Buying an ATV Questions and suggestions about what to buy, financing, insurance, etc.

Title and registration in Michigan

Old 02-27-2002, 09:36 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 64

I'm about to buy a 1986 Kawasaki Bayou 300, but when i talked to the current owner, he said he doesn't have a title for it and not sure they even had titles back then. He's the second owner he said and will give me a handwritten letter for bill of sale. He appears to be an honest guy, but i don't want to buy a stolen quad.

Is this true that they didn't have title's in the 80's, because i know now that quads have titles in michigan.

If it's true they didn't have titles back then, besides a bill of sale from him to me, is there anything else i might need?

Old 02-27-2002, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 53

I would have to say he is telling you the truth. I dont think they had titles in michigan then. Hell you still dont have to register them. I live just over in the ohio line. We have to register them and pay tax. If we didnt have to register them I could buy it out of state and forget the tax [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]
Old 02-27-2002, 10:30 PM
Weekend Warrior
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,572

Old 02-27-2002, 10:43 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 64

THanks guys...

Bill, what if he doesn't have a certificate of origin? Should i be concerned and when would i ever need it if i'm don't plan to register the quad. I just read on a website that they will issue a title if you have a bill of sale from a quad. But i bet they also will issue a bill for tax due as well. Either way, would i need the certificate to get an ORV sticker to ride trails in michigan?

THanks again
Old 02-27-2002, 11:18 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 64

Just found on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website:

Owner's of ORVs are required to:

obtain a title for an ORV through the Secretary of State (SOS);
Note: A Michigan title is NOT required on nonresident ORVs used in Michigan.

license the ORV with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Every ORV sold through a dealer will be accompanied by a certificate of origin. This certificate of origin contains all the information needed for applying for a certificate of title and an ORV license. The application for a title is made to SOS, and the fee for processing is $11.00. When an ORV is purchased through a dealer, application for title will be made by the dealer on behalf of the buyer. Application for a title must be made within 15 days of purchase by:

the dealer, if it is an ORV sold by the dealer;
the buyer, if the ORV is purchased from other than a dealer.
Any time an ORV is sold to another person, the certificate of title must also be transferred to the buyer. It is unlawful to:

sell or transfer an ORV without transferring the title;
purchase or acquire an ORV without obtaining a title.

The DNR licenses all ORVs on an annual basis. The Fee is $16.25.

Licenses are valid from April 1 through March 31 of the following year, regardless of the date of purchase. Vehicles licensed under the Motor Vehicle Code as street vehicles require an ORV license only at such time as they are being used as an ORV. A 'street licensed' vehicle does not need an ORV license to use forest roads, but will if used on designated trails and if used in designated areas for cross-country use.

Note: An ORV license is NOT required on street licensed vehicles used on the frozen surface of public waters.

Private land owners and invited guests are not required to license ORVs operated exclusively on their private property. Licensing is required of both resident and non-resident ORVs used in areas open to public operation.

ORV licenses are available from the DNR by mail, at selected DNR offices, and through participating ORV dealers and participating hunting and fishing license agents. Dealers may purchase licenses from the DNR for resale to ORV buyers.

Guess it pretty much answered my questions. I'll talk to the Secretary of State office to be positive.

Old 02-28-2002, 09:51 AM
Weekend Warrior
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,572

Back in the mid 80s,there were NO titles for ATVs,only certificate of origin.Now to obtain a ORV sticker to make you legal to ride the Mich designated ORV trails,ALLS you need is to show your DRIVERS license ANYWHERE they sell hunting license,like Meijer's,Walmart,K-mart ect.TODAY,you must have a title to sell a NEW ATV or transfer it to another buyer.Not so back than.

I'd take a SIGNED Bill of Sale and not worry about it.KEEP your Bill of sale so when you go to sell the ATV,you have legal records.Get the complete name and address of the seller along with his/her driving license number,buy your ORV sticker,and than start having fun.

Have you heard that we ATV riders in Mich are FINALLY organized?We have the ATVOFFROAD.NET---We ride together just about every other wk end.We call ourselves the ATV OFF ROAD CLUB of Michigan.Check us out,we are FAR more organized than the one we USED to belong to IMO.

Old 02-28-2002, 12:21 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 64


Thanks for the advice. I just called the Secretary of state in St. Charles Michigan and they told me that they do in fact like to have the older quads registered because of the sales tax obviously. She said that there is no way to enforce the 'unlawful' act of not titling the quad, so i won't be either. She said it would only help if I were to have the quad stolen and then have it recovered. The law enforcement would be able to look it up and have it returned.. And we all know how successful that is. Not! Besides, who would want to steal a 86 bayou when there's plenty of raptors, prairies, grizzlies, ds650's out there that are much more inviting. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]

She said something about michigan wanting to pass a law for all snowmobiles being titled as well? I guess i didn't know they weren't, but she said snowmobile associations are fighting it. I totally agree with them. We get taxed when it's sold new. Pigs get there hands on a used cars tax about 5 times before the car is destroyed. Sickening.

And i'll be sure to look up your website and association.

Have a good one. Hopefully i'll get the quad in a hour.

Old 02-05-2005, 02:30 PM
Weekend Warrior
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2
Default Title and registration in Michigan

I wouldn't worry about getting a title for it. Any time you get stopped by the dnr the only thing they check for is orv sticker. The only way you would get in trouble if it was stolen is if it got impounded, then the cops would check the vin number.
Old 02-05-2005, 02:59 PM
Elite Pro Rider
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 9,380
Default Title and registration in Michigan

Originally posted by: MUDDY4LIFE

Have you heard that we ATV riders in Mich are FINALLY organized?We have MATVA or the Mich All Terrain Vehicle Assoc.We ride together just about every other wk end.For more info go to,


Bill is unregistered and has lots of pop ups. This is the link you want I believe.
Old 02-06-2005, 04:02 AM
Pro Rider
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,129
Default Title and registration in Michigan

i know in arkansas we had to get this yellow sticky that told my quad number

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