Technical Article: Conversion of Dirt Bikes for Street Legal Use
Vehicle registration policies in most states typically allow conversion of an off-road only title into a street title or in some states a designated "Dual Registration." To register a dirt bike for street use, it must be equipped with the necessary lighting and other equipment required by your states vehicle code.
CALIFORNIA: If you live in California, you must register your bike out of state.
Every state requires what is called "The Federal Minimum Requirement" which consists of:
- Headlight with a high and low beam.
- Headlight indicator light visible to the operator to show when the high beam is operating.
- Horn - Some states mandate an electric horn.
- Battery powered taillight and brake light which must operate for 20 minutes on battery power alone.
- Rear view mirror.
- Turn signals for motorcycles manufactured after 1/1/73 (Most States).
- Some states require speedometers and odometers.
- Tires should be DOT approved.
- Lights should be DOT approved.
- Fuel tank should be DOT approved.*
* Even though the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard specifies steel gas tanks for street motorcycles, most states will not enforce this for converted dirt bikes
Registration procedures vary from state to state but typically involve:
- Signing an affidavit certifying that the vehicle meets state standards.
- Bringing the bike to the DMV for an inspection for proper lighting.
- Once the paper work and inspection are complete the final step is to exchange your off-road title for a street title.
Exchanging Your Title
Most states have a "Dual Registration Form" You should be able to download this form from your states DMV over the internet or filling it out at your DMV office. Then pay the transfer fee and obtain your registration, put the plate on your bike and go show your friends!