If you have built your own or constructed a mini-chopper scooter or motorcycle from a kit, you cannot use the bike or scooter on public roads until you've made it legal. Each state has its own rules administered by a state department of motor vehicles regarding the matter. While details vary, the basic requirements are the same. The vehicle must be able to propel itself, be a sufficient engine size to get on the highway (usually 180cc), and must have proper lighting. No mini chopper, motorcycle or scooter will be made legal without passing these requirements. The process is not hard if your bike is well-constructed, but you will need to deal with the bureaucracy to get your vehicle fully usable on streets.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Local DMV forms for title and registration
- Means of transportation (i.e. a truck)
- Proof of purchase of all items constructing the bike
- Bill of sale for the chopper frame and engine
- Crescent wrench
Fully assemble your mini-chopper so that it is in a running condition. Confirm that you have a working headlight, brakelight and indicators on the chopper and they all work correctly. Confirm and locate the vehicle identification number on both the frame and engine. Use a phone to check with your local DMV office first to make sure the VIN numbers have not been used by another motorcycle or scooter record if your mini-chopper is used.
Fill out the necessary DMV forms and paperwork for your state to create title in your name for the mini-chopper (all legal vehicles must be titled). Bring the paperwork signed and means of payment to file your title application and pay the necessary fees. Obtain a vehicle inspection appointment for your mini-chopper either with the DMV or the state police.
Transport the mini-chopper with a truck or similar means to the DMV or state police office so it can be inspected. Bring all your receipts to show proof of purchase of the bike through legal means. Allow the inspector to examine the vehicle and check your paperwork, including the bill of sale for the chopper and engine. Obtain a vehicle inspection approval form signed from the inspector. Get a new VIN number for your vehicle and engine from the inspector if one does not already exist.
Return back to the DMV office after inspection is approved you've garaged your vehicle again. Pay the final closing fees to register your vehicle, get your new number plate, and your annual tags. Pick up your plate and tags after your registration record is approved and complete with the DMV clerk.
Take the annual license registration tag off its slip and stick it onto your new number plate for your chopper. Use a screwdriver and crescent wrench to attach the legal number plate to your chopper tail or number plate frame. Take your mini-chopper out for a drive.
Tips and warnings
- Always maintain a courteous attitude with DMV clerks and VIN inspectors, even if it takes a long time to get through the office lines. Answer every question truthfully and have your purchase paperwork handy to prove how you obtained the mini-chopper and its related parts legally. Make sure all your DMV forms are signed off as well so as not to delay the proceedings.
- Always wear a helmet and obey traffic laws when riding your mini-chopper on public streets or highways. Even if the bike is legal, you can still get pulled over for violating traffic laws and helmet laws in many states.
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