How To Write a Bill of Sale for a Car

The purchase of a piece of property and its transfer from a seller to a buyer are both documented by a bill of sale. It’s frequently used in car sales and might be mandated by your state.

Find out more about a bill of sale, what it contains if you need one to sell a car, and how to create one.

What Is a Bill of Sale? 

A bill of sale is a record that certifies a transaction in which property is sold and transferred from one party to another. Although it can be applied to the sale of many different things, the sale of vehicles is where it is most frequently used.

The parties engaged in the transaction, the property being transferred, as well as the transaction’s date and price, will all be listed on the bill of sale. As a result, the sale will be documented for both parties. It may be crucial to provide evidence of the seller’s release of liability.

Let’s take the example of a private party selling an automobile to another. However, the purchaser failed to register the car correctly and then used it to commit a crime. With a bill of sale, the seller could prove they were no longer in possession of the vehicle.

Who Needs a Bill of Sale for a Car?

All private automobile sales should be documented with a bill of sale so that there is proof that both parties understood the terms. It is necessary for some states, though. Additionally, a number of states demand that you utilize a certain form and/or notarize the bill of sale.

Here is a full breakdown of each state’s bill of sale regulations.

State Requires Bill of Sale for Private Party Vehicle Purchase with Title Requires a Notarized Bill of Sale Requires Specific Bill of Sale Form State Provides Form
Alabama Yes No No Yes
Alaska No No No Yes
Arizona No No No Yes
Arkansas No No No Not Found
California Yes No No Yes
Colorado Yes No No Yes
Connecticut Yes No No Yes
Delaware No No No Not Found
Florida Yes No Yes Yes
Georgia Yes No Yes Yes
Hawaii No No No Not Found
Idaho Yes No No Yes
Illinois No (But may be required on a case-by-case basis) No No Not Found
Indiana No No No Yes
Iowa Yes No No Yes
Kansas No (unless the title doesn’t have space for the purchase price) No Yes Yes
Kentucky No No No Not Found
Louisiana No (unless a title has not been issued in the state for the vehicle before) Yes No Yes
Maine Yes No No Yes
Maryland Yes Yes (under some conditions) Yes Yes
Massachusetts No No No Not Found
Michigan No No No Not Found
Minnesota No No No Not Found
Mississippi No (unless the title doesn’t have space for the purchase price) No No Not Found
Missouri Yes (Or a Notice of Sale) No Yes Yes
Montana No No No Yes
Nebraska Yes (or the DoR Form 6) Not specified No Yes
Nevada Yes No Yes Yes
New Hampshire No (except for title exempt vehicles) No No Not Found
New Jersey Yes No No Not Found
New Mexico No (Unless Assignment of Title is not on the back of the Title) No Yes Yes
New York Yes No No Yes
North Carolina No No No Not Found
North Dakota No No No Yes
Ohio No No No Not Found
Oklahoma No No No Not Found
Oregon No (But you can sign either the title or a bill of sale) No No Yes
Pennsylvania No No No Not Found
Rhode Island Yes No No Not Found
South Carolina No (Unless the purchase price and odometer reading are not on the title) No No Not Found
South Dakota No No No Yes
Tennessee No No No Not Found
Texas No No No Not Found
Utah No No No Yes
Vermont Yes No No Yes
Virginia Yes No No Yes
Washington Yes No No Yes
West Virginia Yes (If the sale price is less than 50% of the NADA Clean Book loan value) Yes Yes Yes
Wisconsin No No No Yes
Wyoming Yes Yes Not specified Yes

How To Write a Bill of Sale for a Car

Even though many states offer a bill of sale forms, your state can also let you draft one on your own. However, it will require particular details, which frequently include:

  • Date the vehicle was sold
  • The selling price of the vehicle
  • Vehicle’s make, year, model, odometer reading, and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Name, address, and signature of the buyer
  • Name, address, and signature of the seller

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you fill out a title when selling a car?

Different states have slightly different requirements for completing the title when selling your car. The selling date, selling price, odometer reading, seller’s and buyer’s names, and other fields are routinely filled out. Signatures are frequently needed to transfer ownership to the buyer, waive the seller’s interest in the car, and attest that all the information provided was truthful and accurate.

Who pays sales tax when you’re selling a car privately?

When you sell a car privately, the purchaser is responsible for paying the necessary sales taxes to the state’s motor vehicle administration when they register and title the car. States frequently allot customers a specific amount of time to register the car and pay the tax.
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