Getting a new title for an old bike in Michigan


If it leaks, we can fill it
I just thought this might help. It's the easiest way

Go here, and skip right down to #3:,4670,7-127-48268-29806--F,00.html

As a last resort when a Michigan vehicle title has been lost, destroyed, or stolen and the purchaser is unable to contact the previous owner for a duplicate title, a Michigan resident can self-certify ownership at a Secretary of State branch office if the vehicle is ten or more years old and valued at $2,500 or less. The self-certification procedure cannot be used for vehicles titled in another state or by nonresidents.

You will need to submit:

a. A completed TR-205 Certification of Ownership (available on-line at all Secretary of State offices) stating you are the rightful owner of the vehicle and including the vehicle description, the true value of the vehicle, and a complete explanation of how, when, where, and from whom the vehicle was acquired; and

b. Either of the following:
• A vehicle value appraisal completed by a licensed Michigan dealer, or
• A page printed from an on-line appraisal service such as Kelly Blue Book, N.A.D.A. Guides, Edmunds, etc. (,,

On-line appraisal sites may provide multiple vehicle values (wholesale value, trade-in value, and retail value). Any of these values showing a value of $2,500 or less may be accepted.

This is primarily for people buying/acquiring barn finds. I've never had a problem walking into a dealership and having them write out an estimate saying it's worth $50-$500 when I got a frame, non-runner, etc. Bring a few pics of your money pit, get an appraisal for $100 (or whatever you want it to say). Fill out the above mentioned form and walk into the SOS. Done deal. As long as the bike is 10+ years old and worth less than $2500 that's all it takes.

Here is a link to the TR-205 form:
Thanks for the info! This will help all of us to get these old bikes back on the road. It's been more difficult getting the title recently using the bill of sale method. Now, it's no longer accepted. This new method sounds much easier. If it is this easy, there will be more choices when buying bikes since I've been disregarding any bike without titles.
I had very good luck in Battle Creek at the SOS. Picked up a couple CL360 bikes that didn't have titles. One was a runner so I wanted it registered and such.
Filled out the yellow form (TR205) and stated it was a barn find. Also brought in a copy of value. The guy sent the vin to Lansing electronically where they checked it within a few minutes against LEIN. It was clear, so I paid the fee&tax (about $41 out the door) and a nice green title came in about a week later.
Ended up selling the bike on eBay for about 4x what I paid for BOTH bikes... I think having the title was WELL worth it in this case. Best $40 I've spent :)
It's funny that it is so easy, yet when you walk into the SOS, they look at you like it's impossible. You have to find the right person to do it for you. I walked into the SOS in West Bloomfield, and the lady laughed at me. When I told her I've done it before, she had to call over the SOS manager and she helped me. Don't give up. Keep persisting if they give you a hard time. And yes, always have the printed out Kelly Blue Book value with you. I wouldn't want to come back and stand in line again.
I ended up doing it the "right" way and actually was honest about how much I paid for my bike ($500). I also got the surety bond for double the value ($1000) from my insurance company. Yeah, it cost me a bit more but I felt right in doing it this way. Anyway, they're going to lose a bunch of money on me because I'm putting an original year plate on the bike, so let them have their $30 in sales tax. :)
I just did one of these about a month ago. Got the form, had to use kbb for value because an invoice for amount was not good enough and had to go to 4 different SOS offices before they would do it then got btched at for buying something without title and told not to do it again and they track these. It is possible but not worth the hassle for buying on a regular basis when its easier for original owners to get it themselves before they sell it.
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