A workaround in Washington?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by DakotaLynx, May 1, 2009.

  1. DakotaLynx

    DakotaLynx New Member

    Today I took Projekt Dragonfly down to the DMV to try to get it licensed. I thought $40 for tabs at the most, and I would be out the door.
    You'd think I would have learned by now.

    The guy at the counter told me I had to register my bike as a moped. I asked him what that would take. Er.... Here is the list:
    *State patrol inspection
    *License plate fee
    *Weight test
    *$40Tab fee
    *Maufacturer's plates
    *fee for being issued a VIN number
    *Receipts for all my parts
    *Tax for the assembled machine based upon an assessed value.
    *notary fees
    *Filing fees
    *Filing fees
    *filing fees

    I know I left a few things out, but you get the idea. All told it would come to nearly $200 to play by the book. $40 for a moped plate is one thing, but that is quite a chunk of change for a poor college student. Especially after I've sunk around $800 and 1 year of my life into this thing already.

    But I see other motored bikes running around Everett. Being an honest fool, I do want to play by the rules, but this is asinine.

    How do the other folks in Washington get around this bureaucratic ****? Is there any way to do it even semi-legally? I've heard of people using the frame number in place of a VIN number, but is there anything else that would help? I'd hate to think I spent so much time and money on this thing, only to have to take it apart because I can't ride it.

    I do have a current driver's license and the bike is under 50cc.

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    A few states have MB specific laws. All the rest, it seems the laws didn't even consider them. That guy at the DMV gave you the stock, "get rid of 'em quick", answer. What he didn't tell you is that you can bang your head against the wall for a year and you still wont' be able to register it as a moped. They won't accept the bike's serial number, for instance.

    Most of us just ride, understanding that the legality is questionable. For most of us the cops don't cause any trouble. I try to ride like a boy scout. I imagine that helps.
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  3. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    What I have done is register as a 'motor driven cycle'- if the bicycle's frame is more than 40 years old you can get past more reg.s by calling it an 'Antique motor driven cycle' as I have in the past. I haven't tried the 'home built custom vehicle' thing yet, but some chopper builders I know have worked around with that.
    The motor driven cycle classification is used for vehicles that don't fit under the other standards. They will use the bicycle frame's serial as the vin; in WA the frame number is all that counts. Biggest tip I can give you, go to the smallest, most out of the way inspection station you can, and don't ask questions, say as little as possible, but if pressed tell them the reg.s

    Educate yourself before hand as forewarned is forearmed.

    "*State patrol inspection~yes
    *License plate fee~yes
    *Weight test~B.S.
    *$40Tab fee~Yes
    *Maufacturer's plates~B.S.
    *fee for being issued a VIN number~yes
    *Receipts for all my parts~B.S.
    *Tax for the assembled machine based upon an assessed value.~yes ( tell them you honestly don't know but would guess with cost of "restoration" it was about $800.00. Low ball it but, not by too much or they'll know your trying to lower their cut!)
    *notary fees~Yes
    *Filing fees~Yes
    *Filing fees
    *filing fees'

    And without being a horse's behind, act as though you know more than they in this regard, because you do! Speak clearly, politely, and with complete confidence. It does cost a bit for the initial inspection and registration, and you won't be able to apply for an actually title until the three year waiting period has expired, but you will be registered owner, licensed, tabbed, and ready to rock.
    Hope this helps...
    To be honest though most of my bikes I just ride without all that. But I cannot in good conscience tell you to do that as it is technically illegal.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2009
  4. Ghost0

    Ghost0 Guest

    I have been riding in Bellingham for almost 2 years and have had no negative confrontations with the law. I have had them follow me for blocks and not even a hint of interest. I did have one pull up next to me at a stop light and he did ask how big my engine was and I told him 49cc. He smiled, gave me a thumbs up and drove off.
  5. augidog

    augidog New Member

    in ocean park, i was told by a sherrif that "the laws were written for us"...i don't know what that means...rif's correct about WA state, we are mopeds...so, since we've ALL always used lights/helmet/hand-signals, and we've collectively logged many-MANY thousands of miles w/o a single legal mishap, i'm going to go with the local law has chosen to interpret the regs in our favor, for now.
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  6. Pablo

    Pablo Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Under 49cc, you don't need any registration. I ride by cops, even once with Ghost0, all the time. They don't even look up.
  7. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    Yea just ride that thing!!!!!
    If the cops have a problom with it they will let you know .......
  8. DakotaLynx

    DakotaLynx New Member

    *nods* Thank you all very much. I will just keep riding for now. I wear a helmet, goggles, and coat. The bike has a brake light, flashers, headlight, and turn signals. I have some cheap bar-end mirrors, and all my reflectors. Made the Dragonfly as safe as I could. Hopefully the tribal cops let me be. And Uncle Punk: I can't register my setup as a "motor driven cycle", as the frame it's on is a small Nishiki Bravo from the early/mid 90's. Thanks for the suggestion though. Maybe if I could get the neighbor to sell me that old beach cruiser he has jammed in the hedgerow... Now that I've got my first one running, I want to build a motored bike based around the Chinese kits.

    ~Dakota Lynx
    Last edited: May 11, 2009