How To Create a Notarized Bill of Sale

Updated July 19, 2023
6 min read
Paper titled "Bill of Sale", stamp, lamps, armchair, desk


At first blush, selling a personal item might sound like a simple task — find a buyer, agree on a price, and hand it over. However, for transactions involving tangible goods like a car or boat, it's not that straightforward. This brings us to the question, "What is a notarized bill of sale?"

Simply put, it's a legal document proving that an item was sold by one party to another and was authenticated by a notary public. This document is pivotal in protecting both parties from potential disputes or fraudulent claims in the future. Let’s see how to create a notarized bill of sale.

Key Components of a Notarized Bill of Sale

A comprehensive notarized bill of sale serves as protective armor in transactions, so it's crucial to get it right. A foolproof notarized bill of sale form isn't just a piece of paper — it's your legal shield in case of any disputes or issues. Here are the key components that should be included:

  • Seller's information: First things first, the notarized bill of sale must detail the seller's full legal name and address. This is as per Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) § 2-401 from the U.S. law that governs sales transactions.

  • Buyer's information: Alongside the seller's information, detailed buyer's information, which includes their full legal name and address, makes its way into the notarized bill of sale form. This aids in establishing the chain of custody.

  • Description of the item: The next segment in a notarized bill of sale is providing a detailed description of the item being transferred. Mention the factual characteristics such as color, size, model, make, or any identifiable marks.

  • Transaction price: The dollar amount that the buyer has agreed to pay the seller must prominently feature in the notarized bill of sale.

  • Date of transaction: You've shook hands, the item has a new owner, but do you remember what day it was? That's where the date of the transaction in the notarized bill of sale comes to the rescue.

  • Signatures: Finally, for the notarized bill of sale to be legally binding, it needs the signatures of both the buyer and the seller.

For instance, if you're selling a heavy-duty item like a vehicle, the notarized bill of sale form should include more specific details:

  • Make, model, and year: Detailed information about the car's make (e.g., Ford), model (e.g., Mustang), and year of manufacture (e.g., 2018)

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): A unique code used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles.

Remember, each U.S. state has different requirements concerning whether or not a bill of sale needs to be notarized. Regardless, having a filled-out notarized bill of sale form gives you peace of mind and legally solidifies the transaction.

Actual updates
3 pages
37.3K created templates

Create a complete Bill of Sale ready to notarize on Lawrina

Create & Download

Crafting a Notarized Bill of Sale

Creating a notarized bill of sale requires a keen eye for detail. You should understand what information needs to be included, draft it accordingly, and review it thoroughly. For your convenience, you can utilize our practical template for bill of sale to ensure you don't miss out on any crucial aspects. But does this bill of sale need to be notarized? In most states, notarization isn't mandatory, but it's often recommended to prevent legal hassles down the line.

The Notarization Process

For many, the notarization process of a bill of sale can come across as a bureaucratic roadblock. However, when you dive into it, it's pretty straightforward and acts as a crucial security step. Here's the detailed process to get your notarized bill of sale authenticated. 

  1. Locate a notary public: Your journey towards a notarized bill of sale kicks off with finding a certified notary public. They're usually available at banks, law offices, and even UPS stores.

  2. Present your completed Notarized Bill of Sale form: Make sure your notarized bill of sale form is fully completed, barring the signature, before heading to the notary. Any blank spaces could invalidate the notarization process. As per U.S law, The National Notary Association suggests that the document should be filled out as much as possible before the appointment to avoid complications.

  3. Bring recognized identification: An important part of getting your bill of sale notarized is having a recognized form of identification for verification. A driver's license, military ID, or passport would suffice in most U.S. jurisdictions.

  4. Identity verification by the notary: The notary will cross-check your ID with the name on the notarized bill of sale form.

  5. Signing the notarized bill of sale: Under the watchful eye of the notary, you'll sign the notarized bill of sale. This step is essential as the notary's role is to witness the signature to verify its legitimacy.

  6. Notary finalizes the document: The final step of this notarization process is for the notary to notarize the bill of sale by stamping it, signing it, and documenting it in their notary journal.

Remember, a notarized bill of sale not only verifies the authenticity of the document but also adds an extra layer of security to your transaction. While getting your notarized bill of sale might require a bit of legwork, it could save you a lot of potential trouble in the future.

Making Use of Your Notarized Bill of Sale

Now, is a bill of sale notarized just for huff and puff? If you think 'puff,' you might want to reconsider. Keeping a copy of the bill of sale is vital for future reference or resolving disputes. Its notarization, authenticated by a notary, beefs up its legality. You might also require it for registration purposes, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for vehicular sales.


All said, buying or selling any item or substance requires a notarized bill of sale. Sure, it might be a bit tedious to compile, and it poses the question, 'Does a bill of sale need to be notarized?' However, the peace of mind it brings is unmatched. Visit our website for handy steps on how to develop a range of notarized bills of sale. Also, explore other business-related templates that might come in handy. Need assistance navigating legal waters? Reach out to one of the lawyers near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a notarized bill of sale and why is it important?

A notarized bill of sale is a legal document that serves as a record of agreement for the transfer of ownership of an item from a seller to a buyer. It's notarized (authenticated) by a notary public, adding an extra layer of security to ensure its authenticity. The notarized bill of sale is crucial because it provides tangible proof of the transaction, helping to prevent potential disputes or fraudulent claims. Should disagreements arise, this document can help establish the facts and protect both buyer and seller.

Is it necessary for the bill of sale to be notarized in every state?

The requirement for a bill of sale to be notarized varies between different jurisdictions in the United States.

For example, states like Louisiana, Nebraska, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Montana generally require a notarized bill of sale for vehicle transactions. However, other states may not require this. Buyers and sellers should check with their local DMV or a similar agency to ascertain the specific requirements in their state.

Can a notarized bill of sale be used in court as proof of sale?

Yes, a notarized bill of sale is a legally-binding document and can therefore be used as evidence in court, should disputes arise over the sold item. It documents the terms of the transaction and has been authenticated by a notary public, lending it a high degree of legal credibility. As referenced in UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) § 1-201(37), a signed and delivered bill of sale can serve as proof of sale in a court of law in the United States.