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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-09-2002, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 62
Question Market value when registering bike?

hello everyone,

i just bought a 2000 Kawazaki Ninja 9 from a private party and i have sum question about registering this baby.

i'm in Los Angeles CA. i got the Certificate of Title and Bill of Sale from him. however, i see that right under the certificate of title, it says "NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PLATES - NO TAX PAID" and the form is from the state of Michigan. So it doesnt have a license plate right now.

the Issue Date says 10/11/01 and under ODOMETER it says 001019 and under that it says *ACTUAL MILEAGE*. (the current mileage is 4412.)

under the Title Assignment by Seller, there's ONLY the signature of seller and printed name of seller. (TBS Business Services, Inc.)

on the Bill of Sale, the date says November 8, 2001, and the space for the name and price is left blank for me to sign.

At the bottom of the page, it is signed by TBS Business Services, Kellie Volpicelli, Recovery Representative. (the guy who sold it to me said it's a repo).

He said he purchased it from Hyperformance(?) in Garden Grove (which is in CA) and these two forms are what they gave him. they told him he'll have no problem registering. he never actually registered the bike.

so my questions are:

1. is this a 49-state bike? how do i know?

2. since the box for purchase price is left empty, i could say i got it as a gift, right? but it says if i got it as a gift put the market value. what should i put? i mean, i know how to find out the market value but should i put the actual market value? (i paid $6150)

3. i ask question #2 cuz on the certificate of title, it says no tax paid. does this mean i have to pay tax (for the market value)?

sorry for the long post, but if you have any knowledge about this, PLEASE help me out. i dont want to go to the DMV and find out i have to pay several hundred dollars on tax.


Last edited by beksa; 08-10-2002 at 02:03 AM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-10-2002, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 256
I've never registered a used bike in CA, but the laws should be similar to cars.

1. Is there any registration paper that was ever valid (fees paid)? If so, from what state? Is there a license plate? It sounds like a 49 state bike from what you said. The VIN number has this (and much more) info encoded in it. Ask a Kawasaki dealer how to decode the VIN. Also there is (or at least was when the bike was initially sold in the US) an emissions label on the bike. The label has to state specifically whether or not is meets CA emissions. The rules for registering an out-of-state car recently changed. The DMV used to charge a flat $300 smog impact fee on any 49 state car if you couldn't show that it was built to CA standards. That has since been repealed. In fact the DMV has to give refunds if you ask. There may be a mileage minimum (7500?) for easily registering a 49 state bike. Check out the DMV web site. The fact that the bike seems to have been unregisterd for at least 9 months may also cause you some issues, but that's not your fault. It sounds like the previous owner never registered this out-of-state bike. I wonder if he tried and had problems?

2. In general, you have to pay "Use Tax" in CA to register any used vehicle. Conveniently, the tax rate is the same as the sales tax rate for the county in which you live (about 8%). The tax is supposed to be based on the purchase price. Freguently, the "price paid" field on the bill of sale used by the DMV is "negotiated" between buyer and seller to try to minimize this tax. It can't be zero, however. You're going to have to pay a tax equivalent to sales tax on some reasonable purchase price.

3. The fact that no fees seem to have been paid in Michigan has no bearing on what fees are owed in CA. You're going to have to pay tax and license fees to CA if you want to register the bike (required by law and highly recommended).

Check out

I hope you got a really good deal (like 1/3 less than market value) because this is going to take some effort to straighten out.

Last edited by RayO; 08-10-2002 at 12:21 AM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-10-2002, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
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thanx for the reply.

there isnt any registration paper and looking at the certificate of title, it sems like the bike was never registered or something. it says "no tax paid". doesnt even have a license plate.

yes, if i check the box on "purchase price", i have to put SOME amount, but there also is the box for "gift" which means i got it for free and there is a space next to it for me to put the market value for it. so i could say i got it for free right? (i got it for $6150)

looking at, the low retail is $4870. should i put that or would $4000 be ok?

man, i just took it out for a short ride and it's WAY more powerful than i thought. scared me.

i think the best thing to do is call DMV and ask. if i'm gonna get raped for some crazy amount of tax or, in the worst case, not be able to register it here, i guess i'll just resell it (although that would be VERY sad but the good side is i'm sure i'll make ALOT of profit )

until then, does anyone have any knowledge about this matter?

Last edited by beksa; 08-10-2002 at 02:23 AM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-10-2002, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
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If you say that you got it as a gift, the DMV may check the low book value that you put on the form. Better to put some amount (not 4000 exactly, but maybe some odd amount between that and 4870). If you put something rediculously low on the form, the DMV has question it and ask for documentation. The DMV will then charge you Use Tax on that amount (8% of say 4500=360) plus license fees (maybe another 100 if no penalties). Don't wait too long or there may be penalties on top of the fees. You have 20 days, I think. Hopefully they won't make you pay for the previous mess.

Is your sellor's name on any of the paperwork you have? My guess is that it's not as he had a registration mess to unload.

BTW, there's no real advantage to someone in CA buying a 49 state bike since there are no bike inspections here and it's relatively easy to "fix" a CA bike so that it runs as well as a 49 state.

Good luck!!
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-10-2002, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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thanx for the reply again.

no, he's name was not on any papers. he said he never bothered to try to register the bike. who knows if there is a behind story.

i guess the best thing to do is call DMV first and find out.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-11-2002, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Another couple of thoughts (dangerous),

Does the VIN number on the bike match the paperwork (old title and bill of sale) that you have? I sure hope so, otherwise it may be stolen.

Is it true that the only paperwork you have is dated October and November 2001 from Michigan? If so, the CA DMV may assume that YOU have been riding the bike illegally in CA all this time.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2002, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
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the VIN matches.

the certificate of title and the bill of sale is the only paper work i have.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2002, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
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sad news.

i just called DMV and it looks like i wont be able to register bike cuz it doesnt have at least 7500 miles.

the date on the title and bill of sale is not an issue.


now i'm thinking whether to ride the bike till it has 7500 miles without registration and insurance (not a smart idea), or just sell it.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2002, 03:23 PM
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No registration?

Yeah that might not be very fun to ride it around with no registration. However the cops might be understanding when you get pulled over, long as you have your license and everything allready in order.

You could always register it out of state right? Or get a family member in another state to register it in thier name and just drive it around in your state till it has 7500 miles. You can just tell any cops that you are borrowing the bike from said family member.

Even better you could go on a cross country cruise and if you get pulled over tell them you are delivering it to a friend. Bet you could rack up 3000 miles in a week.

If it were my bike I woulden't let a little thing like getting 3k miles on it stop me from enjoying it.

Last edited by krsteen; 08-12-2002 at 03:26 PM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-12-2002, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
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The bike doesn't have to be registered to get insurance. Just insure it and put a dealer plate or "tag stolen" on the bike. If you actually ride it a ton on the weekends and daily you'll get to 7500 miles pronto.
Unless you are a troublemaker, the cops should let it slide... maybe. Don't get pulled over. Though I rode from Salt Lake City to Atlanta without a plate after my dealer sticker blew off.

Do NOT ride the bike without insurance. That is socially irresponsible.

7500 miles seems a bit arbitrary by the way.
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