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A vehicle bill of sale is a piece of paper that transfers the ownership of a vehicle from one party or parties (the Seller(s)) to another (the Buyer(s)).

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What is a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale is a legal document that is used to transfer ownership of an item from a seller to a buyer. It includes relevant information such as contact information, descriptions of the items, payment methods, and warranties.

The bill of sale proves the owner of a given item. This can be used in a court of law to demonstrate ownership of items such as vehicles, boats, motorcycles, and many more.

Benefits

A legally binding bill of sale makes the lives of both buyers and sellers substantially easier.

Benefits for sellers:

  • Ease of tax reporting
  • "As-is" protection
  • Date of ownership transfer

Benefits for buyers:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Date of ownership transfer
  • Warranty information

Bill of Sale vs Title Transfer

Although a bill of sale is an important part of the sale, it does not prove ownership. A title transfer, however, does prove ownership of a vehicle and finalizes the buying-selling transaction.

What is a Vehicle Bill of Sale?

A vehicle bill of sale is a piece of paper that transfers the ownership of a vehicle from one party or parties (the Seller(s)) to another (the Buyer(s)). It is a document that varies somewhat in content depending on the location of the sale. You will need to review your state and local websites to ensure your bill of sale is obeying all laws and bylaws. It’s the sort of document one can easily draw up using a free car bill of sale template – it’s not that complex. You can simply download a free auto bill of sale from the internet and just fill it out (though do be sure you are using a reputable resource). However, you’ll want to have every one of your details in order before starting.

If the seller issues a warranty, that means the seller is assuring the buyer of the property transfer. No one but the seller or the buyer may claim ownership of the vehicle. If the seller transfers without warranty, he or she is not providing this defense.

States Requiring an Approved Bill of Sale

By FormSwift Editorial Team
August 14, 2018

The following states require an approved bill of sale: 

Components of a Vehicle Bill of Sale

  • Passing a vehicle from one set of hands to the next is not nearly as complicated as one might think. However, it does require going through official legal pathways. The Bill of Sale is a document that legitimizes the transfer of a vehicle’s ownership from one party to another. It must be drawn up and executed regardless of price (even if the vehicle is free) or relationship between the parties. Here are the main components of a vehicle bill of sale.

Buyer and Seller Information

  • This should include all buyer names, and seller names (sometimes there is more than one buyer or seller. This common among couples who put both their names on a vehicle), as well as the street addresses and any other relevant information. The seller must identify him or herself as the owner and explicitly state that he or she is transferring said property to the buyer.

Witness Information

  • In order to be considered legal, every vehicle bill of sale must have an official witness. This includes the full legal name and street address of the bill of sale’s witness.

Description of Property

  • This must include all pertinent vehicle information, including make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), seller registration number, and physical details such as color, condition, and odometer reading. If the title of the vehicle has been applied for in the past, this must also be specified.

Payment Details

  • This must specify the method of payment, the exact amount due, and payment schedule, including the number of installments and the date(s) that payment is due. If the vehicle is a gift, this must also be specified, and the relationship between the parties (parent/child, spouse/spouse) must be declared.

Signatures

  • This must appear at the end and follow a direct statement conveying all parties’ agreement to the preceding terms of the vehicle sale, verifying the information contained in the document under penalty of perjury. It must include the signatures of the buyer, seller and witness beside each of their printed full legal names, as well as the date the bill of sale is being signed.

How American is Your State's Favorite Car? 

August 14, 2018

Map of America's state car preferences.

Methodology

Our team at FormSwift created a map to show how American each state’s car preferences are. We culminated each state’s most sold vehicle and determined whether the brand of vehicle was American in origin or not.  

Download a PDF or Word Template

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