PA Title Walkthrough

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PA Title Walkthough

This page is for people who, for some reason or another, don't have a title for their moped in Pennsylvania.

None of this has been fully verified - I'm just decoding PennDOT's web site, emails I've received, and the Moped Army Forums.

Select your problem:

Peculiarities of Pennsylvania

Bill of Sale

In PA, a Bill of Sale does not need to be notorized, but it does need to have the following:

  • Date of Purchase
  • Amount of Purchase
  • Make, Model, and Year
  • Odometer reading
  • Buyer and seller signatures
  • [1] Click here for a printable Bill of Sale Form

NOTE: As of 2009, many updated forms appear to require a notorized Bill of Sale. I heartily recommend getting your Bill of Sale notorized, if at all possible.

  • AT the dmv in harrisburg i got the final word, if the moped being registered is LESS THAN 15 years old, it needs to be notarized. (this applies to mostly newer tomos) so have the seller swing by a notary with the bill of sale.

Court Judgement

In Pennsylvania, under extenuating circumstances, you can get a judge to order the creation of a new title for you. To do this you must get together as much paperwork for your moped as possible. This includes a bill of sale, VIN, Make, Model, Year, and previous registration information (License plate state and number or registration information left in toolbox, etc.) If you can get information about where the person you bought it from got it, it will help. Make copies of all of this paperwork and send them with a letter explaining your situation addressed to "Honorable Judge" at your County Prothonotary Office. The local district justice cannot help you with this process. I have been quoted $15-$25 for the court order and another $10 for the title to be drafted. After that you need to take the title for registration.

PA titling laws can be tough without a propper MCO, even if it has a pristine titling history. Many judges can be sticklers when it comes to this, as in Pa, a title has to be extinghed even if it never exisited outside of the dealers office as an MCO you never got.


                                           CIVIL ACTION LAW


IN RE: Title for Moped :


VIN #__________ :


               AND NOW, this________day of______________,____2012__.
             I,___________________, am owner of one (year, make, model), 
             VIN#__________, and the right, title and interest of any other person
            to said vehicle is hereby extinguished.  The Department of Transportation
            may accept this order as evidence of ownership in lieu of a certificate of title.
            I, The Petitioner, shall submit the appropriate forms, taxes and fees and comply
            with any other procedures of the Department of Transportation in order to receive
            the appropriate certificate of title for said vehicle.

                                                       <sign line>{print full name), Petitioner

this is the first step, the underscores are suposed to run though under the areas of type. also the title underscores. RE: and VIN are not underscored either. the name of the county is not underscored, but your name in the body of the petition would be, as are the dates

follow the exact same header with the county court of common pleas omiting the civil action law line. be a little neater with the format and margins.

same RE: VIN# format with divider

                                                  _COURT ORDER_

         AND NOW, this_____________day of____2012, after reasonable notice and 
         opportunity for hearing having been provided to all interested parties, the
         Court hereby awards ownership of one(year, make, model), VIN# to 
         {your underlined name},and the right, title and interest of any other person
         to said vehicle is hereby extinguished. The Department of Transportation may
         accept this order as evidence of ownership in lieu of a certificate of title. The
         Petitioner shall submit the apporpriate forms, taxes and fees and comply with 
         any other procedures of the Department of Transportation in order to receive
         certificate of title for said vehicle.

                                                                 BY THE COURT


these are your two forms, which a new title needs to be created from scratch. i wish the judges i dealt with said 10-15 dollars. in order to be accepted by PennDOT it requires the judge's seal affixed. if you are low income, you can first file a request to procede in forma pauperous, if you get this granted, the court fees will be waived, as you proved poverty, the seal is 240.00, the motion to be heard another 130.00 otherwise.

there are other provisions see your local state congressman's office they can help you get all your ducks in a row.


MCO stands for Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, and usually comes with mopeds that are sold as kits, or imports. Just take it to your local title messenger service, along with a bill of sale, and fill out form MV-1.

