Author Topic: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle  (Read 5443 times)

pkm

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How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« on: December 16, 2013, 09:39:03 PM »
I apologize if this is something most people already know, but I'm new to US and I couldn't get any satisfactory answers by Googling.

I'm planning on buying a bicycle on Craigslist. I know that in case of a car, a visit to DMV along with the seller is required to transfer the title/registration of the car in my name. Is there a similar requirement for bicycle too? I live in CA.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Russ

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 09:45:15 PM »
Bikes in the US are registered at the local level only, and it's usually optional (more of a theft deterrent than anything else). Most people don't do it, even if it's required.

The owner should be able to tell you if it's registered. If not, just pay them and walk away. If so, you might have to take a trip to the police station (where these things are usually taken care of)

Reepekg

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 11:54:05 PM »
Your Googling didn't turn up an answer because registering a bicycle is a thought that would never occur to an average American. Bikes are treated like Ikea sofas... nobody cares you have one.

Also, welcome to the USA! I hope we treat you well.

schimt

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 05:40:21 AM »
Yes, like Russ mentioned, you can pring the bike to a local police department to register it and they will note the serial number and give you a little sticker to put on the frame, and in the case that it is stolen and they recover it, they will have you information and a way to return it to you. Most communities this is not required and even if it is, it's highly unlikely that it will be enforced to any extent.

Goodluck with the purchase =)

C. K.

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 06:01:55 AM »
You just buy the bike like you would a stick of gum. No titles or anything necessary.

Welcome to the U.S.!

Rural

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2013, 08:45:00 AM »
In most communities, there won't be any option to register a bike, even so simple a thing as recording the serial number at the local police station. So, if you go in to the police station and ask about it, don't be surprised if they look at you like you're crazy. Some places do, so it's worth asking, but most will never have heard of such a thing.

dragoncar

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 01:06:53 PM »
Send $50 cash to Dragoncar Bike Registration Inc.

CNM

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 02:46:34 PM »
If you're worried that the person you bought it from may later claim that you stole it, you can always draft a written contract for you both to sign.

CanuckExpat

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 02:52:11 PM »
You might want to get some sort of receipt from the seller, this can just be a print-out/PDF of an email saying what you bought and for how much.

If (or when) your bike gets stolen, if you want to make an insurance claim it might be handy..

pkm

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2013, 03:28:46 PM »
Thanks everyone for replying! Having a signed receipt seems like a good idea. I'll do that.

Gerard

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2013, 01:58:37 PM »
You just buy the bike like you would a stick of gum.

I read this the first time through as "You just buy the bike like you would a gun."

I apologize for whatever subconscious view of America led me to that.

anastrophe

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 02:08:50 PM »
Thanks everyone for replying! Having a signed receipt seems like a good idea. I'll do that.

It's also good to take detailed photos of the bike and the serial number (underside of bottom bracket, usually). If it gets stolen the police may not care but you can give photos to the bike shops in case the thief brings it in. Long shot, but always worth a try.

jfer_rose

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2013, 02:17:37 PM »
There is a National Bike Registry where you can choose to register your bike for extra protection in case it gets stolen. You pay to register, but I got my registration for free from the local bike advocacy group.

http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/

Eric

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Re: How to transfer ownership of a bicycle
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2013, 02:50:03 PM »
You just buy the bike like you would a stick of gum.

I read this the first time through as "You just buy the bike like you would a gun."

I apologize for whatever subconscious view of America led me to that.

Ha!