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; through research and some critical thinking, I’ve been able to produce some spaces to place these important documents.
So, where can you store your registration on your motorcycle? The best places to store your registration on your motorcycle are:
- Under the seat
- In a side bag
- Inside a magnetic stash box
- Inside your helmet
- Inside your jacket
- Inside a key chain accessory
- Behind the license plate
- In an 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.
1. Under the Seat
This first suggestion might be an obvious one. Some motorcycles come with a compartment underneath the seat allowing you to place paperwork and other small items to store. My current motorcycle, however, does not have that. 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 put my paperwork in a waterproof ziploc baggie (maybe even double bag it) and duct tape it underneath the seat. I would recommend two long strips of tape across the bag with the ziploc opening un-taped. That way you can just open the bag and easily access the paperwork without having to rip off 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
Having a side bag is incredibly convenient. Not only can you store your paperwork there, but you can also store other small items.
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 like, such as this affordable Saddlemen Cruis’N Deluxe Tool Bag (link to Motosport.com).
This bag is made of quality material that will keep your items safe including enduring bumpy roads and bad weather. Another great thing about a bag like this is that there’s no one particular place you have to put it; you can get creative and put it in a spot that is most convenient for you.
As a second suggestion for a motorcycle side bag, you can also look at your local thrift store. I once found a bag at my local thrift store that worked perfect as a side bag. 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. My first suggestion would be the stash box built 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 also like how small it is which makes finding a place to stick it to on my motorcycle very easy. Though these were created to use on cars, they work great with motorcycles, too.
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 Locker Box (link to Amazon.com).
Yes, it is a little bit more bulky, but this box is waterproof and has shown to be a bit more durable. It also gives you a little more space to place your paperwork in without having to make as many folds and crinkles. If you get one that’s similar to the color of your frame, it will easily blend in with the rest of your motorcycle.
4. Inside Your Helmet
Hopefully you are a good motorcycle rider, meaning you never ride your motorcycle without your helmet. 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.
If you are going to use this method, do not place your paperwork anywhere near the front half of your helmet, ALWAYS put it in the back end of your helmet. This prevents the paperwork from sliding forward and obstructing your site while riding.
Another matter to consider is that if the fabric inside does not easily pull away from the helmet, 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. Look for already existing pocket-like spots inside, most helmets have them. Click here to see the helmet I recommend in my list of recommended products.
5. Inside 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.
The best part about this suggestion is how easily accessible it is. You don’t have to worry about maneuvering around your motorcycle trying to reach for little storage compartments. I think police officers would appreciate this more too in the case you get pulled over.
I know many people who do this and report how effective this is. 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, having those important documents on you may provide vital information to first responders.
6. Inside 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) fits onto any key chain, is made out of aluminum, and is waterproof. 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 ride 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 since it looks 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 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 my favorite way to store important paperwork on a motorcycle. Some may assume this means stuffing your paperwork right behind your license plate, and while this may be possible, I have a better suggestion.
The Small Lockable Storage Box (link to Amazon.com) is an awesome accessory built specifically for motorcycles. It was made to be put behind the license plate of your motorcycle that really is not noticeable to anyone who doesn’t know it’s there.
I love this accessory because it’s hidden and less obvious yet it’s quite spacious for more than just papers. This compartment can hold keys, batteries, flash drives, and even more. Though you may have to drill holes in the box itself to make your license plate fit, this lockable storage compartment is perfect for stashing your important documents on your motorcycle.
8. In an 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. I get that. Attaching a canister, specifically made for motorcycles, may be the suggestion for you.
Though this is an item that you will need to permanently attach to your motorcycle, this form of storage looks pretty cool and almost appears to be a part of the motorcycle once you attach it. The Waterproof Tool Tube (link to Amazon.com) was built to hold operator manuals, so your documents will fit very nicely in these.
If you don’t want to attach this canister permanently to your motorcycle, zip ties will also do the trick, but use them to your discretion.
9. Inside Your Phone Case
With proper riding pants, you should have pockets big enough to fit your phone. 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 suggest using something like this phone case card holder (link to Amazon.com). These all-in-on phone cases are really convenient to have and provide quite a bit of storage space for cards, paper, and money. 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!).
If you have a plastic or silicone phone cover, you may even be able to get away with stuffing your papers just in between your phone and the cover.
The Paperwork You Always Need to Have On You
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. An emergency identification card can be made at home or you can simply look online for one. 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; you should NEVER store your title with your motorcycle. 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 and can easily sell your motorcycle.
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.
What About Keeping Digital Copies On Your Phone?
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 about the possibility of having these essential documents on your phone in digital form. Some states say it’s okay while others don’t allow it, but those laws keep changing from time to time, so its a little hard to keep up with them.
In my opinion, I suggest to just have the original hard copy of your essential paperwork with you at all times as well as keep digital copies on your phone to avoid additional tickets and fees. 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. Hopefully these are helpful and can help you stay safe while still looking cool on your ride. Remember to always be prepared, have your important paperwork with you at all times, and drive safely on the road.
Can I get a ticket if I don’t have my registration, driver’s license, and insurance? If you do not have one of these documents with you at the time you get pulled over, the officer has a right to give you a ticket, though he/she may not necessarily 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 ride a motorcycle? Every state in the U.S. requires some sort of certificate indicating you are eligible to drive a motorcycle such as a permit, license, or endorsement of sorts. I recommend contacting your local DMV for specific laws in your state concerning a motorcycle license. You can read my other article here for more information.