What Is a Bill of Sale?
A Bill of Sale is a document needed to formalize a legitimate sale or transfer of personal property. It resembles a receipt that includes information about both parties of the transaction. It also proves that the property rights have been transferred from seller to buyer, thus, it protects both parties in case of a disagreement.
The document is also known as:
- Sales Slip;
- Sales Receipt;
- Proof of Purchase;
- Proof of Payment;
- Proof of Sale.
There exist a number of different types of Bill of Sale that reflect the conditions of the deal. Bills of sale can be absolute, conditional, quitclaim or warranty.
Where Can I Get a Bill of Sale?
Depending on your needs and the type of transaction, you may either visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or go to a tax assessor's or collector's office in your state. If the purchase is performed through a licensed dealer, all the paperwork is to be handled by the dealer. You may also wish to ask an attorney to prepare an official bill of sale for you.
In other cases, writing your own document can be an option. Select a specific type of transaction from the options below or create your own bill of sale template designed for any and every purpose you may have:
These forms may be used to document the transfer of any type of property to a new owner, as long as the seller's state of legal residence does not have laws that declare otherwise.
A Car or Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale is a legal document used to transfer the ownership of a vehicle from one party to another. Depending on the state, this document may be required or not.
The form itself may also vary from state to state with some states providing specific department-issued forms that are to be used. Most vehicle sale receipts include the type of vehicle, the model, make, odometer reading, identification number and year, as well as the seller’s and buyer’s information, the date and price of the purchase and the parties’ signatures.
A Boat or Watercraft Bill of Sale is used to legally record the transfer of watercraft from a seller to a buyer. The form mostly contains information similar to that required by the other sales receipts along with the price and description of the boat being sold, its hull identification number (HIN), the date of sale and information on both participating parties.
The requirements, however, might differ depending on the state. In most states, registration of the boat is required shortly after the transaction. Depending on your state of residence, you might also need to pay a sales tax.
A Rifle or Gun Bill of Sale is a document that describes a sale of a firearm to a customer in writing. Additional names for the form include a firearm sale receipt, a firearm purchase agreement, and a firearm sale contract. You are not obligated to have a sales receipt while purchasing or selling of a gun, however, it is wise to have one to protect yourself from any legal or criminal issues that might arise.
A Livestock Bill of Sale is a legally-binding form used to document the transfer of ownership of farm animals (i.e.: cows, pigs, horses, chickens, hens, etc.).
How to Make a Bill of Sale?
We have prepared a list with all the information you have to include in your form, as well as some before-printing tips for those wondering how to write a Bill of Sale.
Don’t forget to include:
- Seller's name and address;
- Buyer's name and address;
- A detailed description of the item you are about to sell as well as legal information - such as serial numbers, identification numbers, etc.;
- Information on the location of the transaction;
- Transaction date;
- History of ownership;
- Amount of sale;
- Agreements related to the payment method;
- Sales tax information.
Don’t forget to check your form before printing:
- Check that all the information you include is legit;
- Make sure there is a place for signatures: the buyer’s, the seller’s and the witness’s (if there is one);
- Make copies of the paperwork for both parties.
What Is the Difference Between a Bill of Sale and a Title?
It is important to understand the difference between these two documents. Bills of sale exist in Сommon law independently of legislation. Being a simple document, it does not prove the ownership itself, but serves mostly as a record of the property transaction and has information on when and where the transaction took place. The form does not have the same legal force as a title does, but it is still useful evidence of the details, conditions and the fact of the transaction itself.
A title transfer, however, is a document that officially notifies the governing state not only about the act of transferring of an item from one party to another but also about granting the buyer the ownership status.
Who Can Sign a Bill of Sale?
It is always a good idea to use the form when purchasing an item in order to protect your legal rights. Both parties of the deal are to sign this contract so that it has a legal force. The participants must read the paperwork thoroughly before signing it.
In some states, a notary is required to witness the act of signing the document. Even though in some states a witness is optional, it is a good idea to get one. This will prove the authenticity of the document if any disputes arise in the future.
Use this form to document the details of a motor vehicle. These details include the vehicle's odometer mileage, vehicle's title and other important information required to sell a vehicle in Georgia. This document can be used as proof of sale, as it is a legal agreement between the buyer and the seller.
Download this official South Carolina vessel form in order to document the transfer of a vessel from the seller to the purchaser. It is used to prove ownership of the boat and to release the previous owner from the liability for the watercraft.
Another name for this document is the Hawaii Motorcycle Bill of Sale form. Use this form in order to document the transfer of a bicycle or moped from the seller the buyer. The document has important information used to identify the seller, the buyer, and the sold item.
This legal document is also known as the Hawaii Vehicle Bill of Sale form. Download it if you need to sell or buy a vehicle in the state of Hawaii. The form documents your purchase, serves as legal proof of the deal and is accepted by any official agency.
Download this official Kansas Vehicle Bill of Sale form to have a temporary proof of purchase. The form serves also as a permit that allows to operate a car without an officially issued title or registration.
This form is the official state form released by the Motor Vehicle Division of the Montana Department of Justice. It is used to confirm the sale of a vehicle or a boat. It also provides the important details about the car/boat and the terms and conditions of sale.
This is a supplemental document that lists the component parts of the vehicle and their inventory numbers. It is submitted with Form VTR-61, Rebuilt Vehicle Statement when filing a new application for the vehicle title if the vehicle contains component parts.
This form is a document you use to substantiate the transfer of a motor vehicle or watercraft from the seller to the buyer. This state-approved document helps to record the transaction information and serves as proof of purchase.
