A Bill of Sale Template for a Car: Four Requirements

January 27, 2012

When you sell your car to a private owner, or if you purchase a vehicle from an independent seller, you'll need to complete a bill of sale template in order to make the sale official. The free auto bill of sale that you obtain from your local DMV and complete along with the other party is your legal proof of the sale. This document should be kept by both parties and serves as the recognition by the government that the sale took place. If on the offside chance you should be required to furnish proof that you have legally owned or purchased the vehicle, the form for bill of sale will serve as that proof. Read on for a list of the basic requirements for completing a bill of sale.

Number 1 -- Parties and Contact Information

Both the buyer and the seller of the car must furnish several important pieces of information about themselves for the bill of sale, regardless of the state in which the sale is taking place. This information includes the full legal names of both the buyer and the seller of the car. You'll also need to have the addresses and contact phone numbers for both the buyer and the seller as well.

Number 2 -- Vehicle Information

In order to identify the vehicle in the case of legal proceedings, it's important that you also include a few bits of information about the car itself. This information can be readily determined by inspecting the vehicle or by asking a mechanic for additional assistance. The information that you'll need for the bill of sale is the make, model and production year of the car. You'll also need the VIN, or the vehicle identification number, which is found on the inside of the windshield of most cars. Finally, many states also require that you provide the odometer reading at the time of the sale.

Number 3 -- Value

You'll also need to state the agreed upon amount of money that the car was decided to be sold for. This is not related to the stated value of the car, although some documents request this information as well.

Number 4 -- Signatures of Both Parties

Finally, both the buyer and the seller must sign his or her name on the bill of sale in order to make it official. These signatures should take place at the same time and must be dated together.

Once you and the other party have completed the bill of sale, make official copies to maintain for both of your records. The bill of sale itself may need to be returned to the DMV in your state in order to be kept for legal purposes. You'll need the bill of sale in order to transfer the title of the car and to reregister the vehicle with new license plates and under a new owner name. Keep your copy of the bill of sale secure and do not throw it away.

Related Questions and Answers

How Does a Legal Bill of Sale for a Used Car Vary From a New Car One?

A legal bill of sale for a used car varies from a new car bill of sale because different information is required for each type of transaction. For example, in some states, a legal bill of sale must include specifics about the warranty coverage provided on a new vehicle. On the other hand, used vehicles are often sold without warranties, so this information is not necessary. Additionally, the calculation of taxes varies between used and new cars in some states. For example, some states may allow you to subtract the value of a trade in from the taxable amount of a new car purchase, while this some deduction is not available on used cars.

Where Can I Find a Free Automobile Bill of Sale?

The best place to find a free automobile bill of sale is at your state's Department of Motor Vehicles, Secretary of State or comparable office. Many states offer a free automobile bill of sale template in an effort to protect the consumers on each side of a used car sale. You can also check out your state government's website to see if such a template is available. You can also find a free automobile bill of sale for Microsoft Office and compatible word processors by visiting Microsoft Office Templates online. In addition to completing a bill of sale, the used car seller should also verify that the buyer is appropriately licensed to purchase and drive the vehicle.

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