Free Bill of Sale Form

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Last Update July 18th, 2024


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What Is a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale is a legal document that records the transfer of certain types of property. This creates an official certificate that describes the change in ownership and the nature of the sale of the item being sold.

It is used to show the terms of the deal that has been struck between the buyer and the seller. It also provides important information about the item being sold and its features and state at the time of purchase.

A valid bill of sale is often used to protect the buyer and the seller in the event of any future disputes. It also shows that both parties have formally consented to the sale under these agreements.

A bill of sale can be used during the buying and selling of:

Bill of Sale Sample

Before starting your own printable bill of sale, it can help to see what a real sample of this transactional document looks like. Find out how a bill of sale should appear on paper with our example below.

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Bill of Sale Sample

Types of Bill of Sale

Depending on the type of property you’re trying to sell, your bill of sale could vary. When creating your document you may need to add special information in order for it to be valid.

This can often be to satisfy the necessities of a government agency such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or to conform to state law.

Below, we’ve listed some specificities you’ll find on different kinds of bills of sale.

Car and Motorcycle Bill of Sale

A car bill of sale needs a detailed description of the make, model, and registration of the car. You will also need to provide the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the odometer reading on the document.

In most states, sellers must complete a bill of sale by law and register it with a local DMV. Additionally, in a number of cases, it will also have to be notarized.

A motorcycle bill of sale has a lot in common with a car bill of sale. You will also need to provide the vehicle’s registration, VIN, and odometer reading.

Livestock Bill of Sale

A livestock bill of sale facilitates the transfer of animals, such as:

  • Pigs
  • Cows
  • Sheep
  • Other farm animals

It specifies the type and distinguishing features, including coloration and ownership markings.

Horse Bill of Sale

A horse bill of sale has many similarities with a livestock bill of sale although with some significant differences. The biggest variations are that veterinarian checks are optional and the document also allows the owner to transfer or maintain breeding rights over the horse.

Firearm Bill of Sale

A firearm bill of sale records private gun sales, including details about seller, buyer, and weapon. Depending on your state, it may be legally required to ensure compliance, provide a transaction record, and finalize the sale.

States vary in gun sale regulations, so always check local requirements for proper documentation.

Boat Bill of Sale

A boat bill of sale has many connections to other types of vehicle bills of sale. However, in this case, you will need to indicate the hull length, the type of motor the craft has (if any) as well as the Hull Identification Number (HIN) and registration.

Trailer Bill of Sale

A trailer bill of sale, like one for cars or motorcycles, requires buyer and seller details, sale date, and trailer info (make, model, year, VIN). Notarization may be needed in some cases. If used, the title transfer is essential before registration.

In most states, trailers must be registered within 5 to 30 days to be road-legal, requiring the bill of sale, title, sales tax, and registration application at the local DMV.

ATV Bill of Sale

An ATV Bill of Sale is vital for officially transferring all-terrain vehicle ownership at the DMV. Without it, ownership transfer becomes complex. This document serves as a purchase receipt, confirming the deal.

Some states need notarization or a witness. Accurate and clear documentation is essential to prevent future ownership disputes.

Dirt Bike Bill of Sale

A Dirt Bike Bill of Sale serves as proof of a transaction, similar to other Bill of Sale documents. It also clarifies ownership and liability for damages, easing registration and title transfer.

In some states, dirt bike registration is mandatory, and this document simplifies the process.

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Bill of Sale

A Recreational Vehicle (RV) Bill of Sale confirms ownership transfer, containing crucial info like VIN and price. It's a binding legal agreement, not just a receipt, offering protection and resolving disputes. It's often needed for RV registration, establishing ownership, insurance, and addressing legal matters.

Mobile Home Bill of Sale

A Mobile Home Bill of Sale is a vital document for transferring ownership of a mobile home. This legal form includes essential details like the mobile home's identification information and the sale price.

Beyond a simple receipt, it's a binding agreement, providing legal protection to both buyer and seller. This document plays a crucial role in resolving potential disputes and is often required for legal purposes, including transferring ownership, obtaining insurance, and addressing future legal issues.

Bicycle Bill of Sale

A Bicycle Bill of Sale is very similar to other vehicle bills of sale. It details the bicycle's identification specifics, such as make, model, year, and serial number, along with the agreed sale price. This form is often necessary for legal purposes, including the formal transfer of ownership.

More than just a receipt, it ensures a clear record of ownership.

