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What Is a Maine Bill of Sale?

A Maine bill of sale is a written agreement between a buyer and a seller that documents the exchange of legal ownership of an item. The document can be written in plain English provided that it includes the necessary information. Remember that both the buyer and the seller should keep an extra copy of the completed bill of sale. The original may need to be used to prove ownership if the item is a motor vehicle or boat that must be registered with the state. As of February 2018, there's no legal requirement to have a Maine bill of sale notarized.

What Are Some Common Bills of Sale Used in Maine?

The most commonly used Maine bills of sale include 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 a Maine Bill of Sale?

To write a Maine bill of sale, you need to include information about the buyer, seller, the item, and the terms of the sale. That is information that all bills of sale need. However, the most commonly used Maine bills of sale all have specific information that should be included. In this section, you'll learn about the information required for all bills of sale. Then, you'll learn about the specific information required for the most commonly used ones.

Every Maine bill of sale should list the date that it was created. If the buyer plans to pay for the item on a separate date, the payment date should also be listed in the bill of sale. The form should also include the date that the buyer and the seller add their signatures.

In all bills of sale, you need to list the full legal name, physical address (including city, state, and zip code), and the driver's license number or the number on their state identification card. Although the it is not necessarily a legal requirement for the buyer and seller to have a valid driver's license or a state identification card, having that information can be beneficial for identification purposes. If the item is stolen or if a legal dispute arises, that information can help law enforcement or the courts to determine who is the rightful owner of the item.

The next piece of information that all Maine bills of sale should have is information about the item being sold. Generally, this part of the bill of sale lists information that could help identify the item. You'll learn more about what information you should use for each of the most commonly bills of sale a little later.

If the item is being given to someone as a gift, you can still use a Maine bill of sale. It gives the recipient a way to prove that they own the item. The document can even specify that the item was given as a gift.

A Maine bill of sale can be used if you're engaging in a trade. Instead of listing the amount of money that is exchanged, you will describe the items being traded.

Of course, most bills of sale rely on a monetary exchange for an item. When you're listing the amount of money that is involved, you will document it first in words and then in numbers. For example, three-hundred and forty dollars and zero cents ($340.00).

A Maine bill of sale should include a seller's and buyer's disclosure. In the seller's disclosure, the seller is promising that they've accurately described the item. The buyer's disclosure states that the buyer understands that the item being sold is "as is" and has no guarantees or warranties.

Finally, every Maine bill of sale should be signed and dated by both the buyer and the seller.

Maine General Bill of Sale

A Maine general bill of sale is a document that is used when you sell a personal item such as a laptop, an iPod, furniture, or jewelry. When you're describing the item that you're selling, you should include a serial or registration number if the item has one. You can also document the make, model, and year of the item. Other commonly used descriptors include the color of the item or what it's made out of. For instance, if you're selling your dining room table, your description might include how many people the table seats, if it has inserts or a leaf, the type of wood, the color, and whether you're including the chairs. If you're selling something that would be classified as an electronic device, in addition to describing the item by brand and model number, you could also list whether the sale includes accessories or the charger.

Maine Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle

A Maine bill of sale for a motor vehicle should include the year, make, and model of the vehicle; the VIN, the odometer reading in miles; and the price of the vehicle. After you've completed the Maine bill of sale for a motor vehicle, you have 30 days to register your vehicle.

Maine Bill of Sale for a Boat

A Maine bill of sale for a boat should include the make, length, and year the boat was built; the Hull ID; the registration ID, the odometer reading in hours; and the title number. A Maine bill of sale for a boat should also document whether the sale will include a trailer and / or an outboard motor. If there is no trailer or motor, you can simply document "without trailer or motor." If the sale will include either item, you must list certain information. For trailers, you will list the make and the year. For outboard motors, you will list the make, year, and horsepower. Sedgwick, Maine's official website has an example of a bill of sale for boats.

Maine Bill of Sale for a Gun

A Maine bill of sale for a gun is an important personal record. It documents the exchange of ownership of a gun from one person to another. Because the exchange of gun ownership often involves a trade, it's important to remember to document specific information about the item being traded for the gun.

To describe the gun being sold (and any gun being traded), you should list the manufacturer, model, serial number, and caliber. You can also include any other pertinent information about the gun that could help identify it.

Is a Maine Bill of Sale Required to Register a Vehicle?

Yes, a Maine bill of sale is required to register a passenger vehicle purchased in a private sale or from a dealership. According to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, you should visit the tax office in your town to pay your excise tax. You'll need your signed bill of sale, the title (if the vehicle is a model year of 1995 or newer), proof of insurance, the white and yellow copies of your registration application and excise tax receipt, and be ready to pay your fees.

Is a Maine Bill of Sale Required to Register a Boat?

Yes, a Maine bill of sale is required to register a boat. The registration process takes place through the town clerk or town tax collector's office. The registration process, as documented through Town of Gray, Maine's Tax Collector page, explains the process (which is the same in every town under state law). For first time registration of a boat you purchased from a private citizen, you'll need a bill of sale like described earlier on this page. You should be ready to pay sales tax on the boat as well as the registration fees. If the boat was previously registered, you'll need to list the serial or Maine registration number as well.

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

No, a bill of sale is not required to register a gun in Maine. Guns are not registered through the state.

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