When buying vintage motorcycle sidecar units, pay special attention to the local laws and regulations concerning their use as asserted by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. In many cases, vintage sidecars are not street-legal without extensive modification.
When researching the vintage motorcycle sidecar unit market, be sure to corroborate sellers' claims with a reliable third-party source, especially when it comes to whether the vehicle is street-legal. If a vintage motorcycle with a sidecar has not been refurbished since its original production date, there is a good chance that it is no longer compliant with modern laws concerning pollution emissions.
If an unrefurbished motorcycle and sidecar qualifies as an antique item, it is possible to register for antique plates in many municipalities. Gaining antique status typically requires extensive documentation and can result in complications if the motorcycle in question is imported from a foreign country.
When searching for vintage motorcycle sidecar units, make sure that reliable transportation is accounted for. It may be necessary to rent a motorcycle trailer or to contract the services of a vehicle shipping company, especially if the unit in question is more than few hours away. Due to emissions laws, transport may be necessary even if the vehicle runs.