I have already done this twice. And once, from the road.
I live in Washington State, and before leaving for my current trip, I made sure to discover the easiest way to transfer a motorcycle title.
You can email me (you should have my email) for future questions.
HERE IS THE PROCESS for my state, WASHINGTON.
(read this 5 times: WA State Licensing: Transfer ownership when buying from a private party
What you’ll need
When you buy a car, motorcycle, or other vehicle from a private party, make sure you receive all the documents required to transfer the title. These documents may include the following:
#1 Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (title)
— The seller must release ownership by signing in the appropriate place on the title. Everyone listed on the title must sign it.
: Bill of sale
— Both you and the seller must provide information about the sale on a Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale
. This information includes the sale price, which is used to calculate the use tax
you must pay.
(bill of sale form here: http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420065.pdf
: Odometer Disclosure Statement
— If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, both
you and seller must state the mileage and sign, either on the title itself or on an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
There will be a place to list the mileage of the odometer on the title. DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS.
: Fill out a Power of Attorney form. This will allow a trusted individual in the state of Washington, to act as power of attorney on your behalf, and go to a licensing office, and apply for the title in your name.
The power of attorney form can be found here: ( http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420050.pdf
The power of attorney form needs to be notarized. GET IT NOTARIZED. You will see where it should be stamped. Also, it has three section, the last of which takes up half of the page and in bold is listed as Power of Attorney
. ONLY fill out this part. Do not fill out the top parts.
The hardest part of this whole operation is simply finding someone in Washington state to do it for you. He/she will need to go to the office, and pay the fees involved. The person will list the mailing address as his own, so that he/she may recieve the title when it arrives in the mail. That person will then be responsible for sending the title to you when he/she recieves it. it takes 4-6 weeks (sometimes faster) to recieve the title in Washington State. Can you wait that long?
I looked to see if there was a Power of Attorney form for California, and I found one.
Call your friend in California, or any friend you have in the US if you have one there, and have them call their local department of motor vehicles, or licensing office, and ask if it is possible to title the motorcycle in your name without you or the bike being there, by using a power of attorney form. It should be not be a problem.
California Title transfer document: http://dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg343.pdf
California Power of Attorney Document: http://dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg260.pdf
Email me your questions, and I will answer them.
--Alex, still in Ecuador.