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Hey all:

I'm from Columbus, OH. So, I'm a new rider looking to get my first bike. I've never registered a vehicle in my name, or bought my own vehicle. I found a z125 in great condition, for a great price on Craigslist. I'm going to be checking it out tomorrow evening. If all is well with the bike and the seller has a title to sign over to me, I'll be getting the bike. Questions:

1. How do I physically change the title to my name? As in, give me a literal step by step, simple, tell me like I'm 5yrs old explanation. I've looked at Ohio title transfer stuff, but can't find copies anywhere. I've never even seen one.

2. I've heard of Ohio needing notarized titles, what does that mean? Does the seller get HIS name/identity notarized only? Do I need to get my name/identity notarized? What if he doesn't have it notarized? Should I not take the deal? What are problems I should be on the lookout for in regards to the title? How do I know if he/title/bike are legit?

3. READ THIS ONE! IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT: I talked to him on the phone about the bike and asked a lot of questions. Asked about the title and he mentioned that he is still making payments on the bike. I didn't know how to respond or what that meant for me in transferring the title. Nothing in his ad mentions that. Now, if I have the title changed to my name, does that mean I will incur the debt on the motorcycle? Aka. I'll be out the cash paid to him for the bike AND I have to make payments on the bike? Obviously, I don't want to do that and that was never the deal. Is this legit? I mean, he could very well take the money I give him for the bike and pay it off, but if bike debt follows the title/vehicle, then will I be stuck with debt from the bike and owe whatever he still hasn't payed off on the bike? What do I need to do to maneuver this situation? Perhaps this is a common situation and I'm just ignorant.

4. What do I absolutely need from the seller before I leave? In terms of specific stuff on the title, a copy of his ID, keys, other important bike paperwork, manual, etc.?

5. Any other useful stuff for Ohio private seller motorcycle buying? How do I make sure I will be COMPLETELY legitimate after buying this used bike from a private seller?

Thanks for any help, I can't find these specific answers anywhere and I've searched far and wide.
 

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1& 2 / Plenty of links on google ... https://www.dmv.com/oh/ohio/vehicle-registration
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3 / the lien holder (bank credit union ect) has the actual pink slip . if its local you should meet him there with the money . they may just sign off the pink to him, then he can sign off and you have the pink in hand . or the bank may insist they sign off and send it in to the dmv them self's so they know there off the pink . then it may still go to him and you'll have to get it from him,unless the bank is willing to sign it over to you ? if not a hand written bill of sale by him with his signature, date, and Vin' number will usually stand up in court (judge Judy) take a friend for a witness .

3 1/2 / if the lien holder is in another state set up by the dealer , then its a leap of faith , but the signed bill of sale from him is a must !
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4 / the pink or the signed bill of sale ---I.D. of some kind that matches the name on the pink or his registration card , and match up the vin' number on the frame behind headlight to his pink or registration card vin' number
any paper work or manuals he wants to give you is his choice and up to him ,
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5 / buy doing all of the above
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all this is just my .02 ... hope it helps
 

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I'll answer your questions out of order and start with the most important first.

3. As Kaw'ee said, if the PO is still making payments, then there is a LIEN against the bike. It's not a problem, it just means that the bank actually owns the bike. If the PO wants to sell the bike, the LIEN needs to be released (google LIEN release) so that the title is free and clear. When a bike/car is paid off, the owner typically gets a LIEN release form that one can bring to the bank and get a clear title. If you buy this bike with a LIEN on it, the DMV will not transfer the title. Since the bank technically owns the bike, the PO could just stop making payments and the bike would be repossessed. Debt follows the guy who signed the paperwork and NOT the title... but title cannot be transferred until bike is paid for. Long story short, I only deal with titles that are free and clear.

1/2. Go to the local DMV and they will walk you through it. Just as a note, you may need to write down the 'engine number' stamped on the block. I don't know about Ohio, but Minnesota is a stickler for making sure that the engine number matches the VIN in their system. I've never dealt with titling a bike with a motor swap, so no idea how that works... but DMV is where you go and they will walk you through it.

4. At a minimum: Title (free and clear or LIEN release form). Bill of sale. Keys. Bike. Anything else the PO has is a bonus.

5. Meet in a public location!!! Don't meet some dude in an ally 'behind his house' with a pocket full of cash. Too many stories about getting jumped and getting taken for all you got. I don't deal in cash. Money order or PayPal (yes even in person).
 
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