had to go through the whole VIN ID thing and have the "said" owner come with me to AAAuto Club to get it transferred. It had not been registered since 1985 and he said the owner gave it to him. He signed off as the reg. owner and a non-op and I walked out with plate & registration, the pink slip to be mailed.

They DO have to be registered annually but they did not ask for proof of insurance. I suppose that you can get by with the motorized bike method, CA is certainly confused about how and what is the proper way to legit a Moped. I believe the form says it has to have pedals and be electric. I'm kind of glad I got mine done the "motorcycle" method so I can't be hassled at ALL with a Gung Ho cop who thinks he knows the law better than DMV. I don't want anyone impounding my scoot.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

mopeds are one thing, scooters are a whole other thing. here is how it works. if you have an actual MOPED meaning a motorbike that is equipped with an automatic transmission and pedals that does not exceed 30 miles per hour (stock of course) then you can register as a moped.

if your bike is in fact a moped, and not a scooter or anything else, all have to do is follow the directions and fill out the information on the reg230 form. again, the link for it is listed above. By registering as a moped you do not have to worry about finding any original owners or pink slips or anything else, why? BECAUSE THEY DO NOT EXIST FOR MOPED! there is no title, just a registration card (i.e. a print out that looks like a regular yearly registration you get printed out when you register your car. the great part about this is the registration is for life. after the one time fee you pay nothing else for the rest of your life!

in regards to registering your moped as a motorcycle. BAD NEWS! heres why, first of all you are forced to pay taxes and fees every year, like a motorcycle and car registration. also, if your moped is considered a motorcycle, be prepared to pay taxes on the original purchase, like you would also do when buying a new car or motorcycle. this also means that if you ever try to sell your moped, the next owner would have to do the same, which is a total pain in the ass! as for the cops, i am pretty sure that you will be hassled any way you go. they will pull you over and grill you because you have a moped, not because its registered as one. also, be ready to show prove of insurance with your motorcycle registration as well. even though you technically need insurance on your moped reg, cops know less about the moped laws and all about motorcycle laws. so yeah, BAD NEWS there!

to recap...

-MOPEDS Equal- Pedals, Automatic Transmission, Low cc/below 30 mph max speed (stock of course)

Reg230 IS KEY- Follow the instructions on the form and you will not have to worry about original owners, bill of sale or anything like that. REGISTERED OR NOT IT WORKS!!!!! if its previously registered just follow the portion for "transfer/lost reg card or plates, (i.e. read what i did and do the same!)


If You Have A Ped, Register It As Such- It makes it much easier and you don't have to worry about yearly registration costs, selling/purchasing fees, cops asking you for proof of insurance or hassles with bills of sale, pink slips, titles or original owners.


Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

for you bud, there is a way to put a lien on the vin number fora small charge, i heard 30 bux i have no idea how.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

Charles, you're totally right. I keep forgetting that I have a NOPED, NU50 Urban Express. That's why I cringed at trying to register it as a moped because I have no pedals and I didn't feel like getting hassled someday and lying on the application. I'm not worried about having 65cc or doing 50mph, they would never know that. Matter of fact, now I remember considering hanging some fake pedals on it, but they have to be functional.

No scooters. I call anything with two wheels a scoot, even my old Harleys.

My bad, all of you moped'rs go for it!

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

I feel a bit like a dick for even thinking this, but....

\(this story is not about a moped)

I am in Ohio. I have been watching an abandoned motorcycle for three years. we found the guys name (I know a cop).

The landlord has been trying to get rid of it for three years, and doesn't know who it belongs to. It was left there with a broken clutch cable. The motor turns over.

This is a small town; all the bikers have been watching this thing (more out of curiosity than anything else, it is a weird bike, but I am the only person that seems to want it)

It is a very ugly Yamaha SR 500 single-cylinder 500 CC beast.

We have been trying to find out how to get it for years; we can't get a bead on the guy after he moved to Dayton years ago.The landlord wants it gone but won't help get rid of it.

I wonder if that information about this moped would help?

Basicly, we'd be stealing a three-year abandoned bike that no one currently living in the apartments can identify anymore.


Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

well... the thing is, this is also for california registrations. each state has its own set of laws and regulations when it comes to these matters. so, beyond it not being a moped, the laws are also different due to the state you or the bike resides.

if it is in california, however, this is how i would take care of it. the landlord, you said also wants to get rid or it, correct? get him to fill out a bill of sale that states he currently owns the bike and has sold it to you. take the bill of sale to your local dmv office .

at the dmv they will read over the bill of sale and have you sign an affidavit that states you know personally know the seller (in this case the landlord would be filling in for this part) and that the seller sold you this bike lawfully and knowingly (even though he kind of didnt). after signing this, you would then pay the needed fees and the bike would be on your way.

now, if the original owner is long gone and you could never find him, this would be the way to go. if you CAN in fact find this original owner, i would do it the completely legal route and have him sell it to you and get him to fill out the bill of sale. the key thing to remember is, the registered owner DOES NOT have to be the one to sell you a vehicle. the vehicle in question should just have been bought or sold by a new owner who didnt steal it and it should be fine. i do not in anyway condone stealing but sometime, mopeds included, youll find bikes that people have completely abandoned. these bikes shouldnt just waste away, so do we do what we can! in this case, i kind of see the original registered owner as the landlord, since the original owner seems to have abandoned this bike... seems ok to me?


-THIS IS NOT A MOTORCYCLE FORUM (but i answered the question anyway)

i have answers this question but if you are here for moped reg questions, read above information NOT THIS. you dont need a bill of sale or anything of this nature for your moped. ive made that pretty clear in other posts.


each state has its own set of regulations and rules when it comes to their dmv registrations as well as their drivers license requirements and so forth. so if you are not in california and have a moped, there is only so much we can do here to help BUT i am always willing to try. email me if you are in another state or have something else you want to register! i can try to help. hahahaha


this is the conclusion i have come to due to the fact that the original owner has completely abandoned this bike and has basically left it for rust. otherwise, this wouldnt be a great option. ALWAYS try and go the correct and legitimate route first! if you get caught into a situation like this, however do what you gotta do, i say! but do make sure the original owner is long and gone or doesnt care anymore. you dont want them coming back and finding out you own their bike now and report your ass to the dmv. also, im not hear to help you register your stolen ped or bike, so dont even think about it here!


Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

bump, bump bump, were the cotton mouth kings and we dont give a bump, bump bump. great post.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

what I do is fill out A and D and include a statement of facts( another form from dmv) stating where you got it or why you don't have any paper work. I used to just put, "I did not receive bill of sale at purchase", but what I've been doing lately because its true is "I built the bike piece by piece from ebay and local shops" or something like that. never had a problem!! yay!!

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

The DMV office IS good for something!!!!

So, I found a good reason to go to the DMV office now, to check if the moped you just bought has been registered. They won't tell you a name but they can a least tell you if it has been registered or not. I found out mine in fact had been registered and I am starting to realize now that if you buy a ped and the person ISN'T the registered owner and/or they don't know the laws, odds are it was probably registered before.

What I mean by this is, if you go to check out a moped and the person doesn't have the actual registration card with them or is not the original owner, I can almost guarantee that it has been registered before. The reason I say this is because if the bike in question has been in California since it was produced, it's pretty unlikely that no one registered it, especially if it changed hands a few times.

For both my bikes this has been the scenario, seller has purchased the bike from another party. The other party has told the seller that "mopeds don't need to be registered, they are like bicycles" so then when they go to sell it, they say the same thing. My guess is this same pattern happens every time the moped in question is sold and what ends up happening is whoever registered it new has their name on it, even though it has probably been sold to multiple parties after them, since moped registrations are for life.

The end result is, whenever I even think about going to check out a moped, I am going to bring the reg230 print out with me. That way, I just assume it's been previously registered and have them sign over release of the moped right then and there. THEN I check the DMV office if it has been registered or not. And then of course I send in the paperwork via postal mail to have it done right! That way, if I find out its already registered, I have the paperwork to take care of it and I won't have to go back and get the seller to fill out the paperwork again. Since it's most likely already registered, this is the best way to go.



Odds are, if a moped from the 1970s-80s has been in the state of California for a while or since it was produced, it probably is in fact registered. If the person tells you they "don't know" or "you don't have to register them" then it probably is registered and they didn't even know about it (that or they are lying). The only way to assume it hasn't been registered is if they are the original owner (brand new off the assembly line) and didn't register it or if it is from another state and sold here for the first time. Either way, I'd still get them to sign the reg230.

Just bring the reg230 with you just incase

Even if they say they are in fact the original owner, bring the reg230 with you anyway. If they didn't steal the moped, they shouldn't feel weird about signing it off when you buy it. If they tell you "you don't have to register it" explain to them the law and get them to sign it anyway. That way, if you do indeed find out they were wrong or lied about the registration, you've still got their john hancock that proves they released the bike over to you. again, they DO NOT have to be the registered owner and are not in any sort of trouble by signing it off to you. It's just a signature from them that says they sold it, period. It's like a bill of sale but you don't need one!

