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Motor Vehicle (DMV) Bill of Sale Form

Create a bill of sale to formalize the purchase of a new or used vehicle. Start now and build your own printable form with our contract maker and customizable templates optimized for your state.

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Last Update May 12th, 2023


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What is a Vehicle Bill of Sale

A vehicle bill of sale is a legal document that is used to formalize the sale of an automobile between a buyer and a seller. It creates a record of the vehicle being sold, the price it was sold for, and from whom and to whom the ownership will pass.

Vehicle bills of sale are essential forms when purchasing a car, especially when doing so from a private seller. It is often necessary when registering an automobile or transferring its title at your local DMV to prove that the vehicle is indeed legally yours.

These types of bill of sale also prove practical if a dispute occurs over the ownership of the vehicle between the buyer and seller. The document clearly lays out the terms of their agreement, a description of the car at the time of sale, and the signatures of both parties to avoid ambiguity.

How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car

Writing your own bill of sale for a car is a straightforward process that can be made even easier with the help of our online legal document making tools. These can help you customize your form with the help of guided instructions, expert tips, and professional templates for any state.

Alternatively, you can fill in a form that can be sourced from the DMV to record the sale or call upon an attorney to create a bespoke form. However, In all cases, when creating your own vehicle bill of sale document you must include the following:

  • The name and address of the buyer

  • The name and address of the seller

  • The year, make, and model of the vehicle

  • A description of the car

  • The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the vehicle

  • The price agreed between the buyer and seller

  • The date that the sale becomes effective

  • Any warranties that will be made on the vehicle

  • The signatures of the buyer and seller

The document must also contain special sections that carefully detail that the seller is legally entitled to make the sale. There must also be a segment that explicitly states that the ownership of the vehicle is to be transferred from the buyer to the seller in order for the sale document to be fully valid.

Does a Car Bill of Sale Need to be Notarized?

In most states, you do not need to go to a notary public to complete your Car Bill of Sale. 

There are 6 states that require you to notarize your Car Bill of Sale to be able to transfer the tile of your vehicle. 

Check the table below to see if your state requires you to notarize your document. 

State Statute
Louisiana § RS 32:705
Maryland § 13-809
Nebraska § 60-140
Montana § 61-3-208
West Virginia § 17A-3A-1

Vehicle Bill of Sale Example

Before starting a vehicle bill of sale it is sensible to review what a completed example looks like. Our sample bill of sale below shows how your final document will be structured, how it should be worded, and what essential details you’ll need to include.

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Car Bill of Sale FAQs

Vehicle bills of sale are relatively simple legal documents but it is important to understand them fully to avoid any mistakes or misunderstandings. If you’re still unsure of some of their uses or key details, simply read the answers to our FAQs below for more information.

Do I Need a Bill of Sale for My Car?

A vehicle bill of sale is often an essential necessity when transferring a used car between a seller and a buyer. Once completed it will help the buyer complete the paperwork to finalize full ownership of the vehicle with the DMV such as the transfer of title and completing vehicle registration under the new owner’s name.

How to Use a Vehicle Bill of Sale?

The vehicle bill of sale of a newly purchased used car is necessary in many states in order to complete the transfer of title between the buyer and the seller and to register the vehicle with the DMV.

However, the seller may also use the bill of sale to demonstrate that they no longer are the legal owner of the vehicle in the event that the new owner commits any traffic violations whilst in the possession of the car.

Who Keeps the Bill of Sale?

Both parties must keep a copy of the vehicle bill of sale once it has been completed and signed. This allows buyers to register their vehicle and transfer the title with the DMV and sellers to legally prove that they are no longer the owner of the vehicle.

How Long is a Bill of Sale Good for?

In general, a vehicle bill of sale can be kept almost indefinitely as a record to prove the validity of a transaction. Nevertheless, it usually safe to discard any old sale documents such as this a year after the transaction has been completed.

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