Bill of Sale Form

A Bill of Sale form is a written document which releases interest in a vehicle (automobile, motorcycle, trailer, boat, truck, rv, motorhome, etc.) and evidences the transfer of title from the seller to the buyer.

By providing legal evidence of the sale, transferring ownership, and detailing the transaction's specifics, it safeguards both parties from potential disputes and legal issues protecting both the buyer and the seller during a motor vehicle transaction.

Understanding its importance and ensuring its accurate completion is crucial for a successful and secure vehicle sale.

In most states, a bill of sale form is required for the registration of a car or motor vehicle.

It should contain the vehicle's description such as: year, make, model, odometer reading, and VIN number. Also the name, address and the signatures of both the BUYER and the SELLER.

How Does a Bill of Sale Protect the Buyer and the Seller of a Motor Vehicle?

A bill of sale plays a critical role in protecting both the buyer and the seller during the transaction of a motor vehicle. This document serves as legal evidence of the sale and provides various protections to both parties involved. Understanding how a bill of sale safeguards each party is essential for a smooth and transparent transaction.

Importance of a Bill of Sale in Motor Vehicle Transactions

Legal Evidence of the Transaction

A bill of sale provides legal proof that the vehicle sale has occurred. It details the agreement between the buyer and the seller, including all pertinent information about the vehicle and the terms of the sale. This documentation is crucial in preventing future disputes.

Transfer of Ownership

The bill of sale formally transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer. This transfer is necessary for updating registration and insurance records, ensuring that the new owner is recognized legally.

How a Bill of Sale Protects the Buyer

Proof of Purchase

For the buyer, a bill of sale is undeniable proof of purchase. It documents the sale price, the condition of the vehicle, and any warranties or guarantees made by the seller. This proof is essential if any issues arise with the vehicle post-purchase.

Protection Against Fraud

A detailed bill of sale helps protect the buyer from fraudulent practices. It ensures that the vehicle's information, such as the VIN, make, model, and mileage, is accurately recorded. This accuracy is vital for avoiding purchasing a stolen or misrepresented vehicle.

Legal Recourse

In case of any disputes or legal issues, the buyer can use the bill of sale as evidence. It outlines the agreed-upon terms and conditions, which can be crucial in legal proceedings.

How a Bill of Sale Protects the Seller

Release of Liability

For the seller, the bill of sale releases them from future liability concerning the vehicle. Once the vehicle is sold, any incidents or legal issues related to the vehicle are no longer the seller’s responsibility.

Proof of Sale

The bill of sale serves as proof that the seller no longer owns the vehicle. This proof is necessary for updating records and avoiding any future complications related to ownership.

Protection Against Claims

If the buyer later claims that the vehicle was misrepresented, the seller can use the bill of sale to defend themselves. It documents the vehicle's condition at the time of sale and any agreements made, protecting the seller from false claims.

Key Elements of a Bill of Sale

Buyer and Seller Information

Include full names, addresses, and contact details of both the buyer and the seller. Accurate identification is essential for future correspondence.

Vehicle Description

Provide a detailed description of the vehicle, including make, model, year, color, VIN, and mileage. This information is crucial for both legal and record-keeping purposes.

Sale Price and Terms

Clearly state the sale price and any payment terms. Include details about the payment method and any conditions, such as installments or deposits.

Date of Sale

Mention the date when the transaction occurs. This date is important for legal and tax records.


Both the buyer and seller must sign the bill of sale. Signatures validate the agreement and indicate mutual consent to the terms.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Incomplete Information

Ensure all sections of the bill of sale are filled out completely. Missing information can lead to legal issues or complications with registration.

Incorrect Details

Double-check all vehicle details, especially the VIN. Incorrect information can cause problems in proving ownership or during vehicle inspections.

Lack of Signatures

The bill of sale must be signed by both parties. Unsigned documents are not legally binding and hold no value in disputes.


1. Buyer Information:

  • Full Name: _______________________________________
  • Address: _______________________________________
  • City, State, ZIP: _______________________________________
  • Phone Number: _______________________________________
  • Email: _______________________________________

2. Seller Information:

  • Full Name: _______________________________________
  • Address: _______________________________________
  • City, State, ZIP: _______________________________________
  • Phone Number: _______________________________________
  • Email: _______________________________________

3. Vehicle Information:

  • Make: _______________________________________
  • Model: _______________________________________
  • Year: _______________________________________
  • Color: _______________________________________
  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): _______________________________________
  • Odometer Reading: _______________________________________

4. Sale Information:

  • Sale Price: $_______________________________________
  • Payment Method: [ ] Cash [ ] Check [ ] Other: ____________________________
  • Sale Date: _______________________________________

5. Additional Terms and Conditions:

6. Warranty Information: [ ] The vehicle is sold "as is" without any warranties. [ ] The vehicle is sold with the following warranties: ____________________________

7. Signatures:

I, the undersigned Seller, certify that the above information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and that I am the lawful owner of the vehicle described above, which is free from all liens and encumbrances.