Again, there is nothing wrong with buying a moped without paperwork

You don't need paperwork to buy a moped in California and on top of that, you don't even need a bill of sale or to have purchased it from the original owner. All you need is for the seller who sold it to you to sign the "release of ownership" over to you in the reg230. This goes for any mopeds you currently own. If someone tries to low ball you because it doesn't have paperwork, explain the laws to them. Or you could always simply fill out the paperwork, get it in your name and then sell it. It's really easy!

Moped Registration Is For Life

Once its in your name, it stays that way! Unlike a car or motorcycle that you have to pay every year to keep registered, a moped is registered for life. There is no sticker you have to get or fees you have to pay. So, once it's in your name CONGRATULATIONS! If someone registered it new and sold it without transferring the registration then it is still in the original owners name. No problem though, you just have to get the seller to sign it over to you, NOT THE ORIGINAL OWNER.

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

2 things

1. is the only way to find out if it was ever registered to actually visit the dmv?


2. if i send in the registration and money and it come back registered, am i out of luck? or do i have to go to the seller of the moped and get his signature?

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

To answers the first question...

"1. is the only way to find out if it was ever registered to actually visit the dmv"

The DMV office is pretty much useless when it comes to mopeds. Why? Mopeds are so rare to the California DMV that, for the most part, anyone who works there is pretty much unable to be of any service to moped owners. In fact, they could make things even worse like register your moped as a motorcycle which sucks because then you have to pay a yearly registration and are forced under the laws that your moped was not actually designed for. This has been a topic discussed on this thread before (check above)

The fact that I went to the DMV was somewhat of a joke. The reasoning being that if you were to get them to run a search for you, it would be the ONE AND ONLY THING they know how to do that may almost be worth while. Really though, it's a waste of time to even go to the DMV for that. I honestly had some other business to take care of and casually mentioned the VIN of my new moped when I found out it was registered. Why wait in line or make an appointment to have them check on that for you? There is no need if you simply assume that if the bike comes with no registration (plates or registration card/paper) or if the current owner has no idea about it or thinks it does not have to be registered than the bike is already registered.

Like I had mentioned before. If the moped was fairly old (1970s-80s) and had pretty much resided in the state of California since it was produced, we are talking 30-40 years here, the odds are it is already registered. If you go to purchase a moped from someone and they don't know or believe that it does not need to be registered, just assume that SOMEONE (maybe not the current seller of course but someone, somewhere down the line) REGISTERED IT.

Basically, the only way not to assume it hasn't been registered is if it is from out of state. For instance my buddy got a Puch Magnum back east and he had no problem registering it with an original registration. Or, if you can vouch that the seller is indeed the first and original owner (MEANING BRAND NEW FROM THE FACTORY) and that the seller never registered it, which I seems highly unlikely. If someone I did not know very well told me this, I would have them sign the reg230 anyway! hahahaha

So, no there is no need to even go to the DMV to check. Simply assume that the moped is already registered and fill out the reg230 as a "Transfer of Ownership" (filling out sections c and d). Obviously if there is no plates or a registration card than you will also have to fill out section b.

To answers the second question...

"2. if i send in the registration and money and it come back registered, am i out of luck? or do i have to go to the seller of the moped and get his signature?"

Exactly, you would have to go to the seller of the moped and get their signature. You aren't completely out of luck by sending in the reg230 as an original but you HAVE on the other hand, wasted a good month and a half trying to get your stuff legit if fails. Plus, if you are not able to get ahold of the original seller then that would suck too.

The thing is though, for the most part, you can assume that it is registered, even if it doesn't have plates or the owner even understands registrations for mopeds. The odds are, again 30-40 years ago, someone understood this system and registered it, unless of course it is from out of state. Since moped registrations are for life, it doesn't matter if it was registered 30 years ago or not, that registration stays. So if that 40 year old moped you have now has been bought and sold by 10 different people, it doesn't matter, the original registered owner still stands. So the message here is, if its not out of state or the original owner isn't family member or someone you can trust to tell you it hasn't been registered, then it probably has and you want to fill out the reg230 as such!



Hey, if you got to go down to the DMV and take care of your car registration or renew your license or something, by all means check the VIN for that moped you just bought too! The one thing these ladies (and gents) can do for you is run a VIN and tell you if its registered or not, but again they can't even give you names. It doesn't really matter though because we are going to assume it is registered already unless its out of state.

