A bill of sale documents the transfer of ownership of an item from one party to another, more specifically from the Seller to the Buyer. It also serves as a receipt or proof of sale. In most states a bill of sale is required to register a motor vehicle, boat, motorcycle, trailer, or any type of property that requires a title and/or certificate of registration.
Our bill of sale forms are offered in both Word and PDF format . Either version can be downloaded and printed free of charge. Most of the PDFs are fillable, meaning you can type the information directly into the form. Fillable PDFs take all the guesswork out of which information goes on what line.
Bill of Sale Commonly Asked Questions
A notarized bill of sale is not a type of document. In order for the form to be notarized, it must be signed and dated by a notary public. The notary should also stamp the document with his or her notary seal. Most notaries charge under $10 for this service, although we’ve heard that in some cities the fees can be insanely expensive. Notary publics are self-employed and can charge whatever they want for the service.
In most cases the only way to obtain a duplicate copy of the original bill of sale is to contact the person from whom you purchased the item. Sellers are not required to keep a copy of the bill of sale, but many do. Bills of sale are not considered court documents so it’s doubtful any government agency will have a copy on file. Your best bet is to contact the seller. Even if the seller didn’t keep a copy of the original bill of sale, he or she may be willing to create a new one for you both to sign.
Do not sign the bill of sale until both parties are ready to transfer ownership of the item. Normally this is when the buyer forwards payment to the seller. Sellers should not sign the bill of sale until they have payment in hand. Buyers should not sign the bill of sale until they receive the property being purchased.
Of course you can. Be sure to include your name, the buyer’s name, the date, sales price, and a detailed description of the item being sold. If the item being sold is a motor vehicle, boat, or other item that must be registered with the state, you must include all information such as the make, manufacturer, model, ID number, and year of manufacture. For motor vehicles you must also include the mileage on the odometer.
The best option is to create two bills of sale. Give one original bill of sale to the buyer, and keep the other original for yourself. You could sign one form and make a copy but the best option is to prepare and sign two separate originals.
As the seller, it is imperative that you verify the buyer’s identity and retain a copy of the bill of sale. Let’s say you sell a car. Two hours later the police knock on your door and inform you that the car hit a pedestrian and left the scene of the accident. You’d better hope you have a copy of the bill of sale to prove you sold that vehicle!