Seller's Signature: ___________________________ Date: ____________

Printed Name: _______________________________________

I, the undersigned Buyer, acknowledge that I have inspected the vehicle and accept it in its current condition.

Buyer's Signature: ___________________________ Date: ____________

Printed Name: _______________________________________

8. Notary Acknowledgment (if applicable):

State of ______________________

County of ______________________

On this _____ day of ___________, 20, before me personally appeared _________________________ (Seller) and _________________________ (Buyer), known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the persons whose names are subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged that they executed the same for the purposes therein contained.

In witness whereof, I hereunto set my hand and official seal.

Notary Public

My Commission Expires: ____________________

The Importance Of A Bill Of Sale Form.

Let's suppose you sell your car to a stranger, which is usually the case. You get the money and sign your name on the vehicle's title, releasing and transferring ownership to the buyer. The buyer drives away and a couple of block later hits a brand new Bentley or any other expensive car. The driver then gets out of the newly purchased vehicle and runs away.

Who do you think the police, insurance company and the owner of the other car will go after? That's right, you guessed it: you. And it will be a huge headache to prove that the vehicle is not yours anymore, even if you have witnesses. Because, without a bill of sale you'll have no evidence documenting the sale, no buyer's name, address, or signature.

A more terrifying what-if scenario involves someone buying your vehicle and hours later it blows up in front of a government building or school. Yes, you sold a car to a terrorist and now all the police in town, the FBI, CIA and the Homeland Security have your house surrounded. You'll eventually be able to prove that you have nothing to do with that, but it will take a while and some of the emotional damage to you and your family could be irreparable.

A bill of sale form could also be helpful to a buyer in case the seller is dishonest and reports the car stolen to the police soon after the sale. The only proof you have that you actually bought the car is the signed title, which the seller could say he left inside the vehicle.

So, don't even think about selling or buying a car without a bill of sale. Ask to see the person's driver's license and write it down the name and number. If possible, the social security number too. Do these simple preventable measures and you should be okay.

It's not absolutely necessary but, to be completely protected, have the document revised and signed by a notary public.

You could use printable bill of sale form samples you'll find online or your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) should be able to provide you with these types of forms for free.

IMPORTANT: Consult with a lawyer if the property being negotiated has a lien on it or has been pledged as security for a loan. In these cases, a release from the party to whom the loan is owed must be obtained.

FAQs About How a Bill of Sale Protects Buyers and Sellers

How does a bill of sale protect the buyer of a motor vehicle?

A bill of sale provides proof of purchase, protects against fraud, and offers legal recourse in case of disputes.

How does a bill of sale protect the seller of a motor vehicle?

It releases the seller from future liability, serves as proof of sale, and protects against false claims.

What information should be included in a motor vehicle bill of sale?

Include buyer and seller information, vehicle description, sale price and terms, date of sale, and signatures.

Is a bill of sale legally binding?

Yes, when properly completed and signed by both parties, a bill of sale is a legally binding document.

Do I need to notarize a bill of sale for it to be valid?

Notarization is required in some states. Even if not required, notarizing the document adds an extra layer of authenticity.

Can a bill of sale be used as proof of ownership?

A bill of sale documents the transfer of ownership but is typically used in conjunction with the title to prove ownership.

What should I do if there is a dispute after the sale?

Use the bill of sale as evidence to support your case. It outlines the agreed terms and conditions, which are crucial in resolving disputes.

How long should I keep the bill of sale?

Keep the bill of sale indefinitely as it serves as proof of the transaction and ownership transfer.

Can I use an online template for a bill of sale?

Yes, online templates are available and can be customized to fit your specific transaction details.

What happens if the bill of sale is lost?

If lost, obtaining a duplicate from the other party is advisable. Keeping multiple copies can prevent this issue.

Bill of Sale Sample - Search Free Legal Forms, Letters and Articles. Car Sale Receipt, Hardship Letter, Promissory Note, Will and Testament, Pre-Nuptial Agreement...

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DISCLAIMER: The law will vary depending on your state, jurisdiction and the specifics of your case. The information provided by is intended for educational purposes only. The content on this site should NOT be considered professional legal advice or a substitute for professional legal advice. For such services, we recommend getting a free initial consultation by a licensed Attorney in your state.

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