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If you’re like me, you’ve found yourself stuck thinking where you are going to place all of your necessary paperwork on your motorcycle. I’m more of a minimalist kind of guy and don’t like to have a lot of bulky equipment on my motorcycles, so storage space is not plentiful on my rides.
I’ve had to get creative with where I store my paperwork and have done a lot of research and been able to collaborate some creative spaces to place these important documents.
You might be wondering where to store your registration on your motorcycle. These are the best places to keep your registration on your motorcycle:
- Below the seat
- Side bag
- In a magnetic stash bag
- Inside your helmet
- In your jacket
- In a keychain accessory
- Behind the license plate
- In the attached canister
- Inside your phone case
These ways I’ve listed to store registration on your motorcycle, not in any particular order, have proven to work well for me and others I know. It’s important to be safe and legal while you’re out riding.
1. Below the Seat
This is a common suggestion. You might find a compartment under the seat that allows you to keep paperwork or other small items. Unfortunately, the compartment under my current motorcycle doesn’t have this feature. I had my seat custom made so it’s securely fastened to the frame with the inability to pop it open. I’ve noticed, however, if I reach down underneath it there is a bit of space.
Sometimes I will place my paperwork in waterproof ziploc bagsgies (or double bag it!) and duct tape it beneath the seat. Two long strips of tape should be applied to the bag, leaving the ziploc opening open. You can simply open the bag to access the paperwork, without the need to rip any tape.
This may be a little awkward if you get pulled over and have to maneuver your way under the seat, but I’m sure the officer will appreciate that you have your paperwork in the first place (because you’d be surprise at how many motorcyclists don’t have them).
If you choose to store your paperwork this way, you’ll notice the accessibility isn’t exactly the most convenient. But this suggestion has been tried and proves to work great if you’re okay with that bit of inconvenience.
2. In a Side Bag
A side bag is extremely convenient. You can not only store paperwork, but small items can also be stored in the side bag.
As I stated before, I am a minimalist when it comes to my motorcycles so I don’t love huge bulky merchandise. There are many small and fashionable side bags available that I actually kind of like, such as this affordable Saddlemen Cruis’N Deluxe Tool Bag (link to Motosport.com).
This bag is made out of high quality material, which will keep your items safe even on bumpy roads. Another great thing about a bag like this is that there’s no one particular place you have to put it; You have the freedom to be creative and place it where you find most convenient.
You can also check out your local thrift store for a side bag for your motorcycle. A bag I found at my local thrift shop that was perfect for a side bag worked well. You may have to make some adjustments on the straps and handle, maybe even make the straps yourself, but it’s a great way to get a bag if you have a budget.
3. Magnetic Stash Box
If you’re hoping for an idea that’s not as bulky as the bag, the next idea to try is using a magnetic stash box. The first idea I would suggest is the magnetic stash box, which was made specifically for keys.
I sometimes use a magnetic Hide-A-Key Holder; it’s just big enough for me to fold up my essential paperwork and stuff it in there. I like the small size of it, which makes it very easy to stick to my motorcycle. These were originally designed for cars but they are great for motorcycles.
Some may not like this specific key holder because it’s not necessarily waterproof. If you’re looking for something more heavy duty, try using the Waterproof Magnetic Stash Box (link to Amazon.com).
It is heavier than the previous model, but it is also waterproof and more durable. The extra space allows you to store your paperwork without having to fold or crinkle as much. If you get one that’s similar to the color of your frame, It will blend seamlessly with your rest of the motorcycle.
4. Inside Your Helmet
You are likely to be a competent motorcycle driver and never leave your helmet behind. If safety is a priority to you, then storing your registration in your helmet is a great way to always remember to bring your paperwork because you’ll never forget your helmet.
Occasionally I will store my paperwork behind the fabric inside my helmet; there’s a little button that easily detaches in the back end giving me the ability to stuff the paperwork inside there.
This method is recommended. Do not place any paperwork near your helmet’s front.It is important to always place your paperwork in the back of your helmet. This prevents paperwork from slipping forward and obstructing you while driving.
You should also consider that if the helmet’s fabric is not pulling away easily from the helmet, it is best to leave it alone. The last thing you want to do is ruin any soft material inside that’s meant to protect your head in the case of an accident. You should look for pockets-like places in helmets. Click here for my recommendation of helmets.
5. Your Jacket
I’m not one who usually rides my motorcycle wearing a jacket (and I need to be better at that), but if you’re one who always rides with a jacket, this is a great approach for you. If there’s a pocket you know you won’t mess with, laminate and store your important documents there.
This suggestion has the best part: It is so easy to access. You don’t have to worry about maneuvering around your motorcycle trying to reach for little storage compartments. This would be appreciated by police officers if you are pulled over.
This is a great idea. I have spoken with many others who have done it and can attest to how efficient they are. One of my friends even said it’s a double reminder: he never wants to ride without his jacket and he never wants to ride without his paperwork; when he remembers one, he remembers the other.
If something happens to you and you’re found on the road unconscious, It is important to have these documents with you in case of an emergency.
6. A Key-Chain Accessory
If you don’t mind a little bulk on your key chain, this affordable method might be for you. This accessory case (link to Amazon.com), is lightweight, waterproof and fits any key chain. You will have to possibly cut any excess paper off your registration and insurance paperwork and fold/roll them up to get them to fit, but it’s certainly do-able.
