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What Is a Pennsylvania Bill of Sale?

A Pennsylvania bill of sale is a document used to prove that the described item is owned by the person named as the buyer. A Pennsylvania bill of sale is commonly used when someone wants to sell an item that they own to another person. In Pennsylvania, it is not required to have a bill of sale notarized since it is primarily used as a personal record to formerly memorialize a sale of an item.

What Are Some Common Bills of Sale Used in Pennsylvania?

The most commonly used Pennsylvania bills of sale are the 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 Pennsylvania Bill of Sale?

Since a Pennsylvania bill of sale is used as a personal record, they're easy to write. There's no need to use complicated legal words. You can write it in plain English. The major difference between each of the most commonly used bills of sale is in how the item was described. First, you'll learn about the information that belongs in each bill of sale. Then, you'll learn about how to properly describe each item.

Every Pennsylvania bill of sale needs:

  • The date it was created – The date is placed at the top of the bill of sale. If the buyer will pay for an item on a date that is different, you'll need to include that date in the terms of sale.
  • The legal name and physical address of both the buyer and the seller.
  • A description of the item – You'll learn more about that later on this page.
  • The terms of sale – The terms of sale include the price of the item or whether it is a gift or a trade. For a gift, you can simply state that the item is given as a gift. For a trade, be sure to describe the item being received on trade. For money, list the price in words and then in numbers. For example, four-hundred and twenty-five dollars and zero cents ($425.00).
  • You can also insert a seller's disclosure – The purpose of a seller's disclosure is to inform the buyer if there is anything wrong with the item that the seller knows about. It also indicates whether the sale is "as-is" or if there is a warranty.
  • The bill of sale must be signed and dated by both the buyer and the seller.

When the Pennsylvania bill of sale is completed, both the buyer and the seller should keep several completed copies for their records.

Pennsylvania General Bill of Sale

A Pennsylvania general bill of sale is used to sale an item such as your old bedroom furniture, a used laptop, a table saw, a pair of skis, or other personal items that don't meet the definition of a motor vehicle, boat, or gun. Describing the item is simple. You should use the following information (if applicable to the item):

  • The item's serial number.
  • The item's model number.
  • The item's make, model, and year.
  • The item's size, color, or material used to make it. For example, you might describe a necklace by the length of chain, the color and material the chain is made from, and if there is a pendant or gemstone attached.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle

A Pennsylvania bill of sale for a motor vehicle lists specific information about the vehicle involved:

  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle.
  • The VIN.
  • An odometer reading and whether it is an actual reading or if there is a discrepancy.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for a Boat

A Pennsylvania bill of sale for a boat should list specific information about the boat:

  • Make, model, and year of the boat.
  • The length of the boat.
  • The horsepower of the boat.
  • Whether there is a trailer or motor included. If so, list the year and make of the trailer and the horsepower of the motor.
  • The type of boat it is (e.g., fishing boat, speed boat, handmade).
  • The Hull ID
  • Title number or registration ID (if applicable to your boat).

In Pennsylvania, a bill of sale for a boat is used as proof of ownership during the registration process. However, it is not the only type of proof of ownership that is accepted by the state.

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale for a Gun

A Pennsylvania bill of sale for a gun should list:

  • Make, model, and serial number.
  • The caliber.

If the gun is part of a trade, remember to describe the items that are part of the trade.

Is a Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Required to Register a Motor Vehicle?

No, a Pennsylvania bill of sale is not required to register a motor vehicle. You will need the title to complete the registration process. To learn more about registering a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania, the DMV has an excellent set of FAQs for titling and registration.

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

No, a Pennsylvania bill of sale is not required to register a boat. However, a bill of sale can be used as the necessary supporting documentation that must be provided along with a completed Application for Pennsylvania Boat Registration and / or Boat Title. When you turn in this material, you can also apply for a temporary registration.

Is a Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Required to Register a Gun?

No, a Pennsylvania bill of sale is not required to register a gun. Guns are not registered in Pennsylvania.

Download a PDF or Word Template

Pennsylvania Bill of Sale

Pennsylvania Vehicle Bill of Sale

Pennsylvania Boat Bill of Sale

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