Does an Automobile Bill of Sale Form Need to Be Notarized?

October 22, 2013

Five states require an automobile bill of sale to be notarized. Learn what a bill of sale must include, and the which states require notarization.

Notarizing An Automobile Bill Of Sale

An automobile bill of sale is a simple contract for the transfer of a motor vehicle between a buyer and seller. It documents the details of the transaction and serves as a receipt for the buyer's purchase. A bill of sale may also include other details, but at a minimum, the document should list the following information:

  • The date of vehicle sale
  • The name and address of buyer
  • The name and address of seller
  • A description of car: make, model, trim level, number of cylinders, etc.
  • The VIN Number of car
  • The odometer (mileage) reading for the car

Purpose of a Bill of Sale
Every state in the United States requires that a seller of a vehicle issue a bill of sale to the buyer. Six states actually require that a bill of sale be notarized before it can be used to transfer the title of a vehicle. States that require a notary public stamp on a bill of sale are:

  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • West Virginia
  • Montana

While the other forty-four states don't require that a bill of sale be notarized, all states require one be signed by both the buyer and the seller before a title transfer can be initiated. In most cases, a duly executed bill of sale and a vehicle certificate of title are all that is needed to register a vehicle in the new buyer's name.

Where to Get a Bill of Sale
There are many sites on the Internet where you can download a bill of sale sample form or even templates where you simply fill in the blanks. However, one of the best places to get a bill of sale form is your state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Search for your state DMV's website and see if they have a form you can download and print out.

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