Why is Motorcycle Registration So Expensive?

In the USA, the motorcyclist pays a high registration fee which varies according to the engine’s cubic capacity and the postcode of the state. It is a tax to validate your bike for highways and off-road riding.

Why is Motorcycle Registration So Expensive? Motorcycle registration is so expensive due to variable bike weights, engine power, fluctuating state policies, and the complexity of the procedure. In addition, it is costly for off-road motorcycles, and the agency has a separate fee for license plates. You can register a motorcycle by providing an insurance card, verification number, residential proof, bank statement, and a fee of around $12 to $54. California has the highest registration fee of about $63 to $65, New York charges $19 to $22 without title, Arizona has the lowest charges of $9 to $10, and you can renew the registration for $35 to $36.

The agencies have registered more than 8.34 million motorbikes in different states of the USA. 

What is the average fee to register a motorcycle?

Its registration cost varies from state to state due to its standard policies and variable packages. However, the average cost of this activity is around $12 to $54.

The minimum cost of the process is around $12 to $35. However, it has a maximum limit of about $54 to $105.

You have to pay the title fee and the license transfer charges. In such circumstances, the total cost becomes about $13 to $105. The price is high because a few states have hidden charges.

They have additional fees for taxes and documentation. A few people request customized license plates with specific materials.

In such circumstances, the cost of the procedure increases from the standard range. The value and condition of the object determine the charges in several states. 

Why is Motorcycle Registration Expensive?

The procedure is costly due to the different features and properties of bikes. However, the following are a few significant factors that increase the cost of this activity. 


The sports and cruiser have higher weight limits than a standard one. These require specific number plates that can adjust on the front or rear sides. 

A few people use their sports bikes for the highway riding conditions. In such circumstances, the authorities permit commercial license plates.

These are expensive objects with embossed digits and alphabets. In such conditions, the company charges for the plate and procedure separately.

After such modifications, you can use these for commercial and non-commercial events. Harley Davidson products have maximum weight ranges of around 440 kg to 445 kg. 

Engine power

You would pay different registration charges according to its engine capacity. A few have the lowest engine power of around 60cc.

You would pay about $151 to $153 to register for these objects across the USA. Several regular road bikes have a motor capacity of around 61 ccs to 125cc.

For these objects, the registration charges are around $414 to $416 with the cost of the license plate and documentation. In addition, 2000-watt electric bikes are famous across the USA. 

Moreover, they have a high engine power that improves from 126cc and reaches up to 500 ccs. 

The authorities charge several dollars to register these vehicles. However, the average cost for the procedure is around $528 to $530 with complex documentation and a heavy license plate.

The power increases from 500 cc due to advanced technologies and appealing built-in specifications. 

The dealership charges around $725 to $728 to provide legal documents. However, it includes the taxes, hidden fees, and dealer charges.

Complexity of procedure 

A few people lack the documents of insurance, license number, and purchase procedure. Therefore, the dealership provides new certificates with authentic information and relevant data.

Riders can use motorcycles and do not face any legal challenges with these documents. But, the procedure becomes complex because the representative retrieves the lost information. 

Then, the authorities confirm the data with the related dealership. The method consumes a lot of time and effort.

In such conditions, the representative charges for their work efficiency, and the cost of procedure increases.

State rules and policies

Every state has specific rules for registering vehicles according to their design, model, and weight limits. A few state policies offer expensive packages for a rider.

But, others have low fees for the procedure due to variable rules. The dealerships of multiple states offer their delivery after the registration procedure.

In these conditions, the transfer fee adds to the package and increases the total cost.

Older motorcycle 

The procedure to get a license for older motorcycles is challenging because the authorities have to find minor details. 

The procedure is complex because the representatives ask several questions about the time of purchase, the name of the dealership, and riding without registration. The process may cost around $48 to $50 without a title. 

A few people get the license plates for their old bikes without a title because they lack the knowledge. 

In such circumstances, the procedure is slightly less expensive and looks cool. But, the cost is around $65 to $68 with the legal number and title.

Then, you can register the old version with a pink title slip, an application, and a verification number.

Cost of license plate

The license plate indicates the expiration and validation date. Several states offer an annual registration fee across the USA. 

However, their manufacturing material varies according to the type and policies of a dealership. A few states keep the license plate separate from the documentation. 

In these conditions, they charge a fee of around $76 to $78 for these objects. A few states merge the cost of this object with the entire procedure. 

Off-road motorcycles

Riders use off-road bikes for racing, exhibition, and other commercial purposes. In such conditions, they get a validation for two years which differs from a standard policy.

The authorities provide them with other certificates with the license number, expiry date, and allowed areas. The dealership may charge you around $56 to $58 to register one off-road bike. 

Insufficient documents

If you go to the nearby dealership for registration with insufficient documents and verifications. 

In such conditions, the authorities investigate the bike, its owner, and its usage. They can take legal action against the user according to the policies of a state. 

However, you can provide the authentic codes and relevant information for this process.

Then, the representative enters the data on particular websites and approves your request. But, it consumes multiple hours that add several dollars to the package.

Motorcycle Registration Fee Chart

Registration fees according to states


Motorcycle registration fee


$63 to $65


$9 to $10

New York

$19 to $22


$62 to $63


$11 to $12


$22 to $24


$54 to $56


$12 to $14


$80 t0 $82


$37 to $38


$67 to $75

Registration fee according to engine power

61cc to 125cc

$414 to $416

126cc to 500cc

$528 to $530

600cc to 750cc

$725 to $728


136kg to 181kg

$11 to $14

245kg to 426kg

$17 to $25

318kg to 340kg

$32 to $38

440kg to 445kg

$66 to $75

Off-road bikes

With license plate

$56 to $58

Older motorcycles

Without title

$48 to $50

With title/license

$65 to $68

How do you register a motorcycle?

Contact a nearby agency through email or phone call and get an appointment. Get the title of your motorcycle that consists of your name.

Also, take the residential proof, bank statement, and utility bill for authentic information. In these circumstances, the representatives can check your name, address, payment method, and relevant bank. 

Show your insurance proof to the agency and get multiple advantages. You would need the inspection certificate to indicate its security.

Allow the representatives to check its equipment, design, and parts. Then, ask for the registration fee, taxes, and other hidden charges. Next, select the license plate, suggest modifications and pay the fee. 

The company provides the new tags and numbers to display on your bike. Also, several states facilitate the installation of number plates with additional charges.

What state has the highest registration fees for motorcycles?

California offers the highest registration fee of around $63 to $65. The state authorities charges for the license number and number plate.

The average cost of its license is around $16 to $17 in California. Moreover, they add the fees of highway Patrol in the package with an average range of about $30 to $32.

The procedure is expensive in California because it considers the weight certificates and smog tests. Also, these are not hidden charges because the authorities add the amount in this package.

However, New York offers legal certificates with an average fee of around $19 to $22 with an annual registration. However, the state charges around $53 to $54 for the certificate of title.

The license plate costs about $27 to $28 in New York, and the inspection fee is around $8 to $9. However, Arizona has the lowest motorcycle registration fees of $9 to $10. 

It is an annual validation, and the state adds the public protection safety charges of around $34 to $36. 

Why is the motorcycle registration renewal so expensive?

The registration of standard bikes expires after a year and requires renewal. However, a few motorbikes have legal validation for two years across the USA. 

However, you can renew it by mail or contact the nearest agency. You would have authentic documents, verification numbers, and insurance during renewal. 

The average charges of this procedure are around $35 to $36 without the side taxes. However, New York charges you $28 to $30 according to its weight.

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