Transferable Registration

Some States, like Michigan, issue Transferable Registrations to mopeds and scooters instead of a Title. If you buy your moped from a State that issues these, you're on easy street. Take the signed registration, along with your proof of insurance, to a Title Messenger Service and they will help you get a PA Title issued to your bike.


In Pennsylvania, you need three things to register your moped:

  • Certificate of Title
  • License Plate
  • Proof of Insurance
    • Motocycle insurance is only ~$75/year in PA, for minimum coverage
    • Many title messenger service locations now sell minimum coverage insurance too!

If you have those, just head on over to a title messenger service to get your registration sticker!

Stolen Moped

Well, this is why PA requires all those forms and titles and things - to keep this from happening to you. Hand the moped over to the State Police, report the dude who sold it to you, and ask to be notified if the moped comes up for public auction.

You may be able to make a small claims court filing to get your money back from the seller, but, as always - buyer beware.

Title Messenger Service

In Pennsylvania, the DMV decentralized it's titling and registration departments, so that the driver's licensing centers wouldn't have long lines. The way they did it is to have a counter, in Harrisburg, which is the only place where you can hand in forms.

So, since not everyone can just drop everything and run off to the state capitol to sell their old beater to some shmuck, we have Title Messenger Services - little mom and pop businesses that take your paperwork, double-check it, check with the lady in Harrisburg, and then send it off (nowadays, electronically) to get processed.

Most messenger services in PA have a quick turnaround, and many can have you titled, plated, and a temporary registration in your hands all in the same visit.

Titling Service

Contact a titling service, such as Moto Recycle Title. [2].

They make things easy for you and can provide you with proper proof of ownership to transfer into PA for a regular title. As well as a license plate and registration. Ride and renew or transfer in to PA.

Moped titling service usually costs anywhere from (as of October. 2015) $115 to $150, depending on year,make,model and purchase price. Plus any additional PA title and registration fees when transferred into PA.

Motorcycle and larger scooter title service costs $150 - $200 depending on year, plus sales and uses tax.

DMV Forms

Form MV-1

This is the form, only available to dealers and titling agencies, that will 'create' your title. If you have gotten to this point, you should have everything to successfully complete the form and get your title.

Take your paperwork pile and go to a title messenger service. Hand them your paperwork pile, and tell them you would like to title your moped.

Enjoy their funny looks. Tell them how much fun you plan to have on your moped.

Congratulations! The Commonweath of Pennsylvania now belives that you own your moped, and you now have a shiny new plate!

Now, you can register your vehicle so that you can ride your vehicle on PennDOT maintained roads.

Form MV-4ST

In Pennsylvania, a title cannot be transferred simply by signing it over, even if notorized. Both you and the current owner must go to a title messenger service, and they will walk you through Form MV-4ST. Make sure to have the current owner bring the title, and the bill of sale.

At the end of the process, you will have the title, and a new plate.

Register the moped while you're at the messenger service.

Form MV-32

Look here officer, I'm just trying to make sure it isn't stolen...

You need to call your local State Police office, and have an officer come out to perform a VIN trace on your moped. Make sure to ask for the officer to give you Form MV-32 - that will have the results of the trace.

NOTE: If you can, get a truck and take the moped to the local State Police office. They'll get a kick out of the novelty of it, and will probably be more helpful to you in case is does turn out to be stolen.

Form MV-38 O

Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title by Owner

You need to go to a title messenger service, and have the current title owner fill out this form. The cost (as of Sept. 2006) is $22.50 for the DMV processing fee, plus whatever fee the messenger service is going to tack on.

In a week or two, the current title owner will get the new title in the mail - voiding the previous title, and you can then transfer the title, and get a new plate.

Form MV-140

Request for Registration/Renewal


You're almost done! Take your proof of insurance, certificate of title, and license plate number to a title messenger service, and they'll get you all set up with a registration sticker.

You can now legally ride in Pennsylvania.

Road Rules

Your moped follows the same rules of the road as a motocycle in Pennsylvania, with one exception - you cannot ride on state or federal highways or turnpikes.

But hey, half the fun is getting there, right?