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What Is an Iowa Bill of Sale

An Iowa bill of sale is a form that documents the change in legal ownership between the buyer and the seller. Even when a bill of sale isn't legally required, creating one is a good idea because it acts as a record of the exchange. It can be used to prove that you have the legal right to have the item in your possession.

What Are Some Common Bills of Sale Used in Iowa?

In Iowa, the most common bills of sale that are used are a general bill of sale, a bill of sale for a motor vehicle, a bill of sale for a boat, and a bill of sale for a gun.

How Do I Write an Iowa Bill of Sale?

Any Iowa bill of sale requires certain information about the buyer and the seller. That information is the full legal name, physical address (including city and zip code), and driver's license or state ID number. The bill of sale must also list the date that it was created. Another essential date that must be listed is the date that the buyer pays for the item. This is particularly important if the date the payment is made is different from the date that the bill of sale was created.

If the item referenced in the bill of sale is being given as a gift, that should be mentioned in the bill of sale. Any additional terms and conditions related to the sale, including an item that is traded, should also be explained.

In most Iowa bills of sale, you will list the price of the item first in words and then in numbers. For example, seven-hundred and eighty-five dollars and fifty cents ($785.50). An Iowa bill of sale should be signed and dated by both the buyer and the seller.

With an Iowa bill of sale, you must also add certain information about the item that's being sold. You'll learn about those elements next.

Iowa General Bill of Sale

In an Iowa general bill of sale, you'll use the common elements mentioned above. To describe the property, you'll want to document any serial or registration number, if one is available, and along with physical features. For example, a 54" flat screen Zenith television with power cable, working condition; includes remote and wall mounting hardware.

You should also add a seller's disclosure that explains any defects that the item has that you know about. For example, if the television mentioned in the previous example had a small chip on the upper right corner of the frame, you'd want to mention it although it may not affect the use of the television.

An Iowa general bill of sale does not have to be notarized. However, it must be signed and dated by the buyer and the seller.

Iowa Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle

With an Iowa bill of sale for a motor vehicle, you should add the name of both the buyer and the seller. You also need the VIN, make, model, and year of the vehicle. You must also list the purchase price as well as the date of the sell.

An Iowa bill of sale for a motor vehicle must be signed only by the seller in front of a notary public.

Iowa Bill of Sale for a Boat

For an Iowa bill of sale for a boat, you need certain information about the boat. That information includes the previous registration number, the Hull ID, year, and make of the boat. You must list the purchase price of the boat. If accessories, a motor, or a trailer are included, that information, along with the purchase price for those items, must be included. The bill of sale should be signed by the seller.

Iowa Bill of Sale for a Gun

To complete an Iowa bill of sale for a gun, you should include the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the gun. If a trade is involved, you should fully detail the item that is being exchanged for the weapon. Private, person to person gun sales do not require a background check, but there are limitations as to the qualifications to purchase a gun or ammunition.

Is an Iowa Bill of Sale Required to Register a Vehicle?

No. An Iowa bill of sale isn't required to register a vehicle, but it can act proof of purchase. You will need to take a certificate of title (signed over by the seller) and a completed application for an Iowa certificate of title or registration.

The registration process will take place at your county treasurer's office. You should be prepared to show proof of residency, proof of insurance, and be prepared to pay all taxes and fees. Iowa DOT provides a fee estimator on their website. It is located under Tools – Dealer Inquiry – Fee Estimator.

Is an Iowa Bill of Sale Required to Register a Boat?

Yes. If the boat is new, you need a bill of sale. For used boats, you do need proof ownership. The purpose of an Iowa bill of sale for a boat is to act as proof of ownership. You'll also need the title, registration, and a completed Application for Boats, Snowmobiles, ATVs and ORVs. You should also be prepared to pay the fees associated with the registration process.

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

No. Guns are not registered in Iowa. However, an Iowa bill of sale for a gun is an important personal record. It helps someone prove that they have legal possession of a specific weapon if it is reported stolen. It also helps prove that someone no longer has a weapon if it were to be used during the commission of a crime.

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