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Hi,

may be you have herad that there are some types of scooter that have never been sold to Germany - or in such small numbers that if you really want to buy one, you start looking almonst everywhere.
As I successfully managed to import a Vespa from the US before and the second on its way, I am thinking of projects to come.
A gentleman offered me several scooters of the mid-late 1950s, a Struzzo, VNB and VNA, but none of them comes with a title.

He said that "not many late 50's Vespas/Allstates/Cushmans were titled back then". I heard the same of somebody who sold a smallframe 90 or so and insisted that the scooter has never had a title.

So here comes my question: Is it trues that Vespas have never been titled? until when?

Cheers!
L.
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bodgemaster
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
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I would guess that this is probably true for a majority of Vespas sold in the US in the 50's and 60's.

Title and registration is only required for street use, and Vespas were never really used in the US as transportation to the same extent they were in other markets. They were mostly considered toys or novelty items, like go karts or mini bikes. I think back in the day a lot of people just didn't bother with the hassle of and cost of title and annual registration.
⚠️ Last edited by SoCalGuy on UTC; edited 1 time
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Depends on the state, not all are the same so back then you would have had 48 or 49 various requirement's. It can still be a pain in the rear today, some states still don't require or provide a title depending on age and year.
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You can just register them in VT. Also some other states don't require a title on older vehicles.
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SoCalGuy wrote:
I would guess that this is probably true for a majority of Vespas sold in the US in the 50's and 60's.

Title and registration is only required for street use, and Vespas were never really used in the US as transportation to the same extent they were in other markets. They were mostly considered toys or novelty items, like go karts or mini bikes. I think back in the day a lot of people just didn't bother with the hassle of and cost of title and annual registration.
This is a qood quick breakdown. Many US scooters are missing titles, or were never registered in the first place. Almost every single (project) scooter I've bought was either missing the title, or so far out of the system that it was insignifigant to have, as far as DMV. Its extremely common to have no paperwork for US scooters. So, I wouldn't worry about not having a title. Altough, I do not know the requirements to register a scooter in Germany, without a title....
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My scooter doesn't have a title and the police didn't have the VIN in the system, either. It makes me wonder about how the Sears scooters worked back then. From what I understand, they were mail order and just a arrived at your house in a bring crate, so was there even a title or any legal paperwork involved at all?
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Excuse my ignorance, is a title in the US the same as registration document in the UK?
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Last year I retired as the person in charge of all vehicle registration for the state of California. I can tell you from my experience that titling paperwork will likely be an issue only if a bill of sale shows a value north of $4k-$5K.

I am not familiar with the procedures in another country...some are quite strict. Depending on where you acquired your US-based scooter I might be able to assist. And as a shout out to all the folks on this site who have helped me over the years, if you have specific issues with the CA DMV, feel free to contact me. I probably know more about the process than the folks at DMV themselves. And most of them used to work for me LOL. I'm pretty sure that my advice can hook you up with a title. I also know some sneaky (but legal) ways to avoid tax and registration here.
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ferriswolf wrote:
Excuse my ignorance, is a title in the US the same as registration document in the UK?
Not sure since we have registrations too on top of titles. The title just names you as the owner of the vehicle legally speaking, registration is done yearly or every other year depending on the state you live in.
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Molto Verboso
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Molto Verboso
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This topic also reminded me I need to get the Allstate a Vermont setup soon. Since it should be on the road shortly.
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Quote:
ferriswolf wrote: Excuse my ignorance, is a title in the US the same as registration document in the UK?
Yes. In the US the 'title' is the same as the 'logbook' (V5c) in the UK. Then in the US there is an annual 'registration' for which you pay a fee and get a certificate or registration document as well as a sticker to affix to your license (number) plate, which is the same as UK road tax (although of course vehicles in Britain don't have to display a tax disc anymore).
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Quote:
Yes. In the US the 'title' is the same as the 'logbook' (V5c) in the UK. Then in the US there is an annual 'registration' for which you pay a fee and get a certificate or registration document as well as a sticker to affix to your license (number) plate, which is the same as UK road tax (although of course vehicles in Britain don't have to display a tax disc anymore).
Whats the score with losing the title? Ive seen a few posts about people not having a title and it then not being worth buying the scooter. In the UK we can get a replacement logbook for £25 if the old one has been lost.
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Matchlessman wrote:
Quote:
Yes. In the US the 'title' is the same as the 'logbook' (V5c) in the UK. Then in the US there is an annual 'registration' for which you pay a fee and get a certificate or registration document as well as a sticker to affix to your license (number) plate, which is the same as UK road tax (although of course vehicles in Britain don't have to display a tax disc anymore).
Whats the score with losing the title? Ive seen a few posts about people not having a title and it then not being worth buying the scooter. In the UK we can get a replacement logbook for £25 if the old one has been lost.
Here in the USA, it can be complicated in get a replacement/new title, depending on many different factors.

