One of the first questions prospective motorcycle owners have for those with experience is: Can I drive my newly purchased motorcycle home?
You can but you will have to get it licensed, insured, and officially transferred over to you.
If you purchased your motorcycle from a dealership, they might offer to process the registration and insurance as part of the sale. If that’s the case, great! Just make sure you don’t leave until everything is in order.
However, if you purchased your motorcycle from a private seller, you’d need to get it registered and insured. Here’s what to do:
1. Register your motorcycle
First, head over to the DMV with your receipt and paperwork to get a title and registration. You can also apply for a temporary license plate.
You could also have it delivered by mail in some cases if you register online or by mail (but we don’t recommend that route).
The state will also issue you vehicle license plates or an electronic sticker, depending on your state’s requirements (ask at the DMV or look up your state’s needs on the DMV website).
2. Get insurance for your motorcycle
Next, get liability insurance coverage for any damage or injuries your motorcycle may encounter.
3. Is It Illegal to Ride a Motorcycle Home After Buying It?
It is not unlawful if you follow the law, including purchasing insurance and obtaining a permit. Yes, it is illegal to ride a new motorcycle home without license plates.
However, a bill of sale and title might help you avoid a penalty. If you want to ride your motorbike home legally, acquire a temporary tag or permit as soon as you buy it.
How to Return Home on a Motorcycle After Purchasing One
Aside from relying on the document of sale and title to avoid a ticket, you have additional choices for lawfully taking your bike home.
The following are several methods for riding a motorcycle home after purchasing it:
1. Use the Plate from a Previous Bike
If you have a plate from an old motorcycle, put it on your current one. The distance between your residence and the seller’s location should be reduced. Otherwise, if a cop pulls you over and your registration does not match, you might be in big trouble.
Riders in South Carolina use the license plate from another motorcycle or a temporary tag. It is unlawful to ride without anything on the back.
2. Use the Buyer’s Plate
Ask the seller if they may leave their plates on, and tell them you’ll return them when you get home. But, before you go, make sure you’re adequately insured.
On the other hand, the seller or dealer would have to be gracious enough to trust you with their plates and ship them back. It is not recommended for out-of-state purchasing.
3. Use A Tow Truck
It appears to be far more difficult than renting a van, truck, or trailer for the day to tow your motorbike home. Rent a van or a zip van from a local firm on budget, or acquire a pick-up from Home Depot.
It is preferable if you have some ratchet straps. Purchase a 6ft long 26 or a proper folding ramp. Use the ramp to load the motorbike into the van, then secure it with the ratchet straps and drive it home.