What is an Auto Bill of Sale?
An Auto Bill of Sale is a legal document that verifies the sale and transfer of ownership of an automobile. It is used as proof of a transaction. It serves as both an invoice and a receipt for the parties involved in the transaction.
If you are purchasing a used car from an individual, you may need to obtain an Auto Bill of Sale before registering the vehicle with your local motor vehicle agency. If any disputes arise, the bill of sale will be examined to determine the terms that both parties agreed to honor.
Through this document, the seller can show that he or she is no longer in possession of an automobile and is not accountable once the car is engaged in any violations or accidents. If the buyer has to purchase insurance for the automobile, he or she can use the bill of sale to establish ownership rights. Both parties can use it for tax purposes, and any party can use it to indicate when responsibility for the vehicle changed.
An Auto Bill of Sale contains the following information:
- Vehicle Details — Information about the vehicle, such as year, make, model, and color.
- VIN — The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or the unique identifier of your automobile.
- Odometer Reading — The odometer at the time of the sale including the mileage.
- Date of Sale — The date when the transaction occurred.
- Payment Details — The sale price and how you agreed to be paid.
- Terms and Conditions — It includes agreements of the transaction and the conditions applied.
- Buyer and Seller Information — The names, addresses, and contact information of the buyer and the seller.
- Signatures — The signatures of both the buyer and the seller to authorize the bill of sale.
Where to get an Auto Bill of Sale template?
There are states that offer and require an Auto Bill of Sale. Its content may differ from one state to another. Meanwhile, some other states do not offer and require an Auto Bill of Sale.
You might be able to download and fill out a bill of sale form from your state's motor vehicle department’s website or get it from a local DMV office. You may also search online to download one from the motor vehicle department of your state. You may want to check the bill of sale requirements in your state. A few states also require that the bill of sale is notarized.
Auto Bill of Sale template that you can electronically fill out is available on PDFRun.
How to fill out an Auto Bill of Sale?
Here is a detailed guide on how to fill out an Auto Bill of Sale:
I (Seller’s Name)
Enter the name of the seller.
Of (Seller Address)
Enter the address of the seller.
Car Make/ Model
Enter the model of the car.
Year of Manufacture
Enter the year when the car was manufactured.
Enter the Vehicle Identification Number of the car.
Odometer Reading (Mileage, specify miles or Kilometers)
Enter the mileage of the car and specify if it is per mile or kilometers.
To (Buyer’s Name)
Enter the name of the buyer.
Of (Buyer’s Address)
Enter the address of the buyer.
In the amount of (Sale price)
Enter the sales price of the car.
Date of sale/ delivery
Affix the signature of the seller.
Enter the name of the seller.
Enter the date it was signed by the seller.
Affix the signature of the buyer.
Enter the name of the buyer.
Enter the date it was signed by the buyer.
Who is responsible for the Auto Bill of Sale?
Both the seller and the buyer are responsible for the Auto Bill of Sale. The document releases the seller from obligation and transfers ownership of the vehicle to the buyer. The seller is in charge of writing the bill of sale, but both the buyer and the seller should save a copy for their records. In addition, both parties are involved in the signing of paperwork and the negotiation of terms.
States requiring an Auto Bill of Sale
In the following states, the Auto Bill of Sale is required:
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
In certain states, the bill of sale must be notarized to be considered valid. In Louisiana, Nebraska, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Montana, both parties must sign the bill of sale in the presence of a notary public.
Reminders in writing an Auto Bill of Sale
Here are some reminders in writing an Auto Bill of Sale:
- Make sure that the bill of sale is legible.
- Double-check all information. Make sure that all details of automobiles are correct.
- Make sure that all automobiles being sold are stated with an accurate price and condition.
- Make sure that the Auto Bill of Sale is signed by both the buyer and the seller.
- Make sure that both parties have a copy of the Auto Bill of Sale.
Can an Auto Bill of Sale be handwritten?
The Auto Bill of Sale can be handwritten if your state does not provide a bill of sale form. The document is considered valid as long as the document includes all of the necessary parts of a bill of sale and is signed by both parties and a notary public.
Is an Auto Bill of Sale a legally binding document?
An Auto Bill of Sale is a contract between the seller and the buyer to purchase an automobile. In most cases, the bill of sale is considered legally binding when signed and as long as it adheres to the guidelines set forth by the state where the vehicle is being sold.
Does an Auto Bill of Sale legally change ownership of an automobile?
The Auto Bill of Sale is an essential document for certifying ownership and transaction of an automobile. Meanwhile, until the title is transferred to the new owner, ownership does not legally change. The seller and the buyer can go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles and finish the process jointly to transfer the title of a car to the new owner. Take note that the buyer has 10-30 days after purchasing the vehicle to file for a title transfer, pay the required title fees, and register the automobile. Take note that late fees may also be imposed.