How to Fill Out a Bill of Sale Form

October 31, 2013

When selling a vehicle, you will need to provide the buyer with a bill of sale form. Both the buyer and the seller should have an identical copy for their records.

A sample bill of sale form is provided online by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This particular form can be completed, printed and saved on your computer. You may wish to use it, especially if you're selling a vehicle in California. When selling a vehicle, you can either obtain a copy of a bill of sale from your state's motor vehicle department or online website, or create one of your own, following the instructions below:

1. Include the Vehicle Identification Number

This is the motor number or serial number required for identification purposes. It can be found on the vehicle's registration and Certificate of Title. It can also be found on the vehicle itself.

2. Include the Year, Model and Make of the Vehicle

This information can also be found on the registration and title of the vehicle being sold.

3. Include the Odometer Mileage Reading

Including this in the bill of sale may be optional or mandatory in some cases, but it is encouraged. It's often required that the odometer reading is listed on the title when the sales transaction is being completed. The seller may be required to sign an Odometer Reading Disclosure. If the reading is only included on the title and not on the seller's copy of the bill of sale, the seller may not have the odometer mileage reading for his or her records, which is important information and should be kept as part of the records.

4. Include the License Plate Number (in Some states)

If your state requires that the license plates be included with the vehicle as it's being sold and transferred to a new owner, this is a requirement. However, if your state designates that the seller must keep the license plates, this information is not necessary for the bill of sale.

5. Include the Motorcycle Engine # (if the Vehicle Is a Motorcycle)

6. Clearly Print the Name of the Buyer(s) and the Seller(s)

7. Include the Month, Day and Year of the Sale

8. Include the Selling Price Amount in Numerical Dollars and Cents

If the vehicle is a gift, you will need to indicate the relationship (parent, spouse, friend, etc.) and the value of the gift vehicle.

9. Obtain the Seller's Information

Seller's printed name, followed by signature, date, and driver's license, ID or dealer's number. Include seller's mailing address with city, state, zip code and daytime telephone number.

10. Obtain the Buyer's Information

Buyer's printed name, mailing address, city, state and zip code. Buyer may include the same information required for the seller, but the extra information is optional.

11. Duplicate the Bill of Sale

All copies should be identical.

12. Distribute Copies of the Bill of Sale

Both the buyer and seller should receive copies of the bill of sale form.

It's important for the buyer to keep the bill of sale with the title of the vehicle for registration and licensing purposes, if necessary. However, all parties should keep them for their own personal records.

Learn more about Where to Find Used Car Bill of Sales Forms >>

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