How to Properly Write a Bill of Sale to Make it Legal

January 27, 2012

Knowing how to write a bill of sale is important in the event you ever want to sell your used car to a private party. While this document is important, it isn’t always legal. There are certain steps that must take place in order to make a bill of sale a legal document. So what can you do to protect yourself and ensure the document you are creating is a binding agreement that will hold up in a court of law? Simple, follow these steps when creating your standard bill of sale.

Step One

Prior to writing the bill of sale you should gather all of your pertinent information such as the title to the vehicle and registration papers you may have.

Step Two

With that out of the way, the next step is to begin writing the bill of sale. First you need to establish the identity of both the seller of the car, whether that is you or the person you are buying it from. Typically this is done by writing something to the effect of “I (sellers name), of (sellers address) declare that I am the legal and lawful owner of the following vehicle and have the authority to sell this vehicle”.

Step Three

With the identity of the seller established you now to need to verify the details of the vehicle, using the title and the registration papers if necessary.  This information should include all of details of the vehicle being sold, including the year, make, model, odometer reading, Vin # and any other distinguishing features the vehicle may have.

Step Four

Next you need to include the price the vehicle is being sold for and the buyer’s information. This should include the buyer’s name, address and the mileage the vehicle has at the time it was sold. Furthermore you need to include that the vehicle is sold “as is”. Without those two words you could potentially be sued from problems that were unknown at the time of sale that pop up later.

Step Five

Since you are interested in this being a legal document, you need to include several other things. First you must say something to the effect that the seller “relinquishes all rights to the vehicle upon completion of the sale” and that the “buyer assumes all liability of this vehicle upon completion of the sale”.

Step Six

Lastly, the bill of sale must be signed by both the buyer and the seller and, in order to make it official, it is a great idea to have these signatures notarized. While notarization isn’t entirely necessary, it is helpful to have (just in case). In addition, you should have each person date the signature at the time of signing.

Once the bill of sale is finished and signed and the sale has been completed you can have the title transferred and you are all done. Make sure you provide a copy of the bill of sale to each party. If a problem should arise, your bill of sale can prove an important document in a court of law and it is imperative that if you make one, you make it legal.

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