You can’t drive without keys so you’ll never forget your registration and car insurance as it’s already stored away, ready to be accessed to your convenience. No one will suspect you have paperwork in there and most people assume it’s a small flashlight as it looks very similar to one.
If you don’t like the idea of having a bulky item constantly hanging off of your keys, try chaining it to your handle bars or some other part of your motorcycle other people won’t see. It’ll constantly be with your motorcycle and you won’t have to worry about the extra weight on your keys.
7. Behind the License Plate
This is how I prefer to keep important paperwork on a motorcycle. This may seem like stuffing paperwork behind your license plate. I have a better idea.
The Small Lockable Storage Box (link on Amazon.com) was created specifically for motorcycles. This was designed to fit under your motorcycle’s license plate. not noticeable to anyone who doesn’t know it’s thereIt looks very natural.
I love this accessory because it’s hidden and less obvious yet it’s quite spacious for more than just papers. This compartment can store keys, flash drives, batteries, and more. Although you might have to drill holes into the box to accommodate your license plate, this lockable storage container is ideal for keeping important documents on your motorcycle.
8. Attached Canister
Maybe you’ve considered these suggestions but would prefer to have a little more space in case you need to carry more than just your important paperwork. That’s okay. You might consider attaching a canister made specifically for motorcycles.
Although this item will be required to be permanently attached to your motorcycle, it looks great and almost seems to be part of your bike once you attach it. The Waterproof Tool Tube (link on Amazon.com) was designed to store operator manuals. Your documents will fit perfectly in this tube.
There may be enough space to store a few additional tools. If you don’t want to attach this canister permanently to your bike, zip ties will also do the trick, but use them to your discretion.
9. Your Phone Case
Our society is heavily dependent on cell phones. Most people wouldn’t dare leave their homes without it because we’ve learned to use it for most forms of communication.
Proper riding pants should have enough space for your phone to fit in the pockets. I would suggest just putting your registration paperwork in your pockets, but let’s be real. Who’s going to remember to put their registration in their pocket every time they ride? That’s why putting your paperwork in your phone case is a perfect solution; most people won’t forget their phones, therefore they won’t forget their registration.
I recommend this product: Amazon.com link to phone case card holder These all-in-one phone cases are extremely convenient to have and provide a lot storage space. For money, paper, cards and paper. This would be an excellent way to assure you don’t forget your important registration paperwork (and that you don’t forget your money, too!).
You may be able to stuff your papers between the phone and a silicone or plastic phone cover.
The Paperwork You Always Need
Let’s talk about what paperwork you need to always have with you while you ride: you should always carry your motorcycle registration, motorcycle insurance, driver’s license, and emergency identification card. Either you can create an emergency ID card at home or look online. It’s a good idea to include your name, number, address, birth date, and emergency contact information.
You’ll notice that the motorcycle title was not listed; Your motorcycle should not be stored with your title. That should always be kept at home in a safe place. If someone steals your motorcycle with the title stored in it, they’ll find the title which leads to a highly likely sell and them pocketing the cash.
You’ll also notice as you’ve read this article, the suggested ways to store your important paperwork may not work with your driver’s license as it is not foldable. Your driver’s license should be kept with you at all times and not permanently stored with the motorcycle; I suggest always having your license in your wallet and/or pocket.
Sure, most of the time you ride your motorcycle you probably won’t need your insurance or registration, but let’s face it, the one time you don’t bring your paperwork is when you’re going to need it the most.
It’s a good rule of thumb to have these important documents with you everywhere you go on your motorcycle. Sometimes it’s hard remembering to take all your paperwork with you every time you ride, so having a designated place for them makes life a lot easier.
You might consider keeping digital copies of your phone’s content.
I’ve been asked a lot, and have also wondered myself, if it is possible to just keep digital copies of my registration, license, and motorcycle insurance on my phone or take a picture of all three important documents.
I did some research on the possibility of these documents being stored digitally on your smartphone. Some states say it’s okay while others don’t allow it, but those laws keep changing from time to time in each state so its a little hard to keep up with them.
My opinion is that you should just Keep a copy of the essential paperwork in hardcopy with you at all time To avoid paying additional tickets or fees, you can also keep digital copies on your smartphone. That way you’re 100% covered in case your paperwork gets damaged or lost along the road.
When it comes to storage, sometimes it’s hard to find it on your motorcycle. I know I’ve run into this problem with every one of my motorcycles; one or several of these suggestions has made life so much easier for me in making sure I am safe and legal while riding on the road. These are hopefully helpful and will help you to stay legal and safe while still looking great on your bike. Always be prepared and have all your paperwork handy so you can safely drive on the roads.
Can I get a ticket if I don’t have my registration, driver’s license, and insurance? The officer may give you a ticket if you don’t have one of the documents at the time that you are pulled over. However, he/she might not always give you one. If you have two out of the three with you, you may have less of a chance of getting a ticket whereas if you have none of them you’re more likely to get a ticket.
Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a motorcycle? Each state in the U.S. must have some type of certificate to prove that you are qualified to ride a motorcycle. This could be a permit, license or endorsement. For specific laws regarding a motorcycle license in your state, I recommend you contact your local DMV.