A bill of sale is a legal document that’s used to record the transfer of ownership of an item from one part to another.
It serves as proof of the transaction and includes important details such as the identities of the parties involved, payment terms, price, description of what’s being sold, date and the location of the transaction.
If you’re buying a car from a private seller or trying to sell your car privately, a bill of sale is part of the transaction. It’s important to keep a copy of the bill of sale as proof of your ownership and for legal protection in case of disputes or issues in the future.
Required Information on a Bill of Sale
The bill of sale will have a set criteria of information you need included for it to be valid.
The following information needs to be included in a bill of sale:
- Identification of the parties involved: The bill of sale should identify the seller and the buyer by their full names, addresses, and contact information.
- Description of the car being sold: The bill of sale should include a detailed description of the car, including the make, model, year, color, and any other relevant information.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN): The VIN is a unique 17-digit number that identifies the car. It should be included in the bill of sale to ensure that the buyer is purchasing the correct vehicle.
- Purchase price: The bill of sale should state the purchase price of the car. If the purchase price includes any additional fees or taxes, these should also be included.
- Payment terms: The bill of sale should include the payment terms agreed upon by the buyer and seller. This includes the amount of any down payment, the date(s) of any subsequent payments, and the method of payment.
- Date and location of the transaction: The bill of sale should include the date and location of the transaction, including the city and state.
- Signatures of the parties involved: Both the buyer and seller should sign the bill of sale to indicate that they agree to the terms of the transaction.
- Witnesses (if applicable): If required by state law, witnesses may need to sign the bill of sale to make it legally binding.
Having all of this information in a bill of sale for a car is important to ensure that the transaction is legal and binding. It also serves as proof of ownership for the buyer and can help protect both parties in case of disputes or claims in the future.
Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Bill of Sale
It may seem daunting to write a bill of sale but it doesn’t have to be. The more prep work you do ahead of time with the required information will save you a lot of time as you’re filing it out.
Here are the steps you should take to complete a bill of sale:
- Start with a template: Most state DMV websites offer a template for a bill of sale but you can also find some free ones online with a Google search.
- Fill in the required information: Using the template, fill in the required information, including the identification of the parties involved, the description of the car being sold, the purchase price, payment terms, date and location of the transaction, and signatures of the parties involved.
- Review and make corrections: After filling in the information, review the bill of sale carefully to make sure all information is accurate and complete. If there are any mistakes, make corrections as necessary.
- Print and sign: Once you are satisfied with the information in the bill of sale, print it out and have both the buyer and seller sign it. It’s also a good idea to have witnesses sign the bill of sale, if required by state law. You will also want to get your bill of sale notarized.
By following these simple steps, you can create a bill of sale that is legal and binding. Remember to keep a copy of the bill of sale for your records and provide a copy to the buyer. A bill of sale serves as proof of ownership for the buyer and can help protect both parties in case of disputes or claims in the future.
Tips for Writing a Clear and Concise Bill of Sale
It’s important to ensure that the document is clear and concise. A well-written bill of sale can help prevent misunderstandings and legal issues.
Here are a few tips to writing a bill of sale:
- Use clear language: Avoid using technical terms and legal jargon in your bill of sale. Use simple, straightforward language that is easy for everyone to understand.
- Avoid abbreviations: Spell out words instead of using abbreviations to make sure that the information in the bill of sale is clear and easy to read.
- Double-check all information for accuracy: Before finalizing the bill of sale, double-check all the information to make sure that it is accurate. Ensure that the names, addresses, and contact information of both the buyer and seller are correct, as well as the make, model, year, and VIN of the car being sold.
- Use a font that is easy to read: Use a font that is clear and easy to read, such as Times New Roman or Arial. Avoid using fancy or decorative fonts, as they may be difficult to read.