Depending on your circumstances, this can be essential for resolving any future disputes, tracing the bicycle’s history, and providing a sense of security in case the bike was previously involved in any illegal activities.

Dog Bill of Sale

A Dog Bill of Sale acts as a formal record of the transaction, specifying the dog's details such as breed, color, age, and health status, along with the sale price. This document is a comprehensive agreement that provides legal protection to both parties.

The Dog Bill of Sale is particularly important for breeders or individuals selling dogs, as it documents the terms and conditions of the sale, including any warranties or representations made during the transaction. It also provides proof of ownership and ensures the legitimacy of the sale.

As-Is Bill of Sale

An as-is bill of sale is for selling personal property with no warranties, like cars or boats. It offers a "what you see is what you get" deal, with no promises of durability or functionality.

It's useful when selling older or used items needing repairs privately, often resulting in a lower price than buying from a dealer.

Find out the types of bill of sale

How To Write a Bill of Sale

Writing a bill of sale is a focused yet undemanding task to complete. When you start building your own document to sell an item of property, you will need to complete the following steps.

1. Choose the Type of Document You’re Creating

Depending on whether you’re selling a car, motorcycle, trailer, or animal, you will need to adjust your document to reflect the nature of the item for sale.

If you’re creating your own document either with an online template or by yourself, make sure to either use the correct form for your needs or to add the necessary sections required.

2. Name Both the Buyer and Seller

Your document must include the details of both the buyer and seller. To do so you will need to include the names and addresses of both parties. If necessary you can add the information of any additional buyers and sellers if the item is or will be jointly owned.

Buyer and seller in a bill of sale

3. Describe the Item Being Sold in Detail

The type of bill of sale for your item of property will normally require a description of various features to be provided.

When creating an online bill of sale using a pre-prepared template, these will likely be necessary requirements to completing your document.

For example, if you’re selling a horse, you will need to provide its age, sex, breeding association certification (if any), and information on its coloration.

You may also be asked to provide its stable name as well as its registered name.

Bill of sale item details

4. Provide the Transactional Information

When you have described the item being sold, you will then need to explain the key details about the transaction. You must provide the method of payment, explain whether taxes apply to the final price and if the amount will be paid at once or in installments.

Bill of sale transactional information

5. Make Any Warranties or Guarantees

You have the option to make warranties on your bill of sale. The property can either be sold “as is” with no warranties.

If however, you do make a warranty on the item you can make a sworn statement that the item being sold is as described, is in full working order, and that it has no liens or encumbrances against it.

Bill of sale warranties in a Form

6. Explain How the Item Will be Transferred to the New Owner

A bill of sale will normally require the writer to detail where the item is being held prior to sale and where it can be collected from or how it can be transferred. In some cases however such as horses or livestock, you may need to provide the exact details of transportation.

7. Sign the Bill of Sale

When the form is completed and both the buyer and seller are satisfied with the terms of the agreement, the bill of sale can be signed. In some states, this will need to be notarized or witnessed for the document to be fully valid.

From this moment on, it becomes legally binding.

Notarized Bill of Sale

While notarizing your Bill of Sale is not legally required in most states, the following ones are the exception when it comes to selling vehicles:

  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Regardless of state requirements, having a notary public confirm the authenticity of your Bill of Sale will add more protection to the transaction and will help you keep away from legal conflict.

DMV Offices in the U.S.

Beware that to transfer ownership of a car you will need to go to your state’s department of motor vehicles or equivalent agency.

Less than half of the states in the U.S. demand a Bill of Sale to change the title. In the following table, you can find a comprehensive list clarifying which states do and which do not:

