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Dec 8th 2017, 07:55 AM   #1
  Apr 2017

Ask an officer re: bike registration location

I have a question about my registration carry location on my bike. I have had to present my registration once or twice (just warnings, thank you!) and getting at it on my old bike was a real PITA. On my V-Strom I carry it now in one of the side-cases. It's easy to get at.

However, sometimes I want to ride without the side-cases, and I would probably forget to transfer the registration from case to underseat location. My question is: can I carry a copy of the registration under the bike seat where one might usually find it? Will I get in trouble if I don't have the actual printout from the WA DOL? Will a good color copy suffice? It's not like I'm forging it; the VIN is easily looked up. After all, I can print out copies of my insurance cards all day long, and that's good enough.
Dec 8th 2017, 10:29 AM   #2
  Apr 2016

That is a reasonable question! I too would like to know. I usually have the registration under the seat but some bikes that is not an option so I put it in a pocket. And some days I forget to load up my pockets.
Dec 8th 2017, 10:45 AM   #3
 mjh937's Avatar
  Feb 2016
  Bellingham, WA

  Yamaha FZ-07
I would put the original under the seat and a copy in the side case, that way if the copy is not good enough you can still dig out the original and not risk a possible ticket.
Dec 8th 2017, 11:45 AM   #4
 CaptainAwesome's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  Harley Davidson LR-S
I asked this last week when getting new tags, its supposed to be the original but didnt appear to be a massive issue.

I put mine in a ziploc bag and keep it in my jacket. The bag keeps it from wearing or getting wet.
Dec 8th 2017, 11:55 AM   #5
 Sentinel's Avatar
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
MY bike has a glove box. I keep it in there with the manual.

Dec 8th 2017, 12:27 PM   #6
  Apr 2016

Originally Posted by Sentinel
MY bike has a glove box. I keep it in there with the manual.

We don't all ride cars with two wheels. :-P
Dec 8th 2017, 01:52 PM   #7
 Scribbles's Avatar
  Jan 2016

I'd say that if the cop was in a bad mood, he'd write you up for not having the original.
My boy got a ticket for not having the proper ins card. He had insurance, and the policy # to prove it, but not the 3x5 card they send you. He had to take time off of work to go to court and still had to pay $115 in "court costs" even though the ticket was dropped.
I keep my key and registration in one of my jackets. If I dont wear that jacket, I still have to get the key (and registration).
Dec 8th 2017, 04:31 PM   #8
 ZXtasy's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Moses Lake, WA

  2013 Kawasaki Concours C-14, 2005 ZX-10R Kawasaki (Nekkid), '99 Yamaha TW-200
Lord knows that side pocket is not big enough even for my snub nose .38, so might as well use it for something. On my DS bikes I wrap the registration up inside the crossbar pad, easy to get to and protected.
Dec 8th 2017, 04:36 PM   #9
 Sentinel's Avatar
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
Originally Posted by Ryanthegreat1
We don't all ride cars with two wheels. :-P
I see what you did there.

Dec 8th 2017, 07:40 PM   #10
 Pavement Tested's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  '08 GSX1300R, '06 GSX-R 750, '17 KTM 690 Duke
Strictly speaking for WA:

Little known fact, you can get a citation for not having the original registration document signed. It's a non-moving violation and last check it was over $120.

This leads me to believe that a less than friendly law officer would not accept a copy of the document. There is often a watermark that shows up on official-ish paperwork like this as well that is not visible on originals but shows up on copies. Try copying your vehicle title some time. It will say VOID all over it. Not certain that registration cards are the same.

On bikes I've had that don't have a "glove box" I put my registration and insurance papers in a sandwich bag under the seat. I put it in a sandwich bag in the glove box on my Conny. The bag keeps the weather from destroying the paper.

You could also keep it in your wallet. That's something that you'll always have with you. It does pose a problem in the winter when we wear outter wear on the lower half as well as the upper half but may take a little less digging to get to than under the seat if it's a chore to get to with the bags on.

Last, you could put it under the lining of your helmet, if you only wear one, and you'd have it when riding.
Dec 9th 2017, 05:55 AM   #11
 Arcane's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Bremerton WA

Oops... I have forgotten to carry mine for the last ten months or so.
Dec 9th 2017, 08:50 AM   #12
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
  Jan 2016

I get stopped for speeding about once a year, about equally in OR and WA. Sometimes the occifer is grumpy and sometimes not, sometimes I get a ticket and sometimes I don't. But I've never had one even react when I told him I wasn't carrying the registration. They don't seem to find it unexpected.

Also as often as not my insurance card, while correct in every other respect, will be expired. So far "that information is correct but I didn't put the newest card in my wallet" has been good enough and they haven't dinged me for that either.

(I've said it before though, the way to a traffic cop's heart is to behave in a way that conspicuously acknowledges their concerns. Stand patiently beside the bike with your hands in plain view, and inform him of what you're about to do before reaching into your pocket or whatever. I've turned a couple of grouchy cops pretty mellow this way; everybody likes it when you understand their point of view, and that goes a long way with the po-leece.)
Dec 9th 2017, 09:53 AM   #13
 Sentinel's Avatar
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 - The Origame Sea-Dragon
Originally Posted by WarpShatner7
...the way to a traffic cop's heart is to behave in a way that conspicuously acknowledges their c̶o̶n̶c̶e̶r̶n̶s̶ authority. )

fixed it for ya.

Dec 9th 2017, 10:08 AM   #14
 unicykle's Avatar
  Sep 2017
  milwaukie oregon

  gsxr600 gsxr750 gsxr1000 i like gsxrs
Just ride faster
Dec 10th 2017, 12:53 AM   #15
 Dubnut's Avatar
  Apr 2016
  My Garage

Depending on your ride...
If you've no underseat access (dual sport, H-D, adventure WHY) Go get a four inch long piece of PVC threaded at each end. Seal one. Find an inconspicuous spot to mount it... Baggy + proper paperwork = no problems.

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