This is a legal form you fill out when transferring the vehicle from the seller to the buyer. The form records the essential information about the sale of the sold vehicle and transfers ownership in the case of antique cars.
This form is the official state template issued by the Maryland Department of Transportation. It is used to verify and confirm the sale of a vehicle. It also provides essential information about the car and the terms and conditions of sale.
This is a state official form issued by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR Services) that you must complete when selling or buying a boat in the state of Maryland. It contains important information about the parties of the transaction, as well as about the vessel you are about to purchase.
Download this form when you sell or buy a firearm so you may document the fact of the gun transfer. This form contains information for easy identification of the seller, the buyer, and the sold firearm. It was issued by the Michigan State Police and is the official form you must use for this kind of transaction.
This form was issued by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. It is a legal document that establishes the details of the car sale transaction in Nevada. It also provides the essential information about the car and the terms and conditions of sale.
This form was issued by the New Hampshire Department of Safety. It is a legal document that establishes the details of the legal sale and purchase of a vehicle in New Hampshire. It also provides the essential information about the car, the terms and conditions of sale.
Fill out this document to record the details of a vehicle sale in the state of New York. The same form is used to document the transfer of a vessel. It is the official State of New York Bill of Sale released by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
This form is a legal document used in the state and known as the South Dakota Vehicle Bill of Sale. Use it if you wish to sell a motor vehicle, trailer, or boat. It is required for legal registration and operation of a vehicle in the state.
This form is used as a supplementary document filled out by the seller and the salvage dealer to fully describe the bought component parts of the vehicle in the state of Texas.
Use this form if you are a salvage vehicle dealer to transfer a junk vehicle. It contains a description of the junk vehicle, the salvage vehicle dealer and the metal recycler's personal details, as well as a description of the vehicle delivering the junk vehicle
Get this official Vermont Bill of Sale created for the seller and the purchaser to exchange an amount of money for a motor vehicle or a boat. This document is suitable for the sale or purchase of a car or boat in the state.
This is a state-specific form used to document the transfer of a watercraft from one party to another. It serves as legal proof that the boat was sold and purchased. The form is useful to both parties, the seller and the buyer.
Form PI-087 Bill of Sale (Christmas Trees, Evergreen Boughs, or Other Wild Trees, Shrubs or Vines or Native Plants) - Michigan
This is an official form issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is completed during the sale or purchase of Christmas trees, evergreen boughs, or other wild trees, shrubs or vines in the state of Michigan.
Use this form if you wish to sell a motor vehicle, trailer, or boat. It was issued by the Idaho Department of Transportation and is required for a legal registration and operation of a vehicle in the state.
Use this document to inform the Department of Revenue that you transferred ownership of a vehicle. This legal notice demonstrates the agreement of the parties, protects the seller and the purchaser in case any disputes occur after the sale, and proves the payment was made.
This form is the official state template issued by the Missouri Department of Revenue. It is used to verify and confirm the sale of a vehicle or a boat. It also provides essential information about the car/boat and the terms and conditions of sale.
Use this official state form if you need to record the details of the sale and purchase of a vehicle in the state of North Dakota. It establishes the fact of sale and protects both parties from potential disagreements and fraudulent claims in the future.
Use this legal document designed to allow law enforcement agencies to enter into sales contracts with private parties. Abandoned and impounded vehicles are frequently auctioned by government agencies in order to recover the expenses of towing and storage. This specific form is useful if you wish to purchase a vehicle at a low price from a reliable seller.
This form - also referred to as the West Virginia Vehicle Bill of Sale or the West Virginia Boat Bill of Sale - is a form used for recording the sale and transfer of motor vehicles and watercraft by state residents.
Download this official state-issued form in order to document the transfer of a vessel from the seller to the purchaser. It is required to prove ownership of the sold boat and to release the previous owner from the liability for the boat.
This is a notice the seller of the vehicle sends to the South Dakota Department of Revenue (DOR) to inform them of the sale or transfer of the described motor vehicle or boat. The form is used in conjunction with Form MV-016 and Form 1025.
Fill out this form when selling or buying a vehicle or vessel in South Dakota. It requires you to describe the vehicle (its year, make, model, identification number, and title number), state the date of the sale, seller and purchaser's personal details, and the price of the item.
Form MV2928 - or the Wisconsin Vehicle Bill of Sale - is a form released by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and used to record the sales of motor vehicles within the state.
Form MV2459 is a bill of sale used to record the transfer of a junked vehicle in the state of Wisconsin.
Form HSMV-82050 Notice of Sale and/Or Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, off-Highway Vehicle or Vessel - Florida
Use this document if you need to buy or sell a vehicle, mobile home or a vessel in the state of Florida. This form serves both as a bill of sale and notice of sale and is required during the vehicle's registration. It is an important document for the seller and the buyer.
Download this official state-issued form if you need to document the sale or purchase of a vehicle. The issuing agency is the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). It is the same form as the one used to record the sale of a watercraft in the state of Indiana.
Fill out this form, issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), if you are a mechanic's lien holder and need to sell a vehicle in Indiana. This form is an important part of sales documentation needed to obtain the certificate of title.
Fill out this document to record the details of a vehicle sale in the state of New Mexico. The same form is used to document the transfer of a vessel. It is the official State of New Mexico Bill of Sale.
This form is a legal document used in the state and known as the Texas Vehicle Bill of Sale. Use it if you wish to sell or purchase a vehicle. It is required for legal registration and operation of a vehicle in Texas.
This form, also known as the Wisconsin Mobile Home Bill of Sale, is a legal form that accompanies the sale and purchase of a manufactured home within the state of Wisconsin.