Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I built my own custom motorcycle and need to title it

We often get questions here at Rullo Custom Cycles from customers wondering how to title a motorcycle that was custom built, in a crash that was a total loss and was repaired, or was a theft/flood recovery and was repaired. Information is out there on the internet, but it can be difficult to find accurate info and decipher the myths from truth. This article will help simplify things a bit, and there are many links throughout to relevant pages from credible sources.

Rullo Custom Cycles is an official Pennsylvania Enhanced Inspection station. We specialize in performing Enhanced Inspections on motorcycles. There are numerous stations that have met the requirements and have contracted with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to perform Enhanced Inspections as a business partner of the state. This link will show a list of all stations categorized by PA County. Please be aware that certain stations will have the ability to perform Enhanced Inspection on motorcycles and some will not (only trailers, hot rods, etc).

What is the Pennsylvania Enhanced Inspection?
The Enhanced Inspection process is designed for vehicles that meet certain requirements to be titled in Pennsylvania, but need to document these requirements to obtain a Pennsylvania Certificate of Title for a Vehicle. Since we specialize in motorcycles, we will discuss only motorcycles that require Enhanced Inspection in PA.

Do I need an Enhanced Inspection in PA?
One will need to have an Enhanced Inspection for a motorcycle in PA in the following situations:
  • Specially constructed motorcycle (custom built motorcycle with no existing title or VIN#, offroad vehicle modified to meet road requirements)
  • Motorcycle with a Certificate of Salvage (Salvage Title) that has been made roadworthy
  • Motorcycle with frame changes or major body changes (Modified Vehicle)
  • Theft Recovered or Flood Recovered motorcycle
What are the costs involved for Pennsylvania Enhanced Inspection?
There are certain costs that will be incurred to properly title a motorcycle that has met one of the situations above. An owner of a motorcycle obtaining a title through the Enhanced Inspection process should be aware of these costs. The following are potential costs of which some or all may apply depending on the situation:
  • Purchase/Buy-back Price PA Sales Tax
  • Price of parts used in repairing/building a motorcycle of which PA Sales Tax has NOT been paid
  • Title Fee ($50)
  • Enhanced Inspection Fee (determined by each station)
*These fees are for titling your motorcycle, but you will also incur fees to register the motorcycle.

Rullo Custom Cycles fee for Enhanced Inspection is:
  • $300.00 for Specially constructed motorcycles
  • $200.00 for Salvage (motorcycle previously a total loss)
  • $300.00 for Motorcycle with frame changes or major body changes (Modified Vehicle)
  • $200.00 for Theft Recovered or Flood Recovered
*Please note that these fees will incur PA Sales Tax, and the other state fees will apply.

What is the process for Enhanced Inspection?
Visit Rullo Custom Cycles about us for our business hours and contact information. Drop your motorcycle off here during our business hours. We will perform the Enhanced Inspection, but will need your motorcycle for necessary inspection, photos, and documentation. We will need additional information from an owner including:
  • A valid PA Driver's License or PA State ID
  • Daytime phone number
  • Background of the motorcycle and necessary documentation (will vary according to type of motorcycle Enhanced Inspection needed)
With this information and necessary signatures we will complete the Pennyslvania MV-426B form. We will provide a checklist of any additional documentation needed at that time and work with motorcycle owners to get a motorcycle titled as painlessly as possible. Motorcycle will need to meet the requirements of PennDOT and all information is available at their website.

For a specially constructed motorcycles, an owner should provide Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO) or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) for the major components of the motorcycle which generally have part-specific serial numbers; ie. frame, engine, and transmission. In cases where these items were purchased second-hand, a notarized bill of sale (including the serial numbers on bill of sale and signatures from seller and buyer) may suffice. A log of the other parts along with receipts is recommended for special construction. A letter describing the manner in which the bike was built is also required.

Special construction motorcycles will include chopper and bobber style motorcycles that were frame-up built customs, motorcycles that were originally built for offroad use but have been modified to meet the requirements of a street motorcycle, and motorcycles that have had major frame or body modifications.

For Salvage motorcycles a salvage title, buy-back letter from an insurance company or bill of sale from a purchase, and all receipts to make the motorcycle roadworthy are required. Theft and flood recoveries are treated similarly. These situations include instances of a crashed motorcycle that an insurance company deems a total loss, an owner buys back the motorcycle with a salvage/theft/flood title and needs to show that the motorcycle has been brought back to a roadworthy condition.

Ultimately it is your responsibility to follow all applicable Pennsylvania laws regarding titling and registering your motorcycle.

We can make the process of Enhanced Inspection simple for you.

Please feel free to email or give us a call at 484-494-5433 with specific questions regarding your motorcycle and the PA Enhanced Safety Inspection. Visit www.rullocustomcycles.com and check out our knowledge section for other helpful motorcycle information.


  1. Wow, you built the bike by yourself! This is very impressive. For a moment, I thought I could build one by my own. When I bought a vehicle, I worried that it would not be rebuilt before me. I bought used transport, as the first car in my life. Checked my VIN code through https://vincarhistory.com/license-plate-lookup/south-dakota. Not bad service, you know... If you have any doubts about buying any vehicle you may concerned about what under the hood.

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