Car Bill of Sale

All states | 22 types
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Updated Aug 23, 2023
~ 3 pages
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A car bill of sale template is a legal document confirming a car purchase and sale deal in which the main parties are a seller and a buyer. This legal document helps the parties transfer the title ownership without legal complications. Fill out the bill of sale for a car from Lawrina and download it in PDF.
Choose your type of this legal template.
Document Types
As-Is Bill of Sale
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ATV Bill of Sale
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Bicycle Bill of Sale
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Bill of Sale for Business
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Bill of Sale for Dog or Cat
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Bill of Sale for Equipment
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Bill of Sale for Mobile Home
This bill of sale acknowledges the sale and purchase of a mobile home.
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Bill of Sale for Personal Property
This document defines the terms regarding the transfer of ownership of personal assets.
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Bill of Sale for Scooter/Moped
This bill of sale records the transfer of ownership and rights of the scooter or moped.
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Bill of Sale for Semi-Truck
This bill of sale officially records the sale and purchase of a semi-truck.
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Bill of Sale for Tractor
This document is required when a tractor is bought or sold to prove the ownership change.
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Boat Bill of Sale
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Furniture Bill of Sale
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Bill of Sale
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Golf Cart Bill of Sale
This document records the transfer of ownership of a golf cart from sellers to buyers.
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Gun Bill of Sale
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Horse Bill of Sale
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Jet Ski Bill of Sale
This bill of sale is necessary whenever a jet ski is being sold privately.
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Livestock Bill of Sale
This essential agreement proves the legality of the livestock purchase and sale.
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Motorcycle Bill of Sale
This form entitles an individual to purchase and hold a receipt for a motorcycle.
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Trailer Bill of Sale
A trailer bill of sale records the sale and purchase of a pull-behind vehicle.
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Template Description

Paper titled "Car Bill of Sale", pen, car, keys

If you’re currently in the process of buying or selling a vehicle and need help with the legal documentation, consider a car bill of sale template. This printable PDF template can be downloaded from Lawrina on any device and used to create a legally binding bill of sale.

What Is a Bill of Sale for a Car?

A car bill of sale is a legal document that is proof of a car purchase and sale deal. A new car bill of sale template can be used to create the document needed to validate a purchase of a car as an item that costs more than $500. This type of legal document helps the buyer and seller to avoid potential disputes and is required in many states for the buyer to transfer the title.

Insight

The auto bill of sale template helps the parties create a legally binding car bill of sale and transfer the title ownership without legal complications. However, the proof of sale does not imply that a buyer automatically becomes the car’s owner. 

Another reason to have a car bill of sale is to properly calculate the sales tax that the buyer must pay. When the document is correctly filled out, it will be easier to determine the tax owed based on the price of the vehicle. 

Parties of the Car Bill of Sale

A dealers bill of sale template needs to be filled out and signed by two parties: 

  • The seller or dealer — anyone who is attempting to privately sell a car to a new owner. The seller is responsible for informing the buyer of any faults or problems associated with the car.

  • The buyer — the party who wishes to purchase the car from the seller. The buyer typically test drives and inspects the car before deciding to make the purchase. The car bill of sale then acts as a receipt to allow the buyer to apply for legal ownership of the vehicle

Key Terms

When using a downloadable bill of sale for vehicle, be aware of the following key terms:

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) — Every automobile has a VIN that acts as its unique identifier. This 17-character number provides information about the car’s origin, including the make, model, and the year it was manufactured.
  • Deal type — Most car bills of sale don’t offer any form of warranty. Instead, the seller sells the car “as is.” This means that the seller will not be held responsible for any faults in the vehicle that may not have been disclosed prior to selling the car to the buyer.
  • Vehicle description — When filling out a bill of sale for cars, be as clear as possible when describing the vehicle. In addition to the make and model, this section includes the current state of the vehicle and its history.
  • Further agreements — A car bill of sale template will have room for any other agreements that are related to the sale of the motor vehicle. These can include payment dates, interest rates, and terms and conditions surrounding late payments.

Who Needs a Bill of Sale for a Car?

A car bill of sale is more than a mere piece of paper. It’s the proof of purchase that the buyer needs to officially register the car. Plus, the seller’s copy acts as a shield from future issues after the deal is final. In a situation where there’s a disagreement over the sale, the bill of sale serves as a reliable reference because it details the agreed terms. Essentially, it enables a smoother conflict resolution.

The bill of sale is a record of the transaction. It names the specifics of the purchase, providing both parties with a comprehensive roadmap of their agreement. If any misunderstandings or disputes arise, each party has a tangible point of reference.

So, whether you’re selling or buying, ensure that you have a car bill of sale to record the transaction. It’s not just beneficial; it’s essential. The bill of sale acts as an insurance policy against potential complications. 

What Should the Bill of Sale for a Car Include?

The most important information to add when writing a bill of sale for a car includes the following:

  • The parties’ personal information — Add the full names and addresses of both the buyer and the seller;

  • Vehicle description — Include the car’s VIN, make, model, year, color, mileage, condition, and possible defects;

  • Mileage — This will be the current vehicle odometer reading at the time of the sale;

  • Purchase and sale deal information — List the transaction date, agreed price, and payment method;

  • The deal type — Include whether the vehicle is being sold as is or with warranties.

