Motorcycle Registration in New York
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles considers a motorcycle to be almost like any other motor vehicle for the purposes of registration.
We say a motorcycle is considered to be "almost" like any other motor vehicle because there are a few significant differences. First, while other motor vehicles are registered for 2 years, motorcycles are registered for only 1 year―and all motorcycle registrations expire April 30.
Furthermore, motorcycles are subject to a safety inspections every 12 months at a licensed inspection facility displaying a yellow and black "Official NYS Motorcycle Inspection Station" sign. If you buy a motorcycle from a dealership, it will be inspected before delivery. If you buy from a private party, however, it's up to you to have it inspected within 10 days from the date of registration. New registrants will receive 1 license plate rather than the 2 normally issued for passenger cars.
Also unlike other vehicles, you may terminate your liability insurance without returning the license plate to the DMV as you would for other motor vehicles. This exception is meant to make it easier to store your motorcycle for the winter and then use it again in good weather. Obviously, you may not ride your motorcycle without insurance under any circumstances.
How to Register
Bring proof of ownership to your insurance company to purchase insurance (you must do this before registering). Then, visit any Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office and bring:
- Proof of ownership.
- odometer and damage disclosure statements.
- New York State Identification Card (FS-20).
- Proof of identification and date of birth.
- A completed Vehicle Registration/Title Application(Form MV-82).
- Cash, check or credit card to pay the registration fee, a $50 title fee and an initial $12.50 plate fee.
- Proof of sales tax payment, sales tax exemption, or purchase price for tax calculation purposes.
Use this form for many registration and title transactions, including applications, renewals, replacements, and changes.