A bill of sale form is a document that is signed during a sale of goods or items between two parties. It is signed by both the buyer and seller and is often used when a used or "second-hand" item is being sold. 

This agreement states the transfer of ownership of the item from the seller to the buyer, documenting the terms of the sale, including the sale price, condition of the item, and any other useful information. It serves as proof that the buyer has paid for the item and the seller relinquishes all responsibilities regarding the item.

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Types of bill of sale

Bills of sale are often categorized by the type of item being sold. One of the most common uses of a bill of sale form is when you’re selling a used car or other vehicle to someone. In such a case, a vehicular bill of sale form should be used:

  • Car Bill of Sale Template – used when you buy or sell a vehicle. It includes information about the car’s make, model, year, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and odometer reading.
  • Motorcycle Bill of Sale Template – similar to a car bill of sale but customized for motorcycles. It includes information about the motorcycle’s make, model, year, VIN, and mileage.
  • Boat Bill of Sale Template – used for the sale of boats. It includes information about the vessel’s make, model, year, HIN (Hull Identification Number), and engine hours.

The bill of sale form basically states the following:

  1. The item is being sold in "as-is" condition;
  2. The sale does not include any guarantees or warranties;
  3. The item becomes the property of the buyer, and the seller is no longer responsible for it.

The bill of sale template shown below is a generic template that can be used for various purposes. You can customize the bill of sale form below depending on the item you’re selling.

Key elements of a bill of sale form

Let’s take a look at what should be included in a bill of sale form:

  1. Information and description of the item being sold, including make, model, year, VIN (for a vehicle bill of sale) or HIN (for a boat bill of sale), color, mileage, and other necessary information.
  2. Seller’s information, such as full name, address, contact information, and signature.
  3. Buyer’s information, such as full name, address, contact information, and signature.

How to write a bill of sale template

Follow these steps to create a clear and legally binding agreement:

  1. Provide a detailed description of the item, making sure you don’t forget anything.
  2. Add the seller’s and buyer’s information.
  3. State the exact date when the sale takes place.
  4. Specify the purchase price, including specific conditions and payment methods.
  5. Include a statement that the item is sold “as-is”.
  6. Add the date and both buyer’s and seller’s signature.

Legal considerations

When creating a bill of sale, it’s important to keep in mind legal considerations:

  • State requirements – each state has different requirements, so it’s essential to check with local laws before signing an agreement.
  • Notarization – some states require notarization, which means a notary public must be present when a bill of sale is signed.
  • Taxes and fees – depending on the item sold, there might be potential fees or sales tax. The sales tax must be collected by the buyer and paid to the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Office.
  • Notice of transfer – some states (California and Texas) require the seller to notify the DMV once a vehicle is sold.

Sample bill of sale form

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* The templates here are provided for reference only and you should always talk to a professional for all legal matters

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