How To Write a Bill of Sale for a Car

If you are buying or selling a car, consider these steps for writing a printable car bill of sale template:

For Sellers

  1. Start with getting the car ready to sell. 

  2. Be transparent about any known issues or faults. 

  3. If selling the car in its current condition, mention any defects in the bill of sale for cars.

  4. Assemble all the essential vehicle information, including the VIN, mileage, make, model, size, color, and year. 

For Buyers

  1. When buying a car, thoroughly inspect the vehicle and discuss any identified issues with the seller. 

  2. Remember that most cars are sold “as is,” meaning that the seller isn’t obliged to fix any problems. 

  3. Ensure that all details are listed in the car bill of sale before completing the transaction.

Insight

Both parties can negotiate the price, due dates, main terms of the deal, and the next steps of the purchase. Other questions that a buyer may want to raise with the seller include:

  • How are you selling your car — as is or with warranties to repair it in case of defects?

  • How and when is payment expected?

  • What is the sales tax in your state? Who is responsible for payment of sales tax?

Filling Out the Document

When filling out a car bill of sale, precision is key. Start by carefully documenting essential details, including the car’s description, its mileage, the agreed payment amount, and contact information for both parties. Also add any additional details or special terms that the buyer and seller have agreed upon. These might include conditions of the sale or specific responsibilities of the buyer or seller.

After all the details are clearly documented, both parties will sign the car bill of sale, car title, and copy of the bill of sale (or make a copy of the original). So, be thorough and don’t rush. This document is more than a formality; it’s a safeguard for a smooth, successful transaction.

Check the Document

Before you sign the bill of sale for a car, there’s one more critical step — verification. Take your time reading through every detail in the document. Make sure everything is as discussed, with no discrepancies or oversights. Even minor errors or typos can cause problems later, so being meticulous now can save headaches later. Double-check that the VIN matches the car title and the car title matches the car. If everything checks out and the car sale template mirrors the agreed terms, then each party can sign and date the car bill of sale. 

man and woman agreeing on cars

Where To Get a Bill of Sale for a Car?

Usually, the seller, especially at a car dealership, provides a car bill of sale. However, private sellers may look to legal tech platforms like Lawrina, which offer convenient automobile bill of sale templates. Some states require notarization to make the document legally binding, so check the requirements for the applicable jurisdiction. Once signed, copies should be provided to both parties. 

When Do You Need a Car Bill of Sale?

You need a car bill of sale whenever you purchase a private vehicle. The document provides a detailed transaction record and can help settle potential disputes that may arise after the purchase.

Common Use Cases

A bill of sale for cars is especially useful when buying a used vehicle from a private seller. A car bill of sale template can be used to create a document that will provide a transaction record, facilitate the transfer of ownership, and satisfy the requirements of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

When Not To Use a Car Bill of Sale

There are certain situations when a car bill of sale may not be necessary. When buying a vehicle from a licensed dealer, for instance, the dealership usually takes care of all the paperwork for the buyer. So, while a car bill of sale is crucial for private transactions, the dealer will handle the transfer with its own customized templates.

Insight

A car bill of sale usually shows that the seller has sold a car. Many states require to transfer vehicle title to the buyer to duly exercise the sale. Therefore, it should be checked with your motor vehicle department whether you need either a bill of sale or a signed title to prove the sale of your car or both.

State Law

Car bills of sale are governed by state law. When privately purchasing or selling a vehicle, some states require a bill of sale for cars for the transaction to be valid. The majority of states do not require this agreement to be notarized. However, some do require a notary to witness the signing of the car bill of sale for it to become legally binding.

No matter which state you live in, a notarized car bill of sale can help to prevent potential disputes between the buyer and the seller. 

State Law
Alabama
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Alaska
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Arizona
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Arkansas
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
California
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Colorado
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Connecticut
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Delaware
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Florida
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Georgia
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Hawaii
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Idaho
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Illinois
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Indiana
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Iowa
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Kansas
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Kentucky
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Louisiana
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Maine
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Maryland
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is required in specific cases.
State Law
Massachusetts
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Michigan
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Minnesota
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Mississippi
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Missouri
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Montana
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Nebraska
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is required.
State Law
Nevada
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
New Hampshire
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is required.
State Law
New Jersey
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
New Mexico
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is required.
State Law
New York
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
North Carolina
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
North Dakota
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Ohio
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Oklahoma
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Oregon
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State
Pennsylvania
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Rhode Island
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
South Carolina
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
South Dakota
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Tennessee
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Texas
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Utah
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Vermont
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Virginia
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Washington
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
West Virginia
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Wisconsin
  1. Bill of Sale is NOT required to validate private purchase & sale deals.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is NOT required.
State Law
Wyoming
  1. Bill of Sale is required to validate private purchase & sale deals in specific cases.
  2. Notarized Bill of Sale is required.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to get a title for a car with a bill of sale?

After purchasing a car, you’ll need to register the car at your local DMV. Here, your car bill of sale acts as proof of purchase. Be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage before registering and applying for a title using your bill of sale for cars. After reviewing your application, the DMV will issue a bonded title in the new owner’s name.

Do I need a bill of sale when buying a used car?

Whether you’re buying a new or used car, having a car bill of sale is imperative. This document proves the occurrence and conditions of the transaction. It allows both parties to have a clear, legally valid record of the deal’s terms. 

Who keeps the bill of sale when selling a car?

Both the buyer and the seller should keep a copy of the signed car bill of sale. From the seller’s perspective, it serves as a record of the transaction, proof that the vehicle was sold and is no longer the seller’s responsibility. The buyer needs this document during the registration process. Store your copy of the car sale template in a safe location. It’s an important piece of paperwork that should be kept for a reasonable period of time.

How to get a title for a car with a bill of sale?

After buying a vehicle, the next step is to secure a vehicle title. Your bill of sale for a car facilitates this process. Along with proof of insurance, take your car bill of sale to your local DMV. Upon reviewing your application, the DMV will issue the vehicle’s title in your name. Remember that having a valid car bill of sale can streamline this process significantly.

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