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When is an open Deed of Sale a viable option

Let’s take a closer look at the implications of an open Deed of Sale.

Motorcycle Deed of Sale

As a rule of thumb, when buying a motorcycle in the second hand market, you always want to acquire it with a closed deed of sale—that is, with the deed of sale under your name as the vendee. Likewise, if you’re selling your motorcycle, be sure to close the deed of sale under the name of the person who is buying from you to save you the hassle of any legal issues arising under the bike’s new ownership. 

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter simply is that a lot of really good deals are to be had with an open deed of sale. So, what do you do if you absolutely must purchase a bike with an open deed of sale? Well, if you’re currently eyeing a motorcycle with an open deed of sale, here are a few things you should take note of to keep you out of trouble. 

Make sure the registration is up to date

Motorcycle registration

The first thing you have to ensure when buying a used motorcycle—regardless of whether or not it has an open deed of sale—is to ensure that it’s registration papers are complete and up to date. Under no circumstances should you purchase a motorcycle with incomplete documents, such as a missing OR or CR, or worse, no original documents whatsoever. 

Be sure to double check all the documents—the Official Receipt (OR) and Certificate of Registration (CR). Make sure both of these documents are consistent with the owner’s name and address details inputted correctly. If everything seems to check out, you can move on the the next step. 

Make sure the deed of sale is under the seller’s name


If the motorcycle you’re looking at has an open deed of sale, the next order of business would be to carefully scrutinize the deed of sale itself. Put it side by side with the bike’s registration documents, and make sure details such as the CR number, OR number, chassis number, make, model, and most importantly the MV File Number are consistent. If any of these pieces of information are inconsistent, this is a definite red flat, and it may be a good idea to walk away from the deal. 

Make sure you know the owner

Buying a motorcycle

Knowing the owner personally is definitely a huge bonus when it comes to buying a motorcycle in the second hand market. Doing  so undoubtedly gives you peace of mind knowing that the bike is in good condition both legally and mechanically. If you don’t know the owner, at the very least, make sure that he or she is the person you’re transacting with directly. It’s very important that the owner—the person whose name appears on the registration documents and the deed of sale—is a bonafide true person, with valid identification to prove it. Make sure to secure a photocopy of at least two government-issued IDs of the registered owner, so a driver’s license, passport, or voter’s ID should suffice. 

Put it under your name and have it notarized immediately

Buying a motorcycle

The last thing you need to do, especially if the motorcycle you’re purchasing comes with an open deed of sale, is to close the deed of sale on the spot once the transaction has been completed. To do this, simply fill in the vendee details with all your personal information, affix your signature, and have the document notarized as soon as possible. Notarizing the document serves as a legal certification that the sale has indeed taken place, with the seal and signature of an attorney as a binding confirmation to the agreement. Make sure that the name and signature of the vendor matches that of the IDs he or she has provided, too, to avoid any discrepancies in the future.

So there you have it. An open deed of sale is definitely a common sight in the second hand market. However, if everything checks out, and all documentation is up to date and original, then there shouldn’t be any problem when it comes to closing the deed of sale and having it notarized. Of course, it goes without saying that the next step would be to transfer the ownership to your name. This can be done in your nearest LTO satellite office. We’ve covered transfer of ownership in a previous article, so be sure to check that out.

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