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What Is an Illinois Bill of Sale?

An Illinois bill of sale is a written record that documents the change in legal ownership of an item from one owner to a new owner. In addition to being required to transfer legal ownership through a state agency, an Illinois bill of sale is important for personal record keeping. It can be particularly helpful if a legal dispute arises over the item.

What Are Some Common Bills of Sale Used in Illinois?

In Illinois, the most commonly used bills of sale are a general bill of sale, a bill of sale for motor vehicles, a bill of sale for junk vehicles, a bill of sale for a boat, and a bill of sale for a gun.

How Do I Write an Illinois Bill of Sale?

To write a basic Illinois bill of sale, including the following information about the buyer, the seller, and the item:

  • The printed legal name of the buyer and seller
  • The date the bill of sale was created
  • Descriptive information about the item being sold
  • The amount of money the item was sold for
  • The signatures of the parties
  • In certain circumstances, the bill of sale may require the signature of a notary public

An Illinois bill of sale can be written in plain English, without legal jargon or archaic terms. The most important point to remember is to include the required elements. If you’re a party listed in the Illinois bill of sale, keep more than one copy of the completed document for your records.

Is an Illinois Bill of Sale Required to Register a Motor Vehicle?

No. An Illinois bill of sale is not required for vehicle registration. However, a bill of sale can be a helpful document. A title is required to register a motor vehicle. You are not allowed to operate the vehicle with the plates on it at the time that it is sold as those belonging to the seller.

To register a vehicle in Illinois, you need to apply for registration and title on the vehicle. You can use a bill of sale along with the proper VSD form depending on your needs. You should make sure that you have proof of insurance and that you're prepared to pay the full amount of tax and registration fees required for the vehicle.

Is an Illinois Bill of Sale Form Required to Register a Boat?

Yes. Certain classes of watercraft and boats need an Illinois bill of sale. For Class 2, 3, and 4 if the used boat or watercraft was purchased from an Illinois dealer or retailer, you need:

  • A completed Watercraft Application;
  • The original Illinois watercraft title or a Power of Attorney form (and lien release letter);
  • The proper tax form completed by the dealer or retailer; and
  • Check or money order for the tax amount

For used boats or watercraft that count as Class 1, but do not qualify as a jet ski or PWC and it is purchased from an individual, you need:

For used watercraft with a currently issued Illinois registration number that is purchased from an individual, regardless of Class, you need:

Is a Bill of Sale Required to Register a Gun in Illinois?

No. Guns in their own right aren't registered in the State of Illinois. However, a bill of sale is required for what is known as a person to person firearms transfer. Under Illinois state law, you can only engage in the private selling of a gun if the other person has a valid FOID and you have an approval number generated by the Illinois State Police. The FOID information and the approval information must be included on the bill of sale. It's important to note that FOID approvals are only valid for 30 days after they are generated.

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