U.S. D.O.T. / FEDERAL
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STATE LOCAL BUSINESS LICENSES AND DMVs
With 50 states and 4 territories under the jurisdiction of this federal license and with the laws and rules of each state frequently changing there is no way we can keep track of what each state's current laws and rules are. However we are happy to help if you run into any questions or problems with your state government or DMVs. The information below should get you pointed in the right direction.
In addition to your Federal Vehicle Manufacturing License, you of course need state DMVs, tag agencies or licensed vehicle dealerships to convert your MCOs into titles for your or your customers. DMVs and tag agents throughout the country and the world should accept your bank-note quality MCO from a certificate printer which meets or exceeds all of the federal and state and international criteria for a proper, acceptable, document-quality MCO. Most DMV and tag agencies also want a receipt of sale as well to prove that the vehicle and MCO are not stolen and also an odometer statement.
To avoid problems for their customers in converting MCOs into titles at some DMVs, many bike builders just find a DMV or tag agency that is cooperative and convert their MCO for each completed bike into a title in their name or the name of their company. Then they are providing the customer with a state-issued title and no possibility of headaches went they get back to their hometown -- wherever that is.
You may need to shop around your DMVs and find a nice, cooperative DMV office or even a specific DMV employee who you can return to frequently and be recognized.
Establishing a good relationship at a DMV actually is more important that figuring out what your state laws are. In the real world DMV employees might do things differently that the law states so going to all of the trouble to researching and complying with state law(s) may be a complete waste of time your time. Figure out what the DMV will really do or not do.
Be sure that you are on infect listed on this website before steering DMV employees to it of course. It normally takes the USDOT a few weeks/months after completing your license to get you on this site.
Always be nice and cheerful and helpful at the DMV. Even though you are in the right but you get more with a smile than you get with being right.
Most licensed vehicle dealerships can handle titling your vehicle as well -- either in part or entirely. This varies from state to state so you will have to ask around. Some states require that new vehicles be sold through a dealership and many DMVs think this is the law even if it is not. Regardless of whether or not this is actually the law in your state, becoming a dealership yourself or establishing a working relationship with a dealership to sign off on your sales for a price can make the titling process easier for your and your customers.
STATE AND LOCAL BUSINESS LICENSES:
I provide this service for the federal vehicle manufacturer license to people in all 50 states and the U.S. territories as well -- Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, etc. There is no way I can have all of the info on all of the state and local business license laws, zoning laws, etc. Additionally state laws and regulations are constantly changing. There is simply no way for my office to keep a running database of even state laws throughout the country regarding vehicle manufacturing and sales.
Be aware that some states require their vehicle manufacturers to have a state so-called "vehicle manufacturer license" as well as and in addition to this federal license. Be aware! - No state license is actually a vehicle manufacturer license however. No state license empowers you to issue VIN numbers and MCOs. You MUST have the federal license first and foremost. Most states that have a state license require proof of you federal license as part of their process so the federal license has to be done first.
You may need to have state and local business licenses, tax licenses and of course there are county/city zoning and building codes, sign ordinances, etc that you are under as well. I can't have all of that info from all over the country of course and the USDOT is not concerned with state and local laws. You MUST first get you federal vehicle manufacturer license to issue VIN numbers and MCOs.
Phone calls to state government employees who are largely uniformed or completely ignorant can be a frustrating waste-of-time. Generally you want to physically go (that is in-person) to your local DMV or tag agency and/or go talk to a local vehicle dealership about working with you to handle the paperwork for your sales for a fee.
1) Have a good attitude. Be confident that what you are asking them to do is correct but also be very cheerful and nice. Being right is great but you actually get more with a smile than by being right.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Motorcycle Manufacturer Licensing Main Page
Motorcycle Manufacturing Licensing Resource Page
EPA information for licensed motorcycle manufacturers
New Jersey Approved Motorcycle Manufacturers List
Kelley Blue Book information for motorcycle manufacturers