When you’re selling a vehicle, a lot of time and effort needs to go into making it look good, fixing problems, and corresponding with prospective buyers. You might not have time to research everything you need to know to make a Vehicle Bill of Sale. The Bill of Sale is a legal document, proving that the vehicle now belongs to the new owner.
Don’t write the vehicle bill of sale on a napkin like the old days. Use a professional Vehicle Bill of Sale, and make sure that all of the provisions are ready to go when signing time comes. Save time and rest assured when you use a convenient, form filled template like this one, and focus on what matters, closing the deal.
You’ll need to do all of the proper research and homework first, but this template will give you a head-start and a good framework. You should always consult a lawyer though before finalizing any contracts.
The Vehicle Bill of Sale is similar to a receipt. It is a formal document that proves that the transfer of ownership occurred between the previous owner and the new owner. When the Vehicle Bill of Sale is signed, it must have specific items in order to be legally valid and to protect the buyer and seller from disputes or any confusion later on.
In specific localities, states, counties, and cities, there are specific formats that must be followed. You can even download a fillable form such as this one from the website of the city or state government that has a specific format. You wouldn’t want to use our generic format if you live in one of those places, so you might want to do some additional research to make sure you don’t live in one of those areas.
In most states and locales, you need to register the vehicle after you’ve purchased it. For buyers, a bill of sale is very important, because it is proof you need to transfer the vehicle into your name. The buyer may need to file a notice of sale of the vehicle to the government, but sometimes for whatever reason, it doesn’t happen. If you don’t have the title in-hand, and you don’t have a bill of sale, then you might not be able to legally adopt the vehicle as your own, and you might need to perform lengthy legal processes to rightfully claim your property.
If the vehicle is a car, motorcycle, truck, or commercial vehicle, it may be subject to certain certifications and affidavits. When the seller transfers ownership of the vehicle, they need to include information like the make, model, year, VIN number, and the odometer reading. This information is essential to ensure that the state government can investigate vehicles to make sure they aren’t stolen and to make sure the odometers are correct.
As you may know, in some cases, shady characters may roll back the odometer, making it seem as if the older vehicle is newer than it really is. When a car is sold, the previous odometer reading is compared to the reported reading, and if the newer one is lower, the state department of licensing or vehicle registration may begin an investigation. When the odometer reading on a car is lower, the value of the re-sold vehicle is much higher than one with a high odometer.
A Bill of Sale is a legally binding contract. It includes parties that are defined fully by name and includes their address, phone number, or other identifying information as required. It’s recommended to take a photocopy of their state or country-issued identification, as further insurance against bad actors. When you complete the sale, you may specify some additional terms to allow protection. For example, terms allowing the buyer to inspect the vehicle within a specific amount of time, and terms for the buyer to pay in a specific amount of time.
When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, the contract used is a lot more complex than a simple bill of sale. The bill of sale doesn’t have to be the only document stipulating terms of the agreement. You can additionally write up a contract that can assist in your purchase process.
The vast majority of vehicle bill of sale documents are only one-page documents. They are easy to read, and if you buy and sell a lot of vehicles, you can re-use the vehicle bill of sale for these other vehicles, and save time. There should not be many specific clauses, as the sale process of vehicles should remain relatively the same.
If you are the purchaser, you will need to show the vehicle bill of sale to the department of registrations after the purchase is complete. If the vehicle does not have a current registration, note that it might not be legal to drive the vehicle or operate it. Typically, you can get a “trip permit”, which is a type of temporary registration, but they are normally quite limited in time, such as 3 days.
If you need to register the vehicle, your state may have a significant number of restrictions or obligations you must fulfill. For example, you may need to pay taxes on the sale of the vehicle, you will need to pay a title transfer fee, you may need to get the title from the lienholder if the vehicle had a loan on it, and you may need to get emissions inspections, to name a few. If any damage has been done to the car to render it not street-legal, you will need to do repairs on it, and transport it by a flatbed truck or tow, because even with a trip permit, it isn’t legal to drive.
When you finally get your new vehicle registered in your name, you will need to put your temporary registration plates in your rear or front window and make sure that any toll cards or RFID are switched to your account. If you have a newer vehicle with electronic manufacturer registration, phone apps, satellite radio subscriptions, or OTA updates, you will need to sign up and provide copies of the new registration to prove that you own the car.
Once this process completes, note that many manufacturers will disable software unless you pay an additional license fee to the manufacturer. Now that you have an idea what to expect, get right to it, and focus on the deal. Sell or buy your next vehicle, and do it easily and conveniently with this Bill of Sale Template.