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A Michigan bill of sale is a written document that shows the exchange of legal ownership for a personal item. A bill of sale isn’t legally required to sell any item in Michigan. However, it is an important personal record. It can be used to document the legal ownership of an item.
The most common bills of sale used in Michigan are a general bill of sale, a motor vehicle bill of sale, a bill of sale for a boat, and bill of sale for a gun.
When you write a Michigan bill of sale, you can use plain English. Remember that there is no legal requirement to use a bill of sale when you sell a personal item, but it is an excellent record to have on file since it proves legal ownership of an item and can even be used in court if there is a dispute over the item.
There’s some common information that belongs in all Michigan bills of sale. The differentiating factor is how the item being sold is described. You’ll learn more about how to properly describe items later on this page. The first common piece of information that belongs is the date. Your Michigan bill of sale should include the date that it was written. If the buyer plans to pay for the item on a different day, the date the seller expects the payment should also be listed. The signatures of the buyer and the seller should also be included.
A Michigan bill of sale should include the full legal name, physical address, and either a driver’s license number of the identification number on a Michigan state identification card. The purpose of listing the license or identification number is to make it easier to properly verify the identity of the buyer or the seller. For example, if the item is stolen, a bill of sale with an identification number could be used by the buyer to prove that they now own the item in order to recover it.
A Michigan bill of sale should list all the terms and conditions associated with the sale. If the item is being gifted from the seller to the buyer, that should be mentioned in the bill of sale. Sometimes, someone will trade an item for another item. If that’s the case, the traded item should also be detailed. For monetary purchases, the price should be listed first in words and then in numbers. For example, Two-hundred and forty-five dollars and fifty cents ($245.50).
While optional, it’s important to add a seller’s disclosure to the document. The seller’s disclosure informs the buyer if there are any problems with the item that they’re buying. Additionally, you should mention that the item is being purchased “as is” so that the buyer doesn’t think that there’s any sort of guarantee or warranty associated with the purchase.
If you decide to use a Michigan bill of sale, both the buyer and the seller should sign and date it.
A Michigan general bill of sale is used for common items that don’t qualify as a motor vehicle, boat, snowmobile, or gun. Common uses for this document include electronics, furniture, and jewelry. When you describe the item being sold, you can start with listing a serial number, registration number, or other identifying number. If the item has a make, model, and specific year, you could list that as well. You can also describe the item by material, color, or size. For items like computers, televisions, and cell phones, you should document whether the sale includes a power cable, charger, or other accessories.
For the seller’s disclosure, you’d want to list if the item has a defect that you know about. For example, if you were selling your wedding dress and you know that the lining is ripped and should be reattached, you’d want to mention that in the seller’s disclosure.
A Michigan bill of sale for a motor vehicle should include the make, model, and year of the vehicle. It should also list the VIN, color, and the odometer reading. Remember that a bill of sale isn’t required in Michigan, but you will need to complete an odometer disclosure statement (Form BVDR-108) and have the title for the vehicle.
A Michigan bill of sale for a boat should show the year, make, Hull ID number, registration number, and the year of the last decal. Remember that it should include the date that the sale was completed. If the purchase is commercial, you’ll also need an empty scale weight, the business name, the business address, and the signature of the weighmaster. A Michigan bill of sale for a boat should specify whether the trailer is included. In Michigan, trailers only have to be registered if they weigh more than 2,500 pounds. For personal record keeping purposes, the bill of sale should include the year and make of the trailer.
To draft a Michigan bill of sale for a gun, you’ll need to include the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the gun. Many gun sales involve a trade. The gun or other item being traded should be described in the bill of sale.
No, you do not need a Michigan bill of sale to register a vehicle. The Michigan Department of State has a handy PDF to help you prepare to register your vehicle. You will need a title. You can use a bill of sale if you do not have another form for proof of ownership. You would use a bill of sale if you’re purchasing what is known as an assembled vehicle. You’ll also want to complete BDVR-108, an Odometer Mileage Statement.
Make sure that in addition to the title that you have proof of insurance, your photo identification, and that you’re prepared to pay taxes and registration fees.
No, you do not need a Michigan bill of sale to register a boat. You do need the title if you’ve purchased the boat from a private party. The boat registration process is completed through ExpressSOS or at a local Secretary of State office.
No, a Michigan bill of sale is not required to register a gun. Michigan has no system of registration although retail gun sellers are required to keep records on gun sales. Although there is no legal requirement for a Michigan bill of sale for a gun, the document is still helpful because it provides proof of legal ownership.