Questions in regard to registration and plates



Hi Everybody, this spring I finished my first bike. It's a 26" Huffy cruiser type with a 48cc engine. I chose the smaller engine because in my state (NH) anything over 80cc is considered a "motorcycle" and subject to strict inspection. At the time I purchased my engine there was no cc between 48cc ("50cc") and 80cc, hence my engine choice. I've had a blast with my build, and put on about 700 miles during the past summer. However, the other day I had a confrontation with the local gendarmes and now I have to register it as a moped. This would seem easy except for there is no serial number on the motor, so I have to have a rep from the registry of motor vehicles come to inspect my build and assign it a VIN (probably the serial number on the Huffy's frame) so I can then apply for a title, THEN I can get a plate. Because the bike will then be a registered motor vehicle, I'll also have to register the trailer I've already acquired. I'm wondering if anyone else has had experiences along these lines with the "powers that be"!!??



welcome, nhman :D

ummm, i haven't had the pleasure of discussing the finer points of my "vehicle" with our local enforcement, but it appears washington has similar rools to NH...i lay very low, i.e. "try to not give them a reason to *stop and talk*" , so far, so good :devilish:

check out our "Legal Issues" forum for more info... 8)


I recently checked on the laws in Texas, and they are simular. If a bike has a motor here, it is considered a moped, regardless of the engine size. Then, by that definition, the moped has to have a license. It gets worse...then, to get a license, you have to have a safety inspection sticker which requires all of the safety equipment of a motorcycle....brakes, lights, mirror, stop lights, VIN number,etc. Additionally, to get the safety inspection, you have to show proof of insurance (liability) for that vehicle, a motor cycle certified drivers license, and a helmet. Had I known all this in the beginning, I would not have built the bike. :(

Essentially, the bikes cannot be made legal here because of the stop light requirement. Unless someone can figure out a stop light switch for a coaster brake.


I found "loopholes" in Washington's R.C.W.'s-
so it's not too bad, but also depends upon WHICH inspection station and individual inspector. I make my appointment for the inspection station in chehalis as the one in Tacoma *SUCKS*!!!
As far as registering as a moped, they will use the frame number, and there are limitations and requirements as to engine size and B.H.P. Also, If I use a frame that is old enough, I can skate by the stringent inspection by calling it an "Antique Motor-Driven Cycle" and that way I can use a larger engine. Such as the 80cc, or the Whizzer. As I was told by my inspection officer, "the engine number doesn't count"
It really isn't too bad, BUT you need to walk in armed to the teeth with information and walk in with a (POLITE!!!!!) attitude like you know more than they; use body language that says, 'I've been doing this for years and am ready to show you all the R.C.W.'s and historic information on this bike
as proof positive to show that it is what I say it is'.
Remember though, their attitude and friendly manner is dependant upon your attitude and friendly manner; you'll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar.
When I registered the 'Wyman' 1905 Mead Roadster, I walked in with a stack of books, and R.C.W.'s that (no exageration) was 11 inches high.
I handed the woman doing the inspection my bill of sale from the frame,
started to hand her the R.C.W.'s, opened up one of my books, while rattling off facts, figures, and dates of manufacture, when the companies changed hands, etc.
She just looked at me and said, "I don't need all that, I believe you. I just need the reciept and to look at the serial number on the frame."
All said and done it was a half an hour in and out. Then off to the Dept. of Licensing for tabs and registration.
You will need to apply for your title and wait three years for the title to arrive. This is standard for a vehicle thaqt has never had a title. No big deal you can still register and ride legally...