Is the paperwork simply misplaced, but the vehicle is still currently registered? - easy & cheap, just need a replacement papers for small fee + pay transfer fee

Is the paperwork lost, and has the vehicle has not been registered and/or paid for in a few years? - easy, but possibly expensive.... as all the back fees & late fees need to be paid, in addition to the replacement title fee + transfer fee

Is the paperwork lost, AND the vehicle has not been registered in many-many years? - not so easy, as the vehicle is now "out of the system", which means they have no record of it in the database. After a number of years without registration, the vehicle 'falls-out' of the system. NOW you can have the vehicle inspected, VIN #'s checked on frame & possibly motor, possibly need a Police inspection, possibly have to run all around and wait weeks or even months.... and of course, pay a bunch of $$$

AND - Which state do you live in? 50 states all have different rules. Some are easy (vermont), some are more complex (california).

Lets say you buy a project scooter for $1000, with no paperwork, bill of sale only. Its been in a shed for 30+ years; plate tag says it was last registered in '1978. Most likely this scooter is 'out of the system', so the fees will be reasonable (enuf); BUT you'll have to jump through a few hoops.

Now lets say the $1000 project scooter is missing a title, and was last running and registered 6 years ago. The annual registration was allowed to lapse, and has incured 6 years of back fees. - Now you have the missing paperwork fee, and all those late fees to pay; which can easily add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars; depending on the vehicle in question.

That bargain deal you got on a sweet new project, isn't such a bargain when those fees add up. Dollar for dollar, it is an unfortunate necessity to have to pay the title and registration fees, every single time a vehicle transfer to new owner. From one owner to another, one state to another, every time and every year this paperwork needs to be done and paid for.... That is one reason why so many scooters sold in USA have bill of sale only. The paperwork has been lost, and for many projects its just not worth the cost or trouble to get new papers.
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Thanks,

That sounds a lot more complicated than the UK!
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so...Pop and Geek. How does the Vermont easy-register fit into this? I had a smallie that had a title, then had to switch the frame to another sport 100 frame that had no title. I did the Vermont thing which was really really easy, then re-registered it a couple of times before selling,. Im in California. does the VT way need to be changed to Cali title and registration eventually or only an issue if you get pulled over? Vt reg was only like 46 bucks.

asking for when im sure I will fall down that project scoot rabbit hole again.

thx peeps.
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modkuo wrote:
so...Pop and Geek. How does the Vermont easy-register fit into this? I had a smallie that had a title, then had to switch the frame to another sport 100 frame that had no title. I did the Vermont thing which was really really easy, then re-registered it a couple of times before selling,. Im in California. does the VT way need to be changed to Cali title and registration eventually or only an issue if you get pulled over? Vt reg was only like 46 bucks.

asking for when im sure I will fall down that project scoot rabbit hole again.

thx peeps.
I come from CA, so I know this well.
Legally speaking, every vehicle must have the title transferred & registered to the new state, anytime a vehicle is moved to reside permanently in a new state. Technically, your vehicle can be ticketed and impounded for out of state registration, if its past a certain timeline according to your states rules. Although, I dont know of any examples of this actually happening. In my opinion, still a risk even if low. (( cops probably dont care about your old ratty mopen anyway ))

Vermont registration is cheap, and easy. It gets you a plate, tag sticker, and registration paperwork. With that atleast you can ride on the streets 'legally'. However, following the recommend process for VT registration does NOT get you a title; only registration. That wont help you in CA. You must have a Title, to transfer the title. With VT registration, You'll most likely still need to have a CHP inspection, and numerous trips to the DMV.

My personal opinion is that VT registration is very easy, and the least expensive; but my OCD wont let me ride out of state plate like that; not on a frequent rider atleast.

Another way to get a 100% legit, legal, and transferable Title + Registration:
Joe Casola / Saints Cycle Works / Saints Title Service.
Photo of your VIN, notarized form, and some $$; a few weeks gets you a Title which can then be transferred to your own state. I used Joe to get a title for one of my projects, and would receommend it as an option.
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If you are near Indiana, I do titles for $100.00 each. You get a Clean & Clear Indiana title. The only caveat to this is I at least have to have the chassis here for a LEO VIN inspection.

This works out great for folks that are within a few hours or those that want a lot of work done plus a title.

I think the Vermont registration can be used in some shady business dealings, but that is my opinion alone.

This past week I have done titles for Ohio and Alabama.
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The Dude
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GickSpeed wrote:
If you are near Indiana, I do titles for $100.00 each. You get a Clean & Clear Indiana title. The only caveat to this is I at least have to have the chassis here for a LEO VIN inspection.

This works out great for folks that are within a few hours or those that want a lot of work done plus a title.

I think the Vermont registration can be used in some shady business dealings, but that is my opinion alone.

This past week I have done titles for Ohio and Alabama.
Good reminder! Thanks for posting that Jon!

Gickspeed is definitley a good resource for you scooterists that are close to him. Worth the drive, and a great price; if you are close enough, IMO
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oh I have purchased a Vespa from the original owner with all the paperwork in the 60s and he said he never bother to register since he only used it in his farm.

There are a few tricky ways to get California Title but it s possible.
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