State Bill of Sale Department of Motor Vehicles
Alabama Yes County Title & Registration Office
Alaska No Division of Motor Vehicles
Arizona No Motor Vehicle Division
Arkansas Yes Department of Finance and Administration
California No Department of Motor Vehicles
Colorado No Division of Motor Vehicles
Connecticut Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
Delaware No Department of Motor Vehicles
Florida No Motor Vehicle Service Centers
Georgia Yes Motor Vehicle Division - County Tag Office
Hawaii Yes Department of Transportation
Idaho No Idaho Transportation Department
Illinois Yes Facility Locations - Illinois Secretary of State
Indiana No Indiana Branch Locations
Iowa Yes Iowa Motor Vehicle Division
Kansas Yes Kansas Department of Revenue
Kentucky No Driver Licensing Services
Louisiana No Office of Motor Vehicles
Maine Yes Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Maryland Yes Motor Vehicle Administration
Massachusetts Yes Registry of Motor Vehicles
Michigan Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
Minnesota No Driver and Vehicle Services
Mississippi Yes Tax Collector’s Office
Missouri Yes License Office Locations
Montana Yes Motor Vehicle Division
Nebraska Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
Nevada Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
New Hampshire Yes Division of Motor Vehicles
New Jersey No Motor Vehicle Commission
New Mexico Yes Motor Vehicle Division
New York Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
North Carolina No Department of Motor Vehicles
North Dakota No Motor Vehicle Site Locations
Ohio Yes Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Oklahoma Yes Department of Public Safety
Oregon No Department of Motor Vehicles
Pennsylvania No Department of Motor Vehicles
Rhode Island Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
South Carolina No Department of Motor Vehicles
South Dakota Yes Motor Vehicles Division
Tennessee No Driver Services
Texas Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
Utah Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
Vermont Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
Virginia No Department of Motor Vehicles
Washington Yes Department of Licensing
West Virginia Yes Department of Motor Vehicles
Wisconsin No Department of Motor Vehicles
Wyoming Yes County Treasurer’s Office

Bill of Sale FAQs

If you’re having doubts about whether a bill of sale is right for your buying or selling needs we have the answers you’re looking for.

Simply browse through our bill of sale FAQs below to learn more about this type of legal document.

Do I Need a Bill of Sale For My Car?

A bill of sale is a requirement in many states. Where this applies, the buyer and seller must create a bill of sale and complete a title transfer form in order for the sale of the vehicle to be fully valid and registered.

However, even when this is not a legal requirement of your state, it is sensible to complete a bill of sale when selling a car. This can help to avoid disputes over ownership further down the line.

What Makes a Bill of Sale Valid?

A bill of sale will normally have to contain the details of the buyer and seller, a description of the item for sale, the transactional information, any warranties permitted, and the signatures of both parties.

In some states, you will also need a notary or witness signature for this document to be final and binding.

Who Keeps the Bill of Sale?

The new owner of the property will normally keep the original copy of the bill of sale as proof of purchase.

However, the seller can also keep a duplicate copy of the document for their item for their records should they need to prove the sale is completed and final.

How Long Is a Bill of Sale Good For?

If it has been completed correctly a bill of sale can be valid permanently. However, if the item of property is resold and a new bill of sale is completed to reflect this, it will render the older document null and void.

Additionally, a bill of sale could be overturned if the transfer of ownership terms are breached, thus nullifying the sale agreement.

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Bill of Sale Sample

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State of California     $_________
County of _________     _________

IN CONSIDERATION OF $_________, paid by personal check, receipt of which is acknowledged, I, _________ (hereinafter, the "Seller"), the undersigned, presently of _________ DO NOW SELL, TRANSFER AND DELIVER to _________ (hereinafter, the "Buyer"), presently of _________, the following described Motor Vehicle (hereinafter, the "Motor Vehicle"):
Make: _________
Model Name or Number: _________
Year: _________
Body Style: _________
Color: _________
Odometer Reading: _________
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): _________
License Plate Number: _________

Federal and state regulations require you to state the odometer mileage of the Motor Vehicle on transfer of ownership. An inaccurate or untruthful statement may make you liable for damages to your transferee and for civil or criminal penalties.
I, _________, state that the odometer reading of the Motor Vehicle is _________ miles. I certify that to the best of my knowledge, the odometer reading reflects the actual mileage of the Motor Vehicle described above. Moreover, I certify that the Motor Vehicle's odometer was not altered, set back, or disconnected while in my possession, and that I have no knowledge of anyone else doing so.

Both Buyer and Seller acknowledge the above odometer statements:
By: ______________________________ Date: _____________
By: ______________________________ Date: _____________
The Buyer warrants to the Seller that the Buyer has fully examined and tested the Motor Vehicle, that the Buyer is purchasing the Motor Vehicle in reliance upon such examination and testing, and that the Buyer is fully satisfied with the Motor Vehicle. On the alternative, and at the very least, the Buyer warrants having inspected the Motor Vehicle. Moreover, the Buyer has accepted the Motor Vehicle in its existing condition.

The Seller declares and affirms under penalty of perjury that the facts in this Bill of Sale are true and correct.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this Bill of Sale on _________.
By: ______________________________ Date: _____________
By: ______________________________ Date: _____________
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