No DMV expert, I, but . . . I think you'd need a CLEAR title signed over to you by the NAMED owner to make this deal legit.
Regardless, visiting the DMV as your first step appears a correct and prudent course, to me.
You want to "disappear" the present owner, and fabricate a transaction with the previous title holder? An innocent-enough ambition, perhaps; however . . . some would label such a scheme, FRAUD.
Typically, I don't think DMVs are amused by frauds perpetrated upon their agency, innocent though their intent might be . . .
A modest proposal: Put the DMV burden on the (actual) SELLER: Negotiate a deal (selling price) with the college kid, and tell him you will pay him that amount upon delivery of the bike AND a clear title properly signed (and notarized, if necessary) over to you.
Playing games with a bogus title could lead to charges of fraud (as mentioned) and perjury (from false statements on the title; mileage, date, owner, etc.).
No value judgment offered; however, seems to me I've read little clauses on the title, like: "Under penalty of perjury, I hereby swear or affirm . . . " If anyone in the chain (titled owner, present college kid custodian, or you) enters false information, you could be in a heap o' trouble . . . maybe even open to charges of CONSPIRACY, if you only know of the gag and go along with it to your advantage, without perjuring yourself.
Last edited by Damocles; 04-06-2015 at 11:05 PM.