IF YOU FIND OUT IT IS REGISTERED, NO BIGGIE YOU JUST WASTED A LITTLE TIME (unless said seller cannot be found after purchase)

This whole "assume its registered" approach is really just to save you time. Also, it will help if you are not able to contact the seller you bought it from ever again. For example, the seller sells you the moped because they are moving to Madagascar!... REGISTRATION FAIL!!!! Other than that, you can send as many checks to the DMV with the reg230 filled out as the "Original Registration" all you want. Just remember it takes at least 2 weeks to mail and process the form. If you fuck it up and do it wrong, i.e. you try to do it as an "Original Registration" and Joe Shmoe Moped Owner has registered it, you have just wasted 2 weeks you could be out there riding. All you would have had to do was get the guy who sold it to you to sign it and fill out the extra section (section b). THATS ALL!!!!


-Seller says something false

Like, "yeah, these things don't need a registration, they are like bicycles" or "yeah, as far as i know it has never been registered" (yeah right) or "the guy i got it from told me it didn't need to be registered".

-The Bike Already Has Plates

Obviously if its got plates its been registered. If they don't have the reg card or aren't the ones who registered it, no problem just get the reg230 out and have them sign.

-The Bike has no Plates OR Reg Card

So, it just may happen that it looks legit. Seller has a nice looking 1979 moped no plates no reg card. You just may believe him when he says "yeah man, I've had this bike for 10 years, it's never been registered". HA! It probably has and assume as such! Whip out the reg230 and a pen right then and there and have them sign!!!

EXCEPTION(S) to this rule

-The Moped is purchased out of state and you personally bring it here...

this is basically the only real legit reason not to assume as much. However, if you purchase this bike from neighboring states such as Nevada or Oregon or even south of the border I would still consider filling out the form as a transfer, just in case!

-The Moped is from a known source and has not been registered.

If your uncle Louis gives you a moped from his teenage years, has pictures of himself riding it and your mama can vouch that he never registered it. Go for it! Odds are though, if you don't really know the person well, sellers on craigslist for example, they could possibly tell you just about anything to make a done deal.

and lastly again...


For mopeds in California, the "registered owner" is kind of meaningless. Why? Because no matter who the "registered owner" is, the seller who sells the moped TO YOU is the "transfer owner". The reg card works similar to a bill of sale but actually even easier. The only thing that matters to the California DMV is that SOMEONE sold you the already registered moped. IT DOES NOT and I repeat DOEST NOT have to be the original owner. With that said, registration means little in the way of theft recovery or a theft deterrent THE POINT OF REGISTERING YOUR MOPED IS TO NOT GET HASSLED BY THE COPS FOR NOT HAVING ONE! If you want to keep someone from stealing your moped, lock it up and if you want to recover it if it gets stolen... I don't know what to tell you, MOPED LOJACK? hahaaha

Does this mean mopeds could be stolen, sold and re-registered?

Yes but I by no means condone such a thing. I merely bring up the fact that just because you are or someone else is "the registered owner" means nothing other than when you get pulled over, the cops can't hassle you for riding a non registered bike. Also, having papers or not having papers does not matter in California. If someone tries to up the price on their "legit moped" let them know that all you need is their damn signature! Also, there happens to be these diamond in the rough finds out there. My buddy for example found an abandoned rusty old Sach in another friends backyard. It had been there for years and no one claimed it. My friend scored it FOR FREE and everyone who lived in their house as stoked because the got rid of "junk in their backyard". Do I consider that stealing if someone abandons a moped on your property and you give it away to get rid of it? Hell no! You threw it away and never ask about it, some one else got it. period. If that person gets it, fixes it up and basically helps the greater community again, then they deserve to register that moped in their name! (this issue has also been discussed earlier)


Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

last question. the guy i bought it from is like 50 miles away, not a long drive but i really dont wanna do it if i dont have too. (i commute like 500 miles a week.) and since there is no title or registration card with it, i could technically have anyone fill out the reg230 form (false, i know) but in reality, this should work?

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

Yes it will work. There isn't even a name required for that section. But yes, it would be wrong and technically this would be considered forgery. Especially since the part you are required to sign for yourself states that the forging is authentic.

Technically though, a friend could sign it and transfer it over to you legally since they do not have to be the registered owner to do so. So, if anything, I would have a buddy sign it over to you. That will work and if you have to ever prove the signature, your friend could testify he sold it to you.

This will work and is probably the only way to get it legit if the original owner is no where to be found. Again, I don't condone any illegal activity and believe the only way to do it is with the real seller's signature. But, to answer your question, yes it will work. Good luck!!!

Re: California Registration, no paper work, plates

is it $18 or $19?

Here it says it's $18 for all types (new registration, transfer, and any duplicate IDs/plates)"

So does this:

The latter also has a July 2009 date stamp on it...

And I assume if you have to get a duplicate ID or plate and are getting it transferred, it's